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Ch 5: Early Civilization in India

About This Chapter

Watch fun and comprehensive video lessons and learn about early civilization in India. Use the self-assessment quizzes to test your knowledge of the material.

Early Civilization in India - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Take a tour of early life in India by watching the engaging video lessons featured in this chapter. You'll study the caste system and the teachings of Buddha in addition to learning about the growth of the Maurya Empire and India's intellectual traditions. Professional and experienced instructors will guide you through lessons on critical concepts about early civilization in India, including:

  • River systems of India
  • Aryan invasions
  • Brahmanism
  • Spread of Buddhism
  • Emperor Asoka
  • Sanskrit literature

Video Objectives
Geography of Early Indian Civilization Depict the physical setting and river systems that led to the rise of this civilization.
Significance of Aryan Invasions to India Assess the importance of the Aryan invasions in India.
Brahmanism: Beliefs and Evolution into Early Hinduism Delve into the beliefs and practices of Brahmanism. Explain the evolution of Brahmanism into Hinduism.
The Caste System in Early India Lay out the social structure of India's caste system.
Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings Explore Buddha's life and his teachings.
Buddhism's Spread in India, Ceylon & Central Asia Discuss the spread of Buddhism throughout India, Ceylon and Central Asia.
The Growth of the Maurya Empire Detail the rise of the Maurya Empire
Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism Describe the accomplishments of Emperor Asoka. Dissect his role in expanding the reach of Buddhism into other areas of Asia.
The Tradition of Sanskrit Literature Explore the history of this form of writing.
The Bhagavad Gita's Story of Arjuna & Krishna: The Three Paths to Salvation Discuss this well-known and sacred Hindu text. Examine the three paths to salvation.
Science, Math & Metallurgy in Early India Assess intellectual traditions in math, science and metallurgy. Discover origins of Hindu-Arabic numerals and the zero.

11 Lessons in Chapter 5: Early Civilization in India
Geography of Early Indian Civilization

1. Geography of Early Indian Civilization

India stretches from alpine glaciers to the hottest rainforests on Earth. Such a diverse group of landforms heavily impacted early civilization, starting with the very first settlements on the Indus and Ganges Rivers.

Significance of Aryan Invasions to India

2. Significance of Aryan Invasions to India

Unlike any invasion to threaten India, the Aryans forever changed Indian culture, religious life, and even its languages. This lesson talks about the Aryans before they arrived in India, as well as the major cultural attributes of their society.

Brahmanism: Beliefs & Evolution into Early Hinduism

3. Brahmanism: Beliefs & Evolution into Early Hinduism

Brahmanism predates every other contemporary religion in India, but has had an impact, directly or indirectly, on all of them. This lesson discusses the mysterious past of Brahmanism and how Hinduism evolved from it.

The Caste System in Early India

4. The Caste System in Early India

Often misunderstood as an outgrowth of Indian religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism, the idea of social caste in India was actually started to maintain social order in the face of a diverse religious and social landscape.

Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings

5. Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings

With hundreds of millions of believers, Buddhism is one of the most influential religious traditions in the world. Learn more about its founder, his surprising early life and his basic teachings.

Buddhism's Spread in India, Ceylon & Central Asia

6. Buddhism's Spread in India, Ceylon & Central Asia

With the efforts of Ashoka, Buddhism soon spread throughout much of Asia. This lesson looks at how Buddhism spread, as well as how the faith split into two different systems. After you review the lesson, test your new knowledge with our quiz!

The Growth of the Maurya Empire

7. The Growth of the Maurya Empire

Almost immediately following the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire, the Mauryan Empire stretched from the limits of Alexander's frontiers well into the southernmost parts of India. Learn more about the Mauryan Empire in this lesson.

Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

8. Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

This lesson will highlight the life and accomplishments of Asoka the Great. In doing this, it will explore the historical significance of his Rock Edicts as well as the role he played in spreading Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia.

The Tradition of Sanskrit Literature

9. The Tradition of Sanskrit Literature

Despite not being native to India, Sanskrit has had an enormous impact on Indian cultural life. This lesson explains both the history of Sanskrit's arrival in India as well as the role its writings played in religious life.

The Bhagavad Gita's Story of Arjuna & Krishna: The Three Paths to Salvation

10. The Bhagavad Gita's Story of Arjuna & Krishna: The Three Paths to Salvation

This lesson will focus on the sacred Hindu text of the Bhagavad Gita. In doing so, it will also highlight Hinduism's belief in the Three Paths to Salvation, known as the Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas.

Science, Math & Metallurgy in Early India

11. Science, Math & Metallurgy in Early India

For hundreds of years, Indian innovations in science, math, and technology were at the cutting edge of human achievement. In fact, Indian scientists managed to discover zero, create harder steel, and even perform plastic surgery.

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