Home Region:  Central India (South Asia)

Vijayanagara Empire

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  in_vijayanagara_emp / InVijay

Preceding:
1206 CE 1526 CE Delhi Sultanate (in_delhi_sultanate)    [cultural assimilation]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

The Vijayanagara Empire ruled over southern India: specifically, it comprised an area roughly equivalent to the modern-day Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. [1] This polity could be said to have been founded with the establishment of the fortified city of Vijayanagara itself in 1340, and it fragmented into many smaller polities roughly three hundred years later, due to both civil wars and incursions from Islamic polities to the North. [2] Under Vijayanagara rule, architecture flourished (many temples were built or rebuilt, and the first permanent non-religious buildings, including royal palaces, were constructed), trade and agriculture boomed, new towns were founded, and new notions of legal rights emerged. [3]
Population and political organization
As with most preceding South Indian polities, the Vijayanagara ruler sat at the top of both administrative and military hierarchies. [4] He was assisted at court by several ministers, and in the provinces by governors. [5]
Assuming that the entire population of the Indian subcontinent at this time equalled 150 million, it seems reasonable to estimate that the population of the Vijayanagara empire was about 25 million. [6] Burton Stein estimates that the city of Vijayanagara at its height in the 16th century had over 100,000 inhabitants, [7] while Carla Sinopoli believes the population could have been over 250,000. [8]

[1]: (Kamath 1980, 329) Suryanath Kamath. 1980. A Concise History of Karnataka: From Pre-historic Times to the Present. Bangalore: Archana Prakashana.

[2]: (Stein 1990, 2, 13) Burton Stein. 1990. The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Stein 1990, xii, 2) Burton Stein. 1990. The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[4]: (Majumdar, Raychaudhuri and Datta 1974, 373) R. C. Majumdar, H. C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta. 1974. An Advanced History of India. Delhi: Macmillan India.

[5]: (Majumdar, Raychaudhuri and Datta 1974, 373-74) R. C. Majumdar, H. C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta. 1974. An Advanced History of India. Delhi: Macmillan India.

[6]: (Stein 1990, 44) Burton Stein. 1990. The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[7]: (Stein 1990, 75) Burton Stein. 1990. The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[8]: (Sinopoli 2000, 370) Carla Sinopoli. 2000. ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 43 (3): 364-98.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
43 P  
Original Name:
Vijayanagara Empire  
Capital:
Vijayanagara  
Penukonda  
Chandraigiri  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,505 CE ➜ 1,542 CE]  
Duration:
[1,336 CE ➜ 1,646 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Succeeding Entity:
Mughal Empire  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
cultural assimilation  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Delhi Sultanate (in_delhi_sultanate)    [cultural assimilation]  
Degree of Centralization:
loose  
confederated state  
nominal  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Dravidian  
Language:
Sanskrit  
Telugu  
Tamil  
Kannada  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Hinduism  
Religion Family:
Saivist Traditions  
Vaisnava Traditions  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
100,000 people 1337 CE 1499 CE
[150,000 to 250,000] people 1500 CE 1646 CE
Polity Territory:
[350,000 to 370,000] km2  
Polity Population:
25,000,000 people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[3 to 4]  
Religious Level:
[0 to 2]  
Military Level:
[5 to 6]  
Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
unknown  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown  
History:
unknown  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
unknown  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
unknown  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
present  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
present  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Vijayanagara Empire (in_vijayanagara_emp) was in:
 (1337 CE 1646 CE)   Deccan
Home NGA: Deccan

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Vijayanagara Empire

Capital:
Vijayanagara

Vijayanagara: 1336-1565, Penukonda, Chandraigiri. The kingdom of Vijayanagara takes its name, ’City of Victory’, from its capital on the Tungabhadra River [1] . The Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat [2] , the later imperial capitals were Penukonda and Chandragiri [3] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 1

[2]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 370

[3]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 383

Capital:
Penukonda

Vijayanagara: 1336-1565, Penukonda, Chandraigiri. The kingdom of Vijayanagara takes its name, ’City of Victory’, from its capital on the Tungabhadra River [1] . The Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat [2] , the later imperial capitals were Penukonda and Chandragiri [3] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 1

[2]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 370

[3]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 383

Capital:
Chandraigiri

Vijayanagara: 1336-1565, Penukonda, Chandraigiri. The kingdom of Vijayanagara takes its name, ’City of Victory’, from its capital on the Tungabhadra River [1] . The Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat [2] , the later imperial capitals were Penukonda and Chandragiri [3] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 1

