Chapter

From Ancient to Medieval

R.S. Sharma

in India’s Ancient Past

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780195687859
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.003.0031
From Ancient to Medieval

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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The central factor that eventually transformed ancient Indian society into a medieval society was the practice of land grants. The brahmanas were granted villages free from taxes which were collected by the king from the villages. In addition, the beneficiaries were given the right to govern the people living in the donated villages. Royal control was eroded through the payment of government officials by land grants. There is a distinct evolution of the landlordism and devolution of the central state authority by the seventh century. The important change in the agrarian economy is noted. The decline of trade led to the decay of towns. There was an increasing divine hierarchy in post-Gupta times. The Bhakti cult spread throughout India. Bhakti meant that people made all kinds of offerings to the god in return for which they received the prasada or the favour of the god.

Keywords: medieval society; land grants; central state authority; landlordism; agrarian economy; decline of trade; decay of towns; divine hierarchy; Bhakti cult

Chapter.  4433 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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