Chapter 1.3-India & China Early Civilization in India Hinduism Buddhism New Empires in India Early Chinese Civilizations The Family in Ancient India The Importance of Confucius
Early Civilizations in India • The geography of India is very diverse • Its many core regions include mountain ranges, river valleys, a dry interior plateau, and fertile coastal plains
Early Civilizations in India • Early civilization in India developed in the Indus River valley • A civilization flourished there from 3000 to 1500 B.C • Archaeologists have found remains of over a thousand settlements in this area • Two sites have ruins of the major cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • The advanced civilization that flourished for hundreds of years in these cities is called the Harappan or Indus civilization
Early Civilizations in India • The Aryans were a nomadic Indo-European people living in central Asia • Around 1500 B.C. • moved south across the Hindu Kush mountain range into northern India. • conquered the Harappans and ended the civilization of the Indus River valley • The Aryans created a new Indian society • excelled at war • advanced eastward and then southward into the Deccan Plateau • By 1000 B.C., they had extended their control throughout India
Early Civilizations in India • The Aryan conquest had a lasting effect on India • created a set of social institutions and class divisions that last to this day • caste system • one of the most important Indian social creations • set up a rigid hierarchy of classes that determined • a person’s occupation • economic potential • social status
Early Civilizations in India • There were five major classes, or castes, in ancient India • Brahmans- the priestly class • Kshatriyas- warriors • Vaisyas- commoners • Many members of this caste were merchants • Sudras, • made up most of the Indian population • peasants, artisans, or people who did other forms of manual labor • had limited rights • Untouchables- the lowest level of society and were not even considered a real part of the caste system • about 5 percent of ancient India’s population • had an extremely difficult life and performed tasks that other Indians would not accept • were not considered human, and members of the other classes considered their presence harmful
Hinduism • The religion of Hinduism is based on Aryan religious beliefs • the Vedas- collections of hymns and ceremonies that were passed down orally by Aryan priests and later written down • Early Hindus believed in an ultimate reality (God) called Brahman • It was the duty of the individual self, or atman, to seek to know this ultimate reality • Fulfilling its duty would allow the soul to merge with Brahman after death
Hinduism • The idea of reincarnation came into Hinduism by the sixth century B.C. • the individual soul is reborn in a different form after death • After many existences, the soul may fulfill its final goal and unite with Brahman. • Karma is an important part of this process • Karma refers to the idea that people’s actions determine their form of rebirth and the class into which they are reborn, if they are reborn as a person • The system of reincarnation thus provided a religious basis for the caste system • Higher caste members were worthy of their privileges because they had good karma • Members of the lower classes could hope to improve their social status in future lives if they behaved well in the present
Hinduism • Yoga (“union”) was developed as a practice to achieve oneness with God • This union was seen as a kind of dreamless sleep • The numerous Hindu gods and goddesses give ordinary Hindus a way to express their religious feelings • The three chief deities are • Brahma the Creator • Vishnu the Preserver • Siva the Destroyer • The vast majority of Indian people today are Hindus.
Buddhism • In the sixth century B.C., a new doctrine called Buddhism appeared in northern India and soon rivaled Hinduism. • Its founder was Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha (“Enlightened One”). • Siddhartha taught his many followers that the physical realm is an illusion • Attachment to worldly things causes individuals to suffer • Giving up these attachments stops suffering and leads to wisdom, or bodhi • Achieving wisdom is a key step in achieving nirvana, or ultimate reality, in a reunion with the Great World Soul.
Buddhism • The essential Buddhist teachings concern the Four Noble Truths and the way to achieve these truths by taking the Middle, or Eightfold, Path • Siddhartha accepted reincarnation but rejected the Hindu caste system • He instead taught that all individuals could reach nirvana as a result of their behavior in their current life
not carrying out harsh or mean thoughts eight Siddhartha Gautama’s Click the mouse button or press theSpace Bar to display the answers.
