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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 1014Book's First Page
productive capacities at an unprecedented rate. In this context, dynastic elites enriched themselves with tribute and taxes. They used their wealth on projects of interest to local elites, such as building temples and monasteries, conducting rituals, extending irrigation, supporting learned monks and Brahmins, protecting farms and towns against robbers, defending territory against incursions and sending armies to bring tribute from other areas. Local elites paid taxes and tribute to sustain their own local powers over land and labour, and they invested jointly with rulers to increase the productivity of land. Local elite involvement in dynastic order deepened a dynasty’s local support in its core region and sustained its longevity. All the major medieval dynasties significantly shaped local elite identities, most of which continued into the modern period. General Pattern of Regional Polities The organisation of political systems varied from region to region and changed over time, but contemporary records suggest certain general GROWTH OF MULTIPLE SOVEREIGNTIES Dynasties grew as rising kings subordinated existing local elites and officially recognised their stature in public ceremonies. Replacing old local rulers in the lower ranks of sovereignty was fraught with risk because it threatened alliances around them. Local alliances gave local strength to rising dynasties and aspiring kings thus strove to strengthen them by bestowing titles and honors on their leadership. Dynastic lineages competed with one another for supremacy over locals, who were often pressed and courted by more than one ruler and often recognised more than one sovereign. Multiple sovereignties formed ranked layers as a king (raja) became a great king (maharaja) or “king of kings” (maharajadhiraja), by adding the names of more subordinate rulers (samantas) to the list of those who bowed to him. As a result, local people often bowed to a raja who bowed to a bigger raja, and so on, up the ranks. The bigger any raja became, the more he received obeisance from people who also recognised other rajas.