Gupta Empire

ancient Indian empire (c. 3rd century CE–575 CE)

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period is considered as the Golden Age of India by historians. The ruling dynasty of the empire was founded by the king Sri Gupta; the most notable rulers of the dynasty were Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, and Chandragupta II, also known as Vikramaditya.


  • In the judgment of a contemporary Hindu scholar, the “mere names of Kalidasa and Varahamihira, Gunavarman and Vashubandu, Aryabhata and Brahmagupta, are sufficient to mark this epoch as an apogee of Indian culture.” “An impartial historian,” says Havell, “might well consider that the greatest triumph of British administration would be to restore to India all that she enjoyed in the fifth century A.D.”
    • Quoted in Durant, Will (1963). Our Oriental heritage. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • The Gupta Age was in fact the golden age of Hindu history when Hindu spirituality, art, literature, science, and philosophy attained an acme which has not since been surpassed. Every nation has glorified one period or the other of its past history.... A period of greatness in which a people can take pride, provides a point of self-identification to that people. The soul of a nation is nourished by legitimate pride in a period when its creativity attained a pinnacle. Hindus can be prevented from taking pride in the Gupta Age only for very perverse reasons.
    • Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. Chapter 2.
  • The nationalist historians have portrayed the Gupta Age as a Golden Age, says Jha. That is a myth, the period was nothing of the sort. True, the Guptas extended the empire, our historian cannot but acknowledge. But it did not cover all of India, he says – he is requiring ‘full democracy’, he is requiring that the whole of India be one when talking of fifteen hundred years ago! The fact that rulers in the south paid tribute to the Guptas, the fact that a southern ruler sought permission of the Gupta king to do something, these do not establish that the Guptas exercised suzerainty over the latter, he says. Having denounced the Mauryas for setting up a centralized administration, our eminence denounces the Guptas for decentralizing it.....The order as a whole and throughout the recorded history of India has been exploitative, marked by seething tensions. In particular, the Gupta Age was no Golden Age. That Golden Age lies in the future, and that future lies in 1917!
    • Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
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