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Ancient Civilizations: India. Maurya & Gupta Empires. Geography & Environment. The Geography. On which continent is India located? Asia; India is a subcontinent of Asia. Wildlife. The Geography.

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Ancient Civilizations: India

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Ancient Civilizations:India

Maurya & Gupta Empires

Geography & Environment

The Geography

  • On which continent is India located?

  • Asia; India is a subcontinent of Asia


The Geography

  • On which river did the ancient Indians settle?

  • The Indus & Ganges Rivers


Early Indian Empires

The Mauryan Empire

Mauryan Empire

  • Established in 322 BC by the great Indian military leader, Chandragupta Maurya

Mauryan Empire

  • Politically united North India for the first time ever

  • Created a highly effective government; included tax collection & the enforcement of laws

Mauryan Empire

  • In 269 BC Asoka, Chandragupta’s grandson, became emperor of the Mauryan Empire

Mauryan Empire

  • After many years of violent conquest, Asoka felt remorseful

Mauryan Empire

  • Converted to Buddhism & ruled by Buddha’s teaching of “peace to all beings”

  • Spread Buddhism throughout India & other parts of Asia via missionaries

Asoka’s Rock Edicts

  • Laws carved on rock pillars were placed throughout the empire

  • Stressed concern for other human beings

The Gupta Empire

Gupta Empire

  • After the fall of the Mauryan Empire India experienced 500 years of chaos

  • Finally in AD 320 a strong leader known as Chandra Gupta rose to power in Northern India

Gupta Empire

  • 320 AD to 535 AD

  • India’s “Golden Age,” or the flourishing of arts & sciences

Gupta’s Golden Age

  • Achievements in Mathematics:

  • Principles of algebra

  • Infinity & Zero

  • Value of Pi

  • Arabic numerals  1, 2, 3…

Gupta’s Golden Age

  • Achievements in Science:

  • Earth is round

  • Identified 7 planets

  • Invented medical instruments, performed operations, set bones, etc.

Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?

Chandragupta Mauryan

Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?


Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?

Golden Age

Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?

First to unite Northern India

Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?

Creation of 0 and Arabic Numbers

Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?

Rock Edicts

Quick Review: Mauryan or Gupta?

Advances in Science

The THREE PILLARS of Indian Life

The Caste System:

System of social hierarchy within India

5 different castes (social classes)

1) The Caste System






Nobles, warriors, royalty

Caste System

Merchants & skilled workers

Servants, peasants, slaves, laborers

Untouchables: Outcasts = outside caste system

Members of higher castes were considered more pure

Untouchables were considered spiritually polluted; ignored by members of other castes

Caste Purity?

Caste Roles

  • Different castes were viewed as being different species

  • Castes were separated from each other (location, housing, clothing, occupation, etc.)

Caste Roles

  • If you were obedient to the restrictions of your caste, you would be reincarnated into a higher caste

2) Family

  • One was aware of his or her caste from childhood

  • It was the FAMILY’S responsibility to teach children about caste, as well as their expected duties/behaviors

2) Family

  • Family needs ALWAYS came before individual wishes

  • Patriarchal society

3) Village

  • Community served as the heart of Indian life

  • Community needs ALWAYS came before individual wishes

3) Village

  • Different castes lived together in the SAME village



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