The peace of the Gupta Empire initiated a golden age of cultural and scientific advancements until the empire's dissolution in 550 CE. LEARNING OBJECTIVES [ edit ] Discuss the significance of the Golden Age of India Describe the decline of the Gupta Empire KEY POINTS [ edit ] The peace and prosperity in the Gupta Empire initiated a period known as the Golden Age of India because it was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy. Chandragupta II promoted the synthesis of science, art, philosophy, and religion in part because his court contained the Navartna (or the Nine Jewels), a group of nine scholars who produced advancements in many academic fields. Strong trade relationships made the Gupta Empire an important cultural center and its Golden Age advancements influenced Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. The Chinese traveler Fa Xian visited India from 399 405 CE during the reign of Emperor Chandragupta II, and he recorded all of his observations in a journal that was published later. The Gupta Empire ended in 550 CE when it disintegrated into regional kingdoms after a series of weak rulers and invasions from the east, west, and north. TERMS [ edit ] Chandragupta II his reign from 375 415 CE promoted the synthesis of science, art, philosophy, and religion during the Golden Age of India Golden Age of India the period (also the height of the Gupta Empire) was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy that contributed to Hindu culture Fa Xian a Chinese traveler who took detailed observations in his journal about his experience in the Gupta Empire; his journal was later published Navartna also called the Nine Jewels, this was a group of nine scholars in the court of Chandragupta II who contributed to many advancements in their academic fields ayurvedic A form of alternative medicine that was established in India Give us feedback on this content: FULL TEXT [ edit ] The peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. This period became known as the Golden Age of India because it was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture. Science, Literature, and Art Although Chandragupta I and Samudragupta were prominent rulers, the reign of Chandragupta II promoted science, art, philosophy, and religion in his government. Chandragupta's court was even more influential because it contained the Navartna or the Nine Jewels, a group of nine scholars who produced advancements in many academic fields. Scholars of this period include Varahamihira and Aryabhata; Aryabhata is believed to be the first to come up with the concept of zero and who postulated the theory that the Earth moves round the Sun. Aryabhata proposed that the earth is not flat, but is instead round and rotates about its own axis. He also may have discovered that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight. Other scholars helped create the first Indian numeral systems with base 10 originated during the Golden Age. The famous Sushruta Samhita, which is a Sanskrit redaction text on all of the major concepts ofayurvedic medicine with innovative chapters on surgery, dates to the Gupta period. The game of chess probably originated from this period, where its early form was calledchaturanga and contained game pieces for infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, which would each evolve into the modern pawn, knight, rook, and bishop, respectively. Krishna and Radha playing chaturanga (an early version of chess) Scholars during the reign of Chandragupta II contributed to many scientific advancements, including in astronomy, mathematics, and medicine. Kalidasa, who was a great playwright, wrote plays such as Shakuntala, which is said to have inspired German writer and stateman, Johann von Goethe centuries later, and marked the highest point of Sanskrit literature, which is also said to have belonged to this period. He also became renowned for his study of the shringara (romantic) element. The Indian scholar Vatsyayana also wrote the ancient Sanskrit text the Kama Sutra, as a standard work on human sexual behavior. The cultural creativity of the Golden Age of India produced magnificent architecture, sculptures, and paintings. Palaces and temples constructed during the Golden Age contained the highest quality sculptures and paintings. The walls of Buddhist shrines and monasteries were decorated with colorful frescoes, or wall paintings. These paintings showed scenes from the life of the Buddha. Some shrines were cut out of the cliffs and although dark, they were also decorated with sculptures and paintings. The Dashavatara Temple or Vishnu Temple The Golden Age of India produced many temples with many sculptures and and pantings. Influence on East and Southeast Asia The Gupta dynasty promoted Hinduism, but supported Buddhist and Jain cultures as well. Gupta Buddhist art influenced East and Southeast Asia as trade between regions increased. The Gupta Empire became an important cultural center and influenced nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Classical forms of Indian music and dance, created under the Guptas, are still practiced all over Asia today. Fa Xian was one of the first Chinese travelers who visited India during the reign of Gupta emperor Chandragupta II. He started his journey from China in 399 CE and reached India in 405 CE, and he recorded all of his observations in a journal that was eventually published. During his stay in India up to 411 CE, he went on a pilgrimage to Mathura, Kanauj, Kapilavastu, Kushinagar, Vaishali, Pataliputra, Kashi, and Rajgriha. Fa Xian was pleased with the mildness of administration and, according to his accounts, the Gupta Empire was a prosperous period until trade collapsed as its trade partners disintegrated. Decline of the Gupta Empire Chandragupta II was succeeded by his second son Kumaragupta I in 415 CE, who ruled successfully until 455 CE. His son Skandagupta assumed the throne and is considered to be the last of the great Gupta rulers. He defeated several rebellions and external threats from the Huna people but the expenses of the wars drained the empire's resources. The Huna people were a Central Asian Xionite tribe that consisted of four hordes in four cardinal directions. Northern Huna were the Black Huns, Southern Huna were the Red Huns, Eastern Huna were the Celestial Huns, and Western Huna were the White Huns or Hephthalites. Skandagupta died in 467 and was succeeded by his brother Purugupta, and then by successive, weak kings. The Hephthalites broke through the Gupta defenses in the northwest in the 480s, and much of the empire in northwest was overrun by the Huna by 500. The empire disintegrated into numerous regional kingdoms. A minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha, but the great Gupta Empire had ended by 550 CE.
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