Friday, 5 October 2012

THE BRONZE AGE

The Bronze Age

Vedic Civilization

Indian civilization and culture is not only ancient but it is also extensive and varied. Many races and peoples have contributed and enriched it. Vedic civilization is the earliest civilization in Indian history. It is named after the Vedas, the early literature of the Hindu people. This civilization is the foundation of Hinduism and the associated Indian culture that is known today.

The kingdom of the Kurus marks flowering of the Vedic civilization, corresponding to the Black and Red Ware and the beginning of the Iron Age in Northwestern India begins, around 1000 BC, likely also contemporary with the composition of the Atharvaveda.

Mahajanapadas

Mahajanapadas literally means "Great kingdoms". The word has taken from Sanskrit Maha = great, Janapada = foothold of tribe = country. By 500 BC, sixteen monarchies and 'republics' known as the Mahajanapadas stretched across the Indo-Gangetic plains from modern-day Afghanistan to Bangladesh.

The Buddhist and other texts only incidentally refer to sixteen great nations (Solasa Mahajanapadas) which were in existence before the time of Buddha. They do not give any connected history except in the case of Magadha. The Buddhist Anguttara Nikaya, at several places, gives a list of sixteen nations:
  1. Kasi
  2. Kosala
  3. Anga
  4. Magadha
  5. Vajji (or Vriji)
  6. Malla
  7. Chedi
  8. Vatsa (or Vamsa)
  9. Kuru
  10. Panchala
  11. Machcha (or Matsya)
  12. Surasena
  13. Assaka
  14. Avanti
  15. Gandhara
  16. Kamboja


The Rise of Kingdoms

The end of the Vedic Age (1500 BC-600 BC) was followed by the rise of small kingdoms and republics in the northern parts of India and especially in the Gangetic plains of Bihar.

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