Week 3 broken down; high lights
DepartmentGlobal Asia Studies
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Week 3 – Silk Road
Origin of Indian civilization
Indus civilization – first Indian civilization, had cities, division of labour, and
Vedic culture – migration of South-Central Asian, the Aryans invaded India
Sanskrit – ancestor of European and Indian language
Scientific achievements: philosophy, medicine, steel and iron metalworking, and
mathematics (numbering system)
Mauryan India – Invasion by Alexander the Great, conquered Northwestern India.
Encouraged the mixing of his soldiers with local women, to unite the East and the West
Mauryan Dynasty – Chandragupta (founder)
Key importance: Pataliputra (Grand Capital), state enterprises, maritime trade with
Southeast Asia, impact on Greek philosophy and science
Emperor Ashoka – Chandragupta’s grandson, converted to Buddhism, left his palace and
became a preacher. Impacted greatly on Southeast Asia.
Kushan Dynasty – civil war led to the end of Mauryan and start of Kushan. Main legacy
is the Buddhist sculpture. Increased Greek and Indian trading of material and ideas.
Gupta Dynasty – revival of the Mauryan model. Capital at magnificent Pataliputra.
Collapsed at the hands of the White Huns (Nomadic Iranians)
Fa Xian – Buddhist monk that travelled to India during that time for scriptures and texts to
bring back to China
Regionalization and cultural diversity
Similar to Europe, when it was under common Roman rules
Respect for learning and education
Major achievements: mathematics: algebra, numeration, positive/negative,
square/cube roots, zero/infinite, pi.
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