II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Classical Civilizations, 300 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > d. Indian Empires
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
d. Indian Empires
 
Hinduism (See Hinduism) provided a strong basis for the social order in India that was less identified with imperial political structures than in the other regional civilizations. Temple organizations and the caste system were effective alternatives to the control of kings. However, India did experience major imperial unifications (See 327–325).  1
 
322–184 B.C.E
 
MAURYAN EMPIRE. The defeat of local states by Alexander in 327–324 B.C.E. opened the way for unification of northern India by imperial conquest.  2
 
322–298 B.C.E
 
CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA conquered much of northern India, creating the basis for the Mauryan Empire.  3
 
268–232 B.C.E
 
REIGN OF ASHOKA, Chandragupta's grandson, represented the high point of Mauryan power and a time of official support for Buddhism. After Ashoka's death, dynastic rivalries, civil unrest, and a revival of Hinduism led to five centuries of political disunity.  4
 
78–180 C.E
 
KUSHAN EMPIRE was the strongest state in the era of instability. Based in central Asia and modern Afghanistan, it controlled northern India under Kanishka (r. 78–96 C.E.), who aided the expansion of Buddhism in central Asia.  5
 
320–535 C.E
 
GUPTA EMPIRE (See South Asia, 72 B.C.E.–500 C.E.) revived Indian imperial unity. Gupta rulers gave support to Brahmans and Hinduism. The empire disintegrated in the face of invasions from central Asia, especially in 500–535 C.E.  6
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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