The deficiency of material which embarrasses the historian when dealing with the latter half of the sixth century is no longer experienced when he enters upon the seventh. For this period he is fortunate enough to possess, in addition to the ordinary epigraphic and numismatic sources, two contemporary literary works, which shed much light upon the political condition of India generally, and supply, in particular, abundant and trustworthy information concerning the reign of Harsha, who ruled the North as paramount sovereign for more than forty years.