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. Ancient Harappan Civilization Note the growth of cities in river plains.
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
©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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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
©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 • 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
©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 • 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 • 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 • Astronomy • Elements of earth, air, fire, and water • Quality of textiles • Massive stone pillars
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?