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Ancient and Classical India

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1 Ancient and Classical India

2 India’s Geography Indus River flows across northwest edge of Indian subcontinent—large landmass, part of a continent — Home of one of ancient world’s great river valley civilizations — Indian subcontinent includes three major geographic zones: -Far north: Himalaya, Hindu Kush mountain systems, separating India from rest of Asia — South: Deccan Plateau, high plateau receiving less rain than other parts of subcontinent — Between mountains (Valley), plateau are Northern Plains, where society first developed in India

3 Geography of the Indian subcontinent
Three Regions Monsoons Cultural diversity

4 Water Critical Factor The people of India’s first civilizations depended upon the monsoons to bring the water that their crops needed. Monsoon Winds Devastating Effects • Summer Monsoons brought rain that flooded rivers; rivers deposited fertile silt in which farmers could grow crops • Winter Monsoons brought cool, dry air to the region. Lack of rain during this period. • Monsoon rains too heavy— crops, homes, lives could be lost • Monsoon rains too late, did not last long enough—people could not grow crops; famine became danger


6 Indus Valley Civilization cont.
Farming and trade Most people were farmers Created dams and used irrigation Traded with Sumer (Mesopotamia) Used record keeping but we are unable to decipher Harappan Writing

7 Indus Valley Civilization cont.
Religious Beliefs Polytheistic May have worshipped sacred animals

8 Sanskrit writing

9 The Vedas 1200 BCE-600 BCE. written in SANSKRIT.
Hindu core of beliefs: hymns and poems. religious prayers. magical spells. lists of the gods and goddesses. Rig Veda  oldest work.

10 Decline and Disappearance of I.R.V.C.
Evidence of decline by 1750 B.C.E. Cities no longer kept up Pottery became more crude Explanations for decline Environmental damage Volcano or earthquakes

11 Gupta Rulers Chandra Gupta I Chandra Gupta II Hindu revival.
r. 320 – 335 CE “Great King of Kings” Chandra Gupta II r CE Profitable trade with the Mediterranean world! Hindu revival. Huns invade – 450 CE

12 Gupta Empire: 320 CE – 647 CE

13 Fa-Hsien: Life in Gupta India
Chinese Buddhist monk traveled along the Silk Road and visited India in the 5c. He was following the path of the Buddha. He reported the people to be happy, relatively free of government oppression, and inclined towards courtesy and charity. Other references in the journal, however, indicate that the caste system was rapidly assuming its basic features, including "untouchability," the social isolation of a lowest class that is doomed to menial labor.

14 Chandra Gupta 11

15 International Trade Routes during the Guptas

16 Extensive Trade: 4c spices silks cotton goods rice & wheat spices
horses gold & ivory gold & ivory cotton goods

17 Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.
Gupta Art Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.

18 500 healing plants identified Printed medicinal guides
1000 diseases classified 500 healing plants identified Gupta Achievements Printed medicinal guides Kalidasa Literature Plastic Surgery Medicine Inoculations Gupta India C-sections performed Solar Calendar Astronomy Mathematics Decimal System The earth is round PI = Concept of Zero

19 The Decline of the Guptas
Invasion of the White Huns in the 4c signaled the end of the Gupta Golden Age, even though at first, the Guptas defeated them. After the decline of the Gupta empire, north India broke into a number of separate Hindu kingdoms and was not really unified again until the coming of the Muslims in the 7c.

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