Major Characteristics Of The Early Medieval Period In India

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The Early Medieval period can be understood as the period lying between the ancient and the medieval. This era like the ‘Ancient’ and the ‘Modern’ has a personality of its own because it was not merely a period of time between the 4th-5th century and the 12th century but one that marked the transition between the ancient and modern world. The early medieval age in India was an era which showed immense transition, developments in the society’s social, economic and political field and drastic changes in the way of civilization.
Many historians have tended to look at South Asian history from the point of view of the north and defined the medieval period mainly in terms of the Muslim conquests and Islamic Institutions thereby characterizing the
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The regional kingdoms had fluid boundaries with polities defined less by administration and alliance than by language, sectarian affiliations and temples. Within the limited regions defined by the distribution of the King’s shifting suzerainty, new political, linguistic, literary and social histories took a shape that remained vaguely identified even in contemporary modern India. Religion was at the heart of this regionalizing process: Gods, temples, inspired poets and philosophers. Expanding trade had set off political processes with new patterns of competition, but religious beliefs and institutional developments affected patterns of state formation and the political institutions that emerged. Therefore, religious change inevitably merged in a variety of ways with both linguistic and political development all shaping the regionalization process. A major formulator of the Hindu theology was a Brahmin named Shankara who combined philosophical thinking with impressive administrative skill. He incorporated Buddhist and Jain models for faith and organization and also popularized the worship of Lord Shiva and Vishnu, particularly songs of praise, thus laying out the foundation for the new and popular cult of Hinduism that has endured until the present throughout India. Theological works of doctrines for worship of both Shiva and Vishnu followed shortly as Brahmins took advantage …show more content…
The regionalization of culture, religion and of politics was the critically significant process of the early medieval age. This involved two sorts of subordinate processes. One was the extension and transformation of Sanskritic forms dating from Gupta times. Many forms, however, were adapted to local values and were brought into localized culture through modification. Simultaneously as well, local and even folk cultural elements were given Sanskritic meanings.
This period of political and cultural activity also coincided with the rapid development of commodity production, the manufacturing by hand of goods which made India’s reputation in these early times as a land of fabulous wealth and elegance. This reputation attracted people to the subcontinent, feeding further the vitality of commerce within and beyond South Asia.
A number of important social changes have also been identified in the transition to early medieval period. They were mainly the outcome of the economic developments, such as land grants and large scale transfers of land revenues and land to both secular and religious elements, decline of trade and commerce, loss of mobility of artisans, peasants and traders, unequal distribution of land and power, etc. These changes are best approached through the composition, character and scope of the caste system, and the status of women within

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