320 CE - 550 CE
The Gupta Empire controlled much of Northern India.
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The Gupta Empire began in 320 CE, about 500 years after the fall of the Mauryan Empire. It was started by Chandra Gupta. While the empire existed, it conquered much less land than the Mauryans, only controlling Northern India. India's golden age, the time when a culture has peace and prosperity, and there are many great cultural contributions, came during the Gupta Empire. Then, around 480 CE, a group called the Huns attacked the empire, leaving it to be almost nothing by 550 CE.
The Guptas mostly practiced Buddhism, which lead to a very peaceful society. A powerful and strong central government was used to keep things in order within the empire and to keep the peace.
Their government was also very efficient. They had a bureaucracy that collected taxes and built roads and harbors. The Guptas also had factories and shipyards that were owned by the government.
- The Gupta Empire created the Arabic Numerals, which are the numbers we still use every day. They are called Arabic Numerals because the Arabs took them from the Gupta Empire in India, west to Europe. The Europeans called them Arabic Numerals because they received them from the Arabs.
- They also created many mathematical concepts such as the Decimal System and the concept of zero and infinity. The decimal system is a way of writing numbers using a decimal point and a base of ten. With their concept of zero, they now had a symbol to represent nothing.
- The Gupta Empire was also very advanced in astronomy, because they used math, and they first proposed the idea that the earth was round.
- Many of their ideas spread through trading with other cultures.