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Classical Civilization

Classical Civilization

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Classical Civilization

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  1. Classical Civilization India

  2. The Roots of Civilization in India

  3. Geography of India • India is a huge triangular peninsula • Sometime called a subcontinent • Made up of three basic regions • Himalayas • Northern Plains • Deccan or southern plateau

  4. Himalayas-world’s highest mountain

  5. Himalayas • Provide barrier to north from China • Rugged climate, freezing temperatures, few people

  6. South of Himalayas • Wide stretch of plains with Indus & Ganges Rivers

  7. Deccan Plateau • Forms most of Indian peninsula • Relies on monsoons for water • Volatile weather systems create uncertain farming

  8. Indus Valley Civilization • Territory of Indus Valley much larger than civilizations of Egypt & Mesopotamia • Early civilizations found around 2500 BC • Cities of MohenjoDaro & Harappa • Cities had indoor plumbing & sewer systems

  9. Life in the Indus Valley • People were polytheists • Built brick houses – two story • Became sea traders with ports on the Arabian sea

  10. Arrival of Aryans • Aryans came around 1500 BC • Indus Valley declined around this time • Aryans • Lighter skin • Spoke Indo-European language • Classified as warlike nomads • No written records

  11. Vedas • Knowledge of Aryans comes from Vedas • Four sacred texts • Vedas are collection of hymns, prayers, wise sayings • Most important Rig-Veda • Shows Aryans liked fighting, singing, chariot races • Worshiped natural forces, like the sun

  12. Aryan Society • Aryan society had a class system • Warrior-nobles • Priests • Common people • Male & female roles clearly defined • Men warriors & raised cattle • Women raised crops, wove cloth, ground grain, & tended children

  13. Rajah • Rajah in Aryan society was the chief • Slowly an evolution began • Rajahs set up their own kingdoms of small villages • Ruled as a hereditary leader • More rigid class structure developed

  14. Aryan Rajahs-Class System • Class system turned into a rigid unchangeable system • Four classes with its own dharma • Code of conduct • Classes • Priests or Brahmins • Warrior/Nobles or Kshatriya • Common People or Vaisya • Laboring class or Sudra

  15. Caste system in India • Developed over 1,000 of years • Very strict rules & customs • Cannot associate with someone of lower caste • Outcasts or untouchables • People who commit serious crimes • Perform the worst jobs in society

  16. Hinduism & Hindu Society • The religion of early Hindus people & Aryans developed into Hinduism • Upanishads • Hymns & poems of the Vedas • Collections of writings • Ideas of right & wrong • Ideas of universal order & human destiny

  17. Hinduism General Facts • World’s third largest religion • 800 million followers • Most adherents live in India • Historical roots are in the caste system • Developed over thousand of years • Blended early religions of Aryans & Dravidians • No single founder or leader of Hinduism

  18. Concept of Universal Spirit • Hinduism has concept of universal spirit as do most Eastern religions • Universal spirit is responsible for what happens in universe • This spirit encompasses humans • All human souls (called atman) are pieces of the spirit trapped inside a physical body

  19. What Happens when you Die? • Greatest desire of human soul is to unite with the universal spirit • When you die you have this opportunity • Each person has a karma • A destiny shaped by years of cause & effect • Your outward indication of your karma is the caste you live in

  20. What Happens when you Die?(Continued) • Attached to karma is dharma • Dharma is your set of duties to perform • If you have fulfilled your set of duties or your dharma--- then • the atman will be reincarnated in the next life to a higher caste

  21. Hinduism & caste system • Members of Brahmin caste in original Aryan religion had attained their status • Through many reincarnations • Higher castes have the opportunity to attain moksha • Moksha is reunion with universal spirit • Caste system in modern India is illegal • Buddhism was very critical of Hindu caste system

  22. Is Hinduism polytheistic? Universal Spirit & individual gods • Simplistic to say that Hinduism is polytheistic • All the gods are part of the universal spirit • Is Hinduism is actually monotheistic?

  23. Major Hindu godsVishnu—the preserver • Vishnu is the second god of the Hindu triad • Known as preserver of the universe • Represents mercy and goodness • Said to be the cosmic ocean nara, meaning water • For this reason, he is also known as Narayana, or "one who moves on the waters"

  24. Vishnu Hindu gods often portrayed with multiple hands or mudras (hand signals)

  25. Vishnu

  26. Shiva—the destroyer • Shiva is the destroyer of the world • Responsible for change in the form of death and destruction • Also, responsible for positive sense of destroying the ego • Includes shedding of old habits

  27. Shiva Seated on tiger skin; tiger skin represents the Mind

  28. Vedas • Doctrines of Hinduism stem from the Vedas • Epic poems sung by priests • Eventually written down • Rig Veda most significant • Deals with deities: Indra & Varuna & their relationship with humans

