Lecture F 4-24

Lecture F 4-24 - Lecture F 4/24 1 Gupta dynasty c.300 c.550...

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Lecture F 4/24 1. Gupta dynasty c.300- c.550 A.D. 2. Chandragupta and his Queen (on the coin/money) 3. Feudal govt (vs institutional state): o • Loyalty is owed to the king personally, not to an abstract government o • No bureaucracy to provide continuity beyond life of individual ruler o o • Rajas = local chiefs, and vassals to king; if king has conquered them, they hold their land in fief from king in return for their service to king o • Indirect govt: king > rajas > locals; i.e. local folk owe service (taxes, milit., labor) to their raja, not to the king. o Chandragupta calls himself “great king of kings” (maharaja of rajas) o Local power base of rajas : central power of king. 4. Guptas = Hindu o support Vedic rituals and brahmins 5. But Buddhists continue to flourish – o e.g. carve the Ajanta temples into cliffs 6. Buddhists build out in countryside, to escape normal life. 7. Brahmins build near the court, to surround court life with the proper rituals. 8. Ajanta cave-temples (picture) 9. Ajanta – temples carved into caves (picture) 10. Buddhism shares with Hinduism: o Notions of dharma, karma, reincarnation 11. Hinduism differs from Buddhism: o Emphasis on ritual practices > enlightenment importance of propitiating the gods with offerings and hymns o Acceptance of caste system only the Brahmins can perform important rituals dharma differs by class and age > same for everyone
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12. Hinduism during the Guptas: o Concentration on a few major gods: Vishnu, Shiva, mother Durga/Kali o Codification of the representation of major Hindu gods (iconography) 13. Shiva with trident and cobra (pic) 14. Vishnu with his solar disk (pic) 15. Durga or Kali riding on her tiger (or lion), with her bow (pic) 16. How did Guptas create a stable regime? o By creating prosperity o Increased productivity of land draining swamps, clearing jungle building irrigation systems and reservoirs building flood control embankments o Encouraged trade building and maintaining roads o making travel safe o minting reliable gold coins o exporting spices and gems to “Rome” (=Byzantium) o exporting cotton to China, importing silk o Stability => prosperity => stability 17. Guptas = patrons of the arts and sciences
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2009 for the course MMW 654321 taught by Professor Smarr during the Spring '09 term at UCSD.

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Lecture F 4-24 - Lecture F 4/24 1 Gupta dynasty c.300 c.550...

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