Chapter 1 : The importance of Ancient Indian History
PAGE 1 :
First 2 paras : Why the study of Ancient History is important? To understand how we evolved.
UNITY IN DIVERSITY : Various ethnic groups made their home in India. (Who are they) ; Did they maintained their original form after reaching India ?
LANGUAGE : Which group used what language?
PAGE 2 :
Religions in India
Perception of Ancient People ? : Unity or hostility ?
Key words : Bharatavarsha / Bharatasantati / Chakravatins / Sindhu
Lingua franca of the people?
PAGE 3 & 4 :
EPICS - read by whom?
Varna System – Prevalent or Not?
RELEVANCE OF THE PAST TO THE PRESENT?
Restoration of Ancient culture and Civilisation V. Preservation of Ancient Heritage in Art and Architecture.
Comparison of S&T
Social Justice or Injustice?
Why should be get rid of the past? Caste system , Sectarianism, Women Sub-ordination = as they hinder Integration & development of the democractic country.
Chapter 2 : Modern Historians of Ancient India
COLONIALIST VIEWS AND CONTRIBUTION :
British Rule in India after 1765 required knowledge about Indian manners + social system. So they started translating the ancient texts (epics, puranas, semi-biological works etc..) to English.
Hindu law of inheritance : Manusmriti à A code of Gentoo laws.
ASB – 1784 Calcutta by SW.Jones : Abhijnanashakuntalamà English.
Wikins translated :Bhagvadgita à English.
Bombay AS -1804 ; AS of Great Britain – 1823
Revolt of 1857 : eye-opener that they did not understand Indians properly; Works of Max Muller (Sacred books of the East series).
What british told V. reality ?
NATIONAL APPROACH AND CONTRIBUTION :
Irked with british distortions of Indian history, Indian scholars, who had received western education, reconstructed Indian ancient history with nationalist ideas of Hindu revivalism.
RL Mitra : caste system vis-à-vis division of Labour in Europe.
RG Bhandarkar : reconstructed political history of satavahanas + vaishnavism
VK Rajwade : Maratha history + evolution of marriage
PV Kane ; History of the dharmasastra : ancient social laws and customs
DR Bhandarkar : Ancient Political Institutions + Ashoka.
HC Raychaudari : History of Ancient India from Bharta (Mahabharta) War.
RC Majumdar : History & Culture of the Indian people = Hindu revivalism.
K.A.Nilakanta : History of Ancient India + South India = Nature of Polity ; Supremacy of Brahamanas
VA SMITH ; about Alexandar Invasion
KP Jayaswal + AS Alterkar : Role of Indigenous rulers in liberating from Shakas + Kushanas.KP also known for exploding the myth of Indian despotism in his Hindu Polity 1924.
SHIFT TO NON-POLITICAL HISTORY :
AL BASHAM : Wonder that was India
DD KOSAMBI : Study of Indian History (his writings of Karl Marx) ; His book was to FIRST survey to show social + economic development.
Chapter 3 : Types of Sources and Historical Construction
Page : 11 : MATERIAL REMAINS:
Material remains – as mounds (remains of old habitations) – can be classified as
1. Single culture (only one culture) : Eg : PGW ; Satavahanas ; Kushan culture.
2. Major Culture : One culture is important others are not.
3. Multi Culture : Many important culture in succession and overlapping fashion Eg: Ramayana and Mahabhartha
Mound excavation can be either – vertical and horizontal.
Dry arid climate sites have more remains left behind than moist and humid climate sites.
Even 2500 B.C. Gangetic plains material culture can be found.
Dead people with their belongings encircle in a big stones = Megaliths.
Not important = Archaeology ; radio-carbon dating method; pollen analysis.
Whether Agriculture was practised in Rajasthan 7000BC ago ? Yes. Including Kashmir.
Page 12 : COINS : Study of coins = Numismatics. ‘
Ancient india – no paper currency – only metal (Copper, Silver, Gold, Lead) coins made from burnt clay moulds had been used during Kushan period; this practice disappeared during post-gupta period (this shows the decline of trade & commerce)
No modern banking system ; earthen pots + brass vessels = used to store coins (Indian + Roman where found in them)
Coins earlier contained symbols ; later the names of Kings, Gods, Dates.
This helped to decipher who ruled - where. Fact : Indo-greeks (from north afghan) ruled india in 2nd and 1st century B.C.
