Lesson 6 – Political Fragmentation and Economic and Cultural Enrichment (184BC-320AD)
- The period of 184 BC to 320 AD was politically fragmented until the rise of the imperial Guptas.
- Eucratides dominated the region of Gandhara for more than a century.
- The Bacatrian bridge between east and west, erected and maintained during the crucial centuries prior to the dawn of the Christian eera, may have been a vital catalyst in the emergence of Christianity.
- Hermaeus, last of the Greco-Bactrian kings, sought in vain to defend his land from a two-pronged attack; Scythian invaders moving down from the north and Parthians moving in from the west.
- The Kushan invasions of India began about the middle of the first century of the Christian era, when the last of the Pahlava kings was defeated by these more powerful Central Asian nomads, while the Shakas were driven deeper into India, settling in the region of Malwa around Ujjain.
- A scroll found in 78 AD mentions “Maharaja Rajatriaja Devaputra Kushana”, which indicated the Kushan kings modeled themselves after the Chinese model of “son of heaven”.
- At the hub of trade routes linking India, China and the West, Kanishka’s Kushan Empire prospered.
- Wave after wave of Central Asian and Persian invasions dismantled India’s northwest from indigenous control.
- South of the Andhras and Kalingas were three ancient Tamil “kingdoms”, the Cheras in the west, the Pandyas in the center and the Cholas in the east.
- The increased use of coins and the growth of commerce and wealth led to the emergence of Indian bankers and financiers, who helped support failing guilds as well as lesser monarchs and minor landowners.
- The obscure Vedic rain god Rudra emerged now as the Lord Shiva, Hinduism’s “Great God” (Maheshvara), no less exalted in the primacy of his divine status by sectarian followers than was Vishnu by his devotees.
- How did India’s culture flourish during the fragmented period?
- How did Christianity affect India?
- Why is Lord Shiva important to Hindus?
- Why is Krishna important in India?
- How did coins affect the growth of commerce in India?
- Discuss the Tamil kingdoms.
- What factors contributed to continued fragmentation in India?
- How were trade routes established in India and why were they important?
- How did the Greeks influence India?
- HOW DID THE GREEK INFLUENCE HELP TO FRAGMENT INDIA DURING THIS AGE?
- HOW DID RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AFFECT INDIA’S POLITICAL STRUCTURE DURING THIS PERIOD?
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