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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Richard G. Salomon
HSTAS 401
Seattle Campus

History of Ancient India

India in ancient times; emphasis on forms of political organizations and economic life, social organizations, and cultural developments.

Class description

The course will survey the early history of the Indian subcontinent from the proto-historical period until the advent of Islam, with a concentration on the period between the fifth century B.C. to the sixth century A.D., and particularly on the two greatest early Indian empires, the Mauryas and the Guptas. Special attention will be paid to the analysis of recurrent patterns in Indian history; unusual features of the Indian historical tradition and the special historiographic techniques required to reconstruct and understand early Indian history; and the interactions of Indian history with other parts of Asia and other world regions. Readings will include translations of important historical inscriptions and other primary source materials, which will be studied in detail and analyzed critically.

Student learning goals

Attain a general acquaintance with the early history of India and its relationship to the history of other regions.

Learn to critically analyze primary text source materials and apply them to historical studies.

Exposure to historical processes and methods of study in a non-Western context.

General method of instruction

Lecture with class discussion.

Recommended preparation

None required; background in South Asian studies, ancient history, or Asian history useful.

Class assignments and grading

Daily reading assignments; two short critical esssys.

Two essays, mid-term exam, final exam (25% for each).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Richard G. Salomon
Date: 11/05/2008