This book discusses the period from 1000 BC to the end of the sixth century AD. Divided into five thematic sections, the first section discusses questions like perceptions, historical consciousness, and approaches to the study of ancient Indian history. The second and third parts give adetailed account of changes in society and economy and the evolution and transformation of the political formations from ancient times. The segment on religion presents information on development in the field of religion and philosophy while the last section underlines changes which paved way fornew socio-economic and political formations. The new Introduction updates research on the subject and explains the various themes discussed in the volume. This book is an important reading for teachers, students, and scholars of ancient Indian history.