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Between the EmpiresSociety in India 300 BCE to 400 CE$
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Patrick Olivelle

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305326.001.0001

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Brahmanical Reactions to Foreign Influences and to Social and Religious Change

Brahmanical Reactions to Foreign Influences and to Social and Religious Change

Chapter:
(p.456) (p.457) 17 Brahmanical Reactions to Foreign Influences and to Social and Religious Change
Source:
Between the Empires
Author(s):

Michael Witzel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305326.003.0017

The period from approximately 200 bce to 300 ce is usually called a time of invasions, meaning those of the Greeks, Śakas, and Kushanas, or “between the empires.” However, the 500 years between the Mauryas and the Guptas were perhaps the most turbulent, but probably also the most productive and fertile of Indian history. It is usually not considered that this period was one of tremendous curiosity about and openness toward the outside world. Building on a Veda and on Mauryan integration, numerous new external influences were added, processed, assimilated, and transformed in a typical Indian way, so that with the Guptas a completely new India emerged, the so-called Classical India of historians. Some of the influences and reactions against them that were at work during the half millennium “between the empires” preceding the emergence of the great Gupta culture are investigated in this chapter.

Keywords:   Mauryas, Guptas, Veda, Classical India, between the empires, Gupta culture

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