The book presents an account of the Art of war as known to the ancient Hindus. It is a study of the aspect of the institutional life of ancient India.
In India, Kingdoms rose and fell in never-ending succession. Mighty conquerors sped across the land for adventure and conquest. Dig-vijaya (conquest of regions) was held up as a righteous ideal and empires built up through the same mechanism of bloody strife and diplomacy as the later-day empires of the Moghuls, the Marathas and the British.
There is an extensive military literature in sanskrit and this naturally constitutes the most copious source of information for the book. Among the indigenous literary works, the most important for the purpose of this study? are the two sanskrit epics ? the Ramayana and the mahabharata, treatises on Arthasastra and Niti and extant manuals on Dhanur-Veda and other cognate topics.
Broadly speaking, the materials used for the present study fall under two heads: Literary and archaeological. Archaeological evidence consists mainly of the ruins of old towns and forts, ancient sculptures, paintings, coins and inscriptions. The literary sources, again, are of two kinds: viz indigenous and foreign; the foreign sources are Greek and Graeco,Roman, Chinese and Muhammadan.
Contents: Introduction, Chapter-1 The army and a general sketch of its composition, 2 Strength of armies, 3 The infantry, 4 The war chariots, 5 The cavalry, 6 Elephants, 7Naval warfare, 8 Military espionage, 9 Some aspects of military administration, 10 Army on the march, 11 The camp, 12 Army in the field, 13 Fortification and siegecraft, 14 Notes on arms adn armour, 15 concluding remarks.