Ancient India (321-185 B.C.E.) The Mauryan Empire and the Spread of Buddhism
Trace the rise and fall of India’s first unified kingdom.
Describe the rise of the Gupta Empire
Founding the Mauryan Empire
The Maurya (MOHR-yah) dynasty was founded by Chandragupta in the wake of Alexander the Great ’ s death.
The ancient Indian state was centered at Pataliputra, near the junction of the Son and Ganges rivers, and encompassed most of the subcontinent.
Life in the Mauryan Empire
The Mauryan empire was an efficient and highly organized autocracy with a standing army and civil service.
This bureaucracy and its operation were the model for the Artha-shastra ( “ Treatise on the Aims of Life ” ), an important Indian manual on the art of politics, attributed to the chief minister to King Candragupta.
The Life of Emperor Aśoka
Aśoka (pronounced ah-SHOH-kah) was born in 302 B.C.E. and died in 232 B.C.E.
He was the grandson of Chandragupta, the founder of the Mauryan empire. Chandragupta stepped down from the throne in 301 B.C.E. to become a Jain, leaving the empire to his son, Bindusara.
Aśoka (or Ashoka ) reigned from either c. 265–238 BCE or c. 273–232 BCE.
The Reign of Emperor Aśoka
Aśoka began his reign as a typical ancient ruler: cruel, proud, and merciless.
Tales of his ruthlessness are collectively identified under the tradition of “ Black Aśoka, ” referring to the idea that before he became a Buddhist, Aśoka was an evil man.
Through prolonged warfare, Aśoka extended his empire until it convered nearly the entire subcontinent of India.
Aśoka ’ s Conversion to Buddhism
In 262 B.C.E. his troops conquered Kalinga, capturing 150,000 people and killing many more.
Eventually sickened by bloodshed and full of remorse for having caused great suffering, he converted to Buddhism
From one of the edicts, we know that “ Just after the taking of Kalinga, His Sacred Majesty began to follow Righteousness, to love Righteousness, to give instruction in Righteousness. ”
Aśoka and Buddhism
Throughout his remaining years, Aśoka promoted the Buddhist religion and morality, encouraging all to eschew any of form of killing, the eating of meat and any cruel conduct toward living things.
In his edicts, he encouraged his subjects to promote tolerance, mutual respect, self-control, kindness, and truthfulness.
Aśoka Spreads Buddhism
Aśoka explains in his edicts that he sent emissaries as far as the Mediterranean, and to the peoples throughout India in order to propagate the Buddhist faith.
He claimed that they were all converted to the Dharma as a result, although history shows that only Ceylon converted to Buddhism around this time.
The Edicts of Aśoka
The Edicts of Aśoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Aśoka, as well as boulders and cave walls.
These are some of the oldest deciphered original texts of India.
The inscriptions proclaim Ashoka's beliefs in the Buddhist concept of dharma and although Buddhism and the Buddha are mentioned, they tend to focus on social and moral precepts rather than religious practices.
The Pillars of Aśoka
The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent.
Many of the pillars are carved with the Edicts of Ashoka .
The most famous of the columns is the one that was erected at Sarnath , headed by a capital with four lions .
The End of the Mauryan Empire
After Aśoka's death the empire shrank because of invasions, defections by southern princes, and quarrels over ascension.
The last ruler, Brihadratha, was killed in 185 BC by his Brahman commander in chief, Pushyamitra, who then founded the Shunga dynasty , which ruled in central India for about a century.
Describe achievements in Indian literature, Art, science & mathematics
Summarize Indian trade and its effects on India and other Asian Cultures
Gupta Empire: 320 CE – 647 CE
Chandra Gupta I
r. 320 – 335 CE
“ Great King of Kings ”
Chandra Gupta II
r. 375 - 415 CE
Profitable trade with the Mediterranean world.
Huns invade–450 CE
Fa-Hsien (Faxian): Life in Gupta India
Chinese Buddhist monk traveled along the Silk Road and visited India in the 5c.
He was following the path of the Buddha.
He reported the people to be happy, relatively free of government oppression, and inclined towards courtesy and charity. Other references in the journal, however, indicate that the caste system was rapidly assuming its basic features, including "untouchability," the social isolation of a lowest class that is doomed to menial labor.
Chandra Gupta II
International Trade Routes during the Guptas
Extensive Trade: Land Route = Silk Road Water Route = Indian Ocean spices spices gold & ivory gold & ivory rice & wheat horses cotton goods cotton goods silks Pearls
The greatest of Indian poets.
