History of India

Edited by A. V. Williams Jackson, Ph.D., LL.D., Professor of Indo-Iranian Languages in Columbia University

Volume 2 – From the Sixth Century B.C. to the Mohammedan Conquest, Including the Invasion of Alexander the Great

By Vincent A. Smith, M.A., M.R.A.S., F.R.N.S. Late of the Indian Civil Service, Author of “Asoka, the Buddhist Emperor of India”


Benares, the Sacred City of India

Benares, with its carved and golden temples, its myriad minarets, and its hallowed waters of the Ganges, is the Holy City of India, the Eternal Rome of the Brahmans, and the Mecca of the Hindus. To bathe in the Ganges is to wash away one’s sins, as in the River Jordan, and to die on its bank is to attain heaven. Thousands of pilgrims travel from every part of India to be blessed in the Golden Temple of Benares and to be sprinkled with the consecrated water of its ‘Well of Knowledge. It is easy, therefore, to understand how important a part Benares has played throughout all periods of India’s history.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – The Dynasties before Alexander

Chapter 3 – Alexander’s Indian Campaign: The Advance

Chapter 4 – Alexander’s Indian campaign: The Retreat

Chapter 5 – Chandragupta Maurya and Bindusara

Chapter 6 – Asoka Maurya

Chapter 7 – Asoka Maurya and his Successors

Chapter 8 – The Sunga, Kanva, and Andhra Dynasties

Chapter 9 – The Indo-Greek and Indo-Parthian Dynasties

Chapter 10 – The Kushan or Indo-Scythian Dynasty

Chapter 11 – The Gupta Empire and the Western Satraps: Chandragupta I to Kumaragupta I

Chapter 12 – The Gupta Empire and the White Huns

Chapter 13 – The Reign of Harsha

Chapter 14 – The Medieval Kingdoms of the North

Chapter 15 – The Kingdoms of the Deccan

Chapter 16 – The Kingdoms of the South

Appendix 1 – Chronology of Saisunaga and Nanda Dynasties

Appendix 2 – Chronology of the Indian Campaign of Alexander the Great

Appendix 3 – The Maurya Dynasty

Appendix 4 – Chronology of the Sunga, Kanya, and Andhra Dynasties

Appendix 5 – Alphabetical list of Bactrian and Indo-Greek Kings and Queens

Appendix 6 – Approximate Kushan Chronology

Appendix 7 – Chronology of the Gupta Period

Appendix 8 – Chronology of the Seventh Century

List of Illustrations

Benares, the Sacred City of India – Frieze from a Buddhist stupa – India’s sacred lotus – Statue of Buddha at Sanchi – Piprawa inscribed vase containing relics of Buddha – The Jain temple, Mount Abu, Dilwara – Buddhist tope and Jain temple at Sarnath near Benares – Temple of the sacred Bo-tree at Bodh Gaya – Great chaitya or tope of Sanchi – King Ajatasatru comes to confession to Buddha – Portion of rail at Bharahat, as first uncovered – Low caste Hindu woman, Bhil type – Pilgrims and beggars at the Well of Knowledge, Benares – The Indus near Attock – An old Hindu fort – Rope bridge across the flooded Jihlam – Indian shields – Burial of Alexander’s favourite horse Bucephalus – Detail from an Ajanta cave painting – Ancient Hindu ship – Indian archer – Frieze from a Buddhist stupa – Indian foot-soldiers – An Indian charger fully caparisoned – Old astronomical observatory at Ujjain – Birthplace of Buddha – Tope at Sarnath, near Benares – Pillar of Asoka at Allahabad – Bharahat sculpture of a Buddhist stupa – Bas-relief on left-hand pillar, northern gateway of the rail at Sanchi – Assyrian honeysuckle ornament from capital of Lat, at Allahabad – Buddhist wheel of the law of piety, Dharma-Chakra – Exterior of Ajanta cave – Interior view of Ajanta cave – Animal hospital – Entrance to Karli cave – Buddhist sculptures – Tower of Victory, Chitor – Horse-sacrifice – River Sipra at Ujjain – Coin of the Indo-Greek king, Menander – Copper coin of Kadphises, Kushan Dynasty – Fort Jamrud, Peshawar – Naga people worshipping the trisul emblem of Buddha, on a fiery pillar – External elevation of great rail at Amaravati – Indian Palms – View of Botanical Gardens, Calcutta – Temple at Bodh Gaya with Bo-tree – Iron pillar of Delhi – Hilltop pagoda – Buddhist sculpture on the Bharahat stupa, showing the erection of the Jetavana monastery – The god Brahma – Scene near Bodh Gaya – Buddhist sculpture – Bathing-place at Ujjain – Brahman Priests at Secundra, India – Gwalior, from Morar – Empire of Harsha, King of Northern India – Great Temple, Madura – King Harsha’s autograph on the Banskhera, Inscription – The sacred Bo-tree – Surya, the sun – An Indian Scene – Sas Bahu Temple, Gwalior – The Fort, Gwalior – Temple of Mahadeva, Kajuraho – Ruins of the Temple of Bhojpur – View of Saswar, in the Deccan, southeast of Poona – Glimpse of Hyderabad – Pulikesin II receives the envoys from the Persian king, Khusru II – The god Krishna – Temple of Kailasa, Ellora – Siva Puja, or worship of Siva – Detail from an Ajanta cave painting – Specimen of Southern Indian temple sculpture – Water-lilies in Botanic Garden, Madras – View of Great Temple, Bhuvaneswar – The Ganesa-Ratha at Mamallaipuram – Pavilion, Little Conjevaram

This collection transcribed by Chris Gage
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