India and South Asia 500 CE
This period of India's history has seen the rise of the Gupta dynasty, under whom ancient Indian civilization reaches its peak.
What is happening in India and South Asia in 500CE
The central Asian powers, the Scythian and the Kushana, which once ruled much of northern India, have vanished. Another great Indian empire has arisen, that of the Gupta. The period of the Gupta empire is often seen as the one of the most brilliant in ancient India’s history.
The Gupta emperors rule northern India directly, and, through political and family ties with the Vataka in the Deccan, have had great influence in central India as well. By this date, however, both the Guptas’ and the Vakatas’ power is in decline, as fierce invasions by the Huns from central Asia weaken them, and subordinate kingdoms assert their independence.
The Gupta preside over one of the most productive periods of Indian civilization. Advances are being made in many fields of science, art and literature. Most notably, it is probably about now that Indian mathematicians develop the decimal system of numbers. This system will be crucial to future mathematical and scientific progress in world history.
The kingdoms of the south, the Pandyas, Chola and the newly powerful Pallavas, continue to develop their maritime trade. At this time, the trade with the west is in decline as the Roman Empire retreats from its former glory, but this is more than made up for by the growing trade with South East Asia, which expands in response to the growing economic demands of south China.