Barbarian Tides Phoenicia Israel Egypt Greece Hittite Assyria Elamite 1500-600BC

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,285) 100%, Location: Ferndale, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 384414492310 Barbarian Tides Phoenicia Israel Egypt Greece Hittite Assyria Elamite 1500-600BC. Barbarian Tides. TimeFrame 1500-600 BC. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR JACKET DESCRIPTION(S) AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. CONDITION: Hardcover with laminated, printed covers (no dustjacket, as published). Time-Life Books (1987) 175 pages. Light shelf wear, otherwise in Very Good to Like New condition. Seemingly never read, at worst flipped through a few times. Pages are pristine; clean, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! DESCRIPTION: Hardcover: 175 pages. Publisher: Time-Life Books Inc; (1987). Dimensions: 11¼ X 9¼ inches; 1¾ pounds. The Time Frame series was released in the late 80's-early 90's. Each volume undertakes to describe the major events that happened in one specific time period in the development of mankind’s civilization(s). The volumes are richly illustrated, and designed as an introduction to the time frame covered. Especially compelling are the artists interpretations or recreations of what various ancient civilizations would have looked like – their architecture, homes, monuments, cities, daily life, jewelry, food, family life, dwellings, occupations, etc. As just one instance, the ruins of Babylon and Ur, Athens and Rome hint at the incredible richness of those fabled cities. The artist’s recreations in this series are simply mind-numbing. This is as close as you can be to actually having been there. The entire series is truly a magnificent introduction to the history of the era. If you could have just one book (or series of books) to introduce the history of humankind, this would have to be it. The overviews are concise and well-written. Together with the illustration and pictures they impart a wonderful mental and emotional “picture” of what life must have been like in various civilizations and at various times. Done in a style so wonderfully characteristic of Time-Life’s publications, these are over-sized “coffee table” type books full of impressive imagery. The pictures of the world’s greatest art and architecture alone are worth the cost of these books. But don’t get the impression that these volumes are “fluff”. While a particular volume might not quite take the place as a university degree, the material is well-written, informative, and immensely intellectually gratifying, overview though it might be. This particular volume, “Time-Frame 1500-600 B.C.”, is sub-titled “Barbarian Tides”. The material is divided into a number of subjects which will give you an idea of the rich content; and includes: “The Aggressive Empires” (Indo-Europeans/Celts + Arabian Semitics + Assyrians + Hittites + Luristan + Elamites + Israelites) – Sargon’s Magnificent Folly (Khorsabad – the square mile palace) + Trek to a Promised Land (The Israelites) – The Royal Sportsmen – A Systematic Siege (Assyria vs. Judah). “Egypt’s Golden Age” (War with the Hyksos – Nubians – Punt – Nefertari – Akenaten - Tutankhamun) – The Ubiquitous Gods – Ramses’ Incredible Temple – Postures of Faith – Homage to the Sun – The Promise of Fertility – The Lure of the Cat – The Wrathful Storm Gods – Passage to the Afterlife – A Collision of Chariots (Hittite/Egyptian War) – Repelling the Raiders (The Sea Peoples). “The Greek Crucible” (Myceneans – Dorians – Trojans – Athens – Sparta - Corinth) – The Machines of War – Fortress Mycenae – Gold from Royal Tombs – Masters of the Phalanx (The Spartans). “The Mediterranean Traders” (Phoenicians – Etruscans - Pirates) – Making the Maritime Rounds – Artistry in Glass – Masks for the Dead - “Asian Evolutions” (Hindu Kush – Ayrans – Indo-Europeans – Harappa/India – Shang/China) – Casting a Masterpiece (Shang Dynasty Bronzework) – Offerings of Jade and Blood – Reading an Oracle Bone. “Awakening in the Americas” (Andes – Olmec) – The Olmec’s Stone Colossi. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: ANCIENT INDIA: The cities of Northern India's Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, date back at least 5,000, probably 10,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier inhabitants created classical Indian culture. The whole of the Punjab Region of present day India and Pakistan was part of the Indus Valley Civilization. Harappa and Mohenjodaro are sites where extensive remains of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found. The origins of this culture have been traced backwards to at least 7,000 B.C. to what is known to archaeology as the Mehar Garh civilization. Well developed in the ancient arts, they started wheel thrown pottery some 1500 years before the Persians learned this art. In the millennia to come this region became part of ancient Kingdom of Kush and the Achaemeaian Persian Empire, conquered by Alexander the Great and subsequently part of the Seleucid and Bactrian Greek Empire; conquered by the Scythians who in turn were overcome by the Parthians who struggled against the Roman Empire for centuries. Parthia was eventually conquered in the third century by the Sassanians. India gained control of the area through the 7th century, after which the region became part of the Muslim Empire under the great caliphates; then part of the Mogul Empire, and finally part of the British Commonwealth. The early history of this entire region is quite fuzzy, though it is mentioned in some of the 6th century B.C. inscriptions of Darius the Great at Beghistun as part of the Great Achaemenian Empire of Persia. The picture becomes sharper with the invasion of Alexander the Great, where a written history of the region is commenced by Arrian, who wrote in Greek an account of Alexander's Asiatic expeditions. Alexander had hardly left India when the region came under the sway of the Buddhist King Chandra Gupta who reigned 321-297 B. C. In 323 B. C. Alexander the Great died at Babylon. One of Alexander's generals, Seleucus Nicator, with Egyptian support established the Seleucid Dynasty which included a region including all or parts of Iran, Afghanistan, North Pakistan and Northwest India. About 20 years later Seleucus attempted to recover much of the formerly Greek territory held by Chandra Gupta, but ended up settling for a treaty in exchange for 500 elephants. Chandra Gupta was succeeded first by his son Bindusara and then by his famous grandson Asoka (269-227 B. C.). Asoka's fame rests chiefly on his position as the great patron of Buddhism. As such he has often been compared to Constantine the Great, the royal patron of Roman Christianity. The Greeks eventually gained influence over the area when under the Bactrian Greek King Demetrius II (180 - 165 B.C.) they overthrew allegiance to the Seleucids of Syria, crossed the Hindu Kush range and established their rule in what is now Central Asia, Afghanistan and Punjab. The most important Indo-Greek kings was Menander (Milinda) (155 BC - 130 BC) who is famous for converting to Buddhism. The Indo-Greeks were replaced by a group of Central Asian tribes known as the Scythians in the first century B.C. The Scythians then fell to the Parthians who had lived east of the Caspian Sea, whose empire stretched from the Euphrates to the Indus. During the first two centuries A.D. Kushans from Central Asia (Zoroastrians) established an empire which stretched to the River Ganges, ruling former Greek territory that covered Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India. The Zoroastrian Sassanian Empire from Iran emerged to crush the Kushan and Parthian Empires, the Sassanians in turn displaced by Muslims from Arabia in 633 A.D. For the next hundred years Islam spread throughout Afghanistan, Punjab, Sindh, Central Asia, North Africa, and finally even into Spain. Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030 A.D.) was the first Turk to invade the region, attaching Punjab to his Central Asian empire, including Lahore to the Multan in the east; and Gujarat in the south. One of the greatest Islamic Kingdoms, the Abbbasid Caliphate with its capital in Baghdad, was recognized by the Ghaznavids who ruled (at the time this coin was struck) not only Lahore but also Kabul, Ghazni, Kandahar, Multan, and Kashmir; and whom also played the main part in the expansion of Islam into South Asia. The Ghaznavids were succeeded by Afghans from Ghor - the Ghurids Dynasty 1148-1206 A.D. The last Ghurid ruler of Afghanistan brought the whole of northern India under Islamic rule. However, the empire disintegrated when he was assassinated in 1206 A.D. The next great power of the region was a Muslim Turko-Mongol warrior named Timur (the “Earth Shaker”), who created a single unified empire that included much of Central Asia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and much of Pakistan including Lahore, and added Delhi to his empire in 1398 A.D. Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur - the Tiger (a descendent of Timur), invaded Afghanistan and seized power from the existing Muslim rulers, forming the foundation and first capital of the Mughal Empire, taking Lahore in 1524 A.D. In 1526 at the Battle of Panipat, Babur defeated the last Lodhi called Ibrahim who had ruled Delhi, Bihar and Punjab. Babur used guns, matchlocks and mortars which have not been seen in South Asia before. With this victory, he gained control of Delhi and Agra, and eventually advanced deep into South Asia. The objective of the Mughal Empire was to colonize the whole peninsula of South Asia, even if it meant compromising with the religion of Islam by making alliances with non-Muslims, so as to bring the vast continent of different nations under a single unified administration. The task was completed by the British Raj, who virtually inherited the Mughal administration and ruled through 1947 when the Indian subcontinent gained its independence as India, West, and East Pakistan. [AncientGifts]. ANCIENT INDIA: The evidence for human activities in India go back to the Paleolithic Age, roughly between 400,000 and 200,000 B.C. Stone implements and cave paintings from this period have been discovered in many parts of the South Asia. Evidence of domestication of animals, the adoption of agriculture, permanent village settlements, and wheel-turned pottery dating from the middle of the sixth millennium B.C. have all been found in the foothills of Sindh and Baluchistan, both in present-day Pakistan. One of the first great civilizations--with a writing system, urban centers, and a diversified social and economic system--appeared around 3,000 B.C. along the Indus River valley in Punjab and Sindh. It covered more than 800,000 square kilometers, from the borders of Baluchistan to the deserts of Rajasthan, from the Himalayan foothills to the southern tip of Gujarat. The remnants of two major cities--Mohenjo-daro and Harappa--reveal remarkable engineering feats of uniform urban planning and carefully executed layout, water supply, and drainage. Excavations at these sites and later archaeological digs at about seventy other locations in India and Pakistan provide a composite picture of what is now generally known as Harappan culture (2500-1600 B.C.). The major cities contained a few large buildings including a citadel, a large bath--perhaps for personal and communal ablution--differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers enclosing meeting halls and granaries. Essentially an urban city culture, Harappan life was supported by extensive agricultural production and by commerce, which included trade with Sumer in southern Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). The people made tools and weapons from copper and bronze but not iron. Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing. Wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits were cultivated. A number of animals, including the humped bull, were domesticated. Harappan culture was conservative and remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Whenever cities were rebuilt after periodic flooding, the new level of construction closely followed the previous pattern. Although stability, regularity, and conservatism seem to have been the hallmarks of this people, it is unclear who wielded authority, whether an aristocratic, priestly, or commercial minority. By far the most exquisite but most obscure Harappan artifacts unearthed to date are steatite seals found in abundance at Mohenjo-daro. These small, flat, and mostly square objects with human or animal motifs provide the most accurate picture we possess of Harappan life. Some also have inscriptions generally thought to be in the Harappan script, which has eluded scholarly attempts at deciphering it. Debate abounds as to whether the script represents numbers or an alphabet. The possible reasons for the decline of Harappan civilization have long troubled scholars. Invaders from Central and Western Asia are considered by some historians to have been the "destroyers" of Harappan cities. However this view is open to reinterpretation. Other plausible explanations are recurrent floods caused by tectonic earth movement, soil salinity, and desertification. It is certain that a series of migrations by Indo-European-speaking semi-nomads took place during the second millennium B.C. Known as Aryans, these preliterate pastoralists spoke an early form of Sanskrit, which has close similarities to other Indo-European languages, such as Avestan in Iran and ancient Greek and Latin. The term Aryan meant “pure” and implied the invaders' conscious attempts at retaining their tribal identity and roots while maintaining a social distance from earlier inhabitants. Although archaeology has not yielded proof of the identity of the specific identity and origin of the Aryans, the evolution and spread of their culture across the Indo-Gangetic Plain is generally undisputed. Modern knowledge of the early stages of this process rests on a body of sacred texts: the four Vedas (collections of hymns, prayers, and liturgy), the Brahmanas and the Upanishads (commentaries on Vedic rituals and philosophical treatises), and the Puranas (traditional mythic-historical works). The sanctity accorded to these texts and the manner of their preservation over several millennia--by an unbroken oral tradition--make them part of the living Hindu tradition. These sacred texts offer clues in piecing together Aryan beliefs and activities. The Aryans were a pantheistic people, following their tribal chieftain or raja, engaging in wars with each other or with other alien ethnic groups, and slowly becoming settled agriculturalists with consolidated territories and differentiated occupations. Their skills in using horse-drawn chariots and their knowledge of astronomy and mathematics gave them a military and technological advantage that led others to accept their social customs and religious beliefs. By around 1,000 B.C., Aryan culture had spread over most of northern India and in the process assimilated much from other cultures that preceded it. The Aryans brought with them a new language, a new pantheon of anthropomorphic gods, a patrilineal and patriarchal family system, and a new social order, built on the religious and philosophical rationales of varnashramadharma. A precise translation of the concept of varnashramadharma into English is difficult. But it is the bedrock of Indian traditional social organization. The word can be broken into three components which correspond with its three fundamental concepts. First is varna (originally, skin "color," but later taken to mean social class). Second is ashrama (stages of life such as youth, family life, detachment from the material world, and renunciation). Last is dharma (duty, righteousness, or sacred cosmic law). The underlying concept is that present happiness and future salvation are contingent upon one's ethical or moral conduct. It follows therefore that both society and individuals are expected to pursue a diverse but righteous path deemed appropriate for everyone based on one's birth, age, and station in life. Originally this encompassed a three-tiered society. The three tiers were: “Brahman” (priest), “Kshatriya” (warrior), and “Vaishya” (commoner). However the concept eventually expanded into four social tiers in order to absorb the subjugated people, “Shudra” (servant). It could be argued that there was a fifth tier when the outcaste (“Harijan”) peoples are considered. The basic unit of Aryan society was the extended and patriarchal family. A cluster of related families constituted a village, while several villages formed a tribal unit. Child marriage, as practiced in later eras, was uncommon. However the parents' involvement in the selection of a mate, dowry, and bride-price were customary. The birth of a son was welcome because he could later tend the herds, bring honor in battle, offer sacrifices to the gods, inherit property, and pass on the family name. Monogamy was widely accepted although polygamy was not unknown. Even polyandry is mentioned in later writings. Ritual suicide of widows was expected at a husband's death. This possibly might have been the origin of the practice known as “sati” in later centuries. In the practice of “sati” the widow actually burnt herself on her husband's funeral pyre. Permanent