India and China - Tarleton State University

Report
HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION
• Civilization first
appeared in the Indus
River Valley
• Centered on twin cities
of Harappa and
Mohenjodaro
• Known as Harappan
Civilization
• 2500-1500 BC
CHARACTERISTICS
• Encompassed most of
modern-day Pakistan
• Produced barley and
wheat
• Used copper, and then
bronze, tools
• Traded with places as
far away as Egypt
• Developed a writing
system
MOHENJODARO
• Streets laid out on grid
pattern
– Indicated planning
• Elaborate underground
sewer system
– Used both for
carrying off storm
water and waste
• Clay brick architecture
– Some buildings four
stories tall
ARYANS
• Invaders from southern Russia
• Entered region around 1500 BC
• Destroyed Harappa and
Mohenjodaro and massacred
their inhabitants
• Plunged region into “Dark Age”
– Cities abandoned, writing
forgotten, and people
reverted to Neolithic
lifestyle
– Lasted 500 years (15001000 BC)
REVIVAL OF CIVILIZATION
• Urban life revived in villages
in the Ganges River Valley
around 1000 BC
– Inhabited by hybrid people
(part Harappan/part
Aryan)
– Evolved into city-states
– Caste system also evolved
at the same time
• Became unique Indian
social phenomenon
CASTE SYSTEM I
• Society was at first divided
into four castes
– Warriors
– Priests
– Merchants/landowners
– Small farmers/laborers
– System was not
especially rigid and there
was a great deal of
mobility in both
directions
CASTE SYSTEM II
• System grew more complicated and
rigid with time
– Ultimately there would be
hundreds of castes
• Each was forbidden from
having any social contact with
the others
– At the very bottom were the
“untouchables”
• The mere accidental touch of
one was considered to be
polluting
MAURYAN EMPIRE
• 16 small city-states existed in
the Ganges River Valley by 600
BC
– Each ruled by an individual
with the title of raja
• One city-state grew in power
at the expense of the others
– Magada
• Conquered entire
Ganges Valley and
beyond
• Created Mauryan Empire
ASHOKA
Chandragupta Maurya
Ashoka
Mauryan Empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya
Most famous ruler was his grandson, Ashoka
Began reign as a military conqueror but, following a
battle in southern India, he decided to rule in a different,
more gentle, way
MORE ASHOKA
• Promised to be mild with his subjects,
always place their welfare before his own
ambitions, and to refrain from offensive
military operations
• Kept his word
– Engaged in numerous public works
construction projects
– Dug thousands of wells
– Constructed thousands of hospitals
– Built rest areas along roads
– Encouraged economic activity
• Reign was a true “golden age” for India
END OF THE MAURYAN EMPIRE
• Within 50 years of Ashoka’s
death, the Mauryan Empire
collapsed
– Due to a series of invasions
from barbarians to the
north
– Shattered unity and
plunged region into anarchy
• Characterized by a
constantly-shifting
mosaiac of warring citystates
– Lasted 500 years
THE GUPTA EMPIRE
• Around 300 BC, the ruler
of Magada (again)
gradually conquered the
entire Ganges River
Valley
– Chandra Gupta I
• Process would be
continued by his son and
grandson
– Result in the creation
of the Gupta Empire
END OF THE GUPTA EMPIRE
• First century of Gupta Empire was
a time of expanding power,
growing prosperity, and cultural
achievement
• But after the death of Chandra
Gupta III, the empire was invaded
by the White Huns
– From Central Asia
– India disintegrated into
numerous petty kingdoms
again
INDIAN ACHIEVEMENTS
• Invented several writing systems
• Developed an elaborate literature
– Mostly religious in content
• Developed our modern number
system
– Called “Arabic numerals”
• Invented the decimal system
• Created the foundation for algebra
• Discovered that the earth was a
rotating sphere
HINDUISM
• In Aryan times, Indians
were polytheistic
– But, over time, three of
their more important
gods merged together
into a three-part
monotheistic deity
called Brahman
• Brahma (creator)
• Vishnu (preserver)
• Shiva (destroyer)
