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The Sanskrit text was first translated into English in 1794, and translations into other European languages swiftly followed. For Nietzsche the human wisdom of 'Manu' far surpassed that of the New Testament; for the British Raj it seemed to be the perfect tool with which to rule the Hindu. No understanding of modern India is possible without it, and in the richness of its ideas, its aphoristic profundity and its relevance to universal human dilemmas 'Manu' stands beside the great epics, the Mahãbhãrata and the Rãmãyana. Many commentators find 'Manu' contradictory and ambiguous; others perceive a clear thematic integrity; and the argument is renewed by Wendy Doniger and Brian K. Smith in their illuminating Introduction. Wendy Doniger provides a landmark translation, the first authoritative English rendering this century. It is also the first to set the unadulterated text in narrative form, making it accessible and enjoyable both to specialist scholars and to a wider audience.