India: Its Early History, Empires and Architecture
Free Public Lecture
This lecture starts from the Indus Valley civilisation (3000BC to 1500BC) and continues with the Aryan invasion from 1500BC and with the brief but significant invasion by Alexander the Great in 326BC. The Mauryan Empire (320 to 180BC) was the first full scale indigenous empire in India. Its most powerful Emperor, Ashoka, spread Buddhism over much of the country with his famous columns, rock inscriptions and stupas.
The second great Indian Empire, the Guptas (320 to 480AD), created a sophisticated society with flourishing arts, architecture, sculpture, literature, sciences, economics and administration. Cave and rock temples are described and illustrated, including the remarkable wall paintings at Ajanta and the sculpture at Ellora and Elephanta. Hindu temples developed all over the country from the 5th century AD onwards and became increasingly complex and extraordinary. The Muslim invasion of India at the end of the 12th century introduced new forms of architecture and art.
Oliver Everett is Librarian Emeritus of the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. His visit to the University of Melbourne is made possible via the generosity of the Macgeorge Bequest, in partnership with the Australia India Institute.