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Classical Era” in the East

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“Classical Era” in the
East
Early Indian Civilizations
●Indian civilization developed on the Indus
River.
●Located on the Indus River, the Harappan
civilization also had contact with people far from
India.
●Harappan achievements included a writing
system, city planning, and art.
• Archaeologists think that the Harappan civilization
thrived between 2300 and 1700 BC.
• The Harappan civilization controlled large areas on
both sides of the Indus River.
• The largest settlements were two cities:Harappa
and Mohenjo Daro.
• The Harappan civilization was dependent on
agriculture and grew a variety of crops—from wheat
and barley to dates and vegetables.
• The Harappan’s traded with people as far away as
southern India and Mesopotamia.
• Developed India’s first writing system
• Scholars cannot read this system.
Writing System • Must rely on other clues to study Harappan
society
• Skilled engineers
• Towering fortresses were built near each
City Planning
city.
• Streets were lined with storehouses,
workshops, market stalls, and houses.
• Built extensive sewer systems
Artistic
Achievements
• Skilled artisans
• Sturdy pottery vessels, jewelry, and ivory
objects
•Harappan civilization ended by the
early 1700s BC.
•No one is sure why their civilization
ended.
•Perhaps invaders or natural disasters
caused the civilization to collapse.
Aryan’s
•
-came
from central Asia
-crossed mountain passes through Himalayas
-arrived in India about 1500 B.C.
-Nomadic people
-herding cattle
-developed:iron weapons and horse drawn chariots
-enabled them to conquer neighbors
-moved into the Ganges River Valley pushing Dravidian people
further south
-900 B.C. Aryan’s formed city states in the major river valleys
-Ruled by its own ruler
-Developed Sanskrit-form of writing
-Sign of education & wealth Only taught to members of higher
castes
Empires of India:
The Ayran Invasion
Arrival and
Spread
• First arrived in
India in the 2000s
BC
• Originally from the
area around the
Caspian Sea in
Central Asia
• Spread east and
south into central
India
• Most of what we
know about Aryan
society comes from
the Vedas
Government and
Society
• Nomads who
eventually settled
in villages and
began to farm
• Lived in small
communities based
on family ties
• Villages were
governed by rajas.
• Groups often
fought each other
Language
• Did not read or
write
• Memorized poems
and hymns that
were important to
their culture
• Sanskrit was the
most important
language in ancient
India.
• Sanskrit is no
longer spoken
today.
Hinduism
•
Major beliefs
Gods:many,manifestation(form) of one supreme
being
Reincarnation:at death soul is reborn as another
living thing,endless cycle of rebirth for each soul
Karma:behavior determines form in the next life
good life=reborn in a higher caste
not good=reborn into lower caste
Sacred Objects:
Ganges River=power to wash away sin & evil
Cow
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Guide explaining way of life from birth to death
No single Holy Book
Two Texts contain major beliefs
Upanishads
Bhagavad-Gita
The Caste System
Divided into 5 hereditary classes=castes
Brahmin-priests
Kshatriyas-warriors
Vaishyas-landowners
Shudras-peasants
Untouchables-gravediggers & trash collectors
completely outside social order
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Caste System
Mixing of Aryan and Dravidian peoples led to
new social order
Secure status Aryan’s put into effect new
social and religious rules
Aryan’s occupied higher social classes
priests,warriors,landowners
Caste lines rigid and based on birth
People lacked all social mobility(ability to
change social classes)
Not permitted to marry outside their caste
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Buddhism around 500B.C.
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Siddartha Gautama(563-487 B.C)
wealthy prince in Nepal
shocked by all human suffering
left wealth,wife,two children in search
for TRUTH
Enlightened-all suffering caused by
selfish human desires
End suffering accept world as is and
block own selfish desires
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“Buddha” or the “Enlightened One”
Major beliefs of Buddhism
based on philosophy of self-control and
meditation
reincarnation
Gods and Holy Books
No single supreme being
No primary holy book
beliefs found in
Sutras
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Four Noble Truths
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explain life’s meaning
All life is suffering
Suffering caused by our (craving)human desires
(material wealth and selfish pleasures)
Suffering can only be stopped by ending our craving
Only a carefully disciplined and moral life,such as a
life of concentration and meditation,can end our
craving
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Eightfold Path
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Give up selfish human desires one should follow this path:
Right goals
Right perspectives
Be aware
Act in worthy manner
Speak truthfully
Live righteously
Respect all living things
Meditate
Nirvana-by following Eightfold Path one can escape the soul’s
endless reincarnations and achieve a state of eternal peace
and bliss(Nirvana)
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Spread of Buddhism
attracted many followers
Missionaries helped spread throughout all of
India
Spread southwards from Northern India to
Skrilanka, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, and
other Southeast Asian countries
Northwards:Himalayan Kingdoms of Bhutan
and Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia and other parts of
Central Asia
China,Korea,Japan
Popular:It rejected the caste system
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The Maurya Empire
321 BCE – 185 BCE
Mauryan Empire
(321 B.C.-232
C.E.)
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After northwestern invasion by Alexander the
Great of northwestern India rise of great Hindu
empires
King Chandragupta
challenged Greeks and established Mauryan
Empire (Afghanistan-Ganges
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Chandragupta: 321 BCE-298 BCE
Unified northern India.
 Defeated the Persian
general Seleucus.
 Divided his empire into
provinces, then districts
for tax assessments and law
enforcement.
301 BCE gave up his throne & became
a Jain.
Asoka (304 – 232 BCE)
Fought series of wars to enlarge empires
• After 8 years of constant warfare grew horrified of
bloodshed of battle which prompted him to renounce
violence and convert to Buddhism
• wins people’s loyalty by acts of kindness,promoting welfare
and kindness
• decreed people of all religions should live peacefully with
one another
• improved roads
• built hospitals
• sent teachers throughout empire to encourage education
• promoted Buddhism-built Buddhist shrines throughout India
& sent missionaries to other lands
• Despite success Mauryan Empire began to fall apart after his
death
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Asoka’s
Empire
The Maurya Empire is divided into many
kingdoms.
Gupta Empire: (320 A.D.-535 A.D.)
Astronomers
earth not flat,but round and rotated on it’s axis
calculated solar year
shape and movement of bodies in space with accuracy
Medicine
Physicians set bones and performed minor skin grafts
Prosperous period drew to a close around 500A.D.
Huns,war-like tribe from Central Asia,invaded northwestern
India,causing Gupta Empire to disintegrate into smaller
states
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Gupta family emerged
United territory around Ganges River
Emperors encouraged peace,prosperity,and trade with foreign lands
especially China
“Golden Age of Hindu Culture”-two centuries of Gupta rule
marked by peace and stability
accompanied by strides in arts and literature
built universities
supported learning
arts
painted colorful murals
literature
poems and plays written in Sanskrit
excelled in science & mathematics
concept of zero
idea of infinity
decimal system
(Arabic numerals used throughout the world today,were first developed in
India during this period)
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Gupta
Art
Greatly influenced
Southeast Asian art & architecture.
500 healing
plants identified
1000 diseases
classified
Printed
medicinal guides
Plastic
Surgery
Gupta
Achievements
Kalidasa
Literature
Medicine
Inoculations
Gupta
India
C-sections
performed
Decimal
System
Mathematics
Concept
of Zero
PI = 3.1416
Solar
Calendar
Astronomy
The earth
is round
International Trade Routes during the
Guptas
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