Chapter Six- India and Southeast Asia, 1500 B.C.E. - 600 C.E. (1).docx

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Chapter Six India and Southeast Asia 1500 B.C.E. - 600 C.E. 1. Foundations of Indian Civilizations, 1500 B.C.E. - 300 C.E. a. The Indian Subcontinent i. The Layout of the Subcontinent, st 1. the subcontinent is divided into three layers, the first of which is the mountainous region of the Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountains to the north 2. the second layer is the northern portion of the peninsula proper, including the basins of Ganges and Indus rivers and their corresponding alluvial plains 3. the third portion is the Deccan Plateau in the south, which is separated from the north by the Vindhya range; though the region is most rocky and arid, political entities have arisen in Kerala (or Malabar) in the west, the Coromandel Coast in the east, Tamil Nadu’s flatlands in the far southern tip of India, and on Sri Lanka 4. monsoons pervade southern India and made rice and far-reaching trade possible; farther north, wheat, barley, and millet were grown, with irrigation providing regularity to the harvest season on the Indus b. The Vedic Age i. Aryan Migrations 1. though most history is supplied by the Vedas, religious texts used in the precursor to Hinduism, it is probable that Indo-European nomads entered and settled in northwestern India ca. 1500 B.C.E. 2. with the collapse of the Indus river valley civilization, patriarchal kinship groups arose around cattle and martial skill
3. these groups then migrated east ca. 1000 B.C.E. to the Ganges Plain; it would be here that the population increased as iron, ox-drawn plows, and monsoons were all manipulated to increase harvests 4. conflicts arose between the light-skinned Aryans and the dark- skinned Dasas, ultimately leading to the push of Dasas further south, though some were absorbed into Aryan society ii. Class and Caste 1. varna (lit. “color” or “class”) evolved to rank positions in society, with Aryans consistently above Dasas 2. in sequential order of influence, Brahmin were priests and scholars, Kshatriya were warriors and officials, Vaishya were merchants, artisans, and landowners, Shudra were peasants and laborers, and Untouchables were workers of undesirable jobs 3. class was justified in the mythical sacrifice of Purusha, in which Purusha gave parts of their body to form each station 4. jati (or caste) were social groups within the varna which described occupation, duties, and rituals; members of the same jati worked, ate, and married together 5. Brahmin priests spread a belief in atman (lit. “breath”), which was the soul during the process of reincarnation; karma, or how well you had fit into the prescribed social norms of varna and jati, dictated which station you would hold in your next life iii. Vedic Religion 1. most major gods were male and required sacrifices to maintain universal creativity and balance 2. only the Brahmin, with texts like the Rig Veda and the Brahmanas, were capable of performing their rituals; as a result, they were rewarded, leading them to guard their knowledge 3. women studied lore and formed hymns; notably, they too participated

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