India experienced the fall, absence, and the re-establishment of an empire while
Hinduism took over the religion of Buddhism and the establishment of the caste system
took place throughout the period 300-600 C.E. There were many features that
changed throughout the classical era and many things that also continued after that.
The Gupta Empire was founded by Chandra Gupta and was a very stable and
prosperous empire from 320-588 C.E. After some time the Gupta Empire fell due to the
invasions of Huns. India couldn’t maintain an empire due to the fact that the states failed to
command loyalty, the great cultural diversity, the frequent invasions from Central Asia, and
the caste system encouraged local loyalties. The decline of the Gupta Empire at the end of
the classical era was not as bad as the fall of the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean. This
indicates that there was no centralized empire until much later.
Many important social and cultural aspects of Indian society outlived the Gupta rule in the classical era. Hinduism was supported by the Gupta emperors over Buddhism because Buddhism gradually declined and spread beyond India to different places. So Hinduism remained as the highly dominate religion. This symbolizes that the Indian society remained together by its common Hindu religion traits. Math and Science was also signified by the Gupta Empire. They found astronomy very interesting and impressive.
The caste system was India’s was of social organization. There were two parts to the caste system: The Caste as Varna and the Caste as Jati. The function of the Caste system was that it was very local and so it focused loyalties on a restricted territory. It made empire building very difficult and the caste was like a substitute for the state. The caste provided some social security and support for widows, orphans etc. The caste was a means to accommodate the migrants and invaders. Last but not least the caste...
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