[2]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 370

[3]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 383


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,505 CE ➜ 1,542 CE]

The realm reached its greatest extent and its rulers their greatest power under the dynasty of Tuluvas, who ruled the kingdom of Vijayanagara for a little less than four decades from 1505-1542 [1] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 1


Duration:
[1,336 CE ➜ 1,646 CE]

The beginning point for the Vijayanagara kingdom is the founding of the fortified city on the Tungabhadra around 1340 [1] . While there are disputes as to the details, most experts commonly agree that the fortified city of Vijayanagar was established in 1336 [2] [3] [4] . Prior to that, there were incursions of soldiers serving the Khalji sultans of Delhi, which allegedly created the reasons and conditions for the new dynasty and city of Vijayanagara [1] .
As a result of repeated invasions from Muslim states to the North and civil wars within, Vijayanagara authority was fragmented in the seventeenth century [5] , leading to an imperial collapse [6] . In 1646, the Vijaynagar empire is finally conquered by the sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda. Many of the empire’s largest vassal states immediately declare independence, so the territorial gains made by the sultanates are limited. Those vassals, Mysore, Keladi Nayaka, and the Nayaks and Nayakas of Chitradurga, Gingee, Madurai, and Tanjore, all become powerful states in southern India [7] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13

[2]: Michael Edwardes, A History of India: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1961), p. 116, 140

[3]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 317

[4]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 19

[5]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 2

[6]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 120-126

[7]: http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsFarEast/IndiaVijayanagar.htm


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none

Independent polity.


Succeeding Entity:
Mughal Empire

Relationship to Preceding Entity:
cultural assimilation

The origins of the first rulers of Vijayanagara are obscure and much debated, but it is clear that they were effective and creative military leaders who, after establishing their capital on the southern banks of the Tungabhadra River, rapidly expanded their territories to the south and resisted challenges from the north [1] .

[1]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 369-70


Preceding Entity:
Delhi Sultanate [in_delhi_sultanate] ---> Vijayanagara Empire [in_vijayanagara_emp]

The origins of the first rulers of Vijayanagara are obscure and much debated, but it is clear that they were effective and creative military leaders who, after establishing their capital on the southern banks of the Tungabhadra River, rapidly expanded their territories to the south and resisted challenges from the north [1] .

[1]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 369-70


Degree of Centralization:
loose

loose: 1336-1509; confederated state: 1509-1565; nominal: 1565-1646While there is some debate over whether to define the relations between local lordships and the Vijayanagara kings as feudal or other, but there is no doubt that the degree of centralization differed during various periods of the kingdom.
The early Vijayanagara kingdom was more a group of semi-autonomous states rather than a unified kingdom. Centralized authority was enhanced by the occasional appointment of non-kinsmen, including Brahmans, to important military commands, and even to governorships of one of the five core provinces in the center of the kingdom. But this was not the usual policy; most often sons of the king ruled for him [1] .
Through most of the first dynasty, Vijayanagara kings were content to be conquerors whose conquests left the ancient Cholas and Panyas in their sovereign places, except that they were reduced by their homage to Vijayanagara. Until the early sixteenth century, the latter were ritual sovereigns everywhere outside their Deccan heartland; apart from occasional plundering forays, they were content with the homage of distant lords [2] . Krishnadevaraya (reigned 1509-29 [3] ) changed much of this. He replaced earlier royal predecessors by his own Brahmans and military commanders and charged his agents to extract money tribute from subordinate lords who had previously been required to pay nothing to Vijayanagara, merely to acknowledge the latter’s hegemony in a number of symbolic ways [2] .
Krishnadevaraya cast aside the ancient the ancient Chola and Pandya kings in the South and installed military commanders who not long after established centers of sovereignty opposed to its successors [4] .
After the catastrophic sack of the capital of Vijayanagara in 1565, the kingdom saw a big decline in power, and a series of civil wars [5] . It was also during this time that the ’Nayaka kingdoms’, which had emerged at the very zenith of the Vijayanagara monarchy (during the early 16th century; e.g. Mysore and Ikkeri), became increasingly independent and sought to avert the re-emergence of a strong Vijayanagara king capable of reducing their authority and territorial ambitions [6] . Thus, the level of the centralization of the kingdom post-1565 should be defined as ’nominal’.

