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Ancient India PowerPoint PPT Presentation

2 Ancient India ©2004 Wadsworth , a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning ™ is a trademark used herein under license. The Indian Subcontinent ©2004 Wadsworth , a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning ™ is a trademark used herein under license.

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Ancient India

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Ancient india l.jpg

2

Ancient India


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©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.

The Indian Subcontinent


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©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.

Ancient Harappan Civilization

Note the growth of cities in river plains.


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The Emergence of Civilization in India: Harappan Society

  • Geography

  • Mixture of people

  • Harappan Civilization: A Fascinating Enigma

    • Harappa in the Punjab

    • Mohenjo-Daro (City of the Dead) near the mouth of the Indus

  • Political and Social Structure

    • Villages in the Indus valley: 6500 - 7000 B.C.E.

    • Harappa a city more than 3 ½ mile in circumference with wall over 40 feet thick

    • City life in Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro

    • Government, religion, agriculture and trade

  • Harappan Culture

    • Pottery, sculpture, clay seals


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©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.

The City of Mohenjo-Daro


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Arrival of the Aryans

  • Harappan civilization destroyed about 1500 B.C.E.

    • Invasion by Aryans

    • Social decay

    • Epidemic or natural phenomena

  • The Early Aryans

    • Indo-European nomads from Siberia and the steppes of Central Asia

    • Into the Indus valley 1500-1000 B.C.E.

    • Use of iron

    • A writing system

    • Led by a chieftain called a raja (prince) that was later transformed into kings called maharajas (great princes)

      • Prince did not have absolute power

      • Required to follow dharma (laws that set behavior standards)

    • Arrival of the Persian Empire,

    • Arrival of Alexander the Great, 326 B.C.E.


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The Mauryan Empire

  • Chandragupta Maurya (324-301 B.C.E.)

    • The Arthasastra, a treatise on politics

    • Highly centralized and despotic government

      • Provinces ruled by governors

      • Division of power at lower levels


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Caste and Class: Social Structures in Ancient India

  • The Class System

    • An issue of color

    • Varna (color or caste)– reflected informal division of labor and rigid social classification for occupation and status

    • Caste taboos

    • Jati – kinship group, of a specific caste, living in a specific area, doing a specific task

    • Changes over time


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Daily Life and The Economy in Ancient India

  • Family the basic unit of society

  • Commemorative rites to ancestors

  • Father-son relationship

  • Males inherit property

  • Position of women

    • Before the law

    • In marriage

    • Exceptions

  • Most Aryans were farmers

    • Iron plow

    • Differing status of farmers

    • Problems farmers faced

  • Developed trade and manufacturing


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The Religious World of Ancient India: Hinduism

  • Indo-European in origin from the Aryans

  • Vedas – four collections of hymns and religious ceremonies

    • Dyaus

    • Indra, Varuna, Vishnu

    • Use of sacrifice

    • Asceticism

  • Upanishads – commentaries on the Vedas


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The Religious World of Ancient India: Gods, Goddesses and Reincarnation

  • Soul reborn a different form after death and progresses through several existences on the wheel of life until reaching the final destination with the Great World Soul, Brahman

  • Karma – actions in this life; determines one’s rebirth in the next life

    • Cosmic scale – Brahmins at the top; in animal kingdom the cow is at the top

  • Dharma governs karma

  • Reincarnation provides compensation for those lower on the ladder of life

  • Multitude of gods (33,000) in Hinduism but only a small number of primary gods

    • Trinity of gods: Brahman the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Siva the Destroyer


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Buddhism: The Middle Path

  • Siddhartha Gautama (c. 560-480 B.C.E.)

    • Born in foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, son of a kshatriya family

    • Traveled widely

    • Follows some ideas of Hinduism

    • Denied the existence of the individual soul

  • Nirvana (release from the wheel of life)

  • Bodhi (wisdom)

    • Four Noble Truths

    • Middle Path (Eightfold Path)

  • Simpler than Hinduism

  • Monastic life

    • Rejection of division of humanity into castes

    • All human beings can aspire to Nirvana as a result of their behavior in this life

  • Jainism

    • Founded by Mahavira, contemporary of Siddhartha

    • Doctrine of extreme simplicity; keep no possessions and rely on begging for a living


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©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.

Stupa at Sarnath


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The Reign of Asoka and the End of the Mauryan Empire

  • Asoka, A Buddhist Monarch (269-232 B.C.E.)

    • After a career as a bloodthirsty conqueror, converted to Buddhism and ruled benevolently

      • Built shelters for travelers

      • Sent Buddhist missionaries throughout India

    • After 232 B.C.E., the Mauryan Empire declined

      • Disunity

      • New Kingdoms arose

      • Indo-Europeans entered and proclaimed the Kushan Kingdom

      • Reasons for disunity


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©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.

The Empire of Asoka


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The Exuberant World of Indian Culture: Literature

  • Rig Veda – hymns used in religious ceremonies, second millennium B.C.E.

    • Bramanas and Upinishads and commentaries on the Vedas

  • Sanskrit language

  • Mahabharata, 100 B.C.E.

    • Describes war of cousins for control of the kingdom

    • Interwoven are the legends of the Hindu gods

    • Moral confrontation and ethics

    • The Bhagavad Gita

      • Sermon by legendary figure Krishna

      • In taking action, one must be indifferent to success or failure and consider only the moral rightness of the act itself

  • Ramayana – triumph of good over evil


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Indian Culture: Architecture and Sculpture

  • Pillar

    • Asoka used stone columns alongside roads to commemorate the life of the Buddha and mark pilgrim routes to holy places

  • Stupa

    • Place of devotion meant to house a relic of the Buddha

    • Constructed in the form of a burial mound

  • Rock chamber

    • Rooms to house monks and ascetics

    • Halls for religious ceremonies

  • Style

    • Embellished with decorations

    • Detailed reliefs and freestanding statues


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Indian Culture: Science

  • Astronomy

  • Elements of earth, air, fire, and water

  • Quality of textiles

  • Massive stone pillars


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Discussion Questions

  • What factors influenced the development of India’s caste system? What role did skin color play in the creation of caste distinctions?

  • What challenges did Chandragupta Maurya face in creating an Indian empire? How successful was he?

  • What does the Mahabharata tell us about ancient Indian values and beliefs?


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