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India Role of Geography The Earliest Indus River Civilizations Harappan India Centered along the Indus River in NW India Similar to Mesopotamia and Nile cultures Agricultural economy Aryan arrival Came from Central Asia Arrived ca 1500-1000 BCE Vedic Age, 1200-600 BCE:\

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India

  • Role of Geography



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Harappan India

  • Centered along the Indus River in NW India

  • Similar to Mesopotamia and Nile cultures

  • Agricultural economy


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Aryan arrival

  • Came from Central Asia

  • Arrived ca 1500-1000 BCE

  • Vedic Age, 1200-600 BCE:\

  • Epic stories of Varuna, the mighty god, and Indra, the warrior god

  • Connected with veneration of the god Shiva

  • Invasion of Alexander, 326 BCE


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Hinduism

  • Vedic Age gave rise to Hinduism

  • Upanishads—philosophical speculations

  • Maya

  • Transmigration of Souls

  • Karma

  • Caste System


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Hindu Castes

Brahmins: Profs and priests

Kshatriyas: Military leaders and politicians

Vaishyas: Farmers, landlords, businessmen

Sudras: Peasants, servants, laborers

Untouchables (Dalit): Workers in polluting jobs

(Officially outlawed in 1949)


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Buddhism

  • Gautama Buddha (563 BCE-483 BCE)

  • “middle way”

  • Restored the ethical content to Karma

  • The Four Noble Truths: that suffering is an inherent part of existence; that the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of that ignorance are attachment and craving; that attachment and craving can be ceased; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.

  • The Noble Eightfold Path: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

  • Spread under King Asoka (ca. 250 BCE); virtually unknown in India by 1200.

  • Theravada (South East Asia) and Mahayana Buddhism (China and Japan)


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Mauryan Empire

  • First Indian dynasty to control India

  • Chandragupta Maurya drove out Greeks

  • Grandson, Ashoka, consolidated control (r. 269-232)

  • Buddhist convert

  • Edicts of Ashoka

  • India fell into disunity and regionalism



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Gupta India

  • 320-550 CE in northern India

  • Less militaristic than Mauryan state

  • Golden Age

  • Helped spread a uniform law code

  • Hinduism crystalized during this time

  • Aryabhata—Archimedes of India


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Indian Government

  • Did not develop the traditions of China,or the inquiry of Greece and Rome

  • Altered between regional and national unity

  • Not particularly elaborate systems

  • Local villages the key to social cohesion


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Coming of Muslim Rulers

  • Babur the Tiger (1526)—subordinated Hindu chieftains to his rule.

  • Mughal Dynasty controlled India until British Imperialists seize power.

  • Mughal Dynasty under Akbar (1556-1605) brings order and stability to Hindu Country

  • Din Ilahi

  • Akbar’s successors squander wealth and attempt to impose Sharia on Hindu population.











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