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 27-8

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 140

[3]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 27

[4]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 141

[5]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13, 122

[6]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 130-9

Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

loose: 1336-1509; confederated state: 1509-1565; nominal: 1565-1646While there is some debate over whether to define the relations between local lordships and the Vijayanagara kings as feudal or other, but there is no doubt that the degree of centralization differed during various periods of the kingdom.
The early Vijayanagara kingdom was more a group of semi-autonomous states rather than a unified kingdom. Centralized authority was enhanced by the occasional appointment of non-kinsmen, including Brahmans, to important military commands, and even to governorships of one of the five core provinces in the center of the kingdom. But this was not the usual policy; most often sons of the king ruled for him [1] .
Through most of the first dynasty, Vijayanagara kings were content to be conquerors whose conquests left the ancient Cholas and Panyas in their sovereign places, except that they were reduced by their homage to Vijayanagara. Until the early sixteenth century, the latter were ritual sovereigns everywhere outside their Deccan heartland; apart from occasional plundering forays, they were content with the homage of distant lords [2] . Krishnadevaraya (reigned 1509-29 [3] ) changed much of this. He replaced earlier royal predecessors by his own Brahmans and military commanders and charged his agents to extract money tribute from subordinate lords who had previously been required to pay nothing to Vijayanagara, merely to acknowledge the latter’s hegemony in a number of symbolic ways [2] .
Krishnadevaraya cast aside the ancient the ancient Chola and Pandya kings in the South and installed military commanders who not long after established centers of sovereignty opposed to its successors [4] .
After the catastrophic sack of the capital of Vijayanagara in 1565, the kingdom saw a big decline in power, and a series of civil wars [5] . It was also during this time that the ’Nayaka kingdoms’, which had emerged at the very zenith of the Vijayanagara monarchy (during the early 16th century; e.g. Mysore and Ikkeri), became increasingly independent and sought to avert the re-emergence of a strong Vijayanagara king capable of reducing their authority and territorial ambitions [6] . Thus, the level of the centralization of the kingdom post-1565 should be defined as ’nominal’.

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 27-8

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 140

[3]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 27

[4]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 141

[5]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13, 122

[6]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 130-9

Degree of Centralization:
nominal

loose: 1336-1509; confederated state: 1509-1565; nominal: 1565-1646While there is some debate over whether to define the relations between local lordships and the Vijayanagara kings as feudal or other, but there is no doubt that the degree of centralization differed during various periods of the kingdom.
The early Vijayanagara kingdom was more a group of semi-autonomous states rather than a unified kingdom. Centralized authority was enhanced by the occasional appointment of non-kinsmen, including Brahmans, to important military commands, and even to governorships of one of the five core provinces in the center of the kingdom. But this was not the usual policy; most often sons of the king ruled for him [1] .
Through most of the first dynasty, Vijayanagara kings were content to be conquerors whose conquests left the ancient Cholas and Panyas in their sovereign places, except that they were reduced by their homage to Vijayanagara. Until the early sixteenth century, the latter were ritual sovereigns everywhere outside their Deccan heartland; apart from occasional plundering forays, they were content with the homage of distant lords [2] . Krishnadevaraya (reigned 1509-29 [3] ) changed much of this. He replaced earlier royal predecessors by his own Brahmans and military commanders and charged his agents to extract money tribute from subordinate lords who had previously been required to pay nothing to Vijayanagara, merely to acknowledge the latter’s hegemony in a number of symbolic ways [2] .
Krishnadevaraya cast aside the ancient the ancient Chola and Pandya kings in the South and installed military commanders who not long after established centers of sovereignty opposed to its successors [4] .
After the catastrophic sack of the capital of Vijayanagara in 1565, the kingdom saw a big decline in power, and a series of civil wars [5] . It was also during this time that the ’Nayaka kingdoms’, which had emerged at the very zenith of the Vijayanagara monarchy (during the early 16th century; e.g. Mysore and Ikkeri), became increasingly independent and sought to avert the re-emergence of a strong Vijayanagara king capable of reducing their authority and territorial ambitions [6] . Thus, the level of the centralization of the kingdom post-1565 should be defined as ’nominal’.

