Kautilya. Arthashastra. Translated by R. Shamasastry. Bangalore: Government Press, 1915.
142315Arthashastra — Table of ContentsKautilyaR. Shamasastry
Kautilya's Arthashastra is an excellent treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy. it is said to have been written by Kautilya, also known by the name Chanakya or Vishnugupta, the prime minister of India's first great emperor, Chandragupta Maurya.
In Arthashastra, Kautilya mixes the harsh pragmatism for which he is famed with compassion for the poor, for slaves, and for women. He reveals the imagination of a romancer in imagining all manner of scenarios which can hardly have been commonplace in real life.
Centrally, Arthaśāstra argues for an autocracy managing an efficient and solid economy. It discusses the ethics of economics and the duties and obligations of a king. The scope of Arthaśāstra is, however, far wider than statecraft, and it offers an outline of the entire legal and bureaucratic framework for administering a kingdom, with a wealth of descriptive cultural detail on topics such as mineralogy, mining and metals, agriculture, animal husbandry and medicine. The Arthaśāstra also focuses on issues of welfare (for instance, redistribution of wealth during a famine) and the collective ethics that hold a society together.
This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.
The author died in 1944, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.