New Empires in India • Between 325 B.C. and A.D. 500, India was a land of many different states • Two major empires, however, did create unified Indian states during this period • The Mauryan Empire lasted from 324 to 183 B.C. • flourished under the reign of Asoka who ruled from 269 to 232 B.C. • most consider Asoka the greatest Indian ruler ever • He converted to Buddhism and governed in accordance with Buddhist ideals • He set up hospitals for both people and animals, and sent Buddhist missionaries to China and other parts of Asia
New Empires in India • India flourished economically under Asoka. • It became an important crossroads in commercial networks such as the Silk Road, which passed through the mountains northwest of India • The Silk Road was an extensive trade route • about 4,000 miles long • reached from the city of Changan in China across central Asia to Mesopotamia and then through to the city of Antioch on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea • At Antioch, luxury goods from the West were traded for luxury goods from the East, which were then shipped across the Mediterranean to Greece and Rome • The Mauryan Empire declined after Asoka’s death in 232 B.C. • The Gupta Empire then flourished from A.D. 320 to the end of the fifth century
Early Chinese Civilizations • The great Chinese civilizations developed later than the societies in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India • China’s virtual isolation from other emerging centers of culture could account for its late development. • China’s first flourishing civilization developed under the Shang dynasty, which ruled from about 1750 to 1122 B.C. • developments under the Shang: • An organized government • a system of writing • advanced skills in the making of bronze vessels
Early Chinese Civilizations • The Chinese believed that supernatural forces could help with worldly life. • Priests read oracle bones to communicate with the gods • A king’s question to the gods was etched on a bone • The bone was then heated until it cracked • Priests then interpreted the meaning of the cracks • These bones are a valuable source of information about the Shang period.
Early Chinese Civilizations • The Zhou dynasty ruled from 1045 to 256 B.C. • The Chinese began to develop a theory of government during this period • The Zhou dynasty claimed it ruled by the Mandate of Heaven • This view stated that Heaven, an impersonal law of nature, kept order in the world through the Zhou king. • Under the Mandate of Heaven, the king was expected to rule with goodness and efficiency by following the proper “Way,” called the Dao • If he ruled correctly, then the gods would be pleased • If the king ruled incorrectly, then the gods would signal their displeasure with bad harvests and other disasters • The king could then be overthrown and replaced with a new ruler
Early Chinese Civilizations • The Mandate of Heaven helped make legitimate the dynastic cycles that governed Chinese history from its beginning to A.D. 1912. • All of these dynasties went through a cycle of change • In this cycle, a new dynasty would establish its power, rule successfully for many years, and then begin to decline. • The collapse of central power would lead to rebellions or invasion and the eventual end of the dynasty. • Then a new dynasty would begin and start the cycle all over again • Two hundred years of civil war followed the collapse of the Zhou dynasty • Qin Shihuangdi then founded the Qin dynasty and unified the Chinese world
Early Chinese Civilizations • The Qin emperor was concerned with the Xiongnu, a nomadic people who lived in the north near the Gobi • To protect his people from these invaders, Qin Shihuangdi strengthened a system of walls in a project known today as the Great Wall of China • While some of these original walls remain standing, the Great Wall that we know today was actually built 1,500 years after the rule of Qin Shihuangdi.
Early Chinese Civilizations • Qin Shihuangdi • built the first phases of the Great Wall • he was buried with and “army” of terra cotta warriors • each was a unique work of art
Early Chinese Civilizations • The next dynasty, the Han dynasty, lasted over four hundred years from 202 B.C. to A.D. 220. • A large and efficient bureaucracy was created during this dynasty to handle the rapidly increasing Chinese population • China expanded westward into central Asia and southward into what is modern-day Vietnam • Many cultural, scientific, and technological achievements also occurred during this period
The Family in Ancient China • The Chinese had, and have, strong beliefs about the family • the family was both the basic economic and social unit and a symbol of the entire social order. • Most important to ancient Chinese family life was the concept of filial piety. • Filial piety refers to the duty of family members to subordinate their needs to the male head of the family • It also describes a system in which every member has his or her own place, an important Confucian concept
The Family in Ancient China • Families were important in ancient China because many people were needed to work the farms • Young children worked in the fields • Older sons were expected to undertake physical labor and to provide for their parents • Men dominated Chinese society • Men were responsible for providing food for their families • They also governed society and were warriors and scholars • Women raised children and stayed at home
The Importance of Confucius • Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived in the 500s B.C. • Confucianism, the system of Confucius’s ideas, was thus an important part of Chinese history. • Confucius believed that if humans acted in harmony with the universe, then their affairs would prosper • Behaving in accordance with the Dao (Way) was the key to proper behavior.
The Importance of Confucius • Confucius’s ideas of duty and humanity are perhaps his most important • individuals subordinate their needs to the needs of family and community • Five Constant Relationships • In these relationships, each individual has a duty to the other • Parent-child • Husband-wife • Older sibling-younger sibling • Older friend- younger friend • Ruler- subject(citizen)
The Importance of Confucius • Confucius taught that, if each individual worked hard to fulfill his or her duties, then society as a whole would prosper • rulers must set a good example and rule virtuously if society is to prosper • compassion and empathy toward others • “measure the feelings of others by one’s own.”