David Wang Indian Empires Geography - called a subcontinent due to size and isolation - 2,000 miles across - Isolated

by Himalayas - Today it is Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - Can not be traced back to Indus Valley Vedic Age 1500 BCE – 500 BCE Named after the religious text- the Vedas 1500 BCE – 1000 BCE - No central authority - Kinship groups - Lived on herds of cattle - Patriarchal – father dominated - Warrior class was the most important After 1000 BCE - moved into the Ganges plains - iron tool used to open up new land - stories passed down through oral tradition Caste System - skin color was a concern - a system of Varna ( color) was created - 4 classes that individuals were born into - High status members feared contact with lower groups - Had elaborate rituals of purification - Brahmin – priests and scholars - Kshatriya – warriors and officials - Vaishya – merchants, artisans, and landowners - Shudra – peasants and laborers Untouchables - eventually 5th classes was created - excluded form society and avoided - did demeaning and polluted jobs where they touched the dead - leather tanning and sweeping up after cremations Creation myth - a primordial creature Purusha sacrificed himself - mouth – Brahmin (intellect and knowledge) - arms- Kshatriya (warrior class) - thighs – Vaishya (landowners - feet – Shudra (workers) Jati - popl also divided into birth groups - each Jati had its own duties and rituals - lived and married with other Jati Reincarnation - caste system connected to belief in reincarnation - every creature had an immortal spirit – atman - atman reborn into new body determined by karma - underlying message – you are where you deserve to be and the only way to improve is to accept your current station Hinduism “what Indians do” Origins - ppl left the cities to escape religious beliefs

David Wang - Jainism and Buddhism emerged - Vedic religion was challenged by the satisfying and egalitarian Jainism and Buddhism - Vedic religious evolved into Hinduism Overview - hundreds of millions of followers today - number of gods and sects incredibly large - 330 million gods - Devotion to 1 god does not deny others - All are seen as the manifestation of single divine force - Underlying unity ties them to - Associate sacred places with flowing water - Consider the Ganges river to be especially sacred - Each year millions travel to bathe in it - The change to Hinduism pushed Buddhism from the land of its birth Vishnu was a minor deity dominate in the north the preserver – benevolent deity who helps in times of need when demons came he comes to earth in human form – Rama Krishna and Buddha

Shiva - was minor deity - dominated in south - lived in isolation - represents both creation and destruction Devi - The Goddess - Full- bodied mother goddess that promotes fertility 2 empires - most significant barrier to unity was complex social hierarchy - how ever 2 empires arose - Mauryan empire 324 BCE – 184 BCE - Gupta empire 320 BCE Mauryan Empire - started in Magadha kingdom in East India south of the Ganges - 1st centralized empire have been inspired by Alexander the great - Capital was Pataliputra – modern Patna - The city was governed by 6 communities - Taxes of ¼ supported the kingdom - Ashoka expanded the territory greatly but died in 232 BCE - Mauryan prospered for a while - Weakened by internal disputes - Collapsed in 184 BCE Time in Between - 500 years between empires - Ramayana, Mahabharata Bhagavad-Gita writeen - Doctors founded many - Ramayna o Exploits of Rama a Heroic Vishnu - Mahabharata o 8 times the length of the Iliad and odyssey o Story of 2 cousins fighting over the throne - Bhagavad-Gita

David Wang o Warrior who does not want to fight o Tutored by Krishna (a god) o Death means nothing in a universe where souls will be reborn o Offers an attractive resolution to tensions between duty to society and duty to self Gupta Empire - started in Magadha like Mauryan - not as large - controlled important trade routes - authority not very centralized - invented concept of zero - pressure from the Huns exhausted the treasury and collapsed by 550BCE Women in Gupta - woman declined in status and lost the right to own or inherit property - married as young as 6 or7 - husband could train and shape wife - in extreme beliefs caused some woman to cremate herself at her husbands funeral