The history of classical India is a huge and complex maze with many snares to entrap the . Much of it is so thickly encrusted with myths that it is often difficult to separate facts from fables. Undaunted by this prospect Abraham Eraly unfolds, in First Spring, a profoundly illuminating panorama of an age that flowered luxuriantly before its inevitable decay. The vast landscape of Eraly's narrative covers more than a thousand years, from around the middle of the first millennium bce, to around the middle of the first millennium ce, when India was a prosperous and marvellously creative civilization, making many seminal contributions in multifarious fields of culture. From its ascent to the rarefied heights of the golden age to its descent into the swamp of the dark ages, from the daring intellectual adventurism of the first spring to the winter of corruption and cultural hibernation, this book tells the story of the classical Indian civilization in a manner that is both lucid and thoroughly engaging.