  29. Hindu Poems & Stories • Mahabharata • World’s longest poem • Ramayana • Represents the fulfillment of dharma, especially relationships of husband & wife • Bhagavad-Gita • Best known story in Hinduism (part of Mahabharata) • About the warrior Arjuna

  30. Bhagavad-Gita • Warrior Arjuna must go to battle against his cousins • His charioteer (god Krishan in disguise) reveals to him nature of human soul (atman) & cycle of rebirth • Poem is moral guideline as are all Hindu poems • You could start reading the Hindu poems at birth and never finish by end of your life

  31. The Bhagavad-Gita Our bodies are know to end, but the embodied Self is enduring, Indestructible, and immeasurable; therefore, Arjuna, fight the battle! he who thinks this Self a killer and he who thinks it killed, both fail to understand; it does not kill, nor is it killed.

  32. The Bhagavad-Gita It is not born, it does not die… it is enduring, all pervasive fixed, immobile, and timeless… The self embodied in the body of every being is indestructible; you have no cause to grieve for all these creatures, Arjuna!

  33. Belief of Reincarnation • There is a “world spirit” or “supreme principle” called Brahman • This spirit present in everyone & living creatures • All are part of the “world spirit” • Goal of a Hindu is to return to Brahman • Be absorbed into this universal spirit • Takes more than one lifetime (reincarnation) • Speed of absorption depends on ones karma

  34. Karma • All of the good & bad acts of ones previous life • Good karma means you will be born into a better life • Caste system fits with this belief • Brahmins at top with knowledge of Vedas • Must perform correct dharma within your class to achieve good karma

  35. Important Components in Hinduism • Attain perfect understanding • Reincarnation • Reach enlightenment or develop a relationship with the "universal spirit“ (known as Mokṣha)

  36. Key Elements in Hindu families • Close family ties • Obedience to elders • Women run household, care for children, obedient to husbands • Little independence • Could not remarry • Husbands give wife luxuries • Jewelry (gold– inheritance)

  37. Buddhism • Began in Ganges River valley with Siddhartha Gautama • Siddhartha was from privileged class • Abandoned his class to seek the meaning of life • Experienced enlightenment under bodhi (boh-dee) tree

  38. Buddhism • Buddha taught that everyone could reach nirvana or union with the universal spirit • Different from Hinduism that related reincarnating to the caste system • Hinduism saw individuals going through the various castes based on their previous life • Reaching nirvana in Buddhism means not suffering

  39. Buddhism • Nirvana in Buddhism is similar to Hindu belief of attaining moksha • Moksha, however, could only be attained by upper classes • Nirvana can be reached through understanding the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

  40. Buddhism & Four Noble Truths • All of life is suffering • All suffering is caused by desire for things that ultimately won’t fulfill us • Desire can only be overcome by ending all desire • Desire can only be ended by following the Eightfold Path

  41. Buddhism & Eightfold Path • Right understanding • Right concentration • Right intention • Right speech • Right action • Right livelihood • Right effort • Right mindfulness

  42. Buddhism & Eightfold Path • By following the eightfold path anyone can reach nirvana • Buddhism broad appeal is that anyone can achieve satisfaction in life

  43. Buddhism • Buddhism was advanced by King Ashoka in India & by through the trade routes • Silk Road • Indian Ocean Trade

  44. The Silk Road

  45. Silk Road • Silk Road extended overland from Xi’an, China to eastern Mediterranean • Began in 2nd century BCE when a Chinese general made it to the Tarim Basin in central Asia and discovered “heavenly horses”

  46. Silk Road • Chinese had many goods to trade, especially highly prized silk • Now willing to trade silk for horses • Tarim Basin connected to the western trade routes • By 100 BCE Greeks could buy silk from Mesopotamian traders who had traded with the nomads of Tarim Basin • Goods made it all the way to Rome although Romans & Chinese probably never had contact

  47. Silk Road: What was traded? • Traders going west from China carried peaches, apricots, cinnamon, ginger, spices, & silk • Traders going east carried alfalfa (for horses), grapes, pistachios, sesame, and spinach • Other things: stirrup (major innovation) came from Afghanistan and made its way both to China & Europe • Ideas!: Buddhism and Christianity, customs • Much of Silk Road held together and managed by nomads of central Asia (provided protection)

  48. Indian Ocean Trade

  49. Indian Ocean Trade • Indian Ocean traders traveled back and forth from one of its three legs • Southeastern China to Southeast Asia • Southeast Asia to the eastern coast of India • The western coast of India to the Red Sea and eastern coast of Africa

  50. Indian Ocean TradeWhat was traded? • Ivory: from Africa, India, and Mesopotamia • Frankincense & myrrh (fragrances): from southern Arabia • Pearls: from Persian Gulf • Spices: from India & Southeast Asia • Manufacturedgoods&pottery: from China