Getting Started in the Field

For a quick online survey of the field, consult the Wikipedia entries on Hindu Law and Dharmaśāstra, though be warned about the completely open nature of those entries and the consequent possibility of misinformation.

For early translations of important Dharmaśāstra texts, see the following at

  1. Georg Bühler (trans.), The Laws of Manu, SBE Vol. 25, 1886.
  2. Georg Bühler (trans.), The Sacred Laws of the Aryas, SBE Vol. 2, 1879 [Part 1: Apastamba and Gautama]
  3. Georg Bühler (trans.), The Sacred Laws of the Aryas, SBE Vol. 14, 1882 [Part 2: Vasistha and Baudhayana]
  4. Julius Jolly (trans.), The Institutes of Visnu, Vol. 7, 1880.
  5. Julius Jolly (trans.), The Minor Law-Books, SBE Vol. 33. Oxford, 1889. [contains both Brhaspatismrti and Naradasmrti]

More serious studies of Hindu law and Dharmaśāstra should begin with the following major works in the field, in increasing order of complexity and difficulty:

  1. Olivelle, Patrick. 2004. The Law Code of Manu . New York: Oxford UP.
  2. Lingat, Robert. 1973. The Classical Law of India . trans. J.D.M. Derrett. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  3. Olivelle, Patrick and Donald R. Davis, Jr. 2018. Hindu Law: A New History of Dharmaśāstra. Oxford History of Hinduism. Gen. ed. Gavin Flood. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. Davis, Jr. Donald R. 2010. The Spirit of Hindu Law. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  5. Derrett, J.D.M. 1973. Dharmaśāstra and Juridical Literature . History of Indian Literature, Vol. 4. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  6. Derrett, J.D.M. 1973. History of Indian Law (Dharmaśāstra) . Handbuch der Orientalistik 2.3.1. Leiden: Brill.
  7. Derrett, J.D.M. 1968. Religion, Law, and the State in India . London: Faber.
  8. Olivelle, Patrick. 2013. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra. New York: Oxford UP.
  9. Jolly, Julius. Hindu Law & Custom . trans. Batakrishna Ghosh. Calcutta: Greater India Society, 1928.
  10. Kane, P.V. 1962-75. History of Dharmaśāstra. 5 Vols. Poona: BORI.

And for colonial and modern India:

  1. Larson, Gerald J. (ed.) 2001. Religion and Personal Law in Secular India : A Call to Judgment . Bloomington: Indiana UP.
  2. Baird, Robert D. (ed.) 1993. Religion and Law in Independent India . New Delhi: Manohar.
  3. Galanter, Marc. 1989. Law and Society in Modern India . Delhi: Oxford UP.
  4. Galanter, Marc. 1984. Competing Equalities: Law and the Backward Classes in India . Delhi: Oxford UP.
  5. Derrett, J.D.M. 1963. Introduction to Modern Hindu Law . Bombay: Oxford UP.
  6. Derrett, J.D.M. 1970. Critique of Modern Hindu Law . Bombay: N.M. Tripathi.