Around 320 to 550 B.C.E., an ancient Indian empire called the Gupta Empire was formed and maintained by powerful leaders and its court, a strong military, religion, and technology. The Gupta Empire was founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta and created the Gupta dynasty. The Gupta Empire grew out of the kingdom of Magadha on the Ganges Plain and had its capital at Pataliputra (Bulliet 177). This period was called the Golden Age of India and was marked by inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is known as Hindu culture (Gupta Empire).
After Sri Gupta ruled for forty years and established the Gupta Empire, his son Ghatotkacha became the ruler for thirty-nine years. Ghatotkacha had a son who became his successor named Chandragupta I. He became a very powerful leader through his marriage alliances. He married Kumaradevi, a Lichchhavi princess that was the power in the Magadha kingdom. After they got married, he made an alliance with the Lichchhavis clan and then conquered the Magadha kingdom. He established Gupta’s capital, Pataliputra in Magadha. Chandragupta I’s successor was his son called Samudragupta. Samudragupta took over kingdoms, tribes, and when he died in 380 B.C.E he had established twenty kingdoms in his reign and it extended in the Himalayas (Gupta Empire). He was a powerful military leader, but also a musician and a poet. He was a firm believer in Hinduism and he built a monastery in Bodh Gaya.
Samudragupta had two sons called Ramagupta and Chandragupta II. Ramagupta became ruler of the Gupta Empire after their father’s death because he was the eldest, but he stole Chandragupta II’s fiancée by force and tried to give it to another ruler. Chandragupta II got so angry at his brother that he went to the other ruler’s house and killed him and then killed his brother for trying to trick him. Since Chandragupta II had killed his brother, he became ruler of the empire in 380 B.C.E. He married two powerful princess that brought him power just like his grandfather, Chandragupta I. Chandragupta II was credited by a poet, Kalidasa, that he conquered twenty-one kingdoms under his power and he fought off the barbarians. The court of Chandragupta II was made up of the Navaratna (Nine Jewels), a group of nine poets who excelled in the literary arts. Amongst these men was the immortal Kalidasa whose works dwarfed the works of many other literary geniuses, not only in his own age but in the ages to come. Chandragupta II’s reign was remembered by its influence of Hindu art, literature, culture, and science (Gupta Empire).
Chandragupta II was succeeded by his second son Kumaragupta I in 413 C.E. He gained hi power when he married a Kadamba princess of Karnataka region. At the end of his reign a tribe in the Narmada valley, the Pushyamitras, rose in power to threaten the empire in 455 C.E. (Gupta Empire). Skandagupta, son of Kumaragupta I is considered to be the last great Gupta ruler. He defeated the tribe, Pushyamitra threat, but then dealt with the invading White Huns. He succeeded in a White Huns attack 455 CE, but the expense of the wars drained the empire's resources and contributed to its decline.
The Gupta Empire was not powerful because of their leaders, but also because of their faith in their religion. The majority believed in Buddhism or Hinduism. Religion influenced their literature, culture, technology, and art. During Chandragupta II’s reign there were Hindu panels at the Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh and terrocatta panels of a meditating Buddha from the Gupta era. A temple was patterned on the sacred mountain or palace in which the gods of mythology resided and it represented the inherit order of the universe (Bulliet 182). Palaces and temples had a lot of sculpture and paintings. They have built more than 30...
Cited: Bulliet, Richard W. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print.
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