Coins used for : donation/ mode of payment/ medium of exchange.
With the permission of rulers, some coins issued by guilds of merchant + gold smiths. It shows the importance given to crafts and commerce.
Largest no. of coins found after post-maurya period.
Largest no of Gold coins issued Guptas.
PAGE 13 : INSCRIPTIONS : - Study of Inscriptions = Epigraphy ; study of old writings in inscriptions = Palaeography.
Where were inscriptions found > Carved in seals/stone pillars/rocks/ copper plates/temple walls/bricks/images.
Earliest inscription is on “STONE” (later this method is followed by south Indians esp. in temple walls)
During Christian era, “COPPER PLATES” is used for inscriptions.
Language of Inscription : Earliest = Prakrit (3rd century B.C. – 10th century A.D) ; Sanskrit (2nd century – 5th Century A.D.)
Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum = collection of inscriptions bearing history of Maurya, Post-Maurya + Gupta.
Harappan Inscriptions – pictographic script
Ashokan Inscriptions =
1. Brahmi Script = written from L to Right. Found all over India.
2. Kharoshthi script = Written in R to Left. Found in North-western India.
3. Greek +Arabic scripts = Pakistan + Afghanistan.
USES OF INSCRIPTION :
1. Ashokan Inscriptions - Royal Orders/ Decision regarding social, religious & administrative matters
2. Jainist, Buddhist, vaishanavism/shaivism inscriptions -Devotion
3.Allahabad inscriptions -Attributes + Achievements of Kings + conquerors (not of their defeat) .
4.Chief + princes - Land grants by them (inscription in copper plates in All languages including prakrit,Sanskrit, tamil, telugu )
Chapter 4 : The Geographical Setting
General facts on geography of India (outdated)
Important facts :
Monsoon played important role in establishing trade between west Asia + Mediterranean area + S-E asia.
During N-E Monsoon : West asia traders moved to india
During S-W Monsoon : Returned from India to West asia
PAGE 25 :
How mountains acted as an barrier against invasions + mountain passes enabled trade India and Central + West Asia.
How valleys of Kashmir + Nepal became repositories of Sanskrit manuscripts.
How foothills of Himalayas – centre for agriculture + states and terai region became trade routes.
Rivers + Rainfall pattern.
1. Indus + Western gangetic plains = produced Wheat + Barley
2. Middle + Lower Gangetic Plains =produced Rice (also used by Gujarat + Vindhyas)
PAGE 26 :
1. Harappan Culture - Indus Valley.
2. Vedic Culture - North- West frontier province + Punjab + western Gangetic basin.
3. Post-vedic Culture - Based on use of Iron in Middle Gangetic Basin.
4. Gupta Age - Lower Gangetic valley + North Bengal.
5. Medieval times - Brahmaputra valley covering assam.
Rivers used for = commerce + communication until the arrival of British.
Rivers made the areas fertile but also washed away ancient buildings + towns = villages beyond recovery.
Rivers marked the political +cultural boundaries. Eg : Kalinga area was between Mahanadi and Godavari. Tamil nadu between Krishna and Kaveri.
MAPPING THE AREAS: PAGE 28 :
Eastern part : Coromandal coast.
Western part : Maharashtra (between Tapi+ Bhima) etc..
North – Bhima + Krishna
South - Tungabhadra
Tungabhadra river : contested area : between chalukyas of badami + rashtrakutas on north and Cholas + Pallavas in South.
Malabar coast : Kerala.
Rajasthan + Thar desert between Indus in north + Vindhyas mountain in South.
West of aravalli : Rajasthan is desert
South-east of aravalli : Here land is Fertile due to two reasons
Human settlements in chalcolithic period
presence of khetri Copper mines
Gujarat : Rivers Narmada, tapi , Mahi, Sabarmati + Kathiawar peninsula. Famous for coastal + foreign trade + enterprising trade.
Madhya Pradesh : Eastern part = important during gupta period ; Western Part including malwa = many wars fought between deccan and northern powers. (1st and 2nd century = Between shakas and satavahanas ;8th century : between marathas and Rajputs)
Due to defensibility of natural frontiers : one ruler cannot control the other areas and this resulted in EACH AREA HAVING DISTINCT CULTURE WITH ITS OWN STYLE OF LIFE AND LANGUAGE.
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