settlements and agriculture led to trade and other occupational differentiation. As lands along the Ganges were cleared, the river became a trade route. The numerous settlements on the river banks acted as markets. Trade was restricted initially to local areas, and barter was an essential component of trade. Cattle were the unit of value in large-scale transactions, which rather limited the geographical reach of the trader. Custom was law, and kings and chief priests were the arbiters, perhaps advised by certain elders of the community. An Aryan raja, or king, was primarily a military leader. He was entitled to a share from the booty following successful cattle raids or battles. Although the rajas had managed to assert their authority, they scrupulously avoided conflicts with priests as a group. The rajas suborned their own interests to those of the priests. Between about 1500 and 800 B.C the Aryans began to penetrate eastward from their original settlements in the Punjab region. The Aryans gradually cleared dense forests and established "tribal" settlements along the Ganges and inland Jamuna plains. By around 500 B.C., most of northern India was inhabited and had been brought under cultivation. There developed increasing knowledge of the use of iron implements, including ox-drawn plows. This in turn facilitated a growing population that provided voluntary and forced labor. As river-based and inland trade flourished, many towns along the Ganges became centers of trade, culture, and luxurious living. Increasing population and surplus production spurred the emergence of independent states. These states had fluid territorial boundaries over which disputes frequently arose. Rudimentary administrative systems headed by tribal chieftains were absorbed by larger regional republics or hereditary monarchies. These devised ways to appropriate revenue and to conscript labor for expanding the areas of settlement and agriculture farther east and south. These emergent states collected revenue through officials, maintained armies, and built new cities and highways. By 600 B.C. sixteen such territorial powers stretched across the North India plains from modern-day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. They included the Magadha, Kosala, Kuru, and Gandhara. The right of a king to his throne, no matter how it was gained, was usually legitimized through elaborate sacrifice rituals and genealogies. These were concocted by co-conspiring priests who ascribed to the king divine or superhuman origins. This period also gave birth to two of India’s most significant epics (comparable perhaps to the Odyssey or the Iliad, or even the Bible in the West). The victory of good over evil is epitomized in the epic Ramayana (“The Travels of Rama”). A second epic, Mahabharata (“Great Battle of the Descendants of Bharata”), spells out the concept of dharma and duty. The Mahabharata records the feud between Aryan cousins that culminated in an epic battle in which both gods and mortals from many lands allegedly fought to the death. The Ramayana recounts the kidnapping of Sita, Rama's wife, by Ravana. Ravana was a demonic king of Lanka (Sri Lanka). The kidnapping is succeeded by a rescue of Sita by her husband Rama. Rama was aided by animal allies. The epic concludes with Rama's coronation, leading to a period of prosperity and justice. These epics remain dear to the hearts of Hindus and are commonly read and enacted in many settings. By the end of the sixth century B.C., India's northwest was integrated into the Persian Achaemenid Empire and became one of its satrapies. This integration marked the beginning of administrative contacts between Central Asia and India. Indian accounts to a large extent ignored Alexander the Great's Indus campaign in 326 B.C. However contemporaneous Greek writers recorded their impressions of the general conditions prevailing in South Asia. Thus, the year 326 B.C. provides the first clear and historically verifiable date in Indian history. A two-way cultural fusion between several Indo-Greek elements occurred in the next several centuries, especially in art, architecture, and coinage. North India's political landscape was transformed by the emergence of Magadha in the eastern Indo-Gangetic Plain. Magadha’s capital city was Pataliputra, near modern-day Patna, in Bihar. In 322 B.C. under the rule of Chandragupta Maurya (who ruled from 324 to 301 B.C.), Magadha began to assert its hegemony over neighboring areas. In the process Magadha became India’s first imperial power, the Mauryan Empire, which lasted from 326 to 184 B.C. Situated on rich alluvial soil and near mineral deposits, especially iron, Magadha was at the center of bustling commerce and trade. Megasthenes, the third-century B.C. Greek historian and ambassador to the Mauryan court, reported that the capital was a city of magnificent palaces, temples, a university, a library, gardens, and parks. Legend states that Chandragupta's success was due in large measure to his adviser Kautilya, the Brahman author of the Arthashastra (“Science of Material Gain”), a textbook that outlined governmental administration and political strategy. There was a highly centralized and hierarchical government with a large staff. This administration regulated tax collection, trade and commerce, industrial arts, mining, vital statistics, welfare of foreigners, maintenance of public places including markets and temples, and prostitutes. A large standing army and a well-developed espionage system were maintained. The empire was divided into provinces, districts, and villages governed by a host of centrally appointed local officials, who replicated the functions of the central administration. Grandson of Chandragupta, Ashoka, ruled from 269 to 232 B.C. Ashoka was one of India's most illustrious rulers. Ashoka's inscriptions were chiseled on rocks and stone pillars located at strategic locations throughout his empire. These inscriptions can be found throughout an enormous georgraphic area, from such locales as Lampaka (Laghman in modern Afghanistan), Mahastan (in modern Bangladesh), and Brahmagiri (in Karnataka). Taken together they constitute the second set of datable historical records. According to some of the inscriptions Ashoka renounced bloodshed and pursued a policy of nonviolence or ahimsa. This was in the aftermath of the carnage resulting from his campaign against the powerful kingdom of Kalinga (modern Orissa). Thereafter Ashoka espoused a theory of rule by righteousness. His toleration for different religious beliefs and languages reflected the realities of India's regional pluralism, although indications are that he personally followed Buddhism. Early Buddhist records assert he convened a Buddhist council at his capital. That he regularly undertook tours within his realm. And that he sent Buddhist missionary ambassadors to Sri Lanka. Contacts established with the Hellenistic world during the reign of Ashoka's predecessors served him well. He sent diplomatic-cum-religious missions to the rulers of Syria, Macedonia, and Epirus, who learned about India's religious traditions, especially Buddhism. India's northwest retained many Persian cultural elements, which might explain Ashoka's rock inscriptions. Such inscriptions were commonly associated with Persian rulers. Ashoka's Greek and Aramaic inscriptions found in Kandahar in Afghanistan may also reveal his desire to maintain ties with people outside of India. The Mauryan Empire disintegrated in the second century B.C. Thereafter South Asia became a collage of regional powers with overlapping boundaries. India's unguarded northwestern border again attracted a series of invaders between 200 B.C. and 300 A.D. As the Aryans had done, the invaders became "Indianized" in the process of their conquest and settlement. This period also witnessed remarkable intellectual and artistic achievements inspired by cultural diffusion and syncretism. The first new group of invaders, the Indo-Greeks (or “Bactrians”), contributed to the development of numismatics. The Bactrians settled into northwest India. They were followed by another group, the Shakas (or “Scythians”), from the steppes of Central Asia. The Scythians settled in western India. Still other nomadic people, the Yuezhi, were forced out of the Inner Asian steppes of Mongolia. The Yuezhi displaced and drove out the Scythians. For a period of roughly the first century B.C. through the third century A.D. the Yuezhi established the Kushana Kingdom. The Kushana Kingdom controlled parts of Afghanistan and Iran, and in India the realm stretched from Purushapura (modern Peshawar, Pakistan) in the northwest, to Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) in