MAK
31 
of merchanfs frading over (he whole of Indio, (he croftsmen who 
supplied (hem wifh goods, (he new lorger ci(ies, espedolly (hose 
of (he Mouryo empire, and lo(er (he foreign conquerors. Bu( (he 
Mouryo empire, imi(a(ed from Achoemenid-Persion and Helien- 
is(ic pa((erns and only held (oge(her by (orce, dissolved, a((er (he 
dea(h o( (he gen(le Buddhis( emperor Ashoka, once more in(o a 
ioose con(edera(ion under (he Sunga and Kanva emperors. Thus 
prevaiied (he na(ionalis( coun(erre(orma(ion o( (he Brahmins, who 
on (he one hand based (hemselves on (he cour(s as cour( as(ro- 
logers, sacri(icing pries(s and minis(ers, and on (he o(her hand 
organised (he populär religions in(o a (ew large, (heoredcally 
mono(heis(ic, (or pradical purposes poly(heis(ic sys(ems in which 
(he innumerable local gods were incorporaied as various forms 
of (he supreme God, his "power" (Sakli, wife), his emanalions 
(children), incarnafions and heavenly following, and subordinafed 
(o (he philosophy of cognifion and love of God. 
I( was neverfheless fo fake cenfuries before (his movemeni was 
sfrong enough, since (he smail sfafes were an easy prey (o 
cenfral Asien conquerors, firsf (second cenfury B. C.) (he Greek 
safraps of Bacfria (norfhern Afghanisfan), fhen (he Scyfhians 
(firsf cenfury B. C. (o second A. D.) (Caf. 103; 127), Parfhians (abouf 
(he firne of (he birfh of Chrisf, Thomas (he Aposfle), (he Yue-Chi 
(Tochari) and Kushana (firsf (o fhird cenfuries A. D.). Meanwhiie 
(he (own culfure became more and more de(ached from ifs village 
background. Buddhism, proselyfising in Afghanisfan, easfern 
Turkisfan and (inally in China and Japan, became increasingly 
idenfified wifh Hellenism and (he barbarians of cenfral Asia. In 
ifs place (he Hindu reiigions, Vishnuism (cuK of (he Heavenly 
King), Sivaism (cuK of (he Crea(or), Sakfism (cuK of (he Mofher 
God), and Surya Worship (of (he sun) became respecfable and 
won over many powerfui foreigners (o nafionalism, (he Sanscrif 
language of (he Vedic culf became (he uniform language of (he 
Indian upper dass and i(s liferafure especially (he greaf nafional 
epics of (he Mahabharafa and Ramayana, became (he bearers 
of a new nafional ideology. 
This finally fook shape In (he realm of (he Gupfa Emperor (320 (o 
530/70 A. D.), (he golden age of Indian culfure, (he classic model 
for all subsequenf cenfuries. A 'welfare s(a(e" embracing (he 
whole of norfhern india and confrolling (he Deccan, foleranf, wifh 
a social and economic sirucfure based on an even more elasfic 
large-scale capifalism, (he Gupfa Empire slill uKimafely aspired 
Io an arisfocrafic ideal, (he mos( perfecl, divinely inspired na 
fional way of life in which all foreign cullural slimuli would also 
be absorbed. Buf under (he confinual affacks of new cenfral-Asian 
hordes of barbarians, (he "whife" Huns (Hephfhalifes), Shulikas 
and Gurjaras, (he Gupfa Empire degenerafed in(o a number of 
milifary sfafes (c. 530—750 A. D.); (he ravages of war, inflafion 
and (he pressure of faxes desfroyed (he middle dass; (he large 
cifies dwindied away; (he Buddhisf church supporfed by (he 
middle dass losf ifs influence; (he Gupfa culfure became sub- 
merged in (he feudal (radifionalism of (he Middle Ages. 
3. THE SOUTH: Soufhern India had from an early dafe direc( 
relaflons, sfill inadequafely explained, wifh Mesopofamia, Ara 
bia, Egypf and Syria. From abouf 600 B. C. Brahmin and Kshafriya 
colonisfs, and lafer Jainas and Buddhisfs, pushed (heir way in 
from norfhern India, buf had fo conform fo (he nafive, originally 
megalifhic culfure. The spiee (rode wifh (he Roman Empire en- 
riched (he furfhesf Soufh (Tamil culfure of (he Samgam period, 
fhird cenfury B. C. (o fhird cenfury A. D.) and promofed in (he 
Deccan (he evolufion of (he greaf Empire of (he Safavahanas 
(fhird (o firsf cenfury B. C. unfii (he beginning of (he fhird cen 
fury A. D.). From (he (ourfh unfii (he fhird cenfury (he Gupfa 
culfure penefrafed (he empires of (he Vakafakas, Kadambas, Pal 
lavas and Gangas, and in consequence, from abou( 600, an 
independanf form of culfure developed in (he empires of (he 
Kanci Pallavas (Conjeevaram) and Vafapi Calukyas (Badomi, in 
(he Deccan), borne by a populär reform firsf of Sivaism, fhen of 
Vishnuism. 
4. THE HINDU MIDDLE AGES (EIGHTH TO TWELFTH CENTURY 
AND FOURTEENTH CENTURY): Befween (he eighlh and (enfh cen 
furies, under fhe Prafihara Emperors of Kanauj and lafer under 
fheir former vassals, fhe Solanki and Vagheia, Chauhan, Para- 
mara, Candella and Haihaya (Kalachuri) in fhe norfh, fhe Rash- 
frakufa, fhe lafer Calukya, Silahara, Hoyshala, Kakafya and Ya- 
dava in fhe Deccan, fhe Cola and Pandya in fhe Soufh, fhe 
mediaevai culfure of India assumed ifs final shape: on fhe one 
hand all splendour, power and wealfh in fhe hands of fhe milifary 
arisfocracy and (he priesfs' councils af fhe greaf (emples, on fhe 
ofher hand fhe poverfy of fhe exploifed peasanfs, and befween 
fhe (wo a very (hin layer of guilds of merchanfs and craffsmen. 
Since, however, (he nobilify wore ouf fheir strengfh in confinual 
sfruggles (or power, and fhe princes among fhem did likewise in 
jockeying for highly insecure leading posifions, fhe influence and 
fhus fhe wealfh of fhe femples, whose favour was courfed by all, 
grew sfronger and sfronger. The religious (radifion, gradually ex- 
fending and developing fhe Gupfa inherifance, dominafed fhe
	        

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