East and West, South and Far East Asia remained outside the meaningful lives of Medieval Europeans’ globalization.
So, these Asian peoples may have been aware of great castles, armies, and trade goods to the west, but their contact with these different people was still quite distant. Because of this
isolation, several great civilizations emerged to the East. Similar to conditions in Africa, impressive material culture and Values, social Relationships, political Institutions, economic networks,
and most importantly for the times, religious beliefs and practices existed in South and East Asia prior to the arrival of foreigners.
Asian Indian armies had stopped Alexander the Great at the Indus River–there were no other foreign invasions of South Asia from the west for several centuries. This provided a chance for the
Gupta Dynasty to emerge into a golden cultural age, including the introduction of Buddhism from East Asia and a flourishing of art, literature, and impressive architecture. However, about the
time Buddhism was in decline, three religious Events occurred. First, a resurgence of traditional religions, along with disagreements evolving within Buddhism, led to decline. Second, a new
religion called Hinduism emerged to fill the growing void. Three, about the same time that Islam was spreading to the west toward Europe and across North Africa, it also arrived in the
northwestern parts of Southern Asia.
Religious differences contributed to South Asia being divided into several kingdoms. As with Africa, your textbook provides an overview (be careful with this) of religion, agriculture and trade,
science and technology, and culture in South Asia. So, let us do some more historical fiction. Become a Hindu religious leader, perhaps a simple farmer, a city artisan, or a literary figure, and
describe your life. Where do you live and what do you do? Who are the important people in your life? What parts of your life exhibit what your textbook calls “an almost unparalleled cultural
richness and diversity” that characterized the realm? This assignment is historical fiction. As you write, remember that though you are a fictional character, everything that is around you and
all that you think, feel, say, or do must be historically accurate.