the east, and to Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh) in the south. For a short period, the kingdom reached still farther east, to Pataliputra. The Kushana Kingdom was the crucible of trade among the Indian, Persian, Chinese, and Roman Empires and controlled a critical part of the legendary Silk Road. The most noteworthy Kushana ruler was Kanishka, who reigned for two decades starting around A.D. 78. Initiating a new era called Shaka, he converted to Buddhism and convened a great Buddhist council in Kashmir. The Kushanas were patrons of Gandharan art, a synthesis between Greek and Indian styles, and Sanskrit literature. During the Kushana Dynasty, an indigenous power, the Satavahana Kingdom arose. They were in power in the Deccan in southern India for a period of approximately the first century B.C. through the third century A.D. The Satavahana, or “Andhra” Kingdom was considerably influenced by the Mauryan political model. Power was decentralized in the hands of local chieftains, who used the symbols of Vedic religion and upheld the Varnashramadharma. The rulers, however, were eclectic and patronized Buddhist monuments, such as those in Ellora (Maharashtra) and Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh). Thus, the Deccan served as a bridge through which politics, trade, and religious ideas could spread from the north to the south. Farther south were three ancient Tamil kingdoms. Chera was to the west), Chola to the east, and Pandya to the south. All three were frequently involved in internecine warfare to gain regional supremacy. They are mentioned in Greek and Ashokan sources as lying at the fringes of the Mauryan Empire. A corpus of ancient Tamil literature provides much useful information about their social life from 300 B.C. to 200 A.D. Known as Sangam (“academy”) works, they included Tolkappiam, a manual of Tamil grammar by Tolkappiyar. Though there existed a strong regional identity, the literature also provides clear evidence of assimilation of Aryan traditions from the north into a predominantly indigenous Dravidian culture in transition. Dravidian social order was based on different ecoregions rather than on the Aryan varna (or caste) hierarchy, although the Brahmans had a high status at a very early stage. Society was characterized by matriarchy and matrilineal succession, a trait which survived well into the nineteenth century. This included cross-cousin marriage. Tribal chieftains emerged as "kings" just as people moved from pastoralism toward agriculture. The regional agricultural system was sustained by irrigation derived from rivers, small-scale fish ponds, and a brisk maritime trade with Rome and Southeast Asia. Discoveries of Roman gold coins in various sites attest to extensive South Indian trade links with the outside world. The capital city of Madurai (in modern Tamil Nadu), was the center of intellectual and literary activities. In that regard it was similar to Pataliputra in the northeast and Taxila in the northwest (in modern Pakistan). By the end of the first century B.C., South Asia was crisscrossed by overland trade routes. These facilitated the movements of Buddhist and Jain missionaries and other travelers and opened the area to a synthesis of many cultures. The “Classical Age” refers to the period when most of North India was reunited under the Gupta Empire (approximately 320-550 A.D.). The era was characterized by relative peace, law and order, and extensive cultural achievements. Thus it is considered a "golden age" that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture with all its variety, contradiction, and synthesis. The “golden age” or “classical age” was confined to the north. The characteristics of the “Classical Age” began to spread south only after the Gupta Empire had vanished. The first three Gupta rulers were Chandragupta I (about 319-335 A.D.), Samudragupta (about 335-376 A.D.), and Chandragupta II (about 376-415 A.D.). Their military exploits brought all of North India under their leadership. The Gupta capital city was Pataliputra. From there the Gupta’s sought to retain political preeminence as much by pragmatism and judicious marriage alliances as by military strength. Despite their self-conferred titles, their over-lordship was threatened. Ultimately by 500 A.D. it was destroyed by the Hunas (White Huns emanating from Central Asia). The White Huns were yet another group in the long succession of ethnically and culturally different outsiders drawn into India and then woven into the hybrid Indian fabric. Under Harsha Vardhana (who reigned about 606-647 A.D.), North India was reunited briefly. However neither the Guptas nor Harsha controlled a centralized state. Their administrative styles relied on the collaboration of regional and local officials for administering their rule, rather than on centrally appointed personnel. The Gupta period marked a watershed of Indian culture. The Guptas performed Vedic sacrifices to legitimize their rule, but they also patronized Buddhism, which continued to provide an alternative to Brahman orthodoxy. The most significant achievements of this period, however, were in religion, education, mathematics, art, and Sanskrit literature and drama. The religion that later developed into modern Hinduism witnessed a crystallization of its components. These components were major sectarian deities, image worship, devotionalism, and the importance of the temple. Education included grammar, composition, logic, metaphysics, mathematics, medicine, and astronomy. These subjects became highly specialized and reached an advanced level. The Indian numeral system is oftentimes erroneously attributed to the Arabs. However the Arabs merely took it from India to Europe where it replaced the Roman system. The numeral and decimal systems are Indian inventions of this period. Expositions on astronomy in 499 A.D. gave calculations of the solar year and the shape and movement of astral bodies with a remarkable degree of accuracy. In medicine, Charaka and Sushruta wrote about a fully evolved system, resembling those of Hippocrates and Galen in Greece. Some progress in physiology and biology was hindered by religious injunctions against contact with dead bodies, which discouraged dissection and anatomy. Nonetheless Indian physicians excelled in pharmacopoeia, caesarean section, bone setting, and skin grafting. With the disintegration of the Gupta, the classical patterns of civilization continued to thrive not only in the middle Ganges Valley and the kingdoms that emerged on the heels of Gupta demise but also in the Deccan and in South India, which acquired more prominence. In fact, from the mid-seventh to the mid-thirteenth centuries, regionalism was the dominant theme of political or dynastic history of South Asia. Three features commonly characterized the sociopolitical realities of this period. First, the spread of Brahmanical religions was a two-way process of Sanskritization of local cults and localization of Brahmanical social order. Second was the ascendancy of the Brahman priestly and landowning groups that later dominated regional institutions and political developments. Third, because of the seesawing of numerous dynasties that had a remarkable ability to survive perennial military attacks, regional kingdoms faced frequent defeats but seldom total annihilation. Despite interregional conflicts, local autonomy was preserved to a far greater degree in the south where it had prevailed for centuries. The absence of a highly centralized government was associated with a corresponding local autonomy in the administration of villages and districts. Extensive and well-documented overland and maritime trade flourished with the Arabs on the west coast and with Southeast Asia. Trade facilitated cultural diffusion in Southeast Asia, where local elites selectively but willingly adopted Indian art, architecture, literature, and social customs. Despite the interdynastic rivalry and seasonal raids into each other's territory the rulers in the Deccan and South India patronized all three religions. The three were Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. The religions vied with each other for royal favor. Royal favor was frequently expressed in land grants. But even more important was the sponsorship of monumental temples. Many of these temples remain even today as architectural wonders. These include the cave temples of Elephanta Island (near Bombay), Ajanta, and Ellora (in Maharashtra). They also include the structural temples of Kanchipuram (in Tamil Nadu). All are enduring legacies of otherwise warring regional rulers. By the mid-seventh century, Buddhism and Jainism began to decline. Conversely the sectarian Hindu devotional cults of Shiva and Vishnu vigorously competed for popular support. Sanskrit was the language of learning and theology in South India, as it was in the north. Nonetheless the growth of the bhakti (devotional) movements enhanced the crystallization of vernacular literature in all four major Dravidian languages. All four languages; Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada, often borrowed themes and vocabulary from Sanskrit. But at the same time they preserved much local cultural lore. Examples of Tamil literature include two major poems, Cilappatikaram (“The Jeweled Anklet”) and Manimekalai (“The Jeweled Belt”). Hindu devotional movements spawned the body of devotional literature of Shaivism and Vaishnavism. They also inspired the reworking of the Ramayana by Kamban in the twelfth century. A nationwide cultural synthesis had taken place despite markedly divergent characteristics which in the various regions of South Asia. However the process of cultural infusion and assimilation would continue to shape and influence India's history through the centuries. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ANCIENT INDIA: India is a country in South Asia whose name comes from the Indus River. The name 'Bharata' is used as a designation for the country in their constitution referencing the ancient mythological emperor, Bharata, whose story is told, in part, in the Indian epic Mahabharata. According to the writings known as the Puranas (religious/historical texts written down in the 5th century A.D.) Bharata conquered the whole subcontinent of India and ruled the land in peace and harmony. The land was, therefore, known as Bharatavarsha (`the subcontinent of Bharata’). Hominid activity in the Indian subcontinent stretches back over 250,000 years, and it is, therefore, one of the oldest inhabited regions on the planet. Archaeological excavations have discovered artifacts used by early humans, including stone tools, which suggest an extremely early date for human habitation and technology in the area. The areas of present-day India, Pakistan, and Nepal have provided archaeologists and scholars with the richest sites of the most ancient pedigree. The species Homo heidelbergensis (a proto-human who was an ancestor of modern Homo sapiens, first discovered in Germany in 1907) inhabited the subcontinent of India millennia before humans migrated into the region known today as Europe. Since it discoverythen, further discoveries have established fairly clear migration patterns of this species out of Africa. Archaeological excavations in India did not begin in earnest until the 1920s. Though the ancient city of Harappa was known to exist as early as 1842, its archaeological significance was ignored. Most archaeological excavations corresponded to an interest in locating the probable sites referred to in the great Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana (both of which originated in the 5th or 4th centuries B.C.) while ignoring the possibility of a much more ancient past for the region. To cite only one example, the village of Balathal (near Udaipur in Rajasthan), illustrates the antiquity of India’s history as it dates to 4000 B.C. Balathal was not discovered until 1962, and excavations were not begun there until the 1990s. It is now understood that significant human activity was underway in India by the Holocene Period (10,000 years ago) and that many historical assumptions based upon earlier work in Egypt and Mesopotamia, need to be reviewed and revised. Archaeological excavations in the past 50 years have dramatically changed the understanding of India’s past. A 4000-year-old skeleton discovered at Balathal in 2009 provides the oldest evidence of leprosy in India. Prior to this find, leprosy was considered a much younger disease thought to have been carried from Africa to India at some point and then from India to Europe by the army of Alexander the Great following his death in 323 B.C. The beginnings of the Vedic tradition in India, still practiced today, can now be dated, at least in part, to the indigenous people of ancient sites such as Balathal. The Indus Valley Civilization dates to 5000 B.C. and grew steadily throughout the lower Gangetic Valley region southwards and northwards to Malwa. The cities of this period were larger than contemporary settlements in other countries. They were situated according to cardinal points, and were built of mud bricks, often kiln-fired. Houses were constructed with a large courtyard opening from the front door, a kitchen/workroom for the preparation of food, and smaller bedrooms. Family activities seem to have centered on the front of the house, particularly the courtyard and, in this, are similar to what has been inferred from sites in Rome, Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia. The most famous sites of this period are the great cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa both located in present-day Pakistan (Mohenjo-Daro in the Sindh province and Harappa in Punjab). These sites were lost to India as a consequence of the 1947 partition of India which created Pakistan and Bengal. Harappa has given its name to the Harappan Civilization (another name for the Indus Valley Civilization) which is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Mature periods corresponding roughly to 5000-4000 B.C. (early), 4000-2900 B.C. (middle), and 2900-1900 B.C. (mature). Harappa dates from the iddle period (around 3000 B.C.) while Mohenjo-Daro was built in the mature period (around 2600 B.C.). The archaeological ruins of Harappa were largely destroyed in the 19th century when British workers carried away much of the city for use as ballast in constructing the railroad. However many ancient buildings had already been dismantled by citizens of the local village of Harappa (which gives the site its name) for use in their own projects. It is therefore now difficult to determine the historical significance of Harappa save that it is clear it was once a significant Bronze Age community with a population of as many as 30,000 people. Mohenjo-Daro, on the other hand, is much better preserved as it lay mostly buried until 1922 A.D. The name `Mohenjo-Daro’ means `mound of the dead’ in Sindhi. The original name of the city is unknown although various possibilities have been suggested by finds in the region, among them, the Dravidian name `Kukkutarma’, the city of the cock, a possible allusion to the site as a center of ritual cock-fighting or, perhaps, as a breeding center for cocks. Mohenjo-Daro was an elaborately constructed city with streets laid out evenly at right angles and a sophisticated drainage system. The Great Bath, a central structure at the site, was heated and seems to have been a focal point for the community. The citizens were skilled in the use of metals such as copper, bronze, lead, and tin (as evidenced by artworks such as the bronze statue of the Dancing Girl and by individual seals) and cultivated barley, wheat, peas, sesame, and cotton. Trade was an important source of commerce and it is thought that ancient Mesopotamian texts which mention Magan and Meluhha refer to India generally or, perhaps, Mohenjo-Daro specifically. Artifacts from the Indus Valley region have been found at sites in Mesopotamia though their precise point of origin in India is not always clear. The people of the Harappan Civilization worshipped many gods and engaged in ritual worship. Statues of various deities (such as Indra, the god of storm and war) have been found at many sites and, chief among them, terracotta pieces depicting the Shakti (the Mother Goddess) suggesting a popular, common worship of the feminine principle. In about 1500 B.C. it is believed that tribes of Aryan origin migrated into India through the Khyber Pass and assimilated into the existing culture, perhaps bringing their gods with them. While it is widely accepted that the Aryans brought the horse to India, there is some debate as to whether they introduced new deities to the region or simply influenced the existing belief structure. The Aryans are thought to have been pantheists (nature worshippers) with a special devotion to the sun and it seems uncertain they would have had anthropomorphic gods. At about this same time (around 1700-1500 B.C.) the Harappan culture began to decline. Scholars cite climate change as one possible reason. The Indus River is thought to have begun flooding the region more regularly (as evidenced by approximately 30 feet of silt at Mohenjo-Daro) and the great cities were abandoned. Other scholars believe the Aryan migration was more in the nature of an invasion which brought about a vast displacement of the populace. Among