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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:38 AM   #11

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Well, high humidity could be a detriment to adopting things like paper, gunpowder or catapults, as these won't work so well when wet, making them cost ineffective during early stages. In fact, high humidity would be a detriment to preserving artifacts in many shapes and forms. You probably know more on Indian history than I. What types of ancient Indian literature are there that would likely describe a society's technological aspects?
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:47 AM   #12
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Well, high humidity could be a detriment to adopting things like paper, gunpowder or catapults, as these won't work so well when wet, making them cost ineffective during early stages. In fact, high humidity would be a detriment to preserving artifacts in many shapes and forms. You probably know more on Indian history than I. What types of ancient Indian literature are there that would likely describe a society's technological aspects?
well, there was lot of noise made about spinning wheel ( advanced one ) having come from Iran in muslim times but a drama , Mricchakatikam meaning clay toy

describes the wheel in passing and you know that this is good evidence as it showed normal course of weaving by spinning wheel.

similarly, even poetic accounts talk about steel so basically it is everything you have got to read in indian history - dramas, poems, art works , and some treatises like arthasastra.

infact religious works also throw light on some scientific aspects as pythagoras theorem is in sulba sutras in connection with construction of fire altars.


as you already said, there are no records and a small example may show this.


by any analysis , gupta empire under Chandragupta 2 was one of the largest of its time in world in 400 ad and there are archaeological evidences that it covered area from sindh to bangladesh but we have to depend upon testimony of a chinese traveller Fa Hian to know that

1.people in india had no registration or census scheme

2. number and conditions of cities

3. general customs of indians .

Last edited by avantivarman; December 7th, 2012 at 02:56 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:54 AM   #13

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there is nothing to doubt you sir.

i am placing a unique fact before you

indians in 300 bc ( 60 percent of them ) had one language and there was not much difference between dialects at that time.

apart from language, india was always united culturally and this language thing was there with dravidians only meaning the south indian people.


one thing i wonder is why people from peshawar to mumbai spoke one langauge in 300 bc to 600 ad, and yet could not form empires like chinese.
Well, when we try to determine the reasons behind the success or failure of a nation, it is important to analyze the driving force within that particular culture. In America, the driving force is capitalism, even though the culture was founded on Christianity. Some of the European nations are driven by competition, while religion has played a major role in their development. China is driven by the concept of face. Of course, they acknowledge the benefits of capitalism, but in the end they prefer face. They want to succeed in science and the economy so they can have face. So, when you talk about this founding culture in India, we have to ask what the driving force was? One of the reasons the Native Americans fell to the Europeans was that they were driven by harmony with nature. Harmony with nature may seem benevolent, but it doesn't make you very competitive. When Europeans who were eager to prove their nation best in the world arrived, it only took a few to conquer many. Was the Indian driving force similar to harmony with nature?

Perhaps religion was their driving force? The Middle East is driven by religion, and it makes them determined but conservative.

Last edited by Jake10; December 7th, 2012 at 03:01 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #14

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India was not a country to be united as one .The more powerfull you are the more divided you become
example : Europe
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:08 AM   #15
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Well, when we try to determine the reasons behind the success or failure of a nation, it is important to analyze the driving force within that particular culture. In America, the driving force is capitalism, even though the culture was founded on Christianity. Some of the European nations are driven by competition, while religion has played a major role in their development. China is driven by the concept of face. Of course, they acknowledge the benefits of capitalism, but in the end they prefer face. They want to succeed in science and the economy so they can have face. So, when you talk about this founding culture in India, we have to ask what the driving force was? One of the reasons the Native Americans fell to the Europeans was that they were driven by harmony with nature. Harmony with nature may seem benevolent, but it doesn't make you very competitive. When Europeans who were eager to prove their nation best in the world arrived, it only took a few to conquer many. Was the Indian driving force similar to harmony with nature?


now this is what i am beginning to realize of late.

though harmony with nature was not that prevalent but nonetheless it was in air pretty much.


sir, since you have good knowledge with all due respect i ask a question .