• Brahman permeated
everything in the universe
REINCARNATION
• Doctrine of reincarnation came from
belief that all living things were
related and had souls
– Belief that each soul is reborn in
the body of another creature over
and over again
• The form that one is reborn into is
determined by one’s actions during
their lifetime
– Known as karma
– Good Karma=reborn into higher
caste
– Bad Karma=reborn into lower caste
or even lower life form
WHEEL OF SUFFERING
• Also believed that human
existence was basically an
endless round of suffering
– We are all trapped on the
“Wheel of Suffering” with no
permanent way off
– The only escape is through
meditation
• Merging oneself with
Braham
• But this was only a
temporary escape
GAUTAMA THE BUDDHA
• As Hinduism became the dominant
religion in India, it also became more
worldly and materialistic
– Prompted appearance of “gurus”
around 600 BC
• Wanted to put Hinduism back on
track by making it more spiritual
• Most notable guru was Gautama
the Buddha (Enlightened One)
– Would create a new religion in
his quest for a more spiritual
life
BUDDHA AND THE WHEEL OF
SUFFERING
• Buddha was especially concerned to
find permanent escape from the
Wheel of Suffering
• Taught that the basic cause of human
suffering was desire
– The fruitless quest to acquire
more and more material things
• Argued that this never made a
person happy because they
always wanted more
• Did think meditation was the
complete answer either
– Since it only provided temporary
escape
NIRVANA
• Only way off the Wheel of Suffering
was to go through an eight-step
process that involved changing your
entire life
– Included rejection of selfish worldly
desires. the cultivation of honesty
and compassion, rejection of
violence, and cleansing your mind
of all evil thoughts
– Successful result was the
attainment of “nirvana”
• Permanent escape from the
Wheel of Suffering and the
attainment of permanent peace
and tranquility
BUDDHA IN ACTION
• Buddha practiced what he
preached
– Only possession were the
robe on his back, a
walking stick, and wooden
bowl
– Always travelled on foot
and slept outdoors
– Presented his creed in
simple language
– Accepted persons from all
castes and treated them
equally
• Attracted millions of converts
across Asia
DIVISION
• Hinayana Tradition (“Little Vehicle”)
– Buddha was just a man
• Mahayana Tradition (“Big Vehicle”)
– Buddha was a god, the human
incarnation of Brahman
– Led to construction of temples
and creation of statues devoted
to his worship
– By far the most popular of the
two traditions today
SHANG DYNASTY
• Civilization emerged
from Neolithic
settlements along the
Huang-ho River around
1500 BC
• Shang rulers were
primarily military
leaders
– Also acted as chief
priests in times of
peace
ANCESTOR WORSHIP
• Shang Chinese were polytheistic
– Chief god was Shang-ti
• Chinese believed that Shang-ti was
too powerful to be approached
directly by human beings through
prayer
– Began praying instead to dead
relatives who had entered the
spirit world where Shang-ti lived
to intercede with the god
• This practice of praying to
dead relatives for aid and
support continued even after
belief in Shang-ti had faded
away
ZHOU DYNASTY
• According to legend, the last
king of the Shang Dynasty
committed unspeakable
crimes against the gods and
his people
– Prompted two aristocrats
from the region of Zhou to
lead a rebellion against
him
– Replaced his dynasty with
one of their own
• Zhou Dynasty
• 1000-221 BC
MANDATE OF HEAVEN
• Chinese believed that Shang rulers had
been picked by the gods to rule
– Therefore it might look as though the
Zhous had defied the wishes of the
gods by overthrowing the Shangs
• Zhous therefore developed concept of
the Mandate of Heaven
– Dynasties had the right to rule
because they had special permission
from the gods
– But this permission could be revoked
if they abused their power and given
to another dynasty
Shang-ti
QIN DYNASTY
• By the last 200 years of the Zhou
Dynasty, the kingdom had
disintegrated into a collection of