the most mysterious aspects of Mohenjo-Daro is the vitrification of parts of the site as though it had been exposed to intense heat which melted the brick and stone. This same phenomenon has been observed at sites such as Traprain Law in Scotland and attributed to the results of warfare. This fact has even been offered as “evidence” by some fringe theorists that the destruction of the city was caused by some kind of ancient atomic blast, possibly the work of aliens from other planets. Some scholars contend that between 1700 and 1500 B.C. the Aryan influence gave rise to what is known as the Vedic Period in India characterized by a pastoral lifestyle and adherence to the religious texts known as The Vedas. Society became divided into four classes (the Varnas). In time this bcame popularly known as `the caste system’. The castes system was comprised of the Brahmana at the top (priests and scholars), the Kshatriya next (the warriors), the Vaishya (farmers and merchants), and the Shudra (laborers). The lowest caste was the Dalits, the untouchables, who handled meat and waste, though there is some debate over whether this class existed in antiquity. At first, it seems this caste system was merely a reflection of one’s occupation but, in time, it became more rigidly interpreted to be determined by one’s birth and one was not allowed to change castes nor to marry into a caste other than one’s own. This understanding was a reflection of the belief in an eternal order to human life dictated by a supreme deity. The religious beliefs which characterized the Vedic Period became systematized as the religion of Sanatan Dharma (which means `Eternal Order’) known today as Hinduism. The name “Hindu” derived from the Indus (or Sindus) River where worshippers were known to gather, and eventually `Sindus’ became `Hindus’. The underlying tenet of Sanatan Dharma is that there is an order and a purpose to the universe and human life and, by accepting this order and living in accordance with it, one will experience life as it is meant to be properly lived. During the Vedic Period, governments became centralized and social customs integrated fully into daily life across the region. Besides The Vedas, the great religious and literary works of the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana all come from this period. In the 6th century B.C. religious reformers broke away from mainstream to eventually create their own religions of Jainism and Buddhism. These changes in religion were a part of a wider pattern of social and cultural upheaval which resulted in the formation of city-states and the rise of powerful regional kingdoms (such as the Magadha). Increased urbanization and wealth attracted the attention of Cyrus, ruler of the Persian Empire, who invaded India in 530 B.C. and initiated a campaign of conquest in the region. Ten years later, under the reign of his son, Darius I, northern India was firmly under Persian control (the regions corresponding to Afghanistan and Pakistan today). The inhabitants of that area became subject to Persian laws and customs. Persia held dominance in northern India until the conquest of Alexander the Great in 327 B.C. One year later, Alexander had defeated the Achaemenid Empire and firmly conquered the Indian subcontinent. Again, foreign influences were brought to bear on the region giving rise to the Greco-Buddhist culture which impacted all areas of culture in northern India from art to religion to dress. Statues and reliefs from this period depict Buddha, and other figures, as distinctly Hellenic in dress and pose. Following Alexander’s departure from India, the Mauryan Empire (322-185 B.C.) rose and by the end of the third century B.C. ruled over almost all of India. As the Mauryan Empire crumbled, the country splintered into many small kingdoms and empires. This era saw the increase of trade with Rome (which had begun around 130 B.C.), particularly following Augustus Caesar’s conquest of Egypt in 30 B.C. Up until the conquest of Egypt by Rome, Egypt had been India’s most significant partner in trade. Both individual and cultural development were to lead India into a period represented by various kingdoms which flourished in what is considered the Golden Age of India under the reign of the Gupta Empire (320-550 A.D. The Gupta Empire is thought to have been founded by a namesake individual who probably ruled roughly between 240-280 A.D. Gupta is thought to have been of the Vaishya (merchant) class. Thus his rise to power was in defiance of the caste system and as such, was unprecedented. He laid the foundation for the government which would so stabilize India that virtually every aspect of culture reached its height under the reign of the Guptas. Philosophy, literature, science, mathematics, architecture, astronomy, technology, art, engineering, religion, and astronomy, among other fields, all flourished during this period, resulting in some of the greatest of human achievements. The Puranas of Vyasa were compiled during this period and the famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora, with their elaborate carvings and vaulted rooms, were also begun. Kalidasa the poet and playwright wrote his masterpiece “Shakuntala”, and the Kamasutra was also written, or compiled from earlier works, by Vatsyayana. Varahamihira explored astronomy at the same time as Aryabhatta, the mathematician, made his own discoveries in the field and also recognized the importance of the concept of zero, which he is credited with inventing. Inasmuch as the founder of the Gupta Empire defied orthodox Hindu thought, it is not surprising that the Gupta rulers advocated and propagated Buddhism as the national belief and this is the reason for the plentitude of Buddhist works of art, as opposed to Hindu, at sites such as Ajanta and Ellora. However the Gupta Empire declined slowly under a succession of weak rulers until it collapsed around 550 A.D. For a short time the north of India flourished, but after successfully repelling repeated invasions by the Huns by the Guptas and their immediate successor, India fell into chaos and fragmented into small kingdoms lacking the unity necessary to fight off invading Huns. Thus in 712 A.D. the Muslims conquered northern India and established themselves in what became modern-day Pakistan, and from there Islamic Sultanates spread north-west. The Muslim invasion saw an end to the indigenous empires of India and, from that point onward, small, fragmented independent city-states or communities would be the standard model of government. The disparate world views of the religions which now contested each other for acceptance in the region. The diversity of languages spoken made the unity and cultural advances seen during the time of the Guptas, difficult to maintain. Consequently, the region was easily conquered by the Islamic Mughal Empire. India would then remain subject to various foreign influences and powers (among them the Portuguese, the French, and the British) until finally winning its independence in 1947 A.D. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ANCIENT MUGHAL INDIA: The Mughal Empire (or Mogul Empire) was an early-modern empire that controlled much of South Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries. For some two centuries, the empire stretched from the outer fringes of the Indus basin in the west, northern Afghanistan in the northwest, and Kashmir in the north, to the highlands of present-day Assam and Bangladesh in the east, and the uplands of the Deccan plateau in south India. The founding of the Mughal Empire is traditionally attributed Babur, a warrior chieftain from what today is Uzbekistan. In 1526 A.D. with aid from the neighboring Safavid and Ottoman empires, Babur defeated the Sultan of Delhi in the First Battle of Panipat. Babur’s forces then swept down into the plains of Upper India. However the Mughal Empire is sometimes dated to the 1600 A.D. rule of Babur's grandson, Akbar. The Mughal Empire lasted until 1720 A.D., shortly after the death of the last major emperor, Aurengzeb. During that reign the empire also achieved its maximum geographical extent. The empire subsequently declined, especially during the East India Company rule in India, eventually reduced to the region in and around Old Delhi. The empire was formally dissolved by the British Raj after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Although the Mughal Empire was created and sustained by military warfare, it did not vigorously suppress the cultures and peoples it came to rule. Rather the Mughal Empire equalized and placated them through new administrative practices, and diverse ruling elites. This led to more efficient, centralized, and