from the perspective of the political     aftermath of the Muslim invasions and
warfare and not on a comprehension of the total social structure which such a
political situation represented. Starting with the evidence of inscriptions
which are now found in larger numbers than ever before, allover India, one
hardly fails to notice the emergence of various categories of social and
political elites allover the country. Such elites were either beneficiaries of
assignments made to them—on the basis of clan connections or in lieu of
services made to the state—in the form of landed property, which became
their bhoga, grasa or whatever the regional expression was, or were
themselves local lords with pre-eminent social and political status in the area.
Emergence of New Social and Political Elites
The key figures of early medieval India were thus various groups of
samantas, mahasamantas, mandalesvaras, mahamandalesvaras, rajakulas,
rajaputras—all basically landed magnates but known by various regional
expressions. The relationship between them and the heads of numerous royal
families was perhaps variously defined and the system of court hierarchy in a
kingdom determined the nature of this relationship. Needless to say, such a
situation fostered military adventurism, which is reflected in the continuous
          MAKING OF RESPECTABLE GENEALOGIES
  The ithihasa-purana tradition was now geared on a larger scale than ever
  before, to the making of respectable genealogies in which the descent of
  dynasties was traced from the sun, the moon or some mythical figure and
  in which military exploits, sometimes exaggerated and sometimes real and
  narrated mostly in Sanskrit, sought to provide them with the required
  political image. The new political elites were thus dependent on the
  priestly class and such existing institutions as temples for securing
  effective grip over the areas they ruled.
formation of ruling dynasties. This process is tacitly admitted in
contemporary political theory in which the concept of king received a flexible
definition. Some of the early medieval kingdoms were located in the
perennial centres of power; others        arose in relatively isolated zones and