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Key Terms – The Gupta Empire

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1 Key Terms – The Gupta Empire
Magadha Chandragupta Samudragupta Chandragupta II Kalidasa Ayabhata Caste System Midwives Sati

2 The Beginning of the Gupta Empire
320 A.D.  new ruler would take over the northeastern region of India. Chandragupta  ruler who managed to consolidate the previously divided northern territories of Magadha. Chandragupta, through his efficient rule would be able to start a new dynasty known as the Gupta Dynasty which lasted from A.D.

3 Samudragupta Considering that the other parts of India were still divided into small parts, the second Gupta emperor would take up the task of reuniting them. Samudragupta  ( ) would reconquer many of the independent kingdoms, would absorb the northwestern region of India extending as far down as the Deccan.

4 Chandragupta II Chandragupta II  would acquire control of the Silk Road trade route entering India. By defeating the Shakas (a group from the borders of China), he would be able to gain access to the Silk Road trade route which had previously been blocked. Through his actions, he was able to enter into trade with the Middle East which improved the economy of the empire.

5 Cultural Changes Through their acquisitions, the Guptas were able to enjoy a period of great intellectual and cultural achievement. Colleges, universities and libraries thrived and also maintained Sanskrit writings of the past. Many masterpieces were created at this time which stood up against the writings of the west.

6 Kalidasa Kalidasa  wrote plays in verse, mostly revolving around love, adventure, moral lessons, and beauty in nature. The Mahabhrata and the Ramayana were completed during the period of

7 Changes in Science and Math
Invented the decimal system and the concept of zero (later considered arabic numerals). Pi was calculated, which represents the relationship between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. Ascertained that the earth was a sphere and the causes of lunar eclipses.

8 Government Structure Princes controlled the outer territories
Collected taxes and tribute from other territories Usually had ties to the emperor through marriage alliances Outlying areas were easily indirectly controlled through Hinduism  religious leaders exercised powers over their societies.

9 The Caste System In the 1500’s B.C., around the same time as the Indus Valley cities sprang about, the Aryan tribes entered into India. The Aryans introduced the caste system to India; broke the society into four major castes. There were to be no interrelations between the castes since it was strictly forbidden. Hindu missionaries would spread the faith, the ideas behind the castes, and the Sanskrit language to other areas in Southeast Asia.

10 Women in India Wealthier families usually educated their daughters, giving them the ability to create works in literature, though many would not ever become famous. Women usually became midwives  women trained to deliver babies. Women were usually arranged to be married at a young age  women could not remarry or inherit their husband’s wealth.

11 Sati Sati  the act of a widow throwing oneself into their husband’s funeral pyre. This practice usually ensured that the husband and wife would spend 35 million years of happiness together. Women would be shunned and destroy their family names if they were to refuse. This practice would be inhibited by the British upon their colonization of the territory in the 17th and 18th Centuries. It is still practiced in some areas today.

12 The End of the Gupta Empire
Skandragupta  Gupta emperor who managed to fight off the invading Huns. Even though the Guptas were able to repel the Huns, they were unable to maintain their now weakened society. Trade began to decline and the empire would fall in the mid 500’s.

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