The Dharmasutra Parallels present in a synoptic layout of the passages in the four Dharmasutras of Apastamba. Gautama, Baudhayana, and Vasistha the deal with identical topics. The Dharmasutras represent the oldest extant codification of Law in ancient India. A close study of these early legal treatises is essential if we are to understand not only the legal but also the cultural and religious history of the three or four centuries prior to the common era, a period that saw the beginnings of many of the features that we commonly associate with Indian civilization.
Patrick Olivelle is the Chair Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is the Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions.