Vedic Civilization
Language, Religion, Technology,
Economy, Society and Politics
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civlization
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Around 1,500 BC, speakers of Indo- European
languages gradually infiltrated the Indian
subcontinent. These people referred to
themselves as Arya(Aryan). As historians do not
have much archaeological evidence for this era,
they rely on the sacred book of hymns
composed by these people. These scared books
are known as Vedas: hence this lecture will
refer to the Vedic Civilization.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization: Language and
Religion
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1. The Linguistic
Identity of Aryan
People.
2. The Evolution of
Sanskrit Language.
3. The Vedas and
Upanishad.
4. Ancient Religious
System.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization: Technology and
Economy
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1. Use of Iron Tools.
2. Clearing of Forests
in Indo- Gangetic
Plain.
3.Beginning of
Sedentary agrarian
Civilization.
4. Rise of Urban
Centers.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Society: Social
Stratification.
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1. Geographic
Expansion of Aryan
Civilization from Indus
Valley to Gangetic
Plain.
2. Primary Ethnic
Units:Tribes or Jana.
3. Cattle Wealth and
the formation of
Ruling Lineages.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization: Social
Stratification
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1. Evolution of Caste
Stratification:A) Brahman-white
B)Kshatriya-yellow
C)Vaishya-red
D) Praja-Shudras and
Dasas-black
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization: Formation of
State
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1. Ethnic Unit –Jana/
Clans/ Tribe.
2. Regional Territory of
Clan-Janapada.
3. Chief of ruling
kshatriya LineageRaja/King.
4. New Name for Ruling
Lineage Rastra (State).
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization
Formation of State
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1. Rise of Early
Kingdoms
(Mahajanapadas).
2. Horse Sacrifice
and the Conquest of
the Region.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Age of Epic: Ramayana and
Mahabharata
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Story of Ramayana
Story of Mahabharata
Kalyuga and the need
for Kingship
The idea of
Vanashramdharma
Triumph of Monarchy
Model Kingship and
Duties of the king
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization : Social Status
of Women
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1. Equal Access to
Learning.
2. Right to Public
Speaking.
3. Women Seers and
Composers of
Hymns.
4. Right to Marry in
accordance with
Personal Choice.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization : Social Status
of Women
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5.Right to Inherit
Property.
6. Marriage as the
main form of
Institution.
7. Patriarchal Family
Structure and the
Control of Husbands
over wives.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
Vedic Civilization
Social Status of Women
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8. Women Barred
from Religious Ritual.
9. The Emphasis on
the Reproductive
Function of Women.
10.Decline of Social
Status with the rise of
Organized State and
Caste System.
History of South Asia:
Ancient India
Prof. Subho Basu
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Vedic Civilization