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Mauryan and Gupta India 324 BCE-650 CE. I. Mauryan Empire 324-184 BCE. Strategic location: near Ganges River, agriculture, iron mines Chandragupta ruled over first unified Indian empire Consolidation of power: 25% tax on harvests King’s relatives governed local sectors Large army
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I. Mauryan Empire 324-184 BCE • Strategic location: near Ganges River, agriculture, iron mines • Chandragupta ruled over first unified Indian empire • Consolidation of power: • 25% tax on harvests • King’s relatives governed local sectors • Large army • Complete control of economy • Standard coinage fostered support for gov’t • Capital at Pataliputra- where 5 tributaries met Ganges R.
Chandragupta embraced Jainism and starved to death • Founded by Mahavira c. 500 BCE • Emphasizes holiness of life-force that animates all living things, therefore strict non-violence • Asceticism, nudity, starve to death ultimately
II. Ashoka 304-232 BCE • Largest Indian empire • Embraced Buddhism • Freed prisoners, gave back land • Policy of non-violence • Built stupas for Buddhist followers • Religious tolerance of all sects • Constructed: hospitals, schools of higher learning, irrigation systems, resthouses for travellers • Name means: "He who is the beloved of the Gods and who regards everyone amiably"
Ashoka Chakra Lion of Ashoka- National Emblem of India
Erected by Ashoka and contain inscriptions of edict about morality based on Buddhist tenets.
III. Mauryan Collapse • No central authority, but trade flourished • India at the heart of international land and sea trade routes linking: • China, SE Asia, Central Asia, East Africa, Mid. East, Mediterranean • Merchants became politically powerful • Merchants became patrons of Buddhism, built temples
IV. Gupta 320-550 CE • Like Mauryans, monopolized economy and collected 25% tax. But not as strong • Unlike Mauryans, they were Hindu • Supported math and science • Invented concept of zero (0) and developed “Arabic” numerals • Women lost power/status because of rising merchant/middle class.
Questions: • India is located in a very strategic area. What kinds of things were transmitted, diffused, and spread as a result of its location? 2. What role did government play in spreading the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs?