World History Chapter 4 - India

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Harappan Civilization


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Ancient Societies

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Harappan Civilization

Also known as the Indus River Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that thrived from roughly 2600 B.C.E – 1900 B.C.E which was centered in northwestern India and Pakistan along the Indus River. Their major cities included Harappa and Mohenjo-daro.


Groups of people who spoke the Indo-European Sanskrit language. They probably invaded India from the northwest during the 2nd millennium B.C.E., spreading east and south over the succeeding centuries. By about 500 B.C.E the Aryan language was probably common over most of the Indian subcontinent. Some credit the Aryans with laying the foundations of Hinduism.


The common religion of India, having an extremely diversified character with many schools of philosophy and theology, many popular cults, and a large pantheon of deities (avatars) symbolizing the many attributes of a single god.

Caste System

The rigid Hindu system of hereditary social distinctions based on castes (classes).


A member of a large formerly segregated hereditary group in India having in traditional Hindu belief the quality of defiling by contact a member of a higher caste. They are often considered even being outside the caste system all together.

Chandragupta Maurya

Founder of the Maurya dynasty and the first emperor (321 B.C.E – 297 B.C.E. ) to unify most of India under one administration. He expanded his empire east to the borders of Persia, south to India's tip, and north to the Himalayas and the Kabul River valley.

Maurya Empire

An empire founded by Chandragupta Maurya after the death of Alexander the Great, that encompassed most of the Indian subcontinent.


Also known as Ashoka the Great, he was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from 269 B.C.E to 232 B.C.E. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests. He was one of the first Indian emperors to embrace Buddhism.

Gupta Dynasty

Rulers of an empire in northern and parts of central and western India from 320 C.E. - 550 C.E. The Gupta period is noted for the flourishing of Sanskrit literature, its sophisticated metal coins, its advanced mathematics, and its astronomical advances


the Creator; one of the three major deities in the later Hindu pantheon


the Destroyer; one of the three major deities in the later Hindu pantheon


the Preserver; a Hindu divinity worshipped as the preserver of worlds


8th and most important avatar of Vishnu; incarnated as a handsome young man playing a flute


Brahman connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe.


Law of Moral consequences "Life Path"

Harappan Civilization

Civilization the flourished between 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE


People who likely invaded India in 2nd Millenium BCE, laid the foundations of hinduism

Chandragupta Maurya

Founder of the Maurya Dynasty, 321 BCE - 297 BCE


Emperor of India from 269 BCE - 232 BCE

Gupta Dynasty

Rulers of Northern and portions of western and central India from 320 CE - 550 CE


Language that the Vedas were written in


Smaller Subgroups within the caste system


Group that invaded South Asia, following the Mauryan period


Gupta's support for Hinduism was largely motivated by ______ considerations


In the Hindu scriptures the Bhagavad Gita, the famous incarnation of Brahma known as Lord ____ advises a warrior who has been sent to do battle battle against his own relatives that he MUST carry out his duties


In the second half of his reign, Ashoka blended _______ and political leadership


chief Hindu god of the Rig-Veda; god of rain and thunder

Warriors (Kshatriyas), Priests (Brahmans)

Top Two Classes within the Caste System

Traders and Farmers (Vaisyas)

Middle class within the Caste System

Common Laborers (Sudras)

Lower class within the Caste System


5th, and absolute last class introduced into the Caste System

600 BCE

When did India pass through its formative phase

327 BCE

When did Alexander the Great attempt to push into India?


What was the name of the leader of the Kushans?


Spherical Shrines used to Worship Buddha were called?