AP World History Early Societies in South Asia
Foundations of Harappan Society • The Indus River • Silt-enriched water from mountain ranges • Major society built by Dravidian peoples, 3000-2500 BCE • Cultivation of cotton before 5000 BCE, early cultivation of poultry • Decline after 1900 BCE • Major cities: Harrapa (Punjab region and Mohenjo-Daro (mouth of Indus River) • 70 smaller sites excavated (total 1,500)
Mohenjo-Daro Ruins • Population c. 40,000 • Regional center • Layout, architecture suggests public purpose • Broad streets, citadel, pool, sewage • Standardized weights evident throughout region • Specialized labor • Trade
Harapan Society and Culture • Evidence of social stratification • Dwelling size, decoration • Harappan Civilization: matriarchal? • Influence on later Indian culture • Goddesses of fertility • Possible east/west distinctions
Mysterious End of Harappan Civilization • Reasons for disappearance unclear • Excessive deforestation, loss of topsoil • Earthquakes? • Flooding? • Evidence of unburied dead • Disappearance by 1500 BCE
The Aryan “Invasion” • Aryans, lighter-skinned invaders from the north • Dravidians, darker-skinned sedentary inhabitants of Harappa • Color Bias • Socio-Economic Implications • Difficulty of theory: no evidence of large-scale military conquest
The Early Aryans • Pastoral economy: sheep, goats, horses, cattle • Vegetarianism not widespread until many centuries later • Religious and Literary works: The Vedas • Sanskrit: sacred tongue • Prakrit: everyday language, evolved into Hindi, Urdu, Bengali • Four Vedas, most important Rig Veda • 1,028 hymms to gods
The Vedic Age • Conflicts between Aryans and indigenous dasas (“enemies,” “subjects”) • Aryans fighting Dravidians • Also Aryans fighting each other • Chiefdoms: Rajas • Early concentration in Punjab, migrations further south • Development of iron metallurgy • Increasing reliance on agriculture • Tribal connections evolve into political structures
Varna: The Caste System • Origins in Aryan domination of Dravidians • Brahmin, Priest • Kshatriya, Warrior • Vaishya, Merchant • Sudra, Commoner • Harijan: “Untouchables; Pariahs” • Jati subsystem of castes • Related to urbanization, increasing social and economic complexity
Patriarchy in Ancient Indian Society • “rule of the father” • Enforced in the The Lawbook of Manu • Overwhelmed Harappan matriarchy? • Caste, Jati, inheritance through male line
Aryan Religion • Major deity of Rig Veda: Indra, war god • Elaborate ritual sacrifices to gods • Role of Brahmins important • C. 800 BCE some movement away from sacrificial cults • Mystical thought, influenced by Dravidians
Teachings of the Upanishads • Texts that represent blending of Aryan and Dravidian traditions • Composed 800-400 BCE, some later collections until 13th century CE • Brahman: the Universal Soul • Samsara: reincarnation • Karma: accounting for incarnations • Moksha: mystical ecstacy • Relationship to system of Varna
India Before the Mauryan Dynasty • 520 BCE Persian Emperor Darius conquers north-west India • Introduces Persian ruling pattern • 327 Alexander of Macedon destroys Persian Empire in India • Troops mutiny, departs after 2 years • Political power vacuum
Kingdom of Magadha • Most significant remaining kingdom after Alexander’s departure • Central Ganges plain • Economic strength • Agriculture • Trade in Ganges valley, Bay of Bengal • Dominated surrounding regions in north-eastern India
Chandragupta Maurya • Took advantage of power vacuum left by Alexander • Overthrew Magadha rulers • Expanded kingdom to create 1st unified Indian empire • Mauryan Dynasty
Chandragupta’s Government • Advisor Kautalya • Recorded in Arthashastra, manual of political statecraft • Foreign policies, economics • Domestic policies • Network of spies • Legend: Chandragupta retires to become a monk, starves himself to death
Ashoka Maurya • Grandson of Chandragupta • Represents high point of Mauryan Empire, r. 268-232 BCE • Expanded empire to include all of Indian subcontinent except for south • Positive rulership integrated Indian society
Decline of the Mauryan Empire • Economic crisis follows death of Ashoka • High costs of bureaucracy, military not supported by tax revenue • Frequent devaluations of currency to pay salaries • Regions begin to abandon Mauryan Empire • Disappears by 185 BCE
Regional Kingdom: Bactria • Northwestern India • Ruled by Greek-speaking descendants of Alexander’s campaigns • Intense cultural activity accompanies active trade
Regional Kingdom: Kush • Northern India/Central Asia • C. 1-300 CE • Maintained silk road network
The Gupta Dynasty • Based in Magadha • Founded by Chandra Gupta (no relation to Chandragupta Maurya), c. 320 CE • Slightly smaller than Mauryan Empire • Highly decentralized leadership
Gupta Decline • Frequent invasions of White Huns, 5th c. CE • Gupta Dynasty disintegrates along regional fault lines • Smaller local kingdoms dominate until Mughal Empire founded in 16th c.