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 27-8

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 140

[3]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 27

[4]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 141

[5]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13, 122

[6]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 130-9


Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European
Linguistic Family:
Dravidian

Language:
Sanskrit

The Emprerors were patrons of all languages - Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada [1] . Kings of Vijayanagara were of four distinct ruling lineages. They differed in language and provenance, in their religious affiliations and even in where their capitals were [2] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13

Language:
Telugu

The Emprerors were patrons of all languages - Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada [1] . Kings of Vijayanagara were of four distinct ruling lineages. They differed in language and provenance, in their religious affiliations and even in where their capitals were [2] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13

Language:
Tamil

The Emprerors were patrons of all languages - Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada [1] . Kings of Vijayanagara were of four distinct ruling lineages. They differed in language and provenance, in their religious affiliations and even in where their capitals were [2] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13

Language:
Kannada

The Emprerors were patrons of all languages - Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada [1] . Kings of Vijayanagara were of four distinct ruling lineages. They differed in language and provenance, in their religious affiliations and even in where their capitals were [2] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 13


Religion

Religion Family:
Saivist Traditions
Religion Family:
Vaisnava Traditions

Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
100,000 people
1337 CE 1499 CE

[100,000-250,000]: 1560 CE
By the early 1400s the fortified core of the city of Vijayanagara covered nearly 20 square km, and its population may have been as high as 100,000. By the time the Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat, the city core extended over approximately 30 square km and its fortified hinterland was more than 400 square km in area. The city’s population at that time is estimated to have exceeded 250,000 [1] . According to a different source, though, the city’s population in the 16th century is described as "over 100,000" [2] .

[1]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 370

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 75

Population of the Largest Settlement:
[150,000 to 250,000] people
1500 CE 1646 CE

[100,000-250,000]: 1560 CE
By the early 1400s the fortified core of the city of Vijayanagara covered nearly 20 square km, and its population may have been as high as 100,000. By the time the Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat, the city core extended over approximately 30 square km and its fortified hinterland was more than 400 square km in area. The city’s population at that time is estimated to have exceeded 250,000 [1] . According to a different source, though, the city’s population in the 16th century is described as "over 100,000" [2] .

[1]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 370

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 75


Polity Territory:
[350,000 to 370,000] km2

in squared kilometers. The realm can be defined by the provenance of royal inscriptions over some 140,000 square miles [1] (equal to 362,598 square km).

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 2


Polity Population:
25,000,000 people

People. The population of the peninsula south of the river Krishna may have been around 25 million, if the population of all of India was about the 150 million that has been estimated [1] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 44


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[3 to 4]

levels.
1. Capital City, the City of Vijayanagar - encompassed by massive fortifications and was of enormous size. According to the accounts of foreign travelers to India during the 15th and 16th centuries, the circumference of the city was 60 miles, and it was a highly populous city [1] . According to another source, the city covered 10 square miles in 1500 [2] .
2. Provincial capitals - The Empire was divided into several principal provinces [3] .3. Town between provincial city and village? inferred4. Village - Lowest territorial division in the Karnataka portion of Vijayanagara [4] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 368

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 1

[3]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 374

[4]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 374-5


Religious Level:
[0 to 2]

levels.
There are no official hierarchies in Hinduism [1] . However, some would argue for the importance, at least for some branches of the religion, of the relationship between student and teacher or guru (e.g. [2] ). Based on that viewpoint, it may not be entirely inappropriate to say that there is indeed a Hindu religious hierarchy, and that it is composed of two levels.

[1]: http://ezinearticles.com/?Religious-Hierarchy-in-Hinduism&id=1864556

[2]: G. Flood, Introduction, in G. Flood (ed), The Blackwell Comapnion to Hinduism (2003), p. 4


Military Level:
[5 to 6]

levels.
The rulers of Vijayanagara had a carefully organized military department, called Kandachara:
1. King
2. Commander-in-ChiefThe military was under the control of the Dandanayaka or Nannayaka (Commander-in-Chief) [1]
3. Staff of minor officials -- same level is generals? are these the generals?The Commander-in-Chief was assisted by a staff of minor officials [1] .
3. Generals inferred4. Officers inferred -- more than one level?5. Individual soldierThe lowest level of the military was a soldier [1] [2] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 70


Administrative Level:
[4 to 5]

levels.
1. King [1] .
_Central or court government_
2. Council of MinistersThe king also had a hierarchical central bureaucracy - he was assisted in the task of administration by a council of ministers, appointed by him, as well as by chief treasurer, custodians of the jewels, an officer who looked after the commercial interests of the State, the prefect of the police, the chief master of the horse etc [2] .
2. Chief treasurerEach viceroy was required to submit regular accounts of the income and expenditure of his charge to the central government [3]
3.4.5.
2. Custodian of the jewels
2. Prefect of the police
2. Chief master of the horse
2. MahanayakacharyaThe King maintained a link with the village administration through his officer called the Mahanayakacharya, who exercised a general supervision over it. [4] .
_Provincial government_
2. Viceroy, nayaka or naik - in each province [3] .3. Civil (e.g. treasury), military, judicial officials at department head level inferredEach viceroy exercised civil, military and judicial power within his jurisdiction, but he was required to submit regular accounts of the income and expenditure of his charge to the central government and render it military aid in times of need [3]
4. Accountant (income, expenditure, tax receipts etc) inferred5. Assistant/scribe inferred
3. Village officers.Villages were the lowest unit of local administration. Each village was a self-sufficient unit. The village assembly conducted the administration of the area under its charge (executive, judicial and police) through its hereditary officers like the senateova or the village accountant, the talara or the village watchman or commandant, the begara or the superintendent of forced labor, and others. These village officers were paid either by grants of land or a portion of agricultural produce. The King maintained a link with the village administration through his officer called the Mahanayakacharya, who exercised a general supervision over it. [4] .
4. Senateova
4. Village accountant
4. talara (village watchman or commandant)
4. begara (superintendent of forced labor)

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 373

[2]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 373-4

[3]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 374

[4]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 375


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

[1] [2]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 70


Professional Priesthood:
present

[1]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 90


Professional Military Officer:
present

[1] [2]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376

[2]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 70


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

E.g. buildings for minting money - there were many mints in the Vijayanagara kingdom, each provincial capital having its own [1] .

[1]: Romila Thapar, A History of India (1990), p. 333


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

The King was assisted in the task of administration by a council of ministers, appointed by him, as well as by chief treasurer, custodians of the jewels, an officer who looked after the commercial interests of the State, the prefect of the police, the chief master of the horse etc [1] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 373-4


Examination System:
unknown

Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

special judicial officers for the administration of justice [1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376


The King was the supreme judge, but there were regular courts and special judicial officers for the administration of justice [1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376


Formal Legal Code:
present

The only law of the land was based on traditional regulations and customs, strengthened by the constitutional usage of the country, and its observance was strictly enforced [1] . Vijayanagar rulers ‘tried to adhere to ancient practices of Hinduism through cultural revivalism’. The law was thus mainly based on traditional Hindu legal codes as well as some local customs. [2] [3]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376

[2]: Madhao P. Patil. 1999. Court Life Under The Vijayanagar Rulers. B.R. Publishing Corporation. p. 211.

[3]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta. 1974. An Advanced History of India. p. 376


there were regular courts and special judicial officers for the administration of justice [1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

[1]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 39


Irrigation System:
present

[1] In India open channels and pipes were widely used from the fifteenth century in urban settlements. The palace at Vijayanagara was fed this way by monsoon water. Other residents used wells, roadside wells, and also rainwater which was collected in tanks. [2] [3] [4]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 34

[2]: Dominic J. Davison-Jenkins. 1997. The Irrigation and Water Supply Systems of Vijayanagara. Manohar. p.88

[3]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 34, 36

[4]: Carla M Sinopoli. 1999. Levels of Complexity: Ceramic Variability at Vijayanagara. James M Skibo. Gary M Feinmann. eds. Pottery and People. The University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. p. 119


Food Storage Site:
present

[1]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 41


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Certainly used wells [1] which suggest that they may not have had supply system infrastructure. Pipes, cisterns etc. In India open channels and pipes were widely used from the fifteenth century in urban settlements. The palace at Vijayanagara was fed this way by monsoon water. Other residents used wells, roadside wells, and also rainwater which was collected in tanks. [2] [1] [3]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 34, 36

[2]: Dominic J. Davison-Jenkins. 1997. The Irrigation and Water Supply Systems of Vijayanagara. Manohar. p.88

[3]: Carla M Sinopoli. 1999. Levels of Complexity: Ceramic Variability at Vijayanagara. James M Skibo. Gary M Feinmann. eds. Pottery and People. The University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. p. 119


Transport Infrastructure

In the capital of Vijayanagara, there was a system of roads, many stone-paved [1] .

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 35


The most important port was Calicut, and according to ’Abdur Razzaq, the Empire possessed 300 seaports [1] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 369


[1]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 35


Bridge:
present

[1]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 34


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

[1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371-2



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Works in Sanskrit, Telugu [1] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371


Nonwritten Record:
unknown

[1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371-2


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present

[1]

[1]: Carla M. Sinopoli, ’From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol 43, No. 3 (2000), pp. 391


Religious Literature:
present

[1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371-2


Practical Literature:
present

Works on music, dancing, drama, grammar, logic, etc [1] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 372


Philosophy:
present

Works on philosophy [1] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 372


Lists Tables and Classification:
unknown


Fiction:
present

[1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 371-2



Information / Money


Indigenous Coin:
present

The coinage of Vijayanagara Empire was of various types, both in gold and copper, and there was one specimen of silver coin [1] .

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 369


Foreign Coin:
present

Foreign coins (such as the Portugese cruzado, the Persian dinar, and the Italian florin and ducat) were also in circulation in the coastal areas [1] .

[1]: Romila Thapar, A History of India (1990), p. 333



Information / Postal System

Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Stone walls were "permitted only in the case of places on the frontier" and the "most important forts in the interior". [1] "The one variety of monument which most significantly demonstrates the hierarchical arrangement of settlements under Vijayanagara’s control is its walls. ... masonry was employed in the construction of walls at Vijayanagara. Mortar appears not to have been used, but other stone walls elsewhere on the site show evidence of once having been covered by a layer of plaster. Granite was cut into large rectangular blocks and was held in place by smaller pieces of cut stone. Although arches are found at the top of the structure, the actual gateway is held up by corbels which support a horizontal stone slab. This gateway represents a mere fragment of the once extensive network of stone walls which surrounded Vijayanagara duing the sixteenth century ..." [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 120)

[2]: (Howes 2003, 44-45) Jennifer Howes. 2003. The Courts of Pre-colonial South India: Material Culture and Kingship. RoutledgeCurzon. London.


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

Stone walls were "permitted only in the case of places on the frontier" and the "most important forts in the interior". [1] "The one variety of monument which most significantly demonstrates the hierarchical arrangement of settlements under Vijayanagara’s control is its walls. ... masonry was employed in the construction of walls at Vijayanagara. Mortar appears not to have been used, but other stone walls elsewhere on the site show evidence of once having been covered by a layer of plaster. Granite was cut into large rectangular blocks and was held in place by smaller pieces of cut stone. Although arches are found at the top of the structure, the actual gateway is held up by corbels which support a horizontal stone slab. This gateway represents a mere fragment of the once extensive network of stone walls which surrounded Vijayanagara duing the sixteenth century ..." [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 120)

[2]: (Howes 2003, 44-45) Jennifer Howes. 2003. The Courts of Pre-colonial South India: Material Culture and Kingship. RoutledgeCurzon. London.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Domingo Paes commented of Indian rulers, such as that of the Vijayanagara: "if a city is stituated at the extremity of his territory he gives his consent to its having stone walls, but never the towns; so that they make fortresses of the cities but not the towns." [1]

[1]: (Howes 2003, 45) Jennifer Howes. 2003. The Courts of Pre-colonial South India: Material Culture and Kingship. RoutledgeCurzon. London.



Certain types of forts "had deep moats around them which prevented the enemy from coming near the walls." [1]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 121)



Earth Rampart:
present

"Walls made out of earth, which are common in the south of India, appear to have been used at settlements of inferior status, while stone walls were constructed around settlements which exercised some level of authority over the surrounding area." [1]

[1]: (Howes 2003, 45) Jennifer Howes. 2003. The Courts of Pre-colonial South India: Material Culture and Kingship. RoutledgeCurzon. London.



Complex Fortification:
present

"Important forts like Vijayanagara had no less than seven walls of fortification." [1] "The palace was inside a walled compound which stood within a fortified city. Temples were also enclosed by walled compounds." [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 121)

[2]: (Howes 2003, 45) Jennifer Howes. 2003. The Courts of Pre-colonial South India: Material Culture and Kingship. RoutledgeCurzon. London.


Military use of Metals

"Probably the faces of the [war elephants] were protected by steel plates." [1]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 129)


The leather armour worn by soldiers was reinforced by iron plates [1] .

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 127)


Inferred from the presence of higher metals.


Inferred from the presence of higher metals.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

"On their walls were set up pasana-yantras or catapults which showered stones, clubs and battle-axes upon the enemy causing him much harm" [1] .

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 121)




"The archers had bows plated with gold and silver." Bow type not specified. [1] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar included archers and musketeers. [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 126)

[2]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


"The Muhammadan soldiers carried ’shields, javelins and Turkish bows with many bombs and spears and fire missiles." [1]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 126)


Handheld Firearm:
present

[1] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar included archers and musketeers. [2]

[1]: Burton Stein, The New Cambridge History of India: Vijayanagara (1990), p. 110

[2]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

"Although the Raya had a corps of musqueteers in his army, and several cannon which he employed in his wars, the artillery did not play an important part in the battles." [1]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 129)


"The hand crossbow was usd on Indian battlefields probably from the third century A.D. It was mainly used as an infantry weapon and occasionally as a cavalry weapon. A Sanskrit inscription at Avanthipuram, in South India, reads: ’... Of him who has the name of Ananta impelled with speed and skillfully discharged from the machines of his bow fitted with the well stretched string....’ Obviously, the machine referred to was a hand crossbow." [1]

[1]: (Phillips 2016) Henry Pratap Phillips. 2016. The History and Chronology of Gunpowder and Gunpowder Weapons (c.1000 to 1850). Notion Press.




Handheld weapons

According to Nikitin, in south India infantry had ’a shield in one hand and a sword in the other’. [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


"The Muhammadan soldiers carried ’shields, javelins and Turkish bows with many bombs and spears and fire missiles."



Archers carried "daggers at their waist". [1] Razzak says soldiers in Kerala had a dagger and a cowhide shield. [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 126)

[2]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


Battle Axe:
present

[1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 366


Animals used in warfare

[1]

[1]: Michael Edwardes, A History of India: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1961), p. 121


[1]

[1]: Michael Edwardes, A History of India: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1961), p. 121




[1]

[1]: R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhuri, Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India (1974), p. 376


Armor

"The Muhammadan soldiers carried ’shields, javelins and Turkish bows with many bombs and spears and fire missiles." [1] According to Nikitin, in south India infantry had ’a shield in one hand and a sword in the other’. [2] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar ’were all armed each after his own fashion, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics, and shield-men with swords and poignards in their girdles. Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered. Their horses were in full clothing. The men wore doublets, and had weapons in their hands. And on their heads were headpieces after the manner of their doublets, quilted with cotton.’ [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 126)

[2]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.



Plate Armor:
present

The leather armour worn by soldiers was reinforced by iron plates. [1]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 127)


Limb Protection:
unknown

According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar ’Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered.’ [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


Leather Cloth:
present

"But, while engaged in fighting they put on a kind of armour made of leather, which covered their body completely, leaving only the face and the feet." [1] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar ’were all armed each after his own fashion, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics, and shield-men with swords and poignards in their girdles. Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered. Their horses were in full clothing. The men wore doublets, and had weapons in their hands. And on their heads were headpieces after the manner of their doublets, quilted with cotton.’ [2] Razzak says soldiers in Kerala had a dagger and a cowhide shield. [2]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, pp. 126-127)

[2]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.



"Head-pieces" which protected the neck and the face were made of leather and iron. [1] Soldiers of the Vijayanagara c1400 CE used iron plates inside raw leather tunics and headpieces similar to helmets. [2] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar ’were all armed each after his own fashion, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics, and shield-men with swords and poignards in their girdles. Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered. Their horses were in full clothing. The men wore doublets, and had weapons in their hands. And on their heads were headpieces after the manner of their doublets, quilted with cotton.’ [3]

[1]: (Ramayanna 1986, p. 127)

[2]: (Domingos Paes [c1520] 1991, 276) Domingos Paes (c1520-1522). Of the things which I saw and contrived to learn concerning the Kingdom of Narsimga, etc. The Vijayanagar Empire: Chronicales of Paes and Nuniz. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi.

[3]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


Chainmail:
unknown

According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar ’Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered.’ [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


Breastplate:
unknown

According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar ’Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered.’ [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2015) Abraham Eraly. 2015. The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. Penguin.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

Present since the beginning. [1]

[1]: (Ramanayya 2010, 140) N Venkata Ramanayya. 2010. Studies in the History of the Third Dynasty of Vijayanagara. Gyan Publishing House. Delhi.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.