Manu's Code of Law is one of the most important texts in the Sanskrit canon, indeed one of the most important surviving texts from any classical civilization. It paints an astoundingly detailed picture of ancient Indian life-covering everything from the constitution of the king's cabinet to the price of a ferry trip for a pregnant woman-and its doctrines have been central to Indian thought and practice for 2000 years. Despite its importance, however, until now no one has produced a critical edition of this text. As a result, for centuries scholars have been forced to accept clearly inferior editions of Sanskrit texts and to use those unreliable editions as the basis for constructing the history of classical India. In this volume, Patrick Olivelle has assembled the critical text of Manu, including a critical apparatus containing all the significant manuscript variants, along with a reliable and readable translation, copious explanatory notes, and a comprehensive introduction on the structure, content, and socio-political context of the treatise. The result is an outstanding scholarly achievement that will be an essential tool for any serious student of India.
"Patrick Olivelle's new critical edition of this text, based on a full study of the extant manuscripts and the nine early commentaries on the the text, is very much to be welcomed." --The Journal of Legal History
"This edition of Manu's Code of Law is the fruit of more than twelve years of continued work. Although a project of such dimensions naturally involves collaboration between a large number of persons and institutions, no one reading through the book will fail to sense the lucid mind of the author on every page. This work is an extraordinary accomplishment." --The Journal of Asian Studies
"Patrick Olivelle has done yeomen service to the cause of modern research in Sanskrit and Indology. Olivelle's erudition and non-judmental attitude is clearly evident."--The Hindu
"It is clear that Olivelle understands the text better than previous translators. This monumental work is likely to remain unsurpassed." --Religious Studies Review