The Gupta Empire

The Gupta Empire

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Item Code: IDJ756
Author: Radha Kumud Mookerji
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788120804401
Pages: 185 (Black & White Plates: 19)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 9.5
Weight 360 gm
Preface to First Edition:

This work was written in the last days of my teaching at the Lucknow University and suggested by its needs. Its title indicates its scope and limits. It deals only with imperial Gupta history, and not with that of the later Guptas. It seeks to bring together in a concise and condensed form all the facts and data which are derivable from different sources, literary, epigraphic or numismatic, but are treated in separate specialized works. It will thus be found useful to both students and teachers of its subject, who will find in one handy volume all its materials collected and utilized. A special feature of the work is its account of the moral and material progress of the country achieved in the spacious times of the Gupta Emperors, and of the various institutions, social, economic, and administrative in which that progress was embodied. It gives a picture of India's civilization in some of her best days, the days of national freedom and planning, of the beginnings of her expansion, and intercourse with Indonesia and China. It is hoped that it will thus have a larger and more general appeal beyond the narrow circle of academic students of history. Another special feature of the work is its Illustrations, some of which, especially those of coins, are based on line-drawings to bring out more clearly their details which are somewhat obscure or defaced in the originals. The Illustrations will thus serve as useful aids to the study of the coins. Some of the line-drawings I owe to the distinguished Artists, Messrs. Nanda Lal Bose, Asit Kumar Haldar, and P. Neogy, to whom I am grateful. There have been at places repetitions of the same material where it had to be presented from different points of view, and in its various aspects. Such repetitions have not been ruled out.

The method of transliteration adopted in the work is shown in the following examples: Krishna, Vamsa, Lichchhavi.

The publication has been delayed by the prevailing difficulties of printing, and by my deputation by Government to an FAO Conference at Washington (U.S.A.) in October 1946.

I owe acknowledgements to my following pupils who helped me in copying out my MS for the press: Abinas Srivastava, M.A., M. C. Joshi, M.A., Dina Nath Tandon. M.A., and B. Subba Rao, M.A. My thanks are due to Mr. Raja Ram Jayasval, M.A., for the Index.

I am grateful to my friend, Dr, Benjamin Schwartz, Ph.D., of the Indic Section of the Library of Congress at Washington, D.C., U.S.A., for his kind help in correcting the final proofs of the work at Washington.

Preface to Second Edition:

It is gratifying to the Author to find that a work which is somewhat technical in its character with its necessary documentation, literary, epigraphic and numismatic, should call for a second edition in such a short time. Some necessary additions have been made on the basis of new numismatic material derived from the Bayana hoard of Imperial Gupta gold coins recently found in Bharatpur State.

The Author is greatly indebted to the line drawings and other suggestions made by Sri Sivaramamurti, M.A., Superintendent of Archaeology, Indian Museum, Calcutta, in the preparation of the addendum.

The Author records his deep sorrow at the sad and untimely death of his old pupil Sri Raja Ram Jayaswal, M.A., who prepared the Index which remains unchanged in the Second Edition.

Preface to Third Edition:

That a third edition of the work has been called for is gratifying to the author. My thanks are due to the Publishers for their readiness to meet the demand and for the improved get-up which will now make the book more attractive to its readers.

