History

Early Medieval Period – Developments in the Field of Science

Mathematics and Astronomy In the scientific field, Brahmagupta is the most outstanding figure in this period. He made a number of seminal contributions in mathematics. He was the first mathematician in the world to recognize negative numbers, which he presented as ‘debts’ in contrast to positive numbers, which he called ‘fortunes’. In many other ways …

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Early Medieval Period – Art and Architecture

In stone architecture, there were two major forms: rock-cut and structural. Rock architecture, as you probably already know, refers to the creation of architectural forms in living rock. These rock-cut temples and monasteries usually look like artificial caves in hills and cliffs. These were distinct from ‘structural’ architecture, which refers to building freestanding structures with …

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Early Medieval Period – Religion

In the field of religion, the Puranic temple-based Brahmanical sects, about the nature and rise of which you have already read in the previous lessons, continued to be in the ascendant. Of these the Vaishnava and Shaiva sects were the most important. Taking the evidence of royal patronage as an indicator, the various Shaiva sects …

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Early Medieval Period – Society

A number of important social changes have been identified in the transition to early medieval period. These changes are best approached through the composition, character and scope of the caste system, and the status of women within it. Jati is the basic unit in the caste system. People are grouped in endogamous Jatis, i.e. members …

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Early Medieval Period – Economy

The economic aspects of the transition have been reconstructed mainly on the basis of the evidence of land-grant inscriptions, coins, and settlement archaeology, with some help from literary sources such as the account of the Chinese traveller. These may be studied under the following themes: continuous and unprecedented agrarian expansion; growth of a new class …

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Early Medieval Period – Polity

The distinctiveness of the early medieval polities of our period, in opposition to that of the early historical ones, has been noted in several respects. In these discussions of the transition from the ancient to the early medieval, Mauryan state and administration provide a point of comparison of the ancient Indian states with the early …

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Short Note on Vardhanas

In North India as the Gupta rule began to decline from the turn of the sixth century – to disappear eventually by the middle of it – a number of small kingdoms arose. Two of these were ruled by the Maukharis of Kanauj and the Pushyabhutis of Sthaneshvara (modern Thanesar in Haryana) respectively. The Pushyabhuti …

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Short Note on Chalukyas

The Chalukyas emerged as rulers of northern Karnataka and adjoining areas of Maharashtra in the western Deccan in the beginning of the sixth century CE. They rapidly made themselves overlords of an extensive empire, ruling from their capital Vatapi (modern Badami). The Chalukyas of Badami were dislodged about mid-eighth century by the Rashtrakutas, their erstwhile …

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Short Note on Pallavas

The Pallavas were a dynasty of South India. They ruled for a very long time, for as many as six centuries from third century CE onwards. Initially they were a small power in what is now northern Tamil Nadu, with their capital at Kanchipuram. From the sixth century they figure as a major regional power, …

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