In India, the period of imperial unity coincided with lot of wars which were not genocidal but very bloody atleast.

later on, we saw indians fighting wars in this fashion


king x wants some territory of king y and so they decide to test strength on a chosen site.

the battle is fought and defeated side is spared .

infact, muslim travellers noted that pala kings had 2,00,000 cavalry but in such wars also, the cities remained unaffected.


so my question is do you think this led to disunity ?

i mean the wars did not exterminate your enemies completely and so there was no final solution to any rivalry.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:08 AM   #16

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It seems to me that China has been distinguished from India by three main factors: unity accompanied by strong central rule (for much of the time at least), a very high degree of cultural continuity, and a common language. India has been more like Europe in these respects, with changing patterns of internal division, different languages, and considerable cultural discontinuities (not that India has been cut off from its earlier history any more than Europe has, but it has been a jerky process). In so far as India has been 'outsmarted' by China, that might have something to do with it. I wouldn't have said that the cultural achievements of India are in any way inferior to those of China. From a cultural point of view, the Communist takeover had deleterious effects in many ways I think, leading to a break in cultural continuity which hasn't happened in India.

Last edited by Linschoten; December 7th, 2012 at 03:15 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:09 AM   #17

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Well, when we try to determine the reasons behind the success or failure of a nation, it is important to analyze the driving force within that particular culture. In America, the driving force is capitalism, even though the culture was founded on Christianity. Some of the European nations are driven by competition, while religion has played a major role in their development. China is driven by the concept of face. Of course, they acknowledge the benefits of capitalism, but in the end they prefer face. They want to succeed in science and the economy so they can have face. So, when you talk about this founding culture in India, we have to ask what the driving force was? One of the reasons the Native Americans fell to the Europeans was that they were driven by harmony with nature. Harmony with nature may seem benevolent, but it doesn't make you very competitive. When Europeans who were eager to prove their nation best in the world arrived, it only took a few to conquer many. Was the Indian driving force similar to harmony with nature?

Perhaps religion was their driving force? The Middle East is driven by religion, and it makes them determined but conservative.

I think that is a sweeping generalization too. I highly, highly doubt a civilization's driving force could be boiled down into one word. Many advancements are driven by economic pursuits, which you could partially give capitalism credit for. Some inventions might be driven by "face", as an inventor might drive himself to succeed in the face of a hateful rival. Rarer still would a scientist invent things so his country could gain face, although it may happen. I highly doubt the Chinese would choose to build a skyscraper or invent a medicinal cure in order so that his nation might gain face. A Chinese might want his country to succeed in order so that its country would look good (gaining face), but I cannot say the driving force for this success is face. Rather, it is a desire for individual/family profit and prestige (perhaps thanks to capitalism for providing the environment), not out of any desire for his nation's face. That sounds like stereotyping. On the other hand greed is present no matter which culture you are in.

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i mean the wars did not exterminate your enemies completely and so there was no final solution to any rivalry.
According to machaevelli that is perhaps the worst thing to do for an enemy. Truly defeating an enemy means destroying him to such an extent that there is zero hope of them striking back, ever.

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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:10 AM   #18
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India was not a country to be united as one .The more powerfull you are the more divided you become
example : Europe
bharata , you know very well that apart from south india, all parts of india had same language till 600 ad a situation i see unrivalled .

yet why did we divide ?

Europe never had a single language as its dominating force and when it had in antiquity , it was united as under Roman empire.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #19
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It seems to me that China has been distinguished from India by three main factors: unity accompanied strong central rule (for much of the time at least), a very high degree of cultural continuity, and a common language. India has been more like Europe in these respects, with changing patterns of internal division, different languages, and considerable cultural discontinuities (not that India has been cut off from its earlier history any more than Europe has, but it has been a jerky process). In so far as India has been 'outsmarted' by China, that might have something to do with it. I wouldn't have said that the cultural achievements of India are in any way inferior to those of China. From a cultural point of view, the Communist takeover had deleterious effects in many ways I think, leading to a break in cultural continuity which hasn't happened in India.
finally a great post.

but do you really believe that cultural contributions of india sans buddhism are not inferior to china ?

and one small correction is that though india was not that homogenous, it was not that heterogenous like europe linguistically.

the mother tongue of 50 percent or rather say 60 percent of indian people is same a condition never apparent in Europe.

this is a point which many people miss .

Last edited by avantivarman; December 7th, 2012 at 03:19 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:13 AM   #20

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India was not a country to be united as one .The more powerfull you are the more divided you become
example : Europe
Europe has only been powerful after the renaissance. The Roman Empire was powerful because it united different nations which could provide its needs, be that grain, slaves, soldiers, minerals... The fall of the Roman Empire brought divisions in Europe that made them very weak. Up until they started colonizing, Europeans struggled to eat. China was powerful until the Opium Wars.
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