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During the time of the Mauryans and Guptas, India was the cross roads between the eastern and western worlds. They traded with both the Greco-Persian ( and later Roman) world in the West and the Chinese influenced world to the east. These trade routes were both overland and by sea and there were tremendous cultural exchanges that went on. For example, Buddhism which originated in India was spread throughout Asia as a result of the extensive trade these empires had with the rest of the continent. Trade and contact with the successor kingdoms of Alexander the great’s empire also influenced the Muaryan empires political philosophy and military tactics. The Gupta Empire also had a lot of Chinese influence in their development of astronomy and mathematics through exchanges with Chinese scholars.
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