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Ancient India
5.4 – Indian Empires Essential Question: How do India’s rich history and culture affect the world today? Big Idea: The Maurayas and the Guptas built great empires in India. Key Term
Candragupta Maurya Asoka Candra Gupta II Definition
A military leader, who seized control of the entire northern part of India and founded the Mauryan Empire The strongest of all the Mauryan emperors, who eventually converted to Buddhism and used missionaries to spread the religion's beliefs The emperor who ruled during Gupta society’s most prosperous high point Memory Clue
A. Mauryan Empire Unifies India In the 320s BC, a military leader named _____Candragupta______ _____Maurya_________ seized control of the entire northern part of India. By doing so, he founded the ____Mauryan_______ Empire, which lasted for about 150 years. Chandragupta Maurya ruled his empire with the help of a ___complex________ government. It included a network of ______spies_______ and a huge army of some 600,000 soldiers, who used ___war______ _____elephants__________ and chariots. In 301 BC, Candragupta decided to become a _____Jainist_______ monk, so he had to give up his throne. He passed the throne to his son, who continued to expand the empire. Around 270 BC, Chandragupta's grandson, ____Asoka______ became king. Asoka was the _____strongest_______ of all the Mauryan emperors. A few years into his rule, however, Asoka converted to _____Buddhism_______. When he did, he swore that he would not launch any more wars of conquest.
Asoka had ___wells______ dug, shade trees planted, rest houses built, and ____roads_____ built throughout the empire. He also encouraged the spread of Buddhism in India and the rest of Asia through the work of ___missionaries___. Soon after Asoka died, the empire fell apart and India, once again, was divided into smaller _____states_____. B. Gupta Rulers Promote Hinduism After the collapse of the Mauryan Empire, India remained ____divided______ for about 500 years. During that time, _____Buddhism_______ continued to prosper and spread in India, and so the popularity of Hinduism declined. Eventually, however, the _____Gupta________ Dynasty took over India around AD 320. Under the Guptas, India was once again __united__, and it became prosperous. Indian civilization flourished under the Gupta rulers. These rulers were ___Hindus____, so ______Hinduism_____ became India’s major religion. The Gupta kings built many Hindu ____temples_____ and also promoted a revival of Hindu writings and worship practices. Although they were Hindus, the Gupta rulers also supported the religious beliefs of _____Buddhism_____ and ______Jainism_____. In 375, Emperor ___Candra____ _____Gupta_____ __II____ took the throne in India. Gupta society reached its highpoint during his rule. The Gupta considered the ____caste_____ ______system_______ an important part of Indian society because they thought it would keep the empire _____stable_____. However, by the middle 500s, the ____Huns_______ had invaded and Gupta rule had ended. India divided into ___small______ kingdoms yet again. Main Idea #1: The Mauryan Empire unified most of India. . Q: Who was Candragupta? A: Candragupta was a military leader, who seized control of the entire northern part of India and founded the Mauryan Empire. Q: What was Candragupta Maurya’s government like? A: Candragupta’s military was complex, made up of spies and a large army, including war elephants and chariots. Q: How did becoming a Buddhist change Asoka’s behavior? A: Once Asoka became a Buddhist, he vowed not to wage any more wars. Main Idea #2: Gupta rulers promoted Hinduism in their empire. Q: What was India like after the fall of the Mauryan Empire? A: India stayed divided for about 500 years after the Mauryan Empire fell. Q: Who were Candra Gupta and Candra Gupta II? A: Candra Gupta I was the founder of the Gupta Empire, and Candra Gupta II was the emperor under whom Gupta society reached its high point. Q: Why did the Gupta rulers support the caste system? A: Gupta rulers believed the caste system would make the empire more stable. Q: How do you think India would be different today if the Gupta rulers had not taken over? A: Answers may vary. Possibly, India could be mostly Buddhist. Q: What ended the Gupta rule? A: The invasion of the Huns ended Gupta rule. Q: What responsibilities and rights did Gupta women have? A: N/A Reading Checks Q: How did the Mauryans gain control of most of India? A: Mauryans gained control of most of India by conquering neighboring kingdoms. Q: What was the Gupta dynasty’s position on religion? A: Even though Gupta rulers were Hindus, they supported the beliefs of Buddhism and Jainism.