Ancient India and China

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  1. Ancient India Ancient ChinaBy holy_rat (who is not religious) 2. Section One:ANCIENT INDIA 3. Geographyã Indian subcontinent hanging from southern ridge of…
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  • 1. Ancient India Ancient ChinaBy holy_rat (who is not religious)
  • 2. Section One:ANCIENT INDIA
  • 3. Geography• Indian subcontinent hanging from southern ridge of Asia• In far north were Himalayas and the Karakoram mountain range• Directly to the south is Ganges river valley• Indus River in the west• Deccan = region of hills and upland plateau home to two most important river valleys – Interior of plateau relatively hilly and dry – Eastern and western coasts occupied by lush plains
  • 4. Citadels =• Fortresses where civilizations sprang up around in ancient India
  • 5. City of Harappa• Closely resembled cultures of Mesopotamia and Nile valley• Probably began in tiny farming villages• Grew until could support elite ruling village• City of Harappa = center of power – Surrounded by a brick wall over 40 ft thick and more than 31 mi circumference – City laid out on rectangular grid – Most buildings constructed with kiln-dried mudbricks • Square in shape – Divided into large walled neighborhoods – Narrow lanes separating rows of houses – Advanced drainage system • Carried wastewater to drains under streets and then to sewage pits outside city
  • 6. City of Harappa cont’d– Collection of over fifteen hundred towns and cities connected by ties of trade and alliance– Ruled by coalition of landlords and rich merchants– Economy based primarily on agriculture • Primary crops were wheat, barley, rice, and peas • Also cultivated cotton • May have introduced rice to other societies– Sculpture was highest artistic achievement– Writing was another achievement
  • 7. Arrival of Indo-Aryans• In 1750 BCE a group of nomadic peoples came into India from Europe• Were called the Aryans and became known as Indo-Aryans• Began as warriors and conquerors, but as time went on, they began to lend a great deal to Indian culture and the two cultures began to blend• Evidence of these Indo-Aryan people is recorded in the Vedas, which are religious works of literature and were created between 1500-1000 BCE (Vedic Age) – Tell us not only about religion, but also of culture – Originally were oral traditions – Later on scholars recorded the stories using Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan language)• After the Aryans, Prakrit language took over
  • 8. Early Religion• Language of Sanskrit• Also brought religious beliefs – Much like Egyptian gods/goddesses – Based on elements of nature – Each had own personal identity – “The One” (main god) created order in the universe • Called Brahman – Vedic priests called Brahmin – Specific gods for each job and each had characteristics – Religious ceremonies often performed to honor gods • Fires lit on special altars • Food offered as religious sacrifice – No animal sacrifices – Usually milk, butter, barley cakes • Juice of Soma plant used; thought to be drink of immortality
  • 9. Caste System• Between 1500 BCE and 500 BCE, many changes took place in Indian society• Caste system – How people were arranged into classes in Indian society – Four varnas (classes) in the caste system and people placed by birth • First: Leaders and warriors • Second: Brahmins (priests and scholars); later became first class because religion became more important • Third: Merchants, traders, farmers • Fourth: Peasants, menial laborers • Fifth class (Pariahs) were often butchers or people who disposed of the dead – Later the varnas divided into jati (subgroups) • Approximately 3,000 jati • Strict rules applied to the people within the jati – Born into the jati – All have same profession – Must eat, work, and worship only with members of the jati – May not marry outside of jati • If went out of jati and caught was excommunicated
  • 10. Later Religion• Vedanta – Literally means end of Vedic times – Marked by creation of Upanishads • Oral tales created around 700 BCE • Created because people began to question the religious ideas stated in the Vedas • Later the tales were written into epics – Mahabharata – Ramayama
  • 11. Hinduism• Sprang out from ideas of Vedas and the Upanishads• Eventually became major religion of India• Based around central god [Brahman] who is everything• Also god Atman, who personifies people’s individual essence• Brahman and Atman are the same – Belief that the god and his creation are one and the same called monism• All gods are incarnations of Brahman – Debate whether polytheistic or monotheistic – Best way to describe it is monistic religion• Karma = one’s rebirth into the next life depends upon one’s actions (karma) in this life• Dharma = one’s role in life / life duty – In process of reincarnation, person comes back into next life as something else – What person comes back as relies on dharma and karma• Goal of Hinduism: reject maya and end the cycle of reincarnation and find nirvana (enlightenment) and achieve moksha which is end of reincarnation
