(Download) CBSE Class-12 Marking Scheme (History)

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(Download) CBSE Class-12 Marking Scheme (History)


1. Ans. Inscriptions are a vital means of reconstructing and understanding history, but however have both advantages and disadvantages that are enumerated below

Disadvantages of inscriptional evidence (Pg. 48 & 49)

  • The letters on some inscriptions may be very faintly written or parts of the inscriptions may be damaged or missing. These technical limitations act as a deterrent in reconstructing the text of the inscriptions.

  • Linguistic problems : some inscriptions may be written in languages that may not yet be understood by present day historians as the language of the inscriptions has long fallen into disuse EG : Ashokan inscriptions could only be read after James Prinsep deciphered Brahmi in 1838

  • Furthermore, inscriptions may not have lasted the ravages of time. Thus, what is available to us today may simply be a small fraction of what was written in the times of the rulers that commissioned these inscriptions to be engraved.

  • Inscriptions are written from the point of the view of the person who commissioned them. Thus, commonplace events like agricultural festivals may not be described in the inscriptions whereas court celebrations might be.

  • Engravers often used only the title of the ruler commissioning the inscription to refer to him in the engraved text, and hence, we may not be able to connect the ruler and the title unless ample evidence is available

EG : Ashoka is referred to as Devanampiya Piyadassi (Beloved of the gods). Only the inscription at Maski identified Ashoka by name, and hence it became evident that Devanampiya Piyadassi was a title Ashoka held.

Advantages of inscriptional evidence

  • Inscriptions give an idea of the exploits and achievements of rulers, as well as record donations made by men and women to religious institutions. (PG 29 box)

EG : Inscriptions on the railings and pillars of stupas record contributions made by ivory workers, bhikkus, bhikkunis and other such people towards the building of the stupa. (PG 96)

  • Inscriptions give us an insight into the social structure of society.
    (PG 38)

EG : A rock inscription at Girnar speaks of how the Shaka ruler, Rudradarman repaired the Sudarshna lake.

Rudradarman of the Shaka clan, was regarded as a mlechcha (barbarian or outsider) by the Brahmanas, yet rebuilt the lake, suggesting that powerful mlechchas were familiar with Sanskritic traditions.

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