Indus River Valley• Cities of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro –Walled –Square grid pattern –Indoor plumbing –Writing still a mystery• The Slow Demise - c. 1150 B.C.E. –Causes unclear –Floods –Fertile areas drier
The Aryans• Indo-European pastorialists invade• Dominated by warriors• Patriarchal – brides bring dowries• Bring caste system• Begin to farm along Ganges• Oral literature –The Vedas –Religious hymns –Polytheistic
Social Change• The Caste System –Varnas, categories; based on pollution Brahmins (mediators, literate, tax-exempt) Warriors Merchants Peasants Artisans Untouchables –Status (dharma) determined by birth –Transmigration of souls Karma
Rise of Buddhism• The Making of a Philosophy –Buddha (Siddartha Gautama) - 6th century B.C.E. Wandering life, asceticism –Four Noble Truths –Escape suffering by renouncing worldly things Achievement of nirvana –Denies Vedas as scripture –Critique of caste system –Some worship Buddha as god –Dissension Good works v. contemplative life
The Spread of Buddhism• Buddhism is monastic – monks (male and female), monasteries, missionaries
The Greek Interlude• Alexander the Great, 327 B.C.E.• Contact between India and Hellenistic world improves –Greek mathematics and astronomy –Indian religious ideas
The Mauryas• Mauryan Empire –Alexander retreats –Chandragupta Maurya - founder Monarch with centralized control Successors extend empire• Ashoka’s Conversion to Buddhism Grandson of Chandragupta Conversion to Buddhism Opposed by Brahmins Sends missionaries to China and SE Asia
The Mauryas• Imperial Patronage and Social Change –Merchants, artisans benefit –Womens status improves –Monasteries spread – builds Stupas –Ashoka’s Death Successors less competent Division follows By 185 B.C.E., empire ended
Brahmin Recovery–Buddhism Loses popular appeal As trade declines, so does Buddhism–Hinduism Shiva, Vishnu, Kali, Lakshmi dominate More temples More participation: all castes, women somewhat Adopts Buddhist aspects Brahmins appeal to elites
The Gupta Empire• Gupta family –By 4th century , build empire C.E. –Less centralized – regional autonomy –Brahmins restored as royal supporters• Literature and the Sciences –Kalidasa - poet –Mathematics - 0, decimals, "Arabic" number system –Medicine - Hospitals, surgery
Intensifying Caste and Gender Iniquities• Distinctions more rigid• Status of women reduced –No longer allowed to read the Vedas –Few legal rights –Female infanticide –More freedom for low caste women –sati
Intensifying Caste and Gender Iniquities• Gupta Decline –Hun invasions, 400s C.E. –Local rulers profit Fragmentation
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