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The Kushan Empire
Transcript of The Kushan Empire
Bactria, and expanded into Kashmir, officially
becoming an empire around
60 CE. The Kushan Empire expanded into
the Ganges basin around 105 CE.
The empire controlled northern
India and some of Central Asia. The Kushan empire controlled the "Silk Road", a major trading route between the Mediteranean and Asia. Because of its location, the Kushan Empire became very wealthy through trade and a melting pot of many cultures, races, and religions. The Kushan Empire introduced many new art forms and ideas to the world, mostly because its society allowed different cultures to freely mix. Until the Kushan Empire collapsed in 225 CE after being crushed by the Sasanid Empire, the Kushan Empire was very unique in every aspect of its existence, including its government. Overview The Kushan Government The Kushan Government was Imperial rule. This means that the king was the head of government, had full control over how the country was run, and was considered divine. The royal line bgan with the empire's first king, Kajula Kapdphises, who turned the Kushans from a nomadic tribe into an empire. Kajula was the leader/king of the nomads, so it was natural for him to assume control of the emerging empire. All kings of the Kushans were descendants of Kajula Kadphises, and bore his last name. The most famous king of the empire, Kanishka Kadphises, brought the empire to its golden age. Kanishka, like all Kushan kings was considered divine. Borrowing from the Chinese culture, he gave himself the title of the emperor: Son of God. A statue of Kanishka bears the inscription, "Great King, King of Kings, Son of God." The King's rule was carried out by local officials throughout all towns of the empire. Governors, or client rulers, were also used to govern territories, although they were always under the king. The Kushan Empire had a unique idea to keep the empire united. The King and his officials had three different capitals throughout the empire. One capital, Begram, was in the Central Asian part of the empire and was used as a summer capital. Mathura, in India, was used as a winter capital. The last, Peshawar, was used as a transitional capital. This system of changing the location of the empire capital allowed the government to be around all parts of his empire at some point during the year. This kept a portion of the empire far away from the capital from being completely excluded from the rest. The Kushan kings had a very diverse empire to rule. As a central trading hub, the empire was host to a variety of different cultures, races, and religions. The government successfully fused Central and southern Asia by respecting all traditions and customs. They imposed no single religion on their populace but respected all parties. The citizens of the Kushan Empire were treated well by the king and the government. Since the king treated all cultures equally well, all parties were very loyal to both their king and their nation. Although Peshawar isn't shown on this map, it was located roughly in the middle of the empire. Credit where Credit is Due The Kushans arrive in Bactria. The Ganges Basin "Kushan Empire (ca. 2nd Century B.C.–3rd Century A.D.) | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Metmuseum.org. Web. 14 Mar. 2011. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm>. "The Early Empires Of South Asia." The Great Empires of the Ancient World. Ed. Thomas Harrison. Los Angeles, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009. 228+. Print. "Renewal In the Middle East." Empires Besieged: Time Frame--AD 200-600. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1988. 87-89. Print. "1000 BCE to 300 CE: South Asia." Asia for Educators | Columbia University. Web. 18 Mar. 2011. <http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/tps/1000bce_sa.htm>. "Google Image Result for Http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/KushanEmpireMap.jpg." Google. Web. 20 Mar. 2011. <http://www.google.com/imgres? By Brandon Morgan