Chapter 8: State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in India Megasthene, Seleucid Emperor
* Lived during late 4 and early 3 century bce.
* Indika, long lost book, quotations of the respect on Indian land, people, and society. * Ant story
* Monstrous human beings
* Fertile land
* 2 harvest/yr of grain
* Pataliputra, capital
* Near Ganges river with timber wall with 570 towers & 64 gates. * Large armies with war elephants
* Ascetic lifestyles & veg diets
* Wealthy land that supported a distinctive society with well-established cultural traditions Mauryan Dynasty
* Kingdom of Magadha
* In 520 bce, Cyrus, Persia’s emperor created the Gandhara kingdom. * Alexander of Macedon crushed the kingdom.
* Kingdom of Magadha took the spot of main leader of the region * Central Ganges plains
* Wealth = fields and trade
* 500 bcemost important State in NE India.
* Chandragupta Maurya
* First state to bring centralized and unified government * By 321 bce overthrew ruling emperors
* 4 century bce conquered all N. lands
* Kautalya – advisor of government
* Arthashastra- book created to show principles of government and their power * Created a bureaucratic admin system
* Son succeeded him in 297 bce.
* Ashoka-grandson of Chandragupta
* Reigned 268-232 bce
* Gained the last piece of land, Kalinga.
* Important to trade (from sea & land)
* Conqueror > governor
* Created the capital city of pataliputra
* Encourage agriculture by irrigation systems.
* Encouraged trade by building roads
* Died in 232 b.c.e. & empire declined immediately
The Gupta dynasty
* State in Magadha
* Foundation laid by another Chandra Gupta.
* Created alliance with powerful families to establish kingdom in 320 ce * Samudra Gupta (335-375ce) & Chandra Gupta 2 (375-415 ce) made same capital & conquered all. * White Huns, nomadic people, from Bactria attack in 4th century ce. * Imperial government Short in India.
Towns & Trade
* High demand for manufactured goods.
* Long distance commercial relation created
* Persian admins facilitated trade between the 2 lands. * Route: Hundu kush mountains or from the Gandhara capital to silk road. * Seaborne trade = good in monsoon weather
* Spring & summer SW
* Fall & winter NE
* 5th century bce. Seaborne trade popular
Social & gender relationships
* Strong patriarchal families
* Women are weak; Shown in Mahabarat & Ramayan
* Child marriage was common
Castes & Guilds
* 4 castes.
* Brahmins (priests)
* Kshatriyays (warriors & aristocrats)
* Vaishyas (peasants & merchants)
* Shudras (serfs)
* Same crafters create guilds, $ & wages for welfare. * Same guild= same town, intermarriage
* Guilds functioned as jati
Wealth & the Social Order
* Brahmins and Kshatriyas =special honor because they reincarnated into a better class. * Vaishya and Shudra = no respect; obligted to work as directed by higher class. Religion of Classical India
* Ancient times – ritual sacrifices by Brahmins to Gods for large harvests and herds. * Exemption from taxes and honor.
* Popular in 6th century b.c.e. by Vardhamana Mavira (the great hero) who turned Jain. * Born in 540 bce.
* Prominent kshatriya family.
* Created the Jina (the conqueror), disciples of the religion. * Doctrine influence by Upanishads.
* Believed everything in the universe possessed a soul (even inanimate objects) * Purification was an only choice
* Purified by ahima, nonviolence to other living things or their souls. *...
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