small, independent states,
continually at war with each other
– A new power emerged out of
this mess around 300BC
• The state of Qin began
conquering its neighbors
and, by 221 BC, it had taken
over all of northern China
• Ruler of Qin, Shihuangdi,
takes title of “First
Emperor” and founds Qin
Dynasty
QIN ACHIEVEMENTS
• Shihuangdi’s armies then
conquered most of the rest of China
– Set up centralized administrative
system
• Divided realm in 36 districts,
each administered by an
appointed governor
– Established a standard system of
weights and measures, uniform
coinage system, and a standard
alphabet
– Built numerous roads and canals
– Began work on the “Great Wall”
BIG DOWNSIDE
• Shihuangdi drove his
people mercilessly
– Imposed heavy taxes
– Imposed forced labor
– Brutally crushed all
dissent
• Even burnt books
• Became obsessed with
finding magic potion that
would give him immortality
– Died in 210 BC while
searching for potion
HAN DYNASTY
• Death of Shihuangdi was
followed by civil war
– All Qin family members were
killed
– Ultimate victor was Lui Bang
• Former bandit leader
• Founded the Han Dynasty
– 202 BC-220 AD
– So beloved by Chinese
that they call
themselves the
“People of Han” today
HAN HISTORY
• Lui Bang continued centralizing policies of
Shihuangdi
– But had the common sense to go easier
on his people
• Greatest Han ruler was Han Wudi
– Extended Han power into Tibet, Korea,
and Mongolia
– Established relations with Japan
– Created the “Silk Road”
• Trade route that stretched from
China, through India, and into
Europe
• Han Dynasty collapsed in 250 AD due to
civil war, rebellions, and invasions
SILK ROAD
WRITING
• Writing first appeared during
Shang Dynasty
– Oracle Bones
• First books appeared during Zhou
Dynasty
– Made from sheets of bamboo
• Alphabet was standardized under
Shihuangdi
– Has changed little since
• Paper invented during Han
dynasty
– Used to produce a rich and
varied literature
CONFUCIUS
• Best known Chinese “sage”
was Confucius
– Lived during anarchy of
the late Zhou Dynasty
– Teachings were written
down after his death by
his students in a book
called the Analects
– Primarily concerned
with the issue of how
human beings could live
together harmoniously
in society
HIERARCHY
• Advocated a society where
everyone had a specific
place and performed all the
obligations associated with
that place
– Called this “Hierarchy”
– A rigid system but it did
help to preserve harmony
and order in an
increasingly overcrowded
country for a long time
GENTLEMAN
• Originally, the term “gentleman” meant a
person of high status by virtue of their
birth
• Confucius gave the term a moral meaning
– Gentleman was a person who
behaved in a virtuous manner
• Since anyone could do this, anyone
(regardless of their social status)
could be considered a gentleman
• Confucius argued that one’s place in
society should be determined by their
behavior and personal qualities, not by
their wealth or birth
DAOISM
• Allegedly founded by
Laozi
– Author of Daodejing
(“The Way”)
– May or may not
have been a real
person
– Allegedly lived
during the last years
of the Zhou Dynasty
DAOIST THEOLOGY I
• The Dao is the unseen root of all things
– It provides balance and harmony to
the universe
– Everything, including human
beings, is a part of it
• Because human beings have free will
and desires, they are capable of acting
“unnaturally” and thereby upsetting
the natural balance within the Dao
– Purpose of Daoism is to teach
people to return to their natural
state of behavior, to behave in such
a way as to restore the balance of
the Dao
DAOIST THEOLOGY II
• Human beings should engage in wu wei
– Means “acting spontaneously” and
“flowing with the moment”
• If human beings want to be in harmony
with the universe, with the Dao, they
should simply do what feels good and
right to them at the moment
– Should act in a simple, unselfish, and
humble manner
• Without artifice
• No role-playing, game-playing, or
dishonesty
– Just be yourself

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