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Transcript of Ancient India
Group Independent Study Unit
By: David, Doreen, Stephanie, Thea Mae and Victoria
Four-headed God of Wisdom
Don’t let desire and anger cloud your judgment
There should be no erotic behavior or relationship between father and daughter
Adultery should not be committed
The Existential Question
How did we get on this earth?
Desire – wanted daughter
Body/mind – god of wisdom
Believed that Indus people worshiped a great god
Used images of animals, ex. bull, buffalo and tiger, in religious rituals
Caste system – interwoven with Hinduism
Brahmins (priests and scholars - used to be 2nd, eventually became top because of their importance),
--> Religious hierarchy - like Christianity
Shiva aiming an arrow at Brahma (the stag)
The Harappan Civilization – (2500 BCE)
2 ancient cities – Harappa and Mohenjo Daro
Athens & Sparta
Both cities were large and carefully planned out
Strong and organized government – store and distribute a massive amount of food (enough to feed 35,000 people)
--> Maslow - food
Vedic Age – (1500 BCE-1000 BCE)
Indo-Aryans conquered northern India
Most powerful kingdom under the rule of King Bimbisara (540 BCE)
First ones to try to unify most of India
Became India’s first empire
--> City state --> Republic --> Empire
The Great Baths of Mohenjo Daro
Teaches us that this culture is driven by love, lust and desire
Love is pain – loving someone you can’t have
Desire led to his temptation
Media displays the sexual behavior between father and daughter
Game of Thrones
Book: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Modern day stories that deal with the theme
Documentary: Are All Men Pedophiles?
1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
93 women are raped every day
As Magadha began to decline, Chandragupta Maurya start the Mauryan Empire
Held almost all of India (except southern tip)
No slavery – “all Indians are free and no one is a slave”
Ashoka becomes ruler of the Mauryan Empire (270 BCE)
Ashoka retires war/fighting – becomes a Buddhist, tries to unite his empire, improved living conditions – time of cultural and political advances in India
Mauryan Empire (320 BCE-185 BCE)
Chandragupta was always guarded by Amazonian women with swords
Chandra Gupta I founded the Gupta dynasty in India (320 CE)
New dynasty contributed to decline of Buddhism and growth of Hinduism
Chandra Gupta II – Golden age! Society thrived, great progress in art
King Harsh - managed to sustain Gupta glory
The Gupta Empire
Krishna Killing the Horse Demon Keshi
Map of Gupta Empire
Shakas from the west, resolved between marriage ties
--> Alexander the Great forced his men to wed Persian brides for political ties
The Formative Period
The Age of the Kushans
Muslims arrived, settles on the west coast and set up trading colonies
Muslim conquests in southern India, Ala-ud-din Khalji invaded southern Indian kingdoms and successfully came back with camels, elephants and treasures
Muslims treated Hindus as equal partners, abolished ziziya tax
Aurangjeb: last Mughal emperor – re-imposed ziziya tax on Hindus, discriminated, and gave orders to destroy all Hindu temples
Conquered territories in south, when he died in 1707, Mughal empire died with him
Political Union of the Mughal empire
--> Himalayas protected the north from invaders from the rest of Asia
--> Hilly landscape made reuniting of its people hard --> resulting in different diverse social groups
The geography and climate of India effects it’s crops
Ganges River, Indus River
Crops depend on monsoons because most of the rain India gets is during this season
--> Like Egypt – the flooding of the Nile influenced the calendar and the crops
Shops and workshops produced locally or for export: pottery, dyer vats, metal, shell ornaments, beads
Rich farmlands surrounded Harappa and Mohenjo Daro – farmers grew cotton, wheat, barley, and rice, also raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats
Made fine goods, ex. Cotton clothes, pottery, bronze, gold and silver jewelry
Asiatic trade routes crossed Kushan territories - controlled many international and sea routes making them powerful and wealthy
Were said to be the 1st Indian kings to introduce gold coins in India
First gold coins in India were made by melting gold Roman coins
Main trade item – spices, ex. pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and silk
India introduced the world to cotton
Sugar, and fruits like oranges and lemons originated from India
The Greeks referred to cotton as “wool that grows on trees"
Gods personified from nature: earth, fire, light, rain, sky, storms, sun, water
Earth – mother, sky – father, supreme god, creator, “The One”
--> Egyptian gods - nature
Devin essence called Brahman fills everything in the world; individual essence – Self/Atman
Believed in reincarnations
--> Egyptian afterlife, soul doesn’t die
Dharma: principle, doing moral duty in this life to advance into the next life
Karma: good or bad force created by one’s actions
Nirvana: a perfect peace
Vedas – oldest sacred books of Hinduism 1400BCE – The Book of the Dead
The Brahmins (priests) preformed sacrifices, and believed that sacrifices controlled the cosmos
Sanskrit later become language of priests and their rituals
The Vedic Age
Siddhartha Gautama becomes “the Enlightened One” or the Buddha (525 BCE)
Salvation comes from knowing the “Four Noble Truths” following the “Eightfold Path”
Believed anyone could reach nirvana despite caste groups
Taught that the Vedas weren’t actually sacred teachings
Go through the cycle of life samsara until they are liberated (becomes Buddha the “awakened one”)
Introduced into India was the cultural Islamic heritage of Arabia, Persia and central Asia
Cross Cultural Interaction: Hindus & Muslims
Panchatantra - been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible
Had protections, but did not have the same rights as men
could not own property or study sacred writings
Suttee: widows committed suicide by throwing themselves on top of their husband’s flaming funeral pyres (sometimes required in upper castes)
Not So Fun Fact
Age 6 of wealthy class boys - start education; studied, played and were taught by mentors selected by their parents
Curriculum: Taught arts and sciences, martial arts, use of weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, and riding elephants & horses
Girls of wealthy families - taught to read, write, dance and paint by female tutors –
Exercises - wooden clubs and yoga, elaborate bath, fresh, perfumed clothes and a turban-like hat were put on
Men: business interests, played chess or other board games
Daily routine (young wealthy man)
Man with status usually had an art gallery full of paintings
Pork and fish
Education: very basic, reading writing, arithmetic
Poor students did chores to pay for their primary school teacher
Children of lower castes only learned crafts and trade
Indo-Aryan: writing – Sanskrit
Panchatantra: “five books”, fables from the Gupta period
--> Homer – Iliad & Odyssey
Brahmagupta created zero, perfected decimal system, developed a method of expressing 10s and 100s
Arabic digits (1-9) we use today were created by ancient Indians
Inoculation: practice of infecting a person with a mild form of disease so they will not become ill with a more serious form (immunization)
Book about Indian medicine - the Ayurveda
Many universities maintained by kings’ income – subjects include grammar, philosophy, medicine, literature and general knowledge
Nalanda – famous Buddhist university (Gupta)
Religious stories passed down, eventually became 2 epics
Gupta period, always a happy ending, arranged performances with moral themes
Buddhist cave paintings at Ajanta (Gupta period)
Hindu temples: square with heavy walls surrounding a god
Stupa – dome-shaped shrine, artifacts placed inside
Akbar’s grandson Sahajahan was a great prince, general, emperor and builder
He built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his second wife Mumtaz Mahal, and was later buried next to his wife when he died
– square/rectangular seals, brief glimpses of legends, little info
these provide understanding of religion
Buddhist art during the Kushan period in the northwest was influenced by Graeco-Roman style
Used extensive irrigation and drainage systems
Underground sewers, flood protection, ex. The citadel, mud-brick embankment
Houses - wells, indoor bathroom platforms, seated latrines which were connected to sewers under the streets
Built canals and ditches to irrigate their fields
Early Vedic (1000 BCE) – started using iron and copper tools
Indo-Aryans used iron (800 BCE)
1. Who is this?
2. Who guarded Chandragupta?
3. First gold coins in India were made by melting gold _________ ________
4. The Greeks referred to _________ as “wool that grows on trees"
5. What is this?
6. What book been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible?
7. What is this?
8. What were widows who committed suicide by throwing themselves on top of their husband’s flaming funeral pyres called?
10. What famous Buddhist university is this?
9. What was ancient India's form of writing?
11. What are these Buddhist caves called?
12. What is this building called?
13. What is this called?
14. What were the two literary epics called?
Art from Golden age