MMW 12 Chapter Notes - Chapter India and Islam: Demigod, Skandagupta

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India, Islam, and the Development of Regional Cultures, 300-1400
After Mauryan Empire, India was broken up into many small kingdoms
Guptas would unite India for a short time, until the Huns invaded them in 450
India was then shaped by Turkish nomads who brought Islam to them
Despite all of these events, India remained largely unchanged, still holding onto their
caste system
The Gupta Empire, ca. 320-480
Guptas modelled their government after the Mauryans
o Were not able to bring as much territory under their control as the Mauryans,
but did usher in a period of Indian peace
o Collected tribute from Nepal and Indus Valley
Guptas were not as centralized as the Mauryans
o Drew revenue from tax on agriculture
o Maintained monopolies on salt and metals
o Exacted labor service for upkeep of roads
o Distant areas assigned to governors
More distant areas became vassal states
Guptas were renowned for their arts
o May faous poets ad writers were fro this tie, icludig Kalidasa, Idia’s
greatest poet
Some of his greatest works includes the story of a king and the daughter
of a hermit
Aother is called The Cloud Messeger
This 100-verse poem is about a demigod who asks a cloud to carry
a message to his wife, somebody he has not seen in a long time
Guptas were known for mathematics too
o Created the Arabic numeral system
Spread all the way to Europe by 7th century
Guptas tolerated all faiths, including Buddhism
o They were largely Hindu, however
~450 Huns invaded Guptas
o Gupta ruler Skandagupta threw them off, but they were unable to recover from
such an invasion
Idia’s Medieal Age ad the First Ecouter ith Isla
After Guptas, India broke down into several kingdoms all conflicting with each other
These dynasties were short-lived
Balance of power was maintained between important regions of India
The Cholas controlled the most notable region
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