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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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Rise and Growth of the Gupta Empire

Rise and Growth of the Gupta Empire

(p.231) 24 Rise and Growth of the Gupta Empire
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

The Gupta Empire established control over a substantial part of the former dominions of the Kushans. The sharman, varman, gupta, and dasa are the different titles recommended for the different varnas. The first important king of the Gupta dynasty was Chandragupta I. He started the Gupta era in ad 319–20, which marked the date of his accession. This kingdom was also enlarged enormously by Samudragupta. The places and the countries conquered by him can be divided into five groups. Chandragupta II extended the limits of the empire by matrimonial alliance and conquest. It was also during his reign that the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hsien visited India and wrote an elaborate account of the life of its people. The successors of Chandragupta II had to face an invasion by the Hunas from Central Asia in the second half of ad fifth century. The Gupta Empire was further undermined by the rise of the feudatories.

Keywords:   Gupta Empire, Samudragupta, Chandragupta I, matrimonial alliance, Chandragupta II, rise of the feudatories, Fa-hsien, Hunas invasion

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