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Harshacharita

The Harshacharita (Sanskrit: हषर्चिरत, Harṣacarita) (The deeds of


Harsha), is the biography of Indian emperor Harsha by Banabhatta, also
Harshacharita
known as Bana, who was a Sanskrit writer of seventh-century CE India. Author Banabhatta
He was the Asthana Kavi, meaning Court Poet, of Harsha. The
Harshacharita was the first composition of Bana and is considered to be the beginning of writing of historical poetic
works in Sanskrit language.

The Harshacharita ranks as the first historical biography in Sanskrit although it is written in a florid and fanciful
style. Bana's detailed and vivid descriptions of rural India's natural environment as well as the extraordinary industry
of the Indian people exudes the vitality of life at that time. Since he received the patronage of the emperor Harsha, his
descriptions of his patron are not an unbiased appraisal and presents the emperor's actions in an overly favourable
light.[1]

Contents
Contents
Commentaries
References
Further reading
External links

Contents
The Harṣacharita, written in ornate poetic prose,[2] narrates the biography of the emperor Harsha in eight ucchvāsas
(chapters). In the first two ucchvāsas, Bana gives an account of his ancestry and his early life.

Commentaries
The only commentary available is the Sanketa written by Shankara, a scholar from Kashmir. It seems that Ruyyaka
also wrote a commentary known as the Harsacaritavartika, which has not yet been found.

The work was translated into English by Edward Byles Cowell and Frederick William Thomas in 1897.[3] The military
historian Kaushik Roy describes Harshacharita as "historical fiction" but with a factually correct foundation.[4]

References
1. Keay, John (2000). India: A History. New York: Grove Press. pp. 161–162. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.
2. Basham, A. L. (1981) [1954]. The wonder that was India. Calcutta: Rupa & Co. p. 433.
3. Rapson, E. J. (April 1898). "The Harṣa-carita of Bāṇa by E. B. Cowell; F. W. Thomas". The Journal of the Royal
Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland: 448–451. JSTOR 25208004 (https://www.jstor.org/stable/25208004).
4. Roy, Kaushik (2013). "Bana". In Coetzee, Daniel; Eysturlid, Lee W. Philosophers of War: The Evolution of
History's Greatest Military Thinkers (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DW2jAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA21). ABC-
CLIO. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-313-07033-4.

Further reading
Ashok Kaushik. Harsh Charit by Bann Bhatt (in Hindi), Diamond Pocket Books, Delhi

External links
Banabhatta (1897). The Harsa-carita of Bana (https://archive.org/stream/harsacaritaofban00banaiala#page/n7/m
ode/2up). Translated by E. B. Cowell; F. W. Thomas. London: Royal Asiatic Society.

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This page was last edited on 20 November 2016, at 12:03.

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