The Gupta Empire

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1997 - 174 pages
The present work describes the material and moral progress which India had achieved during the paramount sovereignty of the Gupta emperors in the fourth and fifth centuries a.d. It traces the origin and rise of the ruling family to Srigupta (240-280 a.d.) and concludes with the reign of Kumaragupta III (543 a.d.). It discusses the spirit of the age and the various trends in the sphere of Religion, Economy, Society, Education, Administration, Art and Architecture. It seeks to bring together all the facts and data derivable from different sources--literary, epigraphic and numismatic, the accounts of foreign visitors, particularly of the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien who has left a detached and valuable record of India`s civilization during the reign of Chandragupta II. Herein we get an accurate picture of India`s golden age, the growth of her various institutions, her activities of expansion, colonization and her intercourse with Indonesia, China and other countries. The work is divided into sixteen chapters. It has an index of proper names and an addenda on the hoard of new Imperial Gupta coins discovered at Bayana in Bharatpur. The work is very interesting and instructive and is designed to meet the requirements of the academic student of history and the general reader alike.

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Page 59 - The king in his administration uses no corporal punishments ; criminals are merely fined according to the gravity of their offences. Even for a second attempt at rebellion the punishment is only the loss of the right hand. The men of the king's bodyguard have all fixed salaries. Throughout the country no one kills any living thing, nor drinks wine, nor eats onions or garlic ; but chandalas are segregated. Chandala is their name for foul men (lepers...
Page 61 - Of all the countries of Central India, this has the largest cities and towns. Its people are rich and thriving and emulate one another in practising charity of heart and duty to one's neighbour.
Page 61 - Fahien tells that the rich people "have instituted in their capitals free hospitals, and hither come all poor or helpless patients, orphans, widows and cripples. They are well taken care of, a doctor attends them, food and medicine being supplied according to their needs. They are all made quite comfortable, and when they are cured, they go away.
Page 62 - Sanskrit, he took passage on board a large merchant vessel, on which there were over two hundred souls, and astern of which there was a smaller vessel in tow, in case of accident at sea and destruction of the big vessel.
Page 63 - Looking back upon what I went through, my heart throbs involuntarily and sweat pours down. That in the dangers which I encountered whether riding or on foot, I did not spare my body, was because I kept my object steadily in view and concentrated upon it a simple honesty of purpose. And so I could risk my life in places where there was no certainty of escape, in order to accomplish even a minute fraction of what I had hoped for.
Page 60 - ... (as real, not illusory), each school has its own disciples, who also beg their food but do not carry alms-bowls. They further seek salvation by building alongside...
Page 60 - The king's palace and the city with its various halls, all built by spirits who piled up stones, constructed walls and gates, carved designs, engraved and inlaid after no human fashion, is still in existence.
Page 58 - ... Little Snowy Mountains (Safed Koh), which retain the snow, summer and winter alike. On the northern side which is in the shade, it is frightfully cold ; and when a gale gets up, it makes one shut the mouth and shiver. Hui-ching could go no farther; he foamed at the mouth, and said to Fa-hsien, " I too cannot recover; you had better go on while you can; do not let us all pass away here"; and so he passed. Gently stroking the corpse, Fa-hsien cried out in lamentation, " Our original design...
Page 80 - Nivl-dhartna,. ie, the condition that the public purpose, charitable or religious, for which the grant was sanctioned was to be permanently promoted out of the income from the land granted, so that the land could not be transferred or alienated in any Way for profit and should not change hands as private property.
Page 59 - In this country they do not keep pigs or fowls, there are no dealings in cattle, no butchers' shops or distilleries in their market-places.

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