India and China Establish Empires 400 B. C. Ad. 550 Chapter Opener

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India and China Establish Empires 400 B.C.-AD.550

Chapter Opener

  • Asoka: The Buddhist King of India

  • Buddhism turned Asoka, the bloodthirsty king of ancient India’s Mauryan Empire, into a peace-loving ruler.

Section 1: India’s First Empires

The Mauryan Empire is Established

  • Chandragupta Maurya Seizes Power

  • In 321 B.C. Chandragupta Maurya seizes power, starts Mauryan Empire

  • Chandragupta Maurya Unifies North India

  • Chandragupta defeats Seleucus I; north India is united for the first time

  • Chandragupta uses taxes to support his large army

  • Running the Empire

  • Chandragupta’s chief adviser is Kautilya, a priest

  • Chandragupta creates a bureaucratic government

  • He divides the government to make it easier to rule

  • Life in the City and the Country

  • A Greek ambassador writes glowing praise of the empire

  • Chandragupta’s son rules from 301 to 269 B.C., (32 years)

  • Aŝoka—Chandragupta’s grandson, brings the empire to its height

  • Asoka Promotes Buddhism

  • After a bloody war with Kalinga, Asoka promotes Buddhism and peace

  • Preaches religious toleration—accepting people of different religions

  • Builds roads, with wells along them

A Period of Turmoil

  • The Breakup of the Mauryan Empire

  • Asoka dies in 232 B.C.; kingdoms in central India soon break away

  • The Andhra Dynasty dominates central India for centuries

  • Northern India receives immigrants from Greece and other parts of Asia

  • Tamils—a people living in southern India—remain separate and frequently war with rival peoples.

The Gupta Empire is Established

  • Chandra Gupta Builds an Empire

  • Chandra Gupta marries into kingship in north India in A.D. 320

  • Starts Gupta Empire—India’s second empire; flowering of Indian civilization, especially Hindu culture (see next slide)

  • His son Samudra Gupta expands empire with conquest

  • Daily Life in India

  • Majority of Indians are farmers; entire family raises crops together

  • Families are patriarchal—headed by the eldest male

  • Farmers have to contribute work to government and pay heavy taxes

  • Some Tamil families are matriarchal—led by mother rather than father

  • Height of the Gupta Empire

  • Chandra Gupta II rules from A.D. 375-415

  • He defeats the Shakas and adds western coast to empire

  • Gupta Empire sees flourishing of arts, religion, and science

  • After Chandra Gupta II dies, the empire declines

7.2 Trade Spreads Indian Religions and Culture

Buddhism and Hinduism Change

  • Traditional Hindu and Buddhist Beliefs

  • Hinduism blends Aryan beliefs and other beliefs; polytheistic—believes in many gods.

  • To Buddhists, desire causes suffering, but suffering can be overcome.

  • A More Popular Form of Buddhism

  • Belief in bodhisattvas develops—potential Buddhas who save humanity

  • Mahayana sect—Buddhists accepting new doctrines of worship and salvation.

  • Theravada sect—Buddhists who follow original teachings of Buddha

  • Wealthy Buddhist merchants build stupas—stone structures over relics

  • A Hindu Rebirth

  • Hinduism is remote from people by time of Mauryan Empire

  • Hinduism moves toward monotheism; gods are part of one divine force

  • Brahma—creator of the world

  • Vishnu—preserver of the world

  • Shiva—destroyer of the world

Achievements of Indian Culture

  • Literature and the Performing Arts

  • Kalidasa—poet and dramatist, one of India’s greatest writers

  • His skillful and emotionally stirring plays are still popular

  • Madurai writing accademies create literature; 2,000 Tamil poems survive

  • Drama and dance troupes gain popularity and travel widely

  • Astronomy, Mathematics, and Medicine

  • Ocean trade leads to advances in astronomy

  • Indian astronomers in Gupta Empire prove that the world is round.

  • Mathematicians develop the idea of zero and decimal system

  • Doctors write medical guides and make advances in surgery

The Spread of Indian Trade

  • India’s Valuable Resources

  • India has spices, diamonds, precious stones, and good quality wood

  • India’s Valuable Resources

  • India has spices, diamonds, precious stones, and good quality wood

  • Overland Trade, East and West

  • Trade routes called Silk Roads connect Asia and Europe

  • Indians build trading posts to take advantage of the Silk Roads

  • Sea Trade, East and West

  • Indian merchants carry goods to Rome by sea

  • Merchants trade by sea with Africa, Arabia, China, Southeast Asia

  • Effects of Indian Trade

  • Increased trade leads to rise in banking

  • Bankers lend money to merchants, careful of degree of risk

  • Increased trade spreads Indian culture to other places

  • Trade brings Hinduism, Buddhism to other lands

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