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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

2

Ancient India

the indian subcontinent

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

The Indian Subcontinent
ancient harappan civilization

©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.

the emergence of civilization in india harappan society
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
the city of mohenjo daro

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

The City of Mohenjo-Daro
arrival of the aryans
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.
the mauryan empire
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
caste and class social structures in ancient india
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
daily life and the economy in ancient india
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
the religious world of ancient india hinduism
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
the religious world of ancient india gods goddesses and reincarnation
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
buddhism the middle path
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
stupa at sarnath

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

Stupa at Sarnath
the reign of asoka and the end of the mauryan empire
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
the empire of asoka

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

The Empire of Asoka
the exuberant world of indian culture literature
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
indian culture architecture and sculpture
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
indian culture science
Indian Culture: Science
  • Astronomy
  • Elements of earth, air, fire, and water
  • Quality of textiles
  • Massive stone pillars
discussion questions
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?