New PDF release: Ancient Indian kingship from the religious point of view

By J Gonda

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In 1661, the members of the Irish parliament had been generous in voting revenues for life to Charles II: so generous, indeed, that he had no need to summon it after 1666. Early in the 1690s, there was an urgent requirement for Ireland to contribute more to its own costs. Irish MPs turned this unpromising prospect, of having to tax the country more heavily, to their advantage. By making only modest and short-lived grants to the distant sovereign, the latter could be kept on a short leash. Additional taxes had to be voted to supplement the now inadequate hereditary revenues granted to the monarch.

In England, the king had been executed, monarchy abolished and a republic created: changes which strained relations with Scotland, involved in the joint enterprise of regaining Ireland. Neither France nor Spain had provided the expected help for the insurgents. The foreign powers, locked in a protracted and seemingly unending struggle of their own, although not uninterested in what was happening in Ireland and Britain, concerned themselves only intermittently with those distant places. During the 1640s, substantial Catholics in Ireland recovered much of what they and their ancestors had lost in the previous century, and resumed the government of localities and nation.

The lessons of siege warfare learnt in campaigns in the Low Countries and Central Europe, where numerous Irish Catholics had been fighting since the 1620s, suited the Irish terrain. The armies, at their peak numbering perhaps 20,000, won important engagements. Notable was that at Benburb in 1646. Scottish Covenanters who had come to the aid of the beleaguered Protestants of Ulster were routed by O’Neill’s northern force. 49 Yet, the Irish, like the insurgents in Scotland and England, aspired to more than they achieved.

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Ancient Indian kingship from the religious point of view by J Gonda


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