State, Power and Legitimacy: The Gupta Kingdom presents a comprehensive account of the Gupta state, with particular emphasis on its strategies of legitimizing its power. The political strategies that characterized this crucial juncture of early Indian history, termed 'threshold times' by Romila Thapar, employed certain features of ancient Indian polity even as new political mechanisms were emerging. This volume argues that this unique combination of political strategizing was a part of the process of legitimizing royal authority, in which religion, literature and art were essential tools. The volume also includes a large selection of prepublished essays which provide the reader with a comprehensive idea of how the Gupta state has been studied by earlier historians together with recent articles which help us to look at the Gupta state and the manner in which it exercised and legitimized its power. A substantive introduction suggests the need to move beyond the nationalist perspective that views the rule of the Guptas as the 'Golden Age' or the Marxist model of 'Indian feudalism'.