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(Sanskrit, from kshatra, “dominion,” “rule”), one of the four main varnas, or social estates of ancient India.

The Kshatriya varna originated among Aryan tribes in the pre-Indian period as a result of the separation of military and government functions from productive labor when the primitive society was in the stage of decay. In the ancient Indian states, the Kshatriyas, who constituted the military and tribal aristocracy, assumed the ruling political and economic position; they were the rulers of states, officials, landowners, and professional soldiers. By the middle of the first millennium A.D. membership in the Kshatriya varna had ceased to determine the composition of the ruling class. In the Middle Ages it existed only as a traditional idea; for example, members of the military feudal Rajput caste, who had no hereditary link with the ancient varna, were called Kshatriyas.


Kane, P. V. History of Dharmasastra, vol. 2, part 1. Poona, 1941. Chapter 2.
Law, B. C. Ancient Mid-Indian Kshatriya Tribes. Calcutta, 1924.
References in periodicals archive ?
Under similar Hindu circumstances, sati spread among the military castes, and women were increasingly confined in purdah.
Robert Goldich, the Library of Congress researcher, has discussed the differences between a citizen's militia and a force like the Roman legions of classical times, a military caste of professionals.
A Japanese warrior, member of a military caste which arose in the wars of the Kamakura period (1185 - 1333) and was finally abolished only in the Meiji period (1868 - 1912).
The settings vary greatly, so that the reader requires dexterity in spotting clues and piecing together fragments of information in such poems as "Incident on a Hospital Train from Calcutta, 1944" or "The Captain's Diary," a dramatic monologue that skewers the blinkered snobbery of the pre-1914 British military caste.
In other words, although he was a legitimate pharaoh, and could command considerable loyalty elsewhere in the country, Apries was seen by the old military caste as a bad Egyptian.
weapons sales that have been the crucial enticement to the Chinese military caste as it pursued the fetishes of modernization and "professionalization.

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