Dictionary of Historical and Related Terms

Barun Roy

Barun Roy M.A. (Journalism and Mass Communication), M.A. (History), UGC NET (Journalism and Mass Communication), UGC NET (History) is an Independent researcher, scholar and an author based in Darjeeling, India.

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Akhyayika, Sanskrit (biographies of kings or princes and important historical personages)

Akanyakubja, Sanskrit (Name used to refer to Kanauj)

Agrammes / Xandrammes, Greek and Roman respectively (Dhanananda, a contemporary of Alexander, as referred to by greek and Roman writers)

Andhravrtyas, Sanskrit (servants or feudatories of the Andhras)

Anuganga, Sanskit (name used to denote the middle Gangetic basin)

Anno Domini (AD), Latin (in the Year of Our Lord)


Barakah, Persian (prayer session or concentrating on the pious things)

Bhikkhu, Pali (equivalent to Sanskrit Bhikshu or English Beggar-Monk)


Cammakara, Pali (leather-workers, equivalent to Sanskrit Charmakara)


Dussika, Pali (cloth merchants)


Eschatology, English (refers metaphorically to the end of ordinary reality and reunion with the Divine)



Guruvavalis, Pali (pontifical succession lists or the lists of Jain gurus, religious preachers and teachers)


Historicity, English (Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history as opposed to being a historical myth, legend, or fiction. Historicity focuses on the truth value of knowledge claims about the past (denoting historical actuality, authenticity, and factuality.)


Itivritti, Sanskrit (an account of the past event, a narrative or story)

Itihasakartta, Sanskrit (composer of historical work)

Ilm-al-tarikh, Arabic (Historiography)


Jaya Itihasa, Sanskrit (Mahabharata as originally known; also known as Bharat Itihasa, Bharata Samhita)


Kaliyugarajavrttanta, Sanskrit (details of the dynasties of the Kali age)

Kammara, Pali (metal-workers)

Kasika-vastra, Sanskrit (cloth manufactured in Kasi)

Khattiya, Pali (equivalent to Sanskrit Kshtriya)

Kumbhakara, Pali (potters)



Magadha, Sanskrit (name used to denote presnet day South Bihar)

Malawa Samvat, Sanskrit (also referred to as Vikram Samvat which began in 57 BC)

Manaquib, Persian (‘collection of virtues’, essentially a style of writing used for instance while writing a spiritual biography of a saint)

Manikara, Pali (goldsmiths, jewelers)

Manvantara, Sanskrit (an epoch of each Manu)

Masnavis, Persian (poems)

Mayraposaka, Prakrit (peacock-tamers )

Modus Vivandi, Latin (An agreement by which parties of conflicting interest can get along.)

Mulakhkhas, Persian (abridgement of a book, an abridged book)

Muqidimma, Persian (Introduction especially in a book)

Muqaddima, Persian  (chapters of a book)


Nalakara, Pali (basket makers)



Pattavali, Pali (political succession lists or dynastic lists)

Pesakara, Pali (weavers)

Pancalaksana, Sanskrit (five attributes of a Purana)

Prabandha, Sanskrit (collections of historical narratives akin to chronicles and biographies, or narrative histories)

Pratisarga, Sanskrit (dissolution and recreation of a literary work)

Prayaga, Sanskrit (Name used to denote area centred around present day Allahabad)

Puravrtta, Sanskrit (accounts of past events)

Puratana Itihasa, Sanskrit (ancient history)


Qism, Persian (parts of a book)


Rojakara, Pali (dyers)


Saketa, Sanskrit (name used to denote area adjoining present day Ayodhya)

Saptanga, Sanskrit (Seven Limbs, Refer to Saptanga Theory for more information)

Sarga, Sanskrit (original creation of a literary work)

Seni, Pali, (also Puga, Pali equivalent ot Sanskrit Sreni or English Guild)

Sthanvisvara, Sanskrit (modern Thaneswar in Haryana)

Sudda, Pali (equivalent to Sanskrit Sudra)



Tabaqat, Persian (derieved from Tabaqa or section. A book containing different independent or inter-related sections)

Tacchaka, Pali (carpenters)

Tasawwuf, Persian (mysticism)

Therianthropy, English (Therianthropy is the mythological ability of human beings to metamorphose into animals by means of shapeshifting. It is possible that cave drawings found at Les Trois Frères, in France, depict ancient beliefs in the concept. The most well known form of therianthropy is found in stories concerning werewolves.)

Tusaras, Sanskrit (the tribes settled on the banks of the river Caksu or Oxus in the north-western region)


Udaharana, Sanskrit (an illustration)


Vamsavali, Sanskrit (genealogy)

Vamsanucarita, Sanskrit (histories of dynasties of kings mentioned in the genealogies)

Vanna, Pali (equivalent to Sanskrit Varna)

Vessa, Pali (equivalent to Sanskrit Vaishya)





Yojana, Sanskrit, योजन (is a Vedic measure of distance that was used in ancient India. A Yojana is about 12-15 km. (i.e. 4 Kosh = 1 Yojana and 1 kosh is 2 – 3.5 km). In modern Hindi the word yojanaa (Hindi : योजना) means “plan” or blueprint, and is etymologically connected with the Cartesian notion of distance in the word yojana. However, note that the words “yojana'” and “yojanaa” are different, and pronounced differently. The last sound of the second word is pronounced “aaa” as in arm [ārm].)



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