Slaves and Slavery in Medieval Hindu Law

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) is organizing a talk titled 

Slaves and Slavery in Medieval Hindu Law

By: Donald Davis, Professor of Asian Studies and Director of the South Asia Institute, University of Texas, Austin. 

The Smritichandrika, a fourteenth-century Sanskrit text by Devannabhatta, contains a long discussion of the nature of slavery, different types of slaves, and the relationship between slavery and other forms of servitude. In this presentation, I will provide a summary of the author’s views and discuss two surprising elements of the medieval Hindu law of slavery. First, slavery is similar to other forms of servitude and is legally classified alongside apprenticeship, studentship, menial labor, wage labor, and supervisory labor. Second, slavery is closely related to caste distinctions and oppression. Taken together, this author’s views on slavery help us understand the ideological underpinnings of slavery in Hindu law and help us relate that influential tradition to historical work on slavery in South Asia.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
A-9, Academic Block, LUMS
5:00 pm
Organised by the Dean’s Office MGSHSS