The Golden Age of Ancient India
- The Gupta Empire
The Gupta Empire existed at the same time as the Roman Empire. While we cannot say for sure, the two probably knew of each other. The Gupta Empire covered about two thirds of modern India and parts of modern day Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The Gupta empire lasted from about 320 CE to about 500 CE. It dominated northern India.
People were for the most part safe and prosperous during the Gupta period. It is called the "Golden Age" of ancient India because of that peace and prosperity. The people had religious freedom. Hinduism spread, and was clearly the preferred religion, but Buddhism flourished as well. The empire provided simple health care for free. Writers, artists and musicians were paid to produce their art. Most people were not educated, but the higher castes were, and the universities of Gupta were so famous that scholars from China came there to learn.
The Gupta Empire provided each village with a military squad to protect them. The squads, which were supported by the village, were also part of the royal army. During times of war, the local squads all drew together to make up the royal army. A typical squad consisted of an elephant, a horse drawn chariot, three calvary men and five foot soldiers. It doesn't sound like much when you look at one village at a time, but together, village squads formed a powerful army.