standardized government. The base of the empire's collective wealth was agricultural taxes. These were instituted by the third Mughal emperor, Akbar. These taxes amounted to well over half the output of a peasant cultivator. The taxes were paid in the well-regulated silver currency. The taxes forced peasants and artisans to enter larger markets so as to generate the funds to pay those taxes. The relative peace maintained by the empire during much of the 17th century was a significant factor in India's economic expansion. Burgeoning European presence in the Indian Ocean, and its increasing demand for Indian raw and finished products, created still greater wealth in the Mughal courts. There was more conspicuous consumption among the Mughal elite, resulting in greater patronage of painting, literary forms, textiles, and architecture, especially during the reign of Shah Jahan. Among the Mughal UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Asia are: Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, Lahore Fort and the Taj Mahal. Contemporaries referred to the empire founded by Babur as the Timurid Empire. This reflected the heritage of his dynasty. This was also the term preferred by the Mughals themselves. The Mughal designation for their own dynasty was Gurkani. The use of the term "Mughal" derived from the Arabic and Persian corruption of "Mongol". The term emphasized the Mongol origins of the Timurid dynasty, and became widely used in the 19th century. Similar terms had been used to refer to the Empire, including "Mogul" and "Moghul". Nevertheless, Babur's ancestors were sharply distinguished from the classical Mongols insofar as they were oriented towards Persian rather than Turkish-Mongol culture. Another name for the Empire was Hindustan, which has been described as the closest to an official name for the Empire. In the west, the term "Mughal" was used for the emperor, and by extension, the empire as a whole. Babur reigned from 1526–1530 A.D. He was a Central Asian ruler who was descended on his father's side from the Turkish-Mongol conqueror Timur (the founder of the Timurid Empire). On his mother’s side he descended from Genghis Khan. Ousted from his ancestral domains in Central Asia, Babur turned to India to satisfy his ambitions. He established himself in Kabul. He then pushed steadily southward into India from Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass. Babur's forces occupied much of northern India after his victory at Panipat in 1526 A.D. Babur’s preoccupation with wars and military campaigns, however, did not allow the new emperor to consolidate the gains he had made in India. The instability of the empire became evident under his son (who reigned from 1530–1556). Humayun was forced into exile in Persia by rebels. Humayun's exile in Persia established diplomatic ties between the Safavid and Mughal Courts. This is turn led to increasing Persian cultural influence in the Mughal Empire. The Sur Empire (1540–1555), founded by Sher Shah Suri (reigned from 1540–1545), briefly interrupted Mughal rule. Humayun's triumphant return from Persia in 1555 restored Mughal rule, however he died in an accident the next year. Akbar (who reigned 1556–1605) was born in the Rajput Umarkot Fort to a Persian princess. Akbar succeeded to the throne under a regent who helped consolidate the Mughal Empire in India. Through warfare and diplomacy, Akbar was able to extend the empire in all directions. The Mughal Empire at that point controlled almost the entire Indian subcontinent north of the Godavari River. Akbar created a new ruling elite loyal to him. He implemented a modern administration, and encouraged cultural developments. He increased trade with European trading companies. India developed a strong and stable economy. This led to commercial expansion and economic development. Akbar allowed freedom of religion at his court. He attempted to resolve socio-political and cultural differences in his empire by establishing a new religion, Din-i-Ilahi. The new religion possessed strong characteristics of a ruler cult. Akbar left his son an internally stable state, which was in the midst of its golden age. However within a few years of the end of his reign, signs of political weakness would emerge. Akbar’s son, Jahangir, reigned from 1605–1627. His mother was an Indian Rajput princess. He "was addicted to opium, neglected the affairs of the state, and came under the influence of rival court cliques". Shah Jahan, his son, reigned from 1628–1658. His mother was also a Rajput princess. During the reign of Shah Jahan, the splendor of the Mughal court reached its peak, as exemplified by the Taj Mahal. The cost of maintaining the court, however, began to exceed the revenue coming in. Shah Jahan's eldest son, Dara Shikoh, became regent in 1658, as a result of his father's illness. Dara championed a syncretistic Hindu-Muslim culture. However a younger son of Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb, seized the throne from his brother Dara. This was accomplished with the support of the Islamic orthodoxy. Aurangzeb reigned from 1658–1707, and one of his first acts in 1659 was to have Dara, his brother, executed. Eventually Shah Jahan fully recovered from his illness. However Aurangzeb declared him incompetent to rule and had him imprisoned. During Aurangzeb's reign, the empire gained political strength once more and became the world's most powerful economy. Aurangzeb fully established sharia by compiling the Fatwa Alamgiri. He expanded the empire to include almost the whole of South Asia. However at his death in 1707 many parts of the empire were in open revolt. Aurangzeb is considered by many historians to be India's most controversial king, holding that his religious conservatism and intolerance undermined the stability of Mughal society. Aurangzeb's son, Bahadur Shah I, repealed the religious policies of his father and attempted to reform the administration. However, after his death in 1712, the Mughal dynasty sank into chaos and violent feuds. In 1719 alone, four emperors successively ascended the throne". Eventually Muhammad Shah, who reigned from 1719–1748, succeeded to the throne. However the empire continued its decline, and as it broke up, vast tracts of central India passed from Mughal to Maratha hands. The far-off Indian campaign of Nadir Shah, who had previously reestablished Iranian suzerainty over most of West Asia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, culminated with the Sack of Delhi and shattered the remnants of Mughal power and prestige. Many of the empire's elites now sought to control their own affairs, and broke away to form independent kingdoms. Nonetheless the Mughal Emperor continued to be the highest manifestation of sovereignty. Not only the Muslim gentry, but the Maratha, Hindu, and Sikh leaders took part in ceremonial acknowledgments of the emperor as the titular sovereign of India. Regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire led to involvement in global armed conflicts. Ultimatelly this resulted in Mughal defeat and loss of territory during the Carnatic Wars and the Bengal War. The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II who reigned from 1759–1806 made futile attempts to reverse the Mughal decline. However he ultimately had to seek the protection of the Emir of Afghanistan. This led to the Third Battle of Panipat between the Maratha Empire and the Afghans in 1761. In 1771 the Marathas recaptured Delhi from Afghan control. In 1784 they officially became the protectors of the Mughal Emperor in Delhi. This arrangement continued until after the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Thereafter, the British East India Company became the protectors of the Mughal dynasty in Delhi. In 1973 the British East India Company took control of the former Mughal province of Bengal-Bihar. By 1857 a considerable part of former Mughal India was under the East India Company's control. The last Mughal Bahadur Shah Zafar, was deposed by the British East India Company and exiled in 1858 after a crushing defeat in the war of 1857–1858. Through the Government of India Act 1858 the British Crown assumed direct control of East India Company-held territories in India in the form of the new British Raj. In 1876 the British Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India. Historians have offered numerous explanations for the rapid collapse of the Mughal Empire between 1707 and 1720, after a century of growth and prosperity. In fiscal terms, the throne lost the revenues needed to pay its chief officers, the emirs (nobles) and their entourages. The emperor lost authority, as the widely scattered imperial officers