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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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Spread of Civilization in Eastern India

Spread of Civilization in Eastern India

(p.250) 26 Spread of Civilization in Eastern India
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

A civilized society can produce enough to sustain the actual producers and the consumers. A combination of these elements makes for civilization. The period from the fourth to the seventh century is remarkable for the diffusion of an advanced rural economy, formation of state systems, and delineation of social classes in eastern MP, Orissa, eastern Bengal, southeast Bengal, and Assam. The art of writing and the use of the Sanskrit language spread over a substantial part of Orissa, and some of the finest Sanskrit verses have been found in the epigraphs of the period. Writing, Sanskrit learning, Vedic rituals, brahmanical social classes, and state systems spread and developed in eastern MP, north Orissa, West Bengal, parts of Bangladesh and Assam during the formative phase. The decline and fall of the Gupta Empire coincided with considerable progress in the outlying regions.

Keywords:   Sanskrit, rural economy, state systems, delineation of social classes, Vedic rituals, Gupta Empire, outlying regions

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