  • 12. Notable Rulers• Between 320 BCE and 415 CE had rulers• Three most significant – Chandragupta • Started the Mauryan dynasty • A fierce warrior • Goal was to unify India, by getting conquered territory back from invaders, mainly the Persians • Built very strong army with chariots and elephants • Successful in uniting Northern India from the Ganges to the Indus and up into the Hindu Kush • Then established a rigid bureaucracy to ensure that his empire did not crumble – Mines was dug and mining became lucrative industry – Weavers and spinners began to work in small factories – Also standardized weights and measures throughout the empire and established standards for doctors • Was very efficient and managed to unify much of Northern India • But was paranoid and had many enemies • Later converted to Jainism and fasted to death
  • 13. Notable Rulers cont’d– Chandra Gupta II • Took over in Gupta dynasty in 374 CE • Hinduism became dominant religion and still is today • Great progress in the arts • Then empire was weakened • Political system less centralized • Much power to local leaders • Invaders from central Asia crossed into India in late 400s CE • During next century gained control of Northern India • Last Gupta king (Skanda Gupta) drained treasury in attempt to defend empire • Gupta rule ended
  • 14. Notable Rulers cont’d– Asoka (270 BCE - 232 BCE) • Chandragupta’s grandson • Greatest achievement was spread of Buddhism • Started out as ruthless warrior • Later felt bad and supported Buddhism • Created rules of conduct for kingdom, which displayed on stone pillars
  • 15. Buddhism• Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) – Born around 563 BCE in northern India – Was prince – Lived in kingdom whole life because father believed world was corrupt – Lived in luxury – Became unhappy with never being outside – Married cousin and had a baby – One day left palace to wander outside – First, saw old man, bent over with age – Second, saw very sick man – Next, saw funeral procession with man in casket – Last person was holy man • Wore only a thin yellow robe and carried only beggar bowl and spoon • Was smiling • Approached man and asked why he was happy • Man replied it was because he wanted nothing • So then returned home for brief period of time and began to ponder what caused true happiness in life – Beginning of his search for truth – Exchanged clothes for thin yellow robe and only possessions became wooden bowl and spoon
  • 16. Buddhism cont’d– Wandered to seek holy man to ask secret of happiness and was told that he had to find it within himself– Wandered and tried to find meaning of life– Lived on only a few grains of rice per day [which begged for]– One day became tired and sat under a Bodhi tree– There began to meditate thinking about the meaning of life • While meditating, Mara (god of underworld), came to visit him in a vision • Mara offered him best things in the world for him to go • Gautama ignored • Finally Mara gave up • Gautama realized secret was to give up one’s desires -> when he was enlightened and achieved nirvana
  • 17. Four Noble Truths1. Life is suffering.2. Suffering is caused by desire.3. To end suffering one must end desire.4. Follow the Eightfold Path.
  • 18. Eightfold Path1. Right view2. Right intention3. Right speech4. Right action5. Right livelihood6. Right effort7. Right mindfulness8. Right concentration
  • 19. Eightfold Path cont’d• Focuses on wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental development
  • 20. Hindu practices• Acting morally according to one’s dharma• Animal worship – Animals, especially cows, sacred and worshipped • Cows worshipped because provided milk and butter and protected by law – Most vegetarians or no eating meat – Religious festivals to honor gods and animals – Yoga essential in worship
  • 21. Jainism• Founded by Mahavira• Like Buddhism rejected material world, but more extreme in practice• Preached doctrine of extreme simplicity• Kept no possessions and relied on begging for a living• Gained small amount of followers• Chandragupta Maurya converted – Fasted to death in a Jain monastery
  • 22. Women’s Roles• Looked down upon in ancient Indian society• Man could carry family name and become ruler• Woman worked in home and was married off by father• Had right of safety but were considered to be property of men• Became legal under Laws of Manu – Written between 200 BCE - 200 CE – Stated that girls were required to obey father or eldest brother – When married became property of husband – If husband died had to obey sons – Prohibited from owning property – Banned from studying sacred writings such as the Vedas• Had had to remain loyal to husband, but men allowed to have more than one wife – Called polygamy and widely practiced, especially amongst richer classes• Women supposed to remain completely loyal to husband even after his death – Many women especially in higher classes practiced ritual called suttee • During husband’s funeral widow was expected to throw herself upon his funeral pyre and die with him to prove loyalty