His most famous play was Shakuntala .
During the reign of Chandra Gupta II.
Gupta Art Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.
Medicine Literature Mathematics Astronomy Printed medicinal guides 1000 diseases classified Plastic Surgery C-sections performed Inoculations 500 healing plants identified Decimal System Concept of Zero PI = 3.1416 Kalidasa Solar Calendar The earth is round Gupta India Gupta Achievements Mahabbarata Ramayana
The Decline of the Guptas
Invasion of the White Huns in the 4 th century signaled the end of the Gupta Golden Age , even though at first, the Guptas defeated them.
After the decline of the Gupta empire, north India broke into a number of separate Hindu kingdoms and was not really unified again until the coming of the Muslims in the 17 th century.
QUESTION : Is the best literature and art written as the civilization is on the rise, at its height, or in its decline?
5c India court poet and philosopher.
Knowledge is man's crowning mark, A treasure secretly buried, The source of luxury, fame, and bliss, A guru most venerable, A friend on foreign journeys, The pinnacle of divinity. Knowledge is valued by kings beyond wealth--- When he lacks it, a man is a brute.
Gupta Review Draw another frame to the cartoon that reflects why the Gupta is a Classic Empire.
Han Emperors in China
Main Idea / Reading Focus
Trade and Buddhism
The Silk Roads
Chinese Society and Culture
Read pages 200 – 207 and answer these questions
What features characterized Chinese society in the Han period?
How did trade and the spread of Buddhism affect Han society?
What were some achievements in art, science, and technology during the Han period?
Main Idea The Han dynasty was a time of social change, the growth of trade, and great achievements in the arts and sciences. Chinese Society and Culture
Han Dynasty 206 BC – 220 AD
Han DYNASTY: ADMINISTRATION
Liu Bang restores order using military support and brilliant advisors. (206 – 195 B.C.E.)
Continued Centralized Imperial rule of Qin
A middle path between decentralization of the Zhou and tight centralization of Qin. He allowed large landholdings but also created administrative districts governed by officials.
Han Wudi , the “Martial Emperor” shaped policies of administrative centralization and imperial expansion (141-87 B.C.E.)
Used a Legalist principles of government.
Used eunuchs as close advisors because they could not produce a family to threaten authority
Built a bureaucracy
Built roads and canals to facilitate communication
Established imperial monopolies on the production of iron and salt and levied taxes.
Adopts some Confucian ideals!
Established civil service system
Develops imperial university – used Confucianism as the basis for its curriculum.
Needed educated group of men to effectively run centralized bureaucratic government
Expanded his power – invaded Vietnam and Korea and spread Confucian values
Threatened by Xiongnu (Hsiung-nu), nomadic people from steppes of central Asia. Maodon was most feared leader.
Han Wudi invaded the Xiongnu lands and seized sole control of the east and central Asia.
Wang Mang “The Socialist Emperor”
Wang Mang was a respected Han minister who claimed the Mandate of Heaven and ruled China.
Made major reforms:
Limited the amount of land a family could hold
Ordered officials to break up large estates
Land redistribution: Provided landless individuals property to cultivate
Lack of communication and organization led to mass confusion
Landlords and peasants both resisted reforms
Poor harvests and famine sparked revolts
Wang Mang was overthrown and killed
Fall of the Han Dynasty Three main types of difficulties: political, social, and economic
Problems of the Han Dynasty Big distinctions between rich and poor led to peasant discontent Unequal land distribution Later Han Dynasty was weakened by threats to power Slaves and tenant farmers worked on large estates; small farms could not complete Wang Mang temporarily seized the throne and implemented land reform that was not adhered to They Yellow Turban revolt was organized by peasants Nomads threatened the empire
Characterize Han technology, culture and commerce
China ’s Han period was a time of great prosperity, growth and achievement, defining imperial Chinese civilization for years. Han Society
Confucianism shaped Chinese society
Confucius taught that family was central to well-being of the state
Officials promoted strong family ties
Fathers head of family
Filial piety stressed
Obedience, devotion to parents, grandparents
Children served parents as they aged, honored dead at household shrines
Han officials believed dutiful children made respectful subjects
Some men even received government jobs because of respect shown parents
Women in China
Had fewer privileges, less status than men
Rarely received education, owned property
Sons valued more than daughters
Power and Status
Older women achieved power because of Confucian respect for elders
Ban Zhao , female scholar, writer; helped write history of Han dynasty
Called for mutual respect between husbands, wives, education for women
Sons carried on family line
Remained part of parents ’ household after marriage
Daughters married and joined husband ’s household
Third class composed of artisans, made useful items, luxury goods
Merchants occupied fourth class, trade not valued by Confucianism
Slaves at bottom of society
Military not an official class, but part of government and offered way to rise in status
Han society highly structured, clearly defined social classes
Emperor at top, ruled with mandate from heaven
Upper class of palace court, nobles, government officials, scholars
Second, largest class consisted of peasants, who grew empire ’s food
90 percent of nearly 60 million in China at time were peasants
Lived in small villages in simple houses, labored long hours in fields, worked on government projects in winter
High taxes, bad weather could force them into debt
Many had to sell lands, become laborers for wealthy
Social class determined status, but not wealth or power
Merchants usually wealthier than peasants, but were lower in status
Wealthy in Han China lived well
Spacious homes, large estates
Hired numerous laborers
Rich and Poor
Summarize What was life like for Chinese peasants during the Han dynasty? Answer(s): worked hard in fields, farmed, raised animals, often sold land to feed families, forced to work on building projects, easily forced into debt, worked for wealthy landowners
Trade grew in Han period
Agriculture basis of economy
Growth of trade increased prosperity
Led to contact between China, other civilizations
Production of silk
Most prized Chinese product
Secret method for making silk
Revealing secret punishable by death
Ironworkers made iron armor, swords
Artisans made pottery, jade and bronze objects, lacquerware
Raised silkworms, unwound threads of cocoons
Dyed threads, wove into fabric
Fabric beautiful, soft, strong
Clothing costly, in high demand
Trade and Buddhism
As they conquered areas of Central Asia, the Han learned people farther west wanted Chinese goods
Zhang Qian returned from Central Asia mission, 126 BC
Told of region ’s riches, demand for Chinese goods
Events led to increased trade with west
Blood-sweating horses seen by Qian
The Han thought they were blessed by heaven
To obtain them, Emperor Wudi conquered more land
Trade with Central Asia increased even more
Parasites caused boils that bled
Growth of Trade
Merchants traveling between China, Central Asia used overland routes. The most famous were called the Silk Roads . This network of routes eventually stretched from China over 4,000 miles to Mediterranean Sea, and linked China to India, the Middle East, and the Roman Empire. The Silk Roads
Travelers on Silk Roads crossed rugged, barren terrain
Faced attacks by bandits
For protection, traveled in huge camel caravans
Stopped at stations along way
Most merchants traveled only part of way
Traded goods with merchants from distant lands
Most goods traded were luxury items
Small, valuable, highly profitable
Traders carried ideas as well as goods over the Silk Roads
Buddhism spread to China from India
Reached China in first century AD
Han government became less stable, violence increased
Buddhism ’s message of rebirth offered hope
Buddhism gained popularity by AD 200
Example of cultural diffusion
Spread of ideas from one culture to another
Trade and Buddhism
Draw Conclusions How did trade over the Silk Roads affect China ’s culture? Answer(s): profitable trade in luxury items, connections to Central Asia, introduction of Buddhism
During Han period, arts flourished, sciences and technology improved life
Han China boasted magnificent palaces, multistoried towers
None survived, but ceramic models from tombs show architecture of period
Artisans and Artists
Artisans produced ceramic, bronze figurines, jade carvings, silk cloth
Artists painted portraits and nature scenes on walls, scrolls, room screens
During Later Han, Buddhist art flourished, including temple wall paintings
Han Achievements Ceramic Models: http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?showtopic=26672
Han writers produced important works of history
Wrote Records of the Grand Historian or Shiji
This early history became model for Chinese historical writing
One of most important Han inventions - paper
Made by grinding plant fibers into paste, paste dried in sheets
Created “books” by connecting several sheets of paper into long scroll
Created seismograph to measure earthquake tremors
Made advances in acupuncture , use of needles to cure disease, relieve pain
Invented compass, sundial, water mill, ship ’s rudder
Inventions included iron plow, wheelbarrow
With iron plow, farmer could till more land
With wheelbarrow, farmer could haul more
Summarize What were some technological advances of the Han dynasty? Answer(s): paper, iron plow, wheelbarrow, acupuncture, compass, sundial, water mill, rudder