The King, his Enemy, his Ally and All the Others

Vigasin Alexei A.

The article discusses one of the principal concepts of arthaśāstra: the so-called maṇḍala, or “the circle of the states”, consisting of four elements: the enemy, the ally, the middle and the neutral kings. The author seeks to show that “political science” of Ancient India was based on traditional diagrams (including cosmological ones), numerological and logical schemes. 

Keywords: arthaśāstra, traditional Indian conception of foreign affairs, the circle (of kings), tetralemma of Indian logic

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