The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000

The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000

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Cynthia Talbot
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 12/9/2015
EAN 9781107118560, ISBN10: 1107118565

Hardcover, 325 pages, 23.8 x 15.3 x 2.1 cm
Language: English

This fascinating new study traces traditions and memories relating to the twelfth-century Indian ruler Prithviraj Chauhan; a Hindu king who was defeated and overthrown during the conquest of Northern India by Muslim armies from Afghanistan. Surveying a wealth of narratives that span more than 800 years, Cynthia Talbot explores the reasons why he is remembered, and by whom. In modern times, the Chauhan king has been referred to as 'the last Hindu emperor', because Muslim rule prevailed for centuries following his defeat. Despite being overthrown, however, his name and story have evolved over time into a historical symbol of India's martial valor. The Last Hindu Emperor sheds new light on the enduring importance of heroic histories in Indian culture and the extraordinary ability of historical memory to transform the hero of a clan into the hero of a community, and finally a nation.

1. Introduction
layers of memory
2. Literary trajectories of the historic king
3. Delhi in the making of the last Hindu emperor
4. The heroic vision of a regional elite
5. Imagining the Rajput past in Mughal-era Mewar
6. Validating Prithviraj Rāso in colonial India, 1820s–70s
7. Contested meanings in a nationalist age, 1880s–1940s
8. Epilogue
the postcolonial Prithviraj