Aryan Conquest of India (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Cultural hegemony in northern part of Indian subcontinent. Result: Dominance of Vedic language, culture, and religion in northern part of Indian subcontinent.
Harappān civilization flourished in the Indus Valley from about 2600-1900 b.c.e., with Harappā and Mohenjo-Daro as important centers. During the following period, 1900-1300 b.c.e., a new set of religious and cultural traditions emerged in this area. Some scholars reject the idea that an invasion or migration of Indo-Aryan speakers caused the decline of Harappān civilization; among arguments against such an invasion is the fact that features of Indian village life have persisted from the prehistoric period to the present. Some kind of conquest, rather than a slow transition, is, however, suggested by a number of references to military matters found in early Sanskrit literature.
Most of what we know of Vedic civilization in its early stages is from the Rigveda, a collection of 1,028 hymns, composed in the period 1500-1000 b.c.e. Scholarly tradition within India has tended toward a cosmic interpretation of these hymns; consequently, passages that apparently deal with human warfare have often been interpreted in India as instead referring to a conflict between forces of nature. Most anthologies that include just part of the Rigveda do not include many of the hymns that deal specifically...
(The entire section is 443 words.)
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