Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

6/1/2008 - 5/31/2009

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Remembering a Rajput Hero: Martial Tales and Identities in India

FAIN: FA-53037-07

Cynthia M. Talbot
University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)

"Remembering a Rajput Hero" asks why the king Prithviraj Chauhan has been considered memorable for the past 800 years. Notable primarily for his defeat to a Muslim Afghan king who conquered North India, Prithviraj was later transformed into a heroic figure for the Rajput community of Hindu warriors, and eventually into a symbol of Hindu resistance against foreign oppression. By exploring his past lives as a hero in a variety of written narratives, this project seeks to clarify how cultural symbols are constructed, transmitted, and transformed over the ages. It will contribute to our knowledge of Hindu-Muslim relations, Indian conceptions of history, the martial culture of Hindu India, and the ways the past is being used in India today.

Associated Products

The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past (Book)
Title: The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past
Author: Cynthia Talbot
Abstract: Description Contents Resources Courses About the Authors 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.
Year: 2016
Primary URL: http://
Primary URL Description: Cambridge University Press website
Access Model: hard copy purchase
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781107118560
Copy sent to NEH?: No