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India’s First Empires

India’s First Empires

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India’s First Empires

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  1. India’s First Empires

  2. Mauryan Dynasty • First empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya • Indian prince who conquered a large area in the Ganges River • United almost all of northern India • Founded the MauryanDynasty • Set up a centralized government – (rulers run everything from a capital city) • Founded a strong army • Good spy system – to make no one was planning a rebellion • Set up a postal system

  3. Emperor Asoka • Strong military leader but hated bloodshed • First great Buddhist king • Built roads – easier for trade • He allowed his subjects to practice the religion of their choosing – he was very tolerant • Empire prospered • Empire fell in 232 B.C. kings who followed Asoka were not as successful

  4. Gupta Empire • 500 years India had no good rulers • In 320 A.D. one prince in the Ganges River Valley grew more powerful than the others • Smaller empire, so easier to manage • The Gupta Empire grew wealthy from trade: salt, cloth and iron

  5. Wealth and Trade • Traded with China and kingdoms in southeast Asia and the Mediterranean • Trade created jobs – cities grew up along trade routes • Many people traveled –some were called pilgrims (travelers who came to visit shrines)

  6. Gupta Empire Contributions • Art and science began to develop • Indian had its golden age during the Gupta Empire • 1. Vedas – ancient hymns and prayer • 2. Two epics – Mahabharata (longest poem in any written language – describes a great war for control of the Indian kingdom about 1,000 years earlier • Bhagavad Gida – speaks of how noble it is to do one’s duty even when it is difficult and painful • Ramayana – long poem tells of the great king Rama and his queen Sita – contains many moral and religious and moral lessons

  7. Contributions • Algebra • Developed the concept of zero and a symbol to represent it • Explained the concept of infinity – something without end • Created symbols for the numbers 1 – 9 • These numbers adopted by Arab traders • Europeans adopted it from the Arabs – they replaced Roman Numerals

  8. Contributions • Invented mathematical algorithms • Algorithm is a series of steps that solve a problem – if you follow the steps, you get the right answers – computer programmers use them to tell computers what to do • Followed and mapped movements of stars and planets • Understood that Earth was round and revolved around the sun • Also understood gravity • Could set broken legs and perform operations • Invented medical tools • Used herbs in healing and treating illnesses