This study is meant as a contribution to debates about literary and
martial cultures in history as conducted by Joshua Goldstein
(2001), Sheldon Pollock (2003) and the celebrated Indian historian
Romila Thapar (1999). It offers insights into martial ethics and
identity politics through an analysis of the development of
medieval and contemporary heroic and epic genres. And it adds to
our understanding of the literary-historical processes that lead to
the deification of warrior-heroes in South Asia. By describing the
different degrees of narrative importance that Rajasthani poets
attached to battle-death and the martial and/or religious role
ascribed to warrior-heroes in Rajasthan and Sindh, the author
suggests new ways of interpreting the region's past.
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