I. Uluslararası Asya Dilleri ve Edebiyatları Sempozyumu, Turkey, 1 - 04 November 2011, vol.1, no.1, pp.185-198
The Arthashastra, a Sanskrit work of the 4th century B.C., is a masterpiece of Indian classics on statecraft, economics, political science, military strategy and foreign policy.
It is a treatise on how a state ought to be governed by a king and his administration. Its main aim is to advise governors on the art of statecraft. It literally
means something between “science of politics” and “treatise on political economy”.
Arthashastra consists of 15 books and 6,000 hymns. The text was influential until the 12th century, when it disappeared. It was discovered in 1904 by R. Shamasastry, who
published it in 1909 and the first English translation in 1915.
The Arthashastra’s scopes is on the whole much wider than mere statecraft, because it focuses on issues of welfare, collective ethics and cultural details, such as measurements, weapons, pois
ons, mineralogy, mining and metals, agriculture, animal husbandry, medicine and the use of wildlife.
Arthashastra is an example of Shastra tradition, which has an important place in Classical Hindi Literature. In the opening hymns, it is especially mention ed to be a collection of this kind.