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Transcript of India
India: An Overview 1000 BCE-500 CE
-India is separated from the rest of Asia by the Himalayan Mountains - this proved to be very important throughout all of its history.
-The two main agricultural regions were along the Ganges and Indus Rivers
-Major Religions: Buddhism and Hinduism.
-The Formative Period (The Vedic and Epic Ages,) involved the foundations and formation of Hinduism and much of the Indian culture.
-The Maurya and Gupta Dynasties were the most influential and successful.
-The Caste System was the most stringent social classification system of the Classical Civilizations, and was very important to Indian politics, culture, and religion.
Influences on Today's Society
India has contributed many methods in mathematics and technology.
This civilization contributed most to mathematics and science..
The Caste System
The Caste System is the social hierarchy of India and is still very important to Indian Culture today.
It promoted social order and peace throughout India and was based on Hindu beliefs.
The caste that you were born into, was the caste you would die in; mobility between castes was almost impossible
The castes in the system include the Brahmins (the priests), Kshatriyas (the warriors), Vaisyas (merchants and skilled workers), Sudras (unskilled workers), and Pariah or "Harijans" (outcastes or untouchables).
Members were tied to their castes- their dharma, or life path- transmigration helped justify the difference between those born in each caste. In past lives, the accumulated of good and bad actions make up one's karma, which determines the caste of the next reincarnation.
Became before recorded time with the entanglement of a variety of ancient religions in India.
Belief in dharma, or life path or duty, and karma, or the sum of the merits (both good and bad) of the reincarnations.
STRONG belief in the caste system
This religion is the oldest in the world and is still very prominent- especially in India.
Belief in reincarnation, and that life and death is in a continuous, never ending cycle.
Founded by the Buddha who left his life as a prince and became a wandering ascetic; he soon recognized the suffering in the world.
Buddhism is a way of life that does not involve self-indulgence, but self-mortification.
The means of salvation is aided with meditation.
The goal is to reach Enlightenment- to be released from the suffering of the world.
Following Enlightenment, they reach Nirvana, or an eternal state of tranquility.
Did not believe in the Hindu sacrifices or rituals and rejected the caste system.
Progressed and spread by Ashoka.
Conquered his way through the northwest and Greek invaders to become the first ruler of the Mauryans along the Ganges River.
Known for unifying India into one state.
His large armies were modeled after the Persians and the ideologies of Alexander the Great.
His empire claimed an imperial style.
Ashoka's reign is clearly distinguished by the spread of Buddhism
He was Chandragupta's grandson
His conquests led to the control of all but the southern tip of India.
Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism led to his personal influence going throughout his state policy. This ignited the spread of Buddhism throughout the subcontinent.
His purpose of spreading Buddhism and his accomplishments angered the Brahmans.
He can be compared to Constantine (Rome) in his spread of Christianity.
Unlike China, India was not isolated from the other civilizations.
India had its own subcontinent, but used the Indian Ocean as an advantage for the economy.
India stressed foreign trade
The Indian trading networks went to Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, and even Rome.
India relied on merchants more than Rome and Greece; they were the third highest caste.
By the trading networks, different cultures could be passed throughout and influence other cultures.
The Indian Culture was influenced by many other cultures, but is very unique.
India showed more emphasis on decentralized city-states rather than a centralized government.
India also showed less emphasis on political ideas and ideologies than China and the Mediterranean at this time.
The greatest features of India's politics are still relevant today: political diversity and regionalism.
Political ideas did not unify India - Religion and the Caste System did.
Economy and Politics
This Vedic and Epic Ages formed the foundations of Classical India.
The products of this period include:
Period of Stability
The Brahmans (Hinduism) made a comeback with temples, emphasis on devotion to gods, and the importance of personal worship.
Gupta rule gave India the strongest period of political stability.
No major emperor was as influential as the emperors of the Maurya Dynasty, but many generals were very important to the control of many regions.
Was a part of a "Hindu Renaissance" in which art and culture flourished.
Literature particularly progressed during the Gupta reign.
Sanskrit was the language of the Aryan warrior-herders that populated India.
Became the standard and scholarly language of India after the sacred Vedas were written in Sanskrit.
It is an Indo-Aryan language that has roots to Greek and Latin.
Used for chants and ritual formulas in Hinduism.
Is considered the sacred and classical Indian language
The Foundations of India
Two of the greatest Epics of India, Mahabharata and Ramayana, provide clear insights into the gender and family roles of India.
These epics survived orally until finally written down in the last centuries B.C.E.
Many great classics of Sanskrit and Tamil (major languages of the south) were written during the Gupta dynasty.
Poets, such as Kalidasa, wrote with great description and vivid images of classical India.
This literature gives today's readers a glimpse of Classical India.
Stressed symbolism rather than accuracy- unlike Greece.
Indian artists painted with very lively colors
The art can be found in shrines, stupas, paintings, and more.
Animal figures are often used for manifestations of major gods, and was linked to religion
Art was influenced by many other cultures.
Indian art is recognizable even today
Medicine and Surgery
India produced a variety of medicines made from herbs
India showed great advancements in surgery as well; plastic surgery, the extraction of cataracts and dental surgery all came from India.
The treatment developed was often very sophisticated for its time.
The higher level quality of the metallurgy and iron of India allowed structures to withstand extreme erosion.
The distillation of perfume is from India, and is a popular cosmetic even today.
India's preparation of pigments and colors are reflected in the paintings found on some of the walls that have survived for thousands of years.
The mathematical topics discovered in India are still universally used in everyday life. They include:
The concept of zero and the decimal system.
Algebra and algorithms
Square root and cube root
the value of pi
the circumference of the globe.
N.d. Photograph. The Hindu Business LineWeb. 2 Oct 2013. <http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/multimedia/dynamic/01379/LF01_trade_1_jpg_1379249g.jpg>.
Caste System. N.d. Graphic. Spirit BeatsWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://www.spiritbeats.com/wp-content/uploads/Caste-System-jpg.jpg>.
Caste System. N.d. Photograph. WordPressWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://swilliams24.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/caste-system.jpg>.
Large Statue of Chandragupta Maurya. N.d. Photograph. The Friday TimesWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/tft/20130201/large-A statue of Chandragupta Maurya.jpg>.
Emperor Ashoka. N.d. Painting. WordPress: India ExploredWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://indiaexplored.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/emperor-ashoka.gif?w=780>.
Samundra. N.d. Photograph. TenQuestionWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://www.tenquestion.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Samudra-4791.1v-586.08.jpg>.
N.d. Painting. homepages.uwpWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://homepages.uwp.edu/kaur0010/images/5.jpg>.
N.d. Photograph. abish.byui.eduWeb. 1 Oct 2013. <http://abish.byui.edu/library/libguides/francisl/Hinduism.jpg>.
N.d. Photograph. buddhachannel.tvWeb. 1 Oct 2013. <http://www.buddhachannel.tv/portail/local/cache-vignettes/L500xH333/bouddha_dent-0351c.jpg>.
Suganth, Joel. N.d. Photograph. n.p. Web. 1 Oct 2013. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Sanchi_stupa.jpg>.
National Geographic India Wall Map. N.d. Photograph. Maps.comWeb. 28 Sep 2013. <http://media.maps.com/magellan/Images/xng_inda_c.jpg>.
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tribals. N.d. Photograph. Mount Holyoke CollegeWeb. 29 Sep 2013. <http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~epandit/tribals.jpg>.
The Indian men are on a boat to symbolize the importance of foreign trade in India.