UPSC History The Gupta Empire Short Notes - The Gupta Empire (AD 320-467)

Short Notes - The Gupta Empire (AD 320-467)

Category : UPSC

 

The Gupta Empire (AD 320-467)

 

  • Founder - Sri Gupta
  • Nalanda University was built by Kumargupt.
  • The great Mathematician Aryabhata lived during this age. He discovered the number "0" and value of Pi. He wrote "Aryabhatiya" and "Suryasiddhanta".
  • Kalidas the great poet also belonged to this period.
  • The great Physician Dhanvantari was also born in this era.
  • During this age Sanskrit language and literature were at its peak Poets Kalidasa, Dandi, Visakhadatta, Shudraka, and Bharavi — all belonged to the Gupta Age.
  • Chandragupta (320-33S AD) was the son of Ghatotkacha and grandson of Sri Gupta.
  • He married to Kumaradevi, the Lichhavi princess of the rich ruling family in Magadha which helped the Gupta Empire to become a powerful empire.
  • Sumudragupta [AD   335-375] Harisena described him as the "Hero of a Hundred Battles."
  • He was the greatest ruler of Gupta dynasty. He is called "Indian Napoleon",
  • Prayag Prashasti   [Written   by Harisen) is the main source of information on his reign.
  • Samundragupta was succeeded by his son Chandragupta Vikramaditya [or 11].
  • Chandragupta II   married   his daughter Prabhavati with a Vakataka prince who belonged to the Brahmana caste and ruled in central India.
  • His court had Navaratna (Nine Jewels). Kalidasa was one of the jewels among this Navaratna.
  • He conquered western Malwa and Gujarat, which had been under, the rule of the Saka Kshatrapas for about four centuries by that time.

 

 

Nine Gems in the Court of Chandragupta-II

 

Sr. No.

Name

Field

Work

1.

Kshapanaka

Astrology

Jyothisyashastra

2.

Dhanvantri

Medicine

Ayurveda (Book of Medicine)

3.

Kalidasa

Drama &   Poetry

Abhijnana Shakuntalam, Meghadutta

4.

Amarasimha

Lexicography

Amarakosha (Glossary)

5.

Varahamihira

Astrology

Brihadsamhita

6.

Vararuchi

Grammar

Vyakarna (Sanskrit)

7.

Sanku

Architecture

Vyakarna (Sanskrit)

8.

Vetalabhatta

Magic

Mantrashastra

9.

Harisen

Poet

-

 

  • Kumaragupta (AD 415-455) is the son of Chandragupta II.
  • Kumaragupta's dominion suffered severely from the invasion of Huna Hordes, all over North India.
  • Skandagupta is the son of Kumaragupta.
  • He defeated the Pushyamitra who had become powerful during the period of Kumaragupta. He also defeated the White Hunas:

 

Ruler of Gupta Dynasty

            Srigupta l                270 AD-290 AD

            Ghatotkacha           290 AD-319 AD

            Chandragupta I       319 AD-335 AD

            Samudragupta        335 AD-375 AD

            Chandragupta II      375 AD-414 AD

            Kumaragupta I      415 AD- 455 AD

            Skandagupta        455 AD-467 AD

 

  • Tamralipti, a port in Bengal was an important trade centre during Gupta period.
  • The most   important   officers in the Gupta empire were the kumaramatyas.
  • The empire was divided into divisions: bhuktis (under the charge of an uparika) and vishayas (Districts) under the charge of vishyapati.
  • Gupta Period is also known as the 'Golden Age of Ancient India'.

 

Important Literary works during the Gupta period

 

Epics

Raghuwansa, Ritusamhara, Meghaduta      - Kalidasa

Ravanabodha                                             - Batsabhatti

Kavyadarshana and Dasakumarcharita       -. Dandin

Kiraarjuniyam                         .                   - Bharavi

Nitishataka                                                  - Bhartahari

Dramas

Vikramovarshiya, Malvikagniniitra              - Kalidasa

 and Abhijnana  Shakuntalam

Mrichchakatika                                            - Sudaraka

Swapnavasavadatta, Charudatta                 - Bhasa

 and Pratignayaugand-   

harayana

Mudrarakshasa and                                      - Visakhadatta

 Devichandraguptam        

Eulogy

Pryag - Prasasti                                            -  Harisena

Philosophy

Sankhyakarika (base on                            -  Ishwar Krishna

Sankhya philosophy)           

Padartha Dharmasangraha                         - Acharya

 [based on Vaisheshika Pra-   

shastipada Philosophy)

Vyasa Bhasya (based on                          -  Acharya Vyasa

Yoga philosophy]              

Nyaya Bhasya [on Nyaya                           - Vatsyayana

philosophy)                   

Religious Works

The two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata,

were given final shape during the period.

Grammar

Amarakosha                                            - Amarsimha

Chandravyakarana                                    - Chandragomin

Kavyadarsha                                            - Dandin

Narrative Story

Panchatantra and Hitopadesha                  -  Vishnu Sharma

Smritis

Vaynavalkyasmritit, Parasharsmriti, Brihspatisinriti,

Naradasmriti and Katyayanasmriti

Mathematics and Astronomy

Aryabhattiya, Dashjitikasutra and             - Aryabhatta

Aryashtashata                                           - Varahmihira

Brhatsamhita and Panchasidhantika         - Brahmagupta

Brahmasidhanata

                                                Miscellaneous Works

Nitisastra                                                   - Kamandaka

Kamsutra                                                   - Vatsayana

Kavyalankara                                             - Bhamah

 

 

The Post Gupta Period (550 AD - 647 AD)

 

NORTHERN INDIA

 

Pushyabhuti dynasty: Pushyabhuti (Founder)

  • The Pushyabhuti dynasty came in Dower in Thaneswar (Karnal in Haryana) in the beginning of the 6th century AD.
  • The first important king of this dynasty \vas Prabhakaravardhan (580-605AD).
  • The Maukhari king Grahavarman assassinated Rajyavardhan's brother-in-law and imprisoned his sister Rajashree with the help of Devagupta of Malava and Shashanka of Gauda.
  • Rajyavardhan inflicted a crushing defeat on Devagupta and was killed by Shashank of Gauda.
  • Harshavardhana (AD 606-647) was the last Hindu king of North India.
  • Harsha himself wrote the Ratnavali, Naganandam and Priyadarshika plays in Sanskrit.
  • His court poet Banabhatta wrote his biography, the Harsha Charita.
  • Harsha united the two kingdoms of Thaneswar and Kannauj and transferred his capital from Thaneswar to Kannauj.


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