Ch 4: Early Indian Civilization

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons and learn about the Indus Valley civilization, the three pillars of Indian society, the Gupta Dynasty and more. Take the quizzes that follow each lesson to test your knowledge of early Indian civilization.

Early Indian Civilization - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Watch the short, engaging video lessons included in this chapter to explore characteristics of India's ancient civilizations. Instructors discuss the influence of Aryans on the area and examine the social structures and religious beliefs that formed over the centuries. You can also look into the mathematical achievements of India's golden age and study the social policies outlined on Ashoka's rock and pillar edicts. This chapter is designed to teach you about:

  • Characteristics of ancient civilization in India
  • India's belief systems and religious traditions
  • Indian social structure and caste system
  • Prominent rulers of India's empires

Video Objectives
Ancient India: Indigenous Culture and Outside Influences Discuss how indigenous culture and outside influences came together to create ancient Indian civilization.
Indus Valley Civilization: Khyber Pass, Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro Explore the ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro and examine the significance of the Khyber Pass. Identify characteristics of the Indus Valley civilization.
The Aryans' Arrival in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs Discover the effects of the Aryans' arrival in the Indus Valley and describe their society.
Three Pillars of Indian Society: Village, Caste and Family Discuss the village, caste and joint or extended family elements of traditional Indian society.
Jainism and Mahavira Describe Jainism and the beliefs underlying this early Indian religion. Identify the significance of Mahavira.
Early Religion in India: Hinduism and Buddhism Outline the practice of Hinduism and Buddhism in early India and explain how these religions affected the lives of Indian people.
Gautama Buddha: The Founding of Buddhism Explore the biography of Gautama Buddha and follow the spread of his message through India.
The Mauryan Empire in India: Rulers & Edicts Discuss traits of the Mauryan Empire and its founder Chandragupta Maurya. Explore some of Ashoka Maurya's rock and pillar edicts.
Indian Worship Traditions: Vishnu, Shiva and Devi Explain the three Indian traditions of worship and theology known as Vishnu, Shiva and Devi.
The Gupta Dynasty in India: Characteristics, Leaders & Arabic Numerals Explore the Gupta Dynasty and its rulers, including the accomplishments of Chandra Gupta the Great. Learn about the development of Arabic numerals.

9 Lessons in Chapter 4: Early Indian Civilization
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Ancient India: Indigenous Culture & Outside Influences

1. Ancient India: Indigenous Culture & Outside Influences

This lesson will explore the history of ancient India. It will focus on the Harappan culture, their mixing with the Aryans, and the beginnings of the Hindu faith.

Three Pillars of Indian Society: Village, Caste & Family

2. Three Pillars of Indian Society: Village, Caste & Family

This lesson will explain the three pillars of Indian society. They are the village, the caste system, and the family. In doing so, it will explore the different individual castes as well as describing joint families.

Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro

3. Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro

In this lesson, we will explore the mysterious Indus Valley civilization, which was located in modern Pakistan and reached its high point between about 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE.

The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs

4. The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs

In this lesson, we will explore the Aryans of the Indus Valley. We will learn about their arrival in the valley, their social customs, their major texts, and their religious beliefs.

Lord Mahavira & the Jain Religion

5. Lord Mahavira & the Jain Religion

This lesson will explain the history and the beliefs of Jainism. In doing this, it will highlight the life of Lord Mahavira as well as define the terms 'moksha' and 'Tirthankara.'

Early Religion in India: Hinduism & Buddhism

6. Early Religion in India: Hinduism & Buddhism

This lesson will explore the founding of Hinduism and Buddhism. It will cover the basic beliefs of Hinduism and the life of Siddhartha Gautama, and the presence of both religions in modern day India.

Gautama Buddha: The Founding of Buddhism

7. Gautama Buddha: The Founding of Buddhism

This lesson will explore the founding of Buddhism and the life of Siddhartha Gautama. It will also highlight nirvana, asceticism, the concept of a bodhisattva, and the Bodhi tree.

The Mauryan Empire in India: Rulers & Edicts

8. The Mauryan Empire in India: Rulers & Edicts

In this lesson, we will study India's Mauryan Empire. We will learn about its rulers, explore its government and economy, delve into its religious life, and examine its decline and disappearance.

Indian Worship Traditions: Vishnu, Shiva & Devi

9. Indian Worship Traditions: Vishnu, Shiva & Devi

This lesson will explain Hinduism's polytheistic worship of Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi. In doing so, it will explore their roles as preserver, destroyer, and protective mother of the universe.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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