  • 23. Economy• Most people in Northern India, with exception of upper castes, lived largely on the land• Majority of people living there barely made a living while small percentage of higher caste members could afford luxuries• Rajas in control of people and made most of money off work of farmers – Farmers grew goods while rajas sold them, then gave farmers small sum of money in return – What they didn’t sell would claim one-fourth of profits in taxes• In southern India basis of economy was trade with other nations, including southwest Asia, Africa, and as far as Europe• Traded goods including silk, cotton, wool, ivory, spices, and precious gems
  • 24. Culture• Indian people began to take more interest in art and culture of late centuries BCE and early CE• The Panchatantra “Five Books” amongst books read by scholars – Fables that inspired the Indian people• Drama also popular, as were plays – No theaters – Plays performed outdoors – Usually ended happily• Sculpture another popular form of art – Buddha• Architecture important as Hinduism spread• Buddhist temples constructed until Hinduism replaced Buddhism
  • 25. Education• Eventually became available to all castes (except untouchables) – Varied according to caste • In higher castes learned Vedas and read literature including great epics • Also studied astronomy, mathematics, warfare, and government • Children in lower castes learned crafts or trades in school • Ganges River valley had own university – Called Nalanda – Was Buddhist although Hinduism and Vedas were regular subjects
  • 26. Mathematics/Science/Medicine• Understood abstract and negative numbers and the concept of zero and infinity• Aryabhata used algebra and quadratic equations in 400 CE• Scientists studied stars• Astronomers identified planets and understood rotation of Earth and predicted eclipses of moon and sun• In medicine, inoculation developed• Sterilized instruments and disinfected wounds
  • 27. Section Two:ANCIENT CHINA
  • 28. Geography• Rivers: – Huang River (Yellow River); 2,900 miles • Would overflow and cause disaster • Called “China’s Sorrow” also • Thick, yellow soil (loess) • Very fertile – Xi River; 1,200 miles – Chang River/Yangtze River; 3,434 miles (longest river in China)• Mountains: – Qinling Shandi – Himalayas to the north• Main desert: Gobi (near Mongolia, Tibet)• Waterways: – Yellow Sea – East China Sea – South China Sea – Bay of Bengal – Pacific Ocean
  • 29. Geography cont’d• Current capital: Beijing• Regions: – China Proper and other regions • Has had control over: – Tibet – Manchuria – Mongolia – Northern Korea – Xinjang – Taiwan• Location: East Asia• Very isolated, but believed according to culture and tradition that they were located in the center of the world – Called themselves Zhongguo, or “Middle Kingdom”• Believed that were dominant culture in the world and had other societies next to them; paid tribute to them
  • 30. Early Civilizations• Believed that there was a series of Chinese rulers who founded China – FuXi – Shen Nong – Huang-ti (Yellow Emperor) • Writing system • Bow and arrow• Two Neolithic groups formed around Yellow River between 5,000-2,500 BCE – Yangshao – Longshan
  • 31. Shang Government• Created vast empire which stretched over 40,000 sq. mi.• Strongest capital was Anyang• Capital changed several times to avoid natural disaster and invaders• Headed by central king and divided into bureaucracy – Government that runs tasks of day to day life• King inherited his throne during the Shang dynasty• Military was important to the government and had advanced chariots and bronze weapons, which helped them not only to defend their people and their kingdom, but to expand their territory
  • 32. Economy• Economy based mainly on agriculture and domesticating animals• Also artisans and craftsmen – Silk – Jewelry • Used bone, jade, and ivory – Tools – Weaponry – Pottery/ceramics • Kaolin clay made pottery more durable and desirable
  • 33. Astronomy• Two calendars based on astronomy – One based on sun (solar) – One based on moon (lunar)• Lunar calendar used to record public and private events• Lunar years 12 lunar months long, made of approximately 365 days• Lunar month began with full moon and lasted about 29 days• Priest astronomers hired to construct the calendars – Calendars significant to kings because gave him power
  • 34. Early Religion• Shang people believed heavily in animism – Spirits part of everything• Practiced veneration of ancestors (filial piety)• Also worshipped rivers – Believed there was a large dragon that lived in the rivers and seas and went into the clouds to talk to the gods• Worshipped many gods – Each had a different job and watched over different parts of life – Shangdi was main god • Rulers used Shangdi as an excuse for their decisions • Shangdi was also used to justify the replacement of a ruler
