's Ancient Civilizations of the World/The Gupta Age

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The Gupta Empire (गुप्त साम्राज्य) was an ancient Indian empire which existed from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. Founded by Maharaja Sri Gupta, the dynasty was the model of a classical civilization. The peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. This period is called the Golden Age of India, and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture.

Chandra Gupta I, Samudra Gupta the Great, and Chandra Gupta II the Great were the most notable rulers of the Gupta dynasty. The 4th century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, credits Guptas with having conquered about twenty one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas (Persians), the Hunas, the Kambojas tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kinnaras, Kiratas etc. Strong trade ties also made the region an important cultural center and set the region up as a base that would influence nearby kingdoms in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.

The empire gradually declined because of many factors such as substantial loss of territory and imperial authority caused by their own erstwhile feudatories and the invasion by the Huna peoples from Central Asia. After the collapse of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century, India was again ruled by numerous regional kingdoms. A minor line of the Gupta clan continued to rule Magadha after the disintegration of the empire. These Guptas were ultimately ousted by Vardhana ruler Harsha Vardhana, who established an empire in the first half of the 7th century.


"The Gupta Empire" (Wikipedia)