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Humshehri: Thinking Pakistan's History

Thinking Pakistan's History

Gupta Empire

Urdu Version

The Gupta period, from about 320 to 600 AD, is known as the Golden Age of the subcontinent when great advances in science and math were made.

Last Updated: 28 Feb. 2014

Overview

The Gupta Empire was established by Chandragupta I around 320 AD. Under his successors, the Gupta Empire expanded to cover most of the subcontinent from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea. The Gupta period came to be known as the Golden Age of the subcontinent due to the economic, scientific and cultural growth that occurred. There were great developments in art and architecture, literature, music and most importantly math and science. Fa-Hsien, a Chinese pilgrim, who travelled to the subcontinent during this era wrote of beautiful cities and buildings and prosperity.

gupta map
Gupta Empire at its height
(Huntington Archive)

The empire eventually declined around 600 AD due to loss of territory and authority as well the invasion of the Huns. After the collapse the region was again ruled by numerous kingdoms.

Advances in math & science

The Guptas made great advances in mathematics and science. One of the greatest mathematicians and astronomers, Aryabhata, in 499 AD discovered that the earth was a sphere rotating on its own axis and orbits the sun. He has also been credited for originating the concept of the decimal system. Brahmagupta, another famous mathematician during the Gupta period, has been credited for signifying the importance of zero as a number rather than a placeholder.

Find out more

Books & Articles

Hussain, Jain. An Illustrated History of Pakistan (Book 1). Karachi: Oxford UP, 1981.

“Aryabhata I.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 Jan. 2014.

“Brahmagupta.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica.

“The Gupta Dynasty.” Silk Road Exhibit. University of Washington.

Websites

PBS The Story of India: Episode 4 – Gupta Empire and Aryabhata (video)


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