Economy: Towns and Manufacturing • Manufactured goods in big demand • Developed in dense network of small workshops • Trade intense, capitalizes on trade routes across India
Long-Distance Trade • Persian connection since Cyrus, Darius • Massive road-building projects under Persian rule • Alexander extends trade west to Macedon • Trade routes through Kush mountains, the silk roads
Trade in the Indian Ocean Basin • Seasonal sea trade expands • Spring/winter winds blow from south-west, fall/winter winds blow from north-west • Trade from Asia to Persian Gulf and Red Sea, Mediterranean
Society: Gender Relations • Patriarchy entrenched • Child marriage common (8 year old girls married to men in 20s) • Women encouraged to remain in private sphere
Social Order • Caste system from Aryan times • Brahmins (priests) • Kshatriyas (warriors, aristocrats) • Vaishyas (Peasants, merchants) • Shudras (serfs)
The Vedic Age (1500 – 500 B.C.E.) • 1. After the demise of the Indus Valley civilization, Indo-European warriors migrated into India. Organized in patriarchal families, herded cattle in the northwest. • After 1000 b.c.e., some of them began to push into the Ganges Valley, using new iron tools to fell trees and cultivate the land. The oral tradition of these light-skinned Arya tribes tells of a violent struggle between themselves and the darker-skinned Dravidian-speaking Dasas • 2. The struggle between Aryas and Dasas led to the system of varna, meaning “color” but equivalent to “class.” • People were born into one of four varna: (1) Brahmin (priests/scholars), (2) Kshatriya (warriors), (3) Vaishya (merchants), and (4) Shudra (peasant/laborer). • Fifth group, Untouchables, was outside the system and consisted of persons who did demeaning or ritually polluting work such as work that involved contact with the dead bodies of animals or humans.
Varna (Social Hierarchy) Brahmins karma Kshatriyas Vaishyas Shudras Pariahs [Harijan] Untouchables
Castes and Guilds • Increasing economic diversification challenges simplistic caste system • Jatis formed: guilds that acted as sub-castes • Enforced social order • “outcastes” forced into low-status employment
Wealth and the Social Order • Upward social mobility possible for Vaishyas, Shudras • Wealth challenges varna for status
Religions of Salvation in Classical India • Social change generated resentment of caste privilige • e.g. Brahmins free from taxation • 6th-5th c. BCE new religions and philosophies challenge status quo • Charvakas: atheists • Jainists, Buddhists
Jainism • Vardhamana Mahavira, 540-468 BCE • Abandoned privileged family to lead ascetic life • Promotes 7th c. movement based on Upanishads • Emphasis on selfless living, concern for all beings
Ahimsa • Principle of extreme non-violence • Jainists sweep earth, strain water, use slow movements to avoid killing insects • Ahimsa continues to inspire modern movements (Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr.)
Appeal of Jainism • Rejected caste, jati distinctions • Obvious appeal to underprivileged groups • But asceticism too extreme to become a mass movement
Early Buddhism • Siddhartha Gautama, c. 563-483 BCE • Encountered age, sickness, death, then monastic life • Abandoned comfortable life to become a monk
Gautama’s Search for Enlightenment • Intense meditation, extreme asceticism • 49 days of meditation under bo tree to finally achieve enlightenment • Attained title Buddha: “the enlightened one”
The Buddha and his Followers • Begins teaching new doctrine c. 528 BCE • Followers owned only robes, food bowls • Life of wandering, begging, meditation • Establishment of monastic communities
Buddhist Doctrine: The Dharma • The Four Noble Truths • all life is suffering • there is an end to suffering • removing desire removes suffering • this may be done through the eight-fold path • (right views, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration)
Siddhartha Gautama(563-483 BCE) • Born in NE India (Nepal). • Raised in great luxuryto be a king. • At 29 he rejectedhis luxurious life toseek enlightenmentand the source ofsuffering. • Lived a strict,ascetic life for 6 yrs. • Rejecting this extreme, sat in meditation, and found nirvana. • Became “The Enlightened One,” at 35.
The essence of Buddhism • The “middle way of wisdom and compassion.” • 2,500 year old tradition. • The 3 jewels of Buddhism: • Buddha, the teacher. • Dharma, the teachings. • Sangha, the community.
What is the fundamental cause of all suffering? Desire! • Therefore, extinguish the self, don’t obsess about oneself.
Four Noble Truths • There is suffering in the world. To live is to suffer. (Dukkha) • The Buddha found this out when he was young and experienced suffering and death in others.