Download PDF

Indian Empires 1500 B.C.E. – 1100 C.E. Cultural Cohesion In A Divided Subcontinent

The two main themes of this chapter – the last in the section on Empires and Imperialism – are summed up in the subtitle. First, unlike the sprawling empires of the Persians, Alexander the Great, or Rome, or the fluctuating boundaries of successive Chinese dynasties, “India” forms a distinct geographical unit, defined by two huge bays of the Indian Ocean – the Arabian Sea to the west and Bay of Bengal to the east – and the Himalayan and Hundu Kush mountain ranges to the north. This subcontinent, encompassing the modern nations of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, is over half as large as Europe and more topographically separated from the Eurasian land mass. It is also just as culturally distinct from the rest of Eurasia as is the subcontinent we call “Europe” and, according to Howard Spodek (himself a historian of India), is arguably equally deserving of “continent” status (p. 231). Secondly, as opposed to the Roman Empire and even China, which contained many different cultures within their political borders, the opposite has been the case within India, where a rich, unified cultural tradition has endured amid political fragmentation and numerous invasions from beyond its geographical boundaries. This culture, which, as we learned in Chapter 3, originated as a fusion of the Indus Valley civilization and the nomadic Indo-Aryan peoples who began to migrate into the subcontinent sometime after 2000 B.C.E, developed in the Ganges River valley between 1000 and 600 B.C.E., was later spread throughout India by the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, and successfully assimilated waves of Persian, Greek, Mongol, Arab, and Turkish invaders

Authored by Un-known

To read the entire article, please click on the 'Download PDF' button

« Back to Articles

Editors Choice...

  • Myth of Eurabia
    Why Fears Of A Muslim Takeover Are All Wrong To listen to...
    Read More ›

  • Deradicalisation Possible?
    Muslims in a Secular Society Is the Deradicalisation of Isl...
    Read More ›

  • Another Incarnation
    Reviewing Doniger's "The Hindu; An Alternative History" ...
    Read More ›