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The Gupta Empire

Global History and Geography I


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E. Napp

Name:
Date: ___________________

1. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:
In 320 A.D., a new ruling family, the Gupta, emerged in northeastern
India and united the territory around the Ganges River. The Guptas
encouraged peace, prosperity, and trade. Gupta emperors built
universities and supported learning, the arts, and literature. Hindu
scholars excelled at the sciences. Hindu mathematicians developed the
concept of zero, the idea of infinity, and a decimal system. Artists
painted colorful murals, while writers composed poems and plays in
Sanskrit (the literary and religious written language of India). Because
the Guptas were Hindus, the two centuries of Gupta rule are sometimes
referred to as the Golden Age of Hindu Culture.
Questions:
A- Where and when did the Gupta Empire develop?
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B- Why is the Gupta period considered a golden age of Hindu culture?
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C- List three accomplishments of Hindu mathematicians.
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D- What artistic achievements occurred during the Gupta Empire?
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E- A classical civilization is a civilization that contributed important
ideas and inventions to world history. Why is the Gupta Empire a
classical civilization?
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2. Kalidasa was Indias greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. Kalidasa
lived in the Gupta Empire. The following is one of Kalidasas most
famous poem:
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
Questions:
A. Who was Kalidasa?
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B. How does Kalidasa view the past?
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C. How does Kalidasa view the future?
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D. Why does Kalidasa believe that the present is the most important
moment?
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E. Do you agree with the poet? Explain your answer.


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3. Word Bank:

Ganges, Farming, Indus, Mathematics, Golden Age, Kalidasa, Gupta,


Hinduism, Himalayas, Classical, Sanskrit
3. Working With Documents:
Maurya

Gupta

Dates

321 B.C.185 B.C.

A.D.

Location

Northern and
southern India

Northern India

Government

Learning

Harsh rule
Organized
government
Officials
collect taxes

Governmentowned
factories

Schools and
libraries in
capital

Missionaries
spread
Buddhism

320550

Mild rule
Organized
government

Villages and
cities had
power

Golden age of
learning
Number
system we use
today, decimal
system
Plastic surgery,
vaccines for
smallpox

Carvings of
gods and
animals

Using the document, what contributions were made in math and science
during the Gupta Empire?
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According to the document, what differences existed between Mauryan rule
and Gupta rule?

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