  • 35. Early Religion cont’d• Priests – Important role in Chinese religion • Performed all religious rituals in the kingdom – Read Oracle bones » Used to tell the future » Other societies used the stars, the weather, or even animal entrails
  • 36. Language• Many societies made up Chinese kingdom; many conquered peoples; many different dialects• Ideographs allowed new words to be created using existing signs• Problem: took much time to learn because required years of memorization – Specialists hired to do much of official writing • Clerks • Scribes • Teachers – Often used type of writing called calligraphy • Considered to be an art form • Used the same brush as one would use for painting
  • 37. Invaders• By 1200 BCE, several tribes from the Gobi desert and Tian Shan region began to settle along the borders of China, trying to edge their way in• By the 1100s BCE, the Shang were at war with many of these tribes• By 1050 BCE, Zhou dynasty took over
  • 38. Fall of the Shang• King of Zhou used the “Mandate of Heaven” theory to overthrow Di-xin• Says that the kings were chosen by a mandate from the gods and if the kings behaved immorally they were to be replaced – Beginning of Zhou Dynasty – Longest dynasty – Would last until 256 BCE – Would be severely weakened as early as 771 BCE
  • 39. Later Chinese Dynasties• Zhou dynasty – Organized into Eastern and Western Zhou – Longest dynasty – Not as peaceful as two previous dynasties – Took power under “Mandate of Heaven” (first time it is introduced) – Were not organized and quite corrupt • Controlled by a hereditary king from the capital – Territories granted to local warlords (military members) to watch more closely over the people » Gave territory, government, and military positions to family members or friends – Problems began to arise in 800 BCE when the local warlords began to fight each other for power – Invaders fled into the Zhou capital in 771 BCE and destroyed it – Zhou king driven out of power
  • 40. Later Chinese Dynasties cont’d• Qin dynasty – Because there was no longer central king, many warlords trying to gain power for themselves and tribes – In 221 BCE, one tribe reigned supreme – Was Qin tribe • Ruler’s name was Cheng • Took the title Shih Huang Ti (means “first emperor”) – Because China was divided and before this had kings; he wanted to preside over vast empire which he did • Named empire after himself: China
  • 41. Cheng’s Reforms• Made strict rules in empire – Was an autocrat • Dictator – Built fortified walls to protect from invasion • Beginning of the Great Wall of China – Angered many people by the great amount of labor he used building the Great Wall – Completed in Ming dynasty – Stretched approx 3,946 miles long – Used legalism to unify China• In 206 BCE, members of Han tribe conquered Cheng and took power• Liu Bang became emperor of China
  • 42. Warring States Period• During Zhou dynasty• Poor government• Warlords trying to gain power for themselves• Resulted in a poor economy and low morals for people• Many scholars and philosophers tried to develop new ideas to explain economic, political, and social change during Zhou dynasty
  • 43. Confucius (551 BCE - 479 BCE)• Chinese philosopher• Known to followers as Kong Fu-tzi or Master Kong• Was not religious man• Theories based on thought• Each person had role and had to behave in that role• Three major family values: – Filial piety – Worship ancestors – Respect elders
  • 44. Confucius cont’d• Believed that all people should hold characteristics to be successful: – Li= social propriety – Jen= benevolence/kindness – Te= virtue – Wen= peace• Began to take on students to try to teach his principles• Believed that education was key to societal success• Teachings were compiled in series of works called Analects – Rarely would take on women as students• No known records that had female students
  • 45. Mencius (372 BCE - 289 BCE)• One of most famous students of Confucius• Believed in basic Confucian principles• Confucian beliefs became basis of Chinese tradition and culture until 1949, when Communist government took over and banned any form of religion or tradition
  • 46. Daoism / Taoism• Based on book called Dao de Jing written by Laozi• Much based on belief in harmony of sun and moon -> yin and yang• Listening to nature -> harmony• Not fight or trying to solve problems, instead leave it to nature• Inaction key to achieving harmony• Became increasingly popular in China• Only indigenous religion of China
  • 47. Buddhism• Some people turned to Buddhism at end of Zhou dynasty• Gained most popularity during Han dynasty• Brought from India via the Silk Road• With so much violence in China, many turned to Buddhism – Taught principle of ahimsa (non-violence) – Mahayana Buddhism very popular in China • Allowed all lay-people, even women and the lower classes, to gain enlightenment • Idea that anyone could gain e
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