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Elephants and KingsAn Environmental History$
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Thomas R. Trautmann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226264226

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226264530.001.0001

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Structures of use

Structures of use

caturaṅga, vāhana, vyūha

(p.107) 3 Structures of use
Elephants and Kings

Thomas R. Trautmann

University of Chicago Press

Elephants were fitted into, and altered, existing structures of use. The threefold Indian army (foot soldiers, chariots, cavalry) now acquired an elephant corps and became fourfold (caturaṅga); elephants became the most prestigious form of conveyance (vāhana), reserved for the king; and war elephants took their place in the doctrine of battle arrays (vyūha). The game of chess was a product of this culture.

Keywords:   army divisions, animal conveyances, battle arrays, chess

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