Ans. A chronicle is a record of the rule of the kings and life at the court. Most kings had court chroniclers who wrote in detail about what happened during their reign. Some important chronicles of the medieval period are:
i. Rajatarangini by Kalhana, which is a history of the king of Kashmir.
ii. Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi by Zia-ud-din Barani, which describes the history of the Sultans of Delhi till the reign of Firoz Shah Tughluq.
iii. Tarikh-e-Ferishta by Ferishta, which is a record of the history of the Delhi Sultans, from the time of Turks till the seventeenth century.
Ans. The number and variety of textual records increased dramatically during this period. They slowly displaced other types of available information. Through this period paper gradually became cheaper and more widely available. People used it to write holy texts, chronicles of rulers, letters and teachings of saints, petitions and judicial records, and for registers of accounts and taxes. Manuscripts were collected by wealthy people, rulers, monasteries and temples. They were placed in libraries and archives.
Ans. Archaeological sources of the medieval period are:
i. Inscriptions –Writings or drawings found on stones, pillars, clay or copper tablets and walls of caves, temples and monuments.
ii. Archaeological remains and Monuments - Ancient ruins, remains and monuments recovered as a result of excavation and exploration.
iii. Coins - Ancient coins were mostly made of gold, silver, copper or lead. Some of the coins contain religious and legendary symbols which throw light on the culture of that time. Coins also contain the figures of kings and gods.
Ans. The difficulties historians face in using manuscripts:
i. There was no printing press in those days so scribes copied manuscripts by hand which was sometime difficult to read and understand.
ii. As scribes copied manuscripts, they also introduced small changes – a word here, a sentence there. These small differences grew over centuries of copying.
iii. Original manuscript of the author is rarely found today. So, they have to depend upon the copies made by later scribes. As a result historians have to read different manuscript versions of the same text to guess what the author had originally written.
Ans. Some of the major religious developments during this period were:
i. It was during this period that important changes occurred in Hinduism. These included the worship of new deities, the construction of temples by royalty and the growing importance of Brahmanas, the priests, as dominant groups in society.
ii. There was emergence of the idea of bhakti among the people.
iii. This was also the period when new religions appeared in the subcontinent. Merchants and migrants first brought the teachings of the holy Quran to India in the seventh century.
iv. Many rulers were patrons of Islam and the ulama – learned theologians and jurists.
Ans. Coins are important for study as –
i. It tells us about the reigning periods of kings and gives us dates of important political events.
ii. It tells us about the economy of the kingdom and trade with other regions.
Inscriptions are useful source of history because –
i. They record royal proclamations, religious instruction and gifts given by rulers to temples and villages.
ii. It tells us about the important events in the king’s life, about the people of particular time and even narrates the achievement of king.
Download to practice offline.