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The Law Code of Manu

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  49 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
The Law Code of Manu is the most authoritative and the best-known legal text of ancient India. Famous for fifteen centuries it still generates controversy, with Manu's verses being cited in support of the oppression of women and members of the lower castes. A seminal Hindu text, the Law Code is important for its classic description of so many social institutions that have ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 18th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1886)
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Barnaby Thieme
I approached Manu's Dharmashastra with historical curiosity, braced for a tough read, but I was delightfully surprised to learn what an engaging, beautiful, and fascinating text this is. In twelve chapters the mythical author Manu describes the nature of the well-ordered society and focuses on the role of the Brahmin within it.

The Indologist Richard Gombrich describes "Dharma", awkwardly rendered by Olivelle as "Law", as corresponding to the medieval European concept of "Nature". Both terms und
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Anirudh
Jan 29, 2013 Anirudh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad I was not born in his time. The rules of punishment are quite extensive.
Erika
Jun 04, 2011 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
I read this in Tunisia in 1972 and was very interested in rules for living
Nagini
Apr 03, 2011 Nagini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, for now, I say that I am quite convinced that Manu was a Brahmin.
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“Right and wrong (dharma and adharma) do not go about saying, ‘Here we are’; nor do gods, centaurs, or ancestors say, ‘This is right, that is wrong.’ ĀPASTAMBA1 To set up a law-book of the kind of Manu means to concede to a people the right henceforth to become masterly, to become perfect – to be ambitious for the highest art of living. To that end, the law must be made unconscious: this is the purpose of every holy lie. NIETZSCHE2 These two epigrams suggest two very different views of The Laws of Manu, the first from inside the tradition, acknowledging the complexity of its moral judgements, and the second from the outside, arguing for the duplicity of its presentation of those judgements.” 0 likes
“A work of encyclopedic scope, The Laws of Manu (in Sanskrit, the Mānavadharmaśāstra or Manusmṛti, and informally known as Manu) 5 consists of 2,685 verses” 0 likes
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