Abstract

Kautilya was the key adviser to the Indian king Chandragupta Maurya (c. 317-293 B.C.E.), who first united the Indian subcontinent in empire. Written about 300 B.C.E., Kautilya's Arthasastra was a science of politics intended to teach a wise king how to govern. In this work, Kautilya offers wide-ranging and truly fascinating discussions on war and diplomacy, including his wish to have his king become a world conqueror, his analysis of which kingdoms are natural allies and which are inevitable enemies, his willingness to make treaties he knew he would break, his doctrine of silent war or a war of assassination against an unsuspecting king, his approval of secret agents who killed enemy leaders and sowed discord among them, his view of women as weapons of war, his use of religion and superstition to bolster his troops and demoralize enemy soldiers, the spread of disinformation, and his humane treatment of conquered soldiers and subjects.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-7795
Print ISSN
0899-3718
Pages
pp. 9-37
Launched on MUSE
2003-04-03
Open Access
No
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