Gupta period in India - Ancient Indian History
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Guptan Empire

Chandragupta II
Gold coin of Chandragupta II

In 319 AD, King Chandragupta II (the second) managed to unite all of northern India into a great empire again. (He was not related to the first Chandragupta, but he wanted people to think he was). He even conquered some of South India. The Gupta kings were not Buddhists but Hindus, following the older Indian religion. Many Jains moved from eastern India to western India, across the Guptan Empire, at this time.

Under the Guptan kings, India was very rich and powerful. Peace allowed traders to travel safely, and there was more trade between India and China, passing through Sogdiana in Central Asia. Buddhist pilgrims and Indian and Chinese scientists also traveled between China and India. This travel may have helped Indian mathematicians to make important advances in mathematics at this time, like inventing the number zero. Indian scientists figured out how to make sugar cane into pure crystalized sugar about 350 AD, and Indian traders began to sell sugar in China. In return, Chinese travelers brought an early version of the game of chess to India.

But in 455 AD the Huns invaded India from the north and destroyed the Guptan Empire. India split into a bunch of smaller kingdoms including the Chola Empire and the Rajput kings.

Learn by Doing: Sugar Cane Project
And a Chess Project
Chola and Rajput Kingdoms

Bibliography and further reading about the Guptan Empire:

Guptan architecture
Chola and Rajput Kingdoms
More about Ancient India
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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