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The Gupta Empire

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Anne Pham

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of The Gupta Empire

The Gupta Empire
Beginnings of the Empire
-united much of India 500 years after the Mauryas
-ruled from A.D. 320 to about 540; India enjoyed a golden age during this time
Contributions in Math
-Gupta mathematicians devised the system of writing numbers, that we use today. (called "Arabic" numerals because Arabs spread this throughout the Middle East and Europe)
Arybhatta developed Arabic numbers which are still used today and he also discovered the area of a triangle by using the formula A=1/2bh.
-created the concept of zero
-developed the decimals system (system of numbers based on 10)
-skilled at using herbs and other remedies to treat illnesses
-skilled at setting bones in simple surgery, to repair injuries
-began vaccinating people for smallpox 1,000 years before it started in Europe
-written in the Sanskrit language
-the greatest Gupta poet and playwright was Kalidasa, who wrote the famous play: Shakuntala
-Literature helped the Gupta's make advances in math and science.
Decline of Empire
-weak rulers, civil war, and foreign invaders lead to the empire's decline
-The White Huns, nomadic people from Central Asia, overran the empire and destroyed its cities and trade
-India split into many kingdoms and did not become great for another 1,000 years
-emperors organized a strong central government that promoted peace and prosperity
-loose rule: individual villages and city governments, elected by merchants and artisans, held most of the power

Social Class
-At the TOP: emperors
-In the MIDDLE: merchants and artisans
-At the BOTTOM: farmers
-The Gupta Empire grew through trade and farming
-The prosperity of Gupta India contributed to the flowering in the arts and learning
Job Specialization
-emperors organized a strong central government that promoted peace and prosperity
-artisans produced cotton cloth, pottery, and metal ware
-farmers grew crops of wheat, rice, and sugar cane
joint family-family organization in which several generations share a common dwelling
dowry- in some societies, payment a bride's family makes to the bridegroom and his family; payment a woman brings to a marriage
The Role of Women
-upper-class women were restricted to their homes, but when they went outside they had to cover themselves from head to toe
-lower class women, labored in the fields or worked at spinning and weaving
-Women were thought to have shakti. (a creative energy that men lacked) It either completed the husband or it was a destructive force.
The Role of Women continued....
-primary duties were to marry and raise children
-for women, rebirth into a higher existence was gained through devotion to their husband
- often, a widow would join her dead husband on his funeral of fire
Organized Government
Contributions in Medicine
Contributions in Literature
Contributions in Science
-Arybhatta discovered that the Earth is a sphere
-he found that there were 365 days in a solar year(he also calculated a more exact number: 365.3586805)
-He also found that eclipses occur when the moon comes in alignment with the sun and the earth
- He proved that the Earth revolved around the Sun, spinning on its axis
Example of Cultural Diffusion
Now for the Fun Part... That's Right, You've been Listening to This Song so Much, It's Time to Learn the Dance
Full transcript