lost confidence in the central authorities, and made their own deals with local men of influence. The imperial army bogged down in long, futile wars against the more aggressive Marathas, and lost its fighting spirit. Finally came a series of violent political feuds over control of the throne. After the execution of Emperor Farrukhsiyar in 1719, local Mughal successor states took power in region after region. Contemporary chroniclers bewailed the decay they witnessed. This theme was picked up by the first British historians who wanted to underscore the need for a British-led rejuvenation. Many historians posit that the Indian economy went through deindustrialization in the latter half of the 18th century as an indirect outcome of the collapse of the Mughal Empire. Then they posit that British rule later caused even further deindustrialization. Until that point in time the Indian economy had been large and prosperous under the Mughal Empire. During the Mughal era, the gross domestic product (GDP) of India in 1600 was estimated at about 22% of the world economy. It was the second largest economy in the world, behind only Ming China. Both the economy of China and the economy of India were far larger than that of Europe. By 1700, the GDP of Mughal India had risen to 24% of the world economy, the largest in the world. The Indian economy was larger than either that of Qing China or Western Europe. Mughal India was the world leader in manufacturing, producing about 25% of the world's industrial output up until the 18th century. India's GDP had a faster growth rate during the Mughal era than in the 1,500 years prior to the Mughal era. Mughal India's economy has been described as a form of proto-industrialization, like that of 18th-century Western Europe prior to the Industrial Revolution. The Mughals were responsible for building an extensive road network which was vital to the economic infrastructure. The road network was built by a public works department set up by the Mughals which designed, constructed and maintained roads. These roads linked towns and cities across the empire, and facilitated trade. The Mughals adopted and standardized the rupee (rupiya, or silver) and dam (copper) currencies introduced by Sur Emperor Sher Shah Suri. The currency was initially 48 dams to a single rupee in the beginning of Akbar's reign, before it later became 38 dams to a rupee in the 1580s. The dam's value rose further in the 17th century as a result of new industrial uses for copper, such as in bronze cannons and brass utensils. By the 1660’s the dam was 16 to the rupee, and was initially the most common coin in Akbar's time. The Mughals minted coins with high purity, never dropping below 96%, and without debasement until the 1720’s. The road system as well as a a uniform currency fostered the unification of the country in general. The main base of the empire's collective wealth was, as described hereinabove, agricultural taxes. Despite India having its own stocks of gold and silver, the Mughals produced minimal gold of their own. The coinage of the realm was mostly minted from imported bullion. This was a result of the empire's strong export-driven economy. The global demand for Indian agricultural and industrial products drew a steady stream of precious metals into India. Around 80% of Mughal India's imports were bullion, mostly silver. The major sources of imported bullion included the New World and Japan. They in turn imported large quantities of textiles and silk from the Bengal Subah province. The Mughal Empire's workforce in the early 17th century consisted of about 64% in the primary sector (including agriculture), over 11% in manufacturing, and about 25% in the service sector (service). Mughal India's workforce had a higher percentage in the non-agricultural sector than Europe's workforce did at the time. In terms of urban-rural divide, 18% of Mughal India's labor force were urban and 82% were rural, contributing 52% and 48% to the economy, respectively. Real wages and living standards in 18th-century Mughal Bengal and South India were higher than in Britain. This was particularly notable as in turn Britain had the highest living standards in Europe. Both India and China had a higher GNP per capita than Europe up until the late 18th century. However, in a system where wealth was hoarded by elites, wages were depressed for manual labor. Though again, no more so than labor wages in Europe at the time. In Mughal India, there was a generally tolerant attitude towards manual laborers. Some religious cults in northern India proudly asserted a high status for manual labor. While “slavery” also existed, it was limited largely to household servants. Indian agricultural production flourished under the Mughal Empire. A variety of crops were grown, including food crops such as wheat, rice, and barley. As well, non-food cash crops such as cotton, indigo and opium were also grown. By the mid-17th century, Indian cultivators begun to extensively grow two new crops from the Americas, maize and tobacco. The Mughal administration emphasized agrarian reform, which began under the non-Mughal emperor Sher Shah Suri. Akbar adopted these reforms and launched even more reforms. The civil administration was organized in a hierarchical manner on the basis of merit, with promotions based on performance. The Mughal government funded the building of irrigation systems across the empire. The irrigated lands benefited by the systems produced much higher crop yields. This increased the net revenue base, leading to increased agricultural production. A major Mughal reform introduced by Akbar was a new land revenue system called zabt. He replaced the tribute system, previously common in India and used by Tokugawa Japan at the time. A monetary tax system based on a uniform currency was instituted in place of the old tribute system. The revenue system was biased in favor of higher value cash crops such as cotton, indigo, sugar cane, tree-crops, and opium. Thus the state incentivized cash crops, crops already benefiting from rising market demand. Under the zabt system, the Mughals also conducted extensive surveying to assess the area of land under plow cultivation. The Mughal state encouraged greater land cultivation by offering tax-free periods to those who brought new land under cultivation. The expansion of agriculture and cultivation continued under later Mughal emperors. Mughal agriculture was in some ways advanced compared to European agriculture at the time. This might be exemplified by the common use of the seed drill among Indian peasants well before its adoption in Europe. The average peasant farmer across the world was only skilled in growing very few crops. The average Indian peasant in contrast was skilled in growing a wide variety of food and non-food crops, increasing their productivity. Indian peasants were also quick to adapt to profitable new crops. Maize and tobacco from the New World for example were rapidly adopted and widely cultivated across Mughal India between 1600 and 1650. Bengali farmers rapidly learned techniques of mulberry cultivation. Bengal was shortly thereafter well-established as a major silk-producing region of the world. Sugar mills appeared in India shortly before the Mughal era. Evidence for the use of a draw bar for sugar-milling appears at Delhi in 1540, but may also date back earlier. These were mainly used in the northern Indian subcontinent. Geared sugar rolling mills first appeared in Mughal India by the 17th century. They utilized both the principle of rollers as well as worm gearing. Per-capita agricultural output and standards of consumption in 17th-century Mughal India were probably higher than in 17th-century Europe. They were certainly higher than the levels they would eventually decline to in early 20th-century British India. The increased agricultural productivity led to lower food prices. In turn, this benefited the Indian textile industry. Compared to Britain, the price of grain as measured by silver coinage was about one-half in South India and one-third in Bengal. This resulted in lower silver coin prices for Indian textiles, giving them a price advantage in global markets. Up until the 18th century, Mughal India was the most important center of manufacturing in international trade. Up until 1750, India produced about 25% of the world's industrial output. Manufactured goods and cash crops from the Mughal Empire were sold throughout the world. Key industries included textiles, shipbuilding, and steel. Processed products included cotton textiles, yarns, thread, silk, jute products, metalware, and foods such as sugar, oils and butter. In early modern Europe, there was significant demand for