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India's First Empires.

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Presentation on theme: "India's First Empires."— Presentation transcript:

1 India's First Empires

2 Persian King Darius I Darius I came through the Khyber Pass and conquered northwestern India. For 200 years, Indus Valley was ruled by Persian satrap, or governor. First time the Indians felt both the benefits (unity and order) and burdens of centralized control.

3 Alexander the Great 326 BC: Alexander the Great invaded India with the goal of unifying all of Northern India. Only stayed for 5 years before giving up on his goal. He left generals in his place to keep order among the people.

4 Chandragupta Maurya 321 BC: Claimed throne after killing the unpopular Nanda King. Start of the Mauryan Empire.

5 Chandragupta Maurya BC: Chandragupta’s army of 9,000 elephants and 700,000 soldiers trampled neighboring kingdoms. United all of North India under his rule. Indus Valley, Ganges Valley, and Southern Himalayas.

6 “Government is the science of Punishment”
Chandragupta Maurya Divided Empire into 4 provinces. Each headed by a royal prince. Each split into different districts with governors who would collect taxes. “Government is the science of Punishment” -Chandragupta Maurya

7 Chandragupta Maurya Chandragupta ruled by force and fear.
Planted government spies to make sure no one was planning a revolt. (Like the one he planned when he killed the Nanda King!!!) Trusted no one. Made the chef taste his meal before he would eat it. Slept in a different room each night in order to make sure no one would kill him in his sleep.

8 Chandragupta Maurya 301 BC: Gave up the throne and converted to Jainism. Jains taught nonviolence and respect for all life. Joined in the Jainist custom of fasting until he starved to death.

9 301 BC: Ruled for 32 years. Little is known about his rule.
Chandragupta’s Son 301 BC: Ruled for 32 years. Little is known about his rule.


11 Ashoka’s Warlike Behavior
269 BC: Ashoka took the throne of the Mauryan Empire. At first he was warlike. He waged a bloody war against the neighboring state of Kalinga. 100,000 soldiers were slain and even more civilians perished.

12 Asoka’s Good Works Filled Asoka with remorse and he decided to rule according to Buddha’s teachings of “peace to all beings”. He sent out an apology to the southern tribes and promised kind treatment in the future.

13 Asoka’s Good Works Ordered huge pillars to be erected inscribed with a public announcement of his new policies. Promoted religious tolerance. Built roads with wells and rest houses every 9 miles so travelers could rest.



16 Asoka Instead of spies, Asoka employed “officials of righteousness” to look out for the welfare of Indians of every caste. They were there to help the unfortunate.


18 Asoka Sent hundreds of Buddhist missionaries to neighboring lands such as Ceylon. Thanks to Asoka, Buddhism spread far beyond India and became a major world religion with millions of followers.

19 Asoka’s Death 232 BC: Last strong ruler of the Mauryan dynasty.
His policies of toleration and nonviolence failed to hold the Mauryan Empire together. 180 BC: Mauryan Empire torn apart by rivalry among local provinces.

20 Start of the Gupta Empire
Chandra Gupta married the daughter of a influential royal family. 320 AD: Chandra Gupta crowned King of upper Ganges Valley. “Great King of Kings”

21 Start of the Gupta Empire
His reign brought the “Golden Age” to India. Gupta Dynasty ruled a mighty Empire from AD.

22 Samudra Gupta Chandra Gupta’s son.
335 AD: Crowned King of the Gupta Empire. Expanded the Empire through 40 years of conquest.


24 Daily Life in the Gupta Empire
First period that historians have a lot of information about the daily life. Most Indians lived in small villages. Majority were farmers. Most families were patriarchal. Headed by the eldest male. Tax on water. Farmers owed a large part of their earnings to the King.

25 Southern India Daily Life
The Tamil, were matriarchal. Headed by the mother rather than the father.

26 Height of the Gupta Empire
3rd Gupta Emperor AD: Chandra Gupta II, created a place that was full of excitement and growth. Praised for his heroic qualities. Defeated the Shakas: Enemies to the west. After defeating them he added their coastal territory to his empire. This allowed the Guptas to trade with the Mediterranean world.


28 Gupta Empire Decline 425 AD: Chandra Gupta II died.
New invaders threatened North India: The Hunas: Related to the Huns. Over the next 100 years, the Gupta Empire broke into small kingdoms. Many were overrun by the Hunas. 535 AD: Empire ended.

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