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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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Legacy in Science and Civilization

Legacy in Science and Civilization

(p.307) 33 Legacy in Science and Civilization
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

Brahmanism or Hinduism was the dominant religion in early India and affected the development of art, literature, and society. India also gave rise to Jainism and Buddhism. Although Christianity came here in about the first century ad, it did not make much headway in ancient times. Religion had a special effect on the formation of social classes. The functions of priests, warriors, peasants, and labourers were defined in law and were supposed to have been set out by divine agencies. Crafts, commerce, and agriculture made great steps and supported numerous cities. India made an important contribution to science. Mathematics, astronomy, and medicine also developed separately. Indian craftsmen contributed much to the development of chemistry. Ancient Indians also made some contribution to the study of geography. The common people continued to suffer from loss of land. The Satavahanas started the practice of land grants with administrative rights in the second century.

Keywords:   Brahmanism, Jainism, Buddhism, formation of social classes, science, mathematics, chemistry, geography, Satavahanas

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