Contents

CHAPTER I
BEGINNINGS
Sources, 1 ; Background, 2 ; Post-Maurya history, 2 ; Foreign Invasions, Greek, Saka, Pahlava, Kushan, 3 ; Saka Satrapies, 4 ; Nagas, 6 ; Bharasivas, 7 ; Vakatakas, 7 ; Maukharis, 8 ; Lichchhavis, 8 ; Devarakshitas, 9.
CHAPTER II
SRI-GUPTA (c. A.D. 240-280) and GHATOTKACHA (c. 280-319 A.D.)
Origin, 11 ; Sri-Gupta, 11 ; I-tsing, 11 ; Title Sri, 11: Gotra of Guptas, 12 ; Ghatotkacha, 12.
CHAPTER III
CHANDRA GUPTA I (c. A.D. 319-335)
His Conquests, 13 ; Evidence of Kaumudi-Mabotsava, 13 ; Numismatic evidence, 14 ; Gupta Era, 15.
CHAPTER IV
SAMUDRA GUPTA PARAKRAMANKA (c. A.D. 335-380)
Date, 17 ; Name, 17 ; Succession, 17 ; Allahabad Pillar Inscription, 18 ; Harishena, 19 ; Campaigns and Conquests, 19 ; First Campaign in Aryavarta, 19 ; Campaign in Dakshinapatha, 20 ; Second Campaign in Aryavarta, 23 ; Forest States, 23 ; Frontier States, 23 ; Republican States, 24 ; Foreign States, 26 ; Beginnings of Greater India, 28 ; Completion of Conquest of Aryavarta, 29 ; Asvamedha, 30 ; Kushan influence, 31 ; Types of Coinage ; Standard, 31 ; Its Kushan features, 32 ; Chandra Gupta, 32 ; Figure of Durga-Simhavahana, 33 ; Archer, 33 ; Battle-axe, 33 ; Kacha, 34, Symbol Chakra, 34 ; Tiger, 34 ; Association of Ganga on Makara with Tiger, 35 ; Lyrist, 35 ; Figure of Goddess Sarasvati on Rev., 35 ; Asvamedha, 35 ; Figure of Queen on Rev., 35 ; Progressive Indianisation, 36 ; Design in Variety, 37 ; Character of Samudra Gupta, 37 ; Note on Vakataka History, 41.
CHAPTER V
CHANDRA GUPTA II VIKRAMADITYA (c. A.D. 375-414)
Date, 44 ; Name, 44 ; Nomination for the Throne 45 ; Family, 45 ; Events of his Reign 46 ; Conquest of Saka territories, 47 ; Ministers, 48 ; Administrative Officers, 48; Guilds, 49 ; Administrative Divisions, 49 ; Prevailing Religion, 50 ; Mahesvara Saiva Sect, 50 ; Chief Cities, 52 ; Types of Coinage, 52 ; Archer, 52 ; Its Throne Reverse, 52 ; Lotus Reverse, 52 ; Couch, 53 ; Chhatra, 53 ; Dwarf, 53 ; Lion-Slayer, 54 ; Territorial significance of Lion, 54 ; Figure of Durga-Simhavahana (on Lion), 54 ; Horse-man, 55 ; Silver Coins, 55 ; Copper Coins, 56 ; Titles, 56 ; Civilization as described by Fa-Hien, 56 ; Chinese cultural Mission to India, 57 ; Indian Religion in foreign countries, 57 ; Buddhist Monasteries in Panjab, 58 ; Conditions in Middle Kingdom, 59 ; Jetavana Vihara, 60 ; Multiplicity of Sects 60 ; Homes of Charity, 60 ; Asoka's Place at Pataliputra, 60 ; Its Scholars, 61 ; Free Hospitals, 61 ; Nalanda, 61 ; Rajagriha, 61 ; Bodh-Gaya, 62 ; Sea-Voyage from Tamralipti to Ceylon, 62 ; Voyage to Java, 62 ; Storms, 62 ; Travel through 30 countries, 63 ; System of Oral Teaching, 63 ; Note on Rama Gupta 64 ; Note on King Chandra, 66.
CHAPTER VI
KUMARA GUPTA I MAHENDRADITYA (c. A.D. 414-455)
Date, 70 ; Family, 72 ; Events, 73 ; Religious and Charitable Endowments, 76 ; Arya-Samgha, 76 ; Akshaya-Nivi, 76 ; Sada-Sattra, 77 ; Agnihotra, 77 ; Pancha-Mahayajnas, 77 ; Architecture, 78 ; Public Works, Temples, Viharas and Mansions, 78 ; Administration, 78, Its Divisions, 78, Epigraphic evidence, 80 ; Land-Trans-actions, 83; Technical Terms, 83; Price of Land, 83 ; Coin-Types, 84 ; Archer, Swordsman, 84 ; Garuda linked with Lakshmi, 84 ; Asvamedha, 85 ; Queen on Rev., 85 ; Horseman, 85 ; Figure of Durga as Mayura-Vahana, 85 ; Lion-Slayer, 85 ; Durga on Lion, 85 ; Tiger-Slayer, 86 ; Durga feeding peacock, 86 ; Peacock, 86 ; King feeding peacocks on Obv. and God Kartikeya on Peacock on Rev., 86 ; Pratapa, 86 ; Figure of King between two female attendants, 86 ; Elephant-Rider, 87 ; Silver Coins, 87, Remodelling of Kshatrapa Coinage with Gupta numismatic features, 87 ; Copper Coins, 88.
CHAPTER VII
SKANDA GUPTA VIKRAMADITYA (c. A.D. 455-467)
Dates, 90 ; Succession, 91 ; History, 91 ; Epigraphic Evidence, 92 ; Theory of disputed succession, 93 ; Administration, 94 ; Parnadatta Governor of Surashtra, 94 ; His Son Chakrapalita as Mayor of Girinagara, 94 ; Lake Sudarsana, 95 ; Prevailing Religions, 96 ; Images of Jain Adikartris, 96 ; Temples of Sun, Skanda, Divine Mothers (Matris) and Parvati, 96 ; Economic Conditions, 96 ; Tailika-Sreni (Guild of Oilmen), 97 ; Its Banking functions, 97 ; Coin-Types, 97 ; Archer, 98 ; King and Lakshmi, 98 ; Horseman 98 ; Silver Coins, 99 ; Extent of Empire, 99.
CHAPTER VIII
PURU GUPTA VIKRAMA-PRAKASADITYA (c. A.D. 467-469)
Succession, 101 ; History, 102.
CHAPTER IX
SUCCESSORS OF PURU GUPTA
New Data from Nalanda Seals, 104 ; Summary of the position, 106.
CHAPTER X
KUMARA GUPTA II KRAMADITYA (c. A.D. 473-476)
Epigraphic Evidence, 107 ; Coinage, 107 ; Imperial Status, 100 ; Epigraphic evidence 109.
CHAPTER XI
BUDHA GUPTA (c. A.D. 476-495)
Epigraphic evidence, 110 ; Sarnath Inscriptions, 110 ; Images of Buddha standing and seated, 110 ; Damodarpur Copper-plate Inscriptions, 110 ; Details of Land-transaction, 111 ; Temples of Gods Svetavarahasvami and Kokamukhasvami and their possible location, 113 ; Paharpur Copper-plate Inscription 114 ; A Brahmin's gift to a Jaina Vihara, 114 ; Panchastupa Sects 115 ; Land-transaction, 115 ; Akshayanivi-Dharma, 115 ; Khila and Vastu Lands, and their prices, 115 ; Earn Stone Pillar Inscriptions, 116 ; Nandapur Copper-plate Inscription, 116 ; Its details of Land-transaction, 116 ; Feudatories, 117 ; Political History, 117 ; Recovery of Gupta imperial position, 118 ; Silver Coins, 118.
CHAPTER XII
NARASIMHA GUPTA BALADITYA
Literary Evidence, 119 ; Coins, 119 ; Huna Invasions, 119 ; Bhanu Gupta, 119 ; His Status, 120 ; Toramana, 120 ; Mihirakula, 120 ; Yasodharman, 120.
CHAPTER XIII
VAINYA GUPTA
Gunajgarh Copper-plate Inscriptions, 122 ; Coins, 122 ; An agrahara of a Buddhist Samgha, 123 ; Vainya Gupta as King in eastern Bengal, 123.
CHAPTER XIV
KUMARA GUPTA III
Damodarpur Copper-plate Inscription, No. 5, 124 ; A Royal Provincial Governor, 124 ; Provision for repairs of the Temple of God Svetavarahasvami and for worship, 124 ; Details of Land-transaction, 125.
CHAPTER XV
LOCAL KINGS OF EASTERN INDIA
King Gopachandra, 126 ; Faridpur Copper-plate Inscription, 126 ; Mallasarul Copper-plate Inscription, 126 ; Vardhamana-Bhukti and its officers, 126 ; Land-transaction, 127 ; Dharmaditya, 128 ; Grant of Land on sea-coast, 128.
CHAPTER XVI
MATERIAL AND MORAL PROGRESS
Political Unification, 129 ; Greater India, 129 ; Account of Fa-Hien, 129 ; Revival of Brahmanism, 130 ; Vedic Sacrifices, 130 ; Vaishnavism, 130 ; Saivism, 131 ; Sakti Worship, 132 ; Kartikeya, 133 ; Surya, 133 ; Other Deities worshipped, 133 ; Buddhism, 133 ; Jainism, 134 ; Worship of Teachers and Texts, 134 ; Religious Endowments, 134 ; Secular Endowments, 135 ; Education and Learning, 135 ; Teachers 135 ; Subjects of Study, 136 ; Method of learning, 136 ; Popularity of Sanskrit, 137 ; Kings as Sanskritists, 137 ; Literary Conferences, 137 ; Learning among nobility, 137 ; Learned Silk-Weavers, 138 ; Inscriptions as literature, 138 ; Centers of Learning, 138 ; Art of Coinage, 139 ; Structures and Sculptures, 141 ; Saiva Sculptures, 141 ; Krishna Sculptures, 141 ; Buddhist Sculptures, 142 ; Expansion of Buddhist Pantheon, 143 ; Different Schools of Art, 143 ; Temple Architecture and its evolution, 145 ; Examples of typical Temples, 145 ; Pillars, 146 ; Varnasrama-Dharma, 147 ; Economic Condition, 148 ; Growth of Guilds, 148 ; Banking 149 ; Public Works of Utility, 150 ; Political Conditions, 150 ; Royal Succession, 150 ; Features of Royalty, 150 ; Administrative Divisions, 151 ; Provincial Administration, 151 ; District Administration, 153 ; City Administration, 153 ; Sources of Revenue and Taxation, 154 ; Bengal Inscription, 155 ; Their value as Records of Land-transactions, 155.
Addenda pp. 157-159.
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