Arthashastra(redirected from Athasastra)
(in Sanskrit, literally “the science of benefit, of practical life”), an ancient Indian treatise, a collection of precepts on government. Authorship is ascribed to Kautilya (fourth century B.C.), but it is more likely that the basis of the Arthashastra was provided by him and that it was then filled out and reworked up to the second and third centuries A.D. It is a major source of information on the social relations, economy, and political institutions of ancient India.