Transcript Slide 1

CHAPTER 6
Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
World Civilizations: The Global Experience
Fifth Edition
Stearns/Adas/Schwartz/Gilbert
Copyright 2007, Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
I. The Age of Brahmin Dominance
II. An Era of Widespread Social Change
III. Religious Ferment and the Rise of Buddhism
IV. The Mauryas
V. Brahminical Recovery and the Splendors of the Gupta Age
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
I. The Age of Brahmin Dominance
A. The Kingdoms of the Gangetic Plains
Aryan settlers
Into Ganges plain after 1000 B.C.E.
Small states
Warrior councils
Brahmins dominate
Dramatic changes from Harappan period
B. Sources of Brahmin Power
Mediators
Perform rites
Monopoly on literacy
Vedic texts
Sanskrit
Special status
Inviolate, exempt from taxes
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
II. An Era of Widespread Social Change
Economic changes
Towns grow
Merchants, artisans more important
Pastoralism replaced by agriculture
Peasant villages proliferate
A. The Caste System
Varnas, categories; based on pollution
Brahmins
Warriors
Merchants
Peasants
Artisans
Untouchables
Status (dharma) determined by birth
Transmigration of souls
Karma
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
II. An Era of Widespread Social Change
B. The Family and the Changing Status of Women
Extended family only among higher castes
Most families nuclear
Women subordinate
Mahabharata and Ramayana
Epics
From earlier period of greater freedom for women
C. The End of an Era
Social and armed conflict lead to unrest
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
III. Religious Ferment and the Rise of Buddhism
Widespread changes in 500s, 400s B.C.E.
China: Confucius, Laozi
Persia: Zoroaster
Israel: prophets
Greece: classical philosophers
India: Buddha
A. The Making of a Religious Teacher
Buddha, born in 6th century B.C.E.
Takes to wandering life, asceticism
Four Noble Truths
Escape suffering by renouncing worldly things
Achievement of nirvana
Followers
Form principles into religion
Worship Buddha as god
Dissension
Good works v. contemplative life
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
III. Religious Ferment and the Rise of Buddhism
B. The Buddhist Challenge
Challenges to Brahmins
Buddha denies Vedas as scripture
Critique of caste system
Untouchables and women can gain nirvana
Monasteries open to all
C. The Greek Interlude
Alexander the Great, 327 B.C.E.
Contact between India and Hellenistic world improves
Greek mathematics and astronomy
Indian religious ideas
Stoics and mystery religions influenced
Synthesis of sculptural traditions
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
IV. The Mauryas
A. The Rise of the Mauryas
Alexander's retreat leaves vacuum
Chandragupta Maurya
Forms empire
Absolute monarch
Arthashastra, Kautilya
Influential treatise
Successors extend empire
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
IV. The Mauryas
B. Ashoka’s Conversion and the Flowering of Buddhism in the Mauryan Age
Ashoka
Grandson of Chandragupta
Conversion to Buddhism
Becomes pacific, vegetarian
Infrastructure: roads, hospitals, inns
Opposed by Brahmins
Buddhism extended to Sri Lanka, Himalayan kingdoms, central Asia
Thence to Burma, Java, southeast Asia, Tibet, China, beyond
C. Imperial Patronage and Social Change
Merchants, artisans benefit
Women's status improves
Monasteries spread
Stupas
Ashoka’s Death
Successors less competent
Division follows
By 185 B.C.E., empire ended
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
V. Brahminical Recovery and the Splendors of the Gupta Age
A. Two religions compete
Buddhism
Loses popular appeal:
Monastic isolation, scholarship
Serve wealthy
Association with international trade
As trade declines, so does Buddhism
Hinduism
Widens appeal
Individual worship
More frequent, humble offerings
Shiva, Vishnu, Kali, Lakshmi dominate
Temples more common
More participation: all castes, women somewhat
Adopts Buddhism
Brahmins appeal to elites
Upanishads
The Gupta Empire
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
V. Brahminical Recovery and the Splendors of the Gupta Age
B. The Gupta Empire
Gupta family
By 4th century C.E., build empire
Allow autonomy of elites
A Hindu Renaissance
Brahmins restored as royal supporters
Educate elite
Stimulate artistic, scientific rebirth
Hindu temples
Urban centers
Stimulate urban growth
Literature and the Sciences
Kalidasa
Poet
Mathematics
Zero, decimals, "Arabic" number system
Medicine
Hospitals, surgery
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007
Chapter 6: Religious Rivalries and India’s Golden Age
V. Brahminical Recovery and the Splendors of the Gupta Age
C. Intensifying Caste and Gender Iniquities
Distinctions more rigid
Status of women reduced
No longer allowed to read the Vedas
Permanent legal minority
Female infanticide more common in some regions
The Pleasures of an Elite Life
Four stages of ideal life
Youth: study, diversion
Householder, raise sons, increase family position
Ascetic, meditation
Holy life
Lifestyles of the Ordinary People
More freedom for lower-caste women
Festivals, social gatherings
D. Gupta Decline
Hun invasions, 400s C.E.
Local rulers profit
Fragmentation
Stearns et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 5th Edition
Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Longman, Copyright 2007