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The Rise and the Decline of The Guptas Questions & Answers
Question 1: Answer the following questions:
(a) Name the dramas written by Harsha.
Answer: The plays written by Harsha were Ratnavali, Nagananda and Priyardarshika.
(b) Who was the court poet of Samudragupta?
(c) Who took the title of Shakari and when?
Answer: Chandragupta II performed the Asvamedha Yajna after a successful military campaign against Shakas and took up the title of Shakari or ‘destroyer of Shakas’.
(d) Name the Chinese traveller who visited India during the reign of Chandragupta II.
(e) Which inscriptions describe the chronology of Harsha’s time?
Answer: The Sonpat inscription and the Madhuben plate inscription describe the chronology of Harsha’s time.
(f) Name the Gupta ruler who was known as Maharajadhiraja.
Answer: Chandragupta I was known as Maharajadhiraja.
(g) The reign of which empire is called the Golden Age of Indian history?
Answer: Gupta Empire
Question 2: Write about the administration of the Gupta period.
- The Gupta bureaucracy was less complex because the king established a close contact with provincial administration with the help of a class of ofﬁcials known as Kumaramatyas.
- In the Gupta Empire, the provinces were known as Bhuktis which were placed under Uparikas, the provincial governors. They were generally selected from the princes.
- Bhuktis were further divided into Vishayas or districts and were under the control of the Vishayapatis.
- The Gramas or villages in the district were looked after by the village headman or Gramikas. He was assisted by the village elders or Gramavriddhas in better functioning of his duties.
- The judiciary was more developed as compared to earlier times. Civil and criminal laws were clearly demarcated.
- Inheritance laws were properly laid down. The guilds of traders and crafts persons had their own set of laws.
- Land taxes were on a higher side than those on trade and commerce were less.
- The king collected 1/4th to 1/6th of the total produce as taxes.
- The Guptas organised a system of provincial and local administration.
Question 3: Discuss the military expedition of Samudragupta.
Samudragupta was one of the greatest rulers of the Gupta dynasty. Briefly explain the achievements of Samudragupta.
- Samudragupta’s South Indian expedition is better known as Dakshinapatha expedition. He defeated twelve rulers in this expedition.
- He gave them back their kingdoms but asserted them to recognise his suzerainty.
- After these successful military campaigns, Samudragupta performed the asvamedha yajna.
- Samudragupta’s rule extended over Eastern Himalayan states and bordering states such as Nepal, Assam and Bengal. These regions were directly controlled by him.
- The forest territories situated in Vindhyas known as Atavikarajyas were brought under his control.
- The Shakas and Kushanas principalities in the West and Northwest were under his sway.
- The kingdoms on the East coast of the Deccan, as far as the Pallava Kingdom, recognised his overlordship.
The Rise and the Decline of The Guptas Questions & Answers
Question 4: What are the sources used for reconstructing history of the Gupta period?
- There are various sources tracing the history of the Gupta period. They consist of literary, epigraphical and numismatic sources.
- The Puranas deals with the royal genealogy of the Gupta kings.
- Secular literary works of this period throw light on the reign of the Gupta Empire.
- The Chinese traveller, Fa Hien, who visited India during the rule of Chandragupta II, gives us details on the social, economic and also religious conditions of the Gupta period.
- In addition to the literary sources, inscriptions such as the Mehrauli Iron Pillar inscription and the Allahabad Pillar inscription provides information on the reign of Chandragupta I and Samudragupta, respectively.
- The Gupta coins impart signiﬁcant facts about the titles adopted by the Gupta kings and also about the sacriﬁces carried out by them.
Question 5: What were the factors that led to the downfall of the Gupta Empire?
Answer: Skandagupta was succeeded by weak rulers. They could not save the Gupta Empire from the Huns. Further, the empire was destabilised by the rise of the feudatories. Many of the feudatory states declared themselves independent. Trade and commerce was affected by these circumstances. The state revenue was also affected by the growing practice of giving land revenues for religious and other such purposes. By 6th century CE, the glory of the Gupta Empire completely vanished.
Question 6: Chandragupta II consolidated the Gupta Empire. Justify the statement.
Answer: Chandragupta II continued his father’s policy of military expedition. He used the policy of diplomacy and warfare to extend his territory. Further, he strengthened his position through matrimonial alliances. He married Kuberanaga, the daughter of a Naga chieftain of central India. He gave his daughter Prabhavati to the Vakataka prince in marriage. The greatest of the military achievements of Chandragupta II was his war against the Shakas. He performed the asvamedhayajna after a successful military campaign against Shakas and took up the title of Shakari or ‘destroyer of Shakas’. He also assumed the title of Vikramaditya. He supported great intellectual personalities such as Amarasimha and Kalidasa who was his court poet. Cultural development reached its zenith during his reign.
Question 7: Give reasons.
(a) Harsha attacked Sasanka, the ruler of Bengal.
Answer: On hearing the news, that his brother-in-law is killed, Rajyavardhana attacked the king of Malwa and defeated him. However, he was deceitfully killed by Sasanka on his way to the capital. Harsha succeeded his brother and decided to take revenge of the assassinations of his brother and brother-in-law. In his ﬁrst military expedition, Harsha drove away Sasanka from Kanauj and made it his new capital.
(b) By 6th century CE, the glory of the Gupta Empire completely vanished.
Answer: Skandagupta was succeeded by weak rulers. They could not save the Gupta Empire from the Huns. Further, the empire was destabilised by the rise of the feudatories. Many of the feudatory states declared themselves independent. Trade and commerce was affected by these circumstances. The state revenue was also affected by the growing practice of giving land revenues for religious and other such purposes. Thus, by 6th century CE, the glory of the Gupta Empire completely vanished.
So, these were The Rise and the Decline of The Guptas Questions & Answers.