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5-08-2015, 23:52

ANCIENT HISTORY

KEY DATES

• 3300 BCE: The Indus civilization settled in northern and central India, existing until 1700 BCE.

• 1700 BCE: The Vedic civilization begins, lasting until 500 BCE.

• 500s BCE: The founders of Jainism and Buddhism were born.

• 321 BCE-185 BCE: India’s first empire, the Mauryan Empire, existed.

• 320 CE-550 CE: The Gupta Empire created India’s golden age, a time of great artistic expression and advances in mathematics and medicine.

KEY TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES

• The Indus civilization created the first water and sewer systems.

• Ancient Indian warriors improved bow and arrow technology, giving them some of the best archers in the ancient world.

• Ancient Indians built Indus cities, including Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, using uniform bricks.

LANGUAGE

Sanskrit, which is still spoken today, was the predominant language in ancient India. It is part of the Indo-European languages group, which also contains Greek and Latin.







IMPACT OF THE INDIAN CIVILIZATION

• Literature and religion highlight ancient India’s culture, with the Vedas providing important clues to Hinduism’s past. Parts of the ancient texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, remain important material to Hindus.

• Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism began on the subcontinent long ago and are practiced there still today, as well as in lands near and far.

• Religion and art combined in the Ajanta caves to create art that remains as evidence of India’s golden age. The style ancient Indian artists created is visible today in other Asian countries.

QUOTE

“Every generation in India, for over 4,000 years, has bequeathed something, if only a very little to posterity. No land on earth has such a long cultural continuity as India. . . . In India, the brahman still repeats in his daily worship Vedic hymns composed over 3,000 years ago, and tradition recalls heroic chieftains and the great battles fought by them at about the same time.

In respect of the length of continuous tradition, China comes second to India and Greece makes a poor third.”

—A. L. Basham, a historian specializing in South Asia, The Illustrated Cultural History of India


 

 

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