Gupta Empire (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: The Guptas rose to power through military conquest and eventually were defeated by the Huns.
The Gupta Dynasty initiated Hinduism’s classical age by successfully unifying central India after the five centuries of political fragmentation that followed the decline of India’s first imperial age under the Mauryans. The Gupta family’s origins are obscure, but it has been suggested that they were wealthy landowners whose center of power was in the eastern end of the Ganges plain in the region of Magadha. Thanks to substantial iron resources and through military conquests and a marriage alliance with the Lichchhavis, the powerful rulers of Vaishali, Chandra Gupta I achieved control of the river Ganga, or Ganges, northern India’s vital arterial waterway. His coronation occurred in 320 and he took the Sanskrit title of maharajadhiraja, or “Great King of Kings.”
Chandra Gupta’s son, Samudra Gupta (r. c. 335-377), enlarged the Gupta Empire so that it extended from the Punjab in the west to Bengal in the east. Carved on an old Ashokan pillar at Allahābād is a eulogy relating Samudra’s accomplishments, which include taking part in a hundred battles. Samudra reputedly defeated several kings in the area around Delhi, nine kings in the western Ganges plain, and many in the south, and he claimed that the Shakas and the king of Ceylon, among others, were compelled to pay...
(The entire section is 724 words.)
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