K.P. Jayaswal
Kashi Prasad Jayaswal was an Indian historian and lawyer. One of the intellectual forces behind the Indian nationalist movement, Jayaswal's works 'Hindu Polity' (1918) and 'History of India, 150 A.D. to 350 A.D.' (1933) are classics of ancient Indian historical literature. Among other things, Jayaswal is credited with showing that Indian republics, based on the principles of representation and collective decision-making, were among the oldest and most powerful of the ancient world.


Jayaswal was born in Mirzapur
Mirzapur is a city in the heart of North India, nearly 650 km between Delhi and Kolkata and also equidistant from Allahabad and Varanasi. Located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Mirzapur has a population of a little over 205,264 and is renowned for its famous carpet and brassware industry...

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, and graduated from Allahabad University
Allahabad University
Allahabad University , is a premier Central University located in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. Its origins lie in the Muir Central College, named after Lt...

. He went on to Jesus College, Oxford
Jesus College, Oxford
Jesus College is one of the colleges of the University of Oxford in England. It is in the centre of the city, on a site between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket Street and Market Street...

 University, where he was awarded the Davis Scholarship in Chinese and graduated with a M.A. in Ancient Indian History in 1909. He was called to the Bar of Lincoln's Inn
Lincoln's Inn
The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray's Inn. Although Lincoln's Inn is able to trace its official records beyond...

 in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1910. After returning to India, Jayaswal set up practice at the Calcutta High Court
Calcutta High Court
The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It was established as the High Court of Judicature at Fort William on 1 July 1862 under the High Courts Act, 1861. It has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The High Court...

, where he came into contact with Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee
Ashutosh Mukherjee
Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, CIE was a prolific Bengali educator and the first Indian Vice Chancellor of the University of Calcutta from 1906 to 1924. Perhaps the most emphatic figure of Indian education, he was a man of great personality, high self-respect, courage and towering administrative ability...

, who inspired Jayaswal to undertake further research in ancient Indian history. Jayaswal moved to Patna
Paṭnā , is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar and the second largest city in Eastern India . Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world...

 in 1916, and remained there permanently.

A prolific scholar, Jayaswal wrote more than 120 research papers in addition to 11 books and numerous commentaries and translations. He also played a pioneering role in excavating and restoring ancient sites, including the university of Nalanda
Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

 in modern Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

. He was also an expert in Numismatics
Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the...

, and his discovery of several coins of the Maurya and Gupta periods led to his being the first Indian to be invited to speak at the Royal Asiatic Society
Royal Asiatic Society
The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was established, according to its Royal Charter of 11 August 1824, to further "the investigation of subjects connected with and for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to Asia." From its incorporation the Society...

 of London in 1931. Jayaswal was twice elected president of the Numismatic Society of India, and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Cause) by Benares Hindu University and Patna University.

Jayaswal is the grandfather of renowned Oxford economist Sanjaya Lall
Sanjaya Lall
Sanjaya Lall was a development economist, Professor of Economics and Fellow of Green College, Oxford University...

, and the father of the distinguished surgeon Dr P.N. Jayaswal.

The K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute

The K.P. Jayaswal Research Institute in Patna was established by the Government of Bihar in 1950 with the object of promoting "historical research, archaeological excavation and investigations and publication of works of permanent value to scholars". The institute has undertaken the editing and publication of the famous Tibetan Sansrkit Text Series.

External links

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