Monday, October 15, 2012
• 3 topographical zones:
- Northern mountainous zone
- Indus and Ganges basins
Vindhya Mountains and Deccan plateau divide peninsula from other two zones
4 sub regions in Peninsula:
- Tropical Kerala in west
- Coromandel Coast in east
- Flat area of Tamil Nadu in south
- Island of Sri Lanka
Weather, Crops, and Geography
• Peninsular India and Ganges Valley have a subtropical climate and plentiful rainfall. • Indus Valley is dry and agriculture relies on irrigation. • Staple crop of the Ganges Delta is rice.
• Staple crops elsewhere are wheat, millet, and barley.
• All of this geographic diversity made it difficult for any political power to
Beginning the Vedic Age
• Indo-European warriors migrated into India after fall of Indus Valley civilizations • Organized into patriarchal families or kingship groups and herded cattle in northwest. After 1000 BCE began to push into the Ganges Valley
Used iron tools to cultivate land and knock down trees
Vedic Oral Tradition
• Light skinned Arya tribes tell of a violent struggle with the darker skinned Dravidian speaking Dasas. The Arya tribes state they drove the Dasas into Southern India.
• Developed because of struggle between Dasas and Aryas.
• People were born into one of four Varna
• Brahmin priests scholars
• Kshatriya warriors\ merchants
• Shudra peasant laborer
Rig Veda concerning the origin of the members of the Caste System
Subdivision of the Varna
• Four Varna were subdivided into hereditary occupational groups called jati (caste) • Jati were arranged in order of hierarchy
• Complex ruler governed the appropriate occupation, duties, and rituals of each jati, including interaction between people of different jati
• Systems of Varna and Jati were rationalized by the concept of reincarnation. • Each individual has an immortal spirit that will...