The Me?tiyo Ra?ho?s of Me?to, Rajasthan is a treasure for scholars of Rajput history. Richard D. Saran and Norman P. Ziegler, whose contributions to Rajput studies are well known to specialists in the field, have given us a work of deep and exacting scholarship. It is the culmination of decades devoted to the study of Middle Marwari chronicles from Rajasthan. The sources translated here provide access to the fortunes of a branch of the Jodhpur royal family, and in doing so they illuminate the larger world of Rajputs in the middle period.
The Me?tiyo Ra?ho?s are significant for several reasons. Their story traces the emergence of a Rajput brotherhood into local prominence and follows the establishment of their kingdom on the eastern edge of Marva? as a defined territorial unit. The evolution of the Me?tiyos as a brotherhood passed through several clearly defined stages, including a relationship with the house of Jodhpur that ranged from mutual support among brothers to hostility and clear separation. A study of the Me?tiyos in this context provides a unique view of the formation of a strong and indpenedent Rajput cadet line, of the establishment and defense of a local territory, and of the internal relations among Rajput brotherhoods regarding issues of precedence, honor, patronage, and service.
The translations are accompanied by an extensive explanatory apparatus taking various forms, which includes a valuable essay on Rajput social organization, complete genealogies, and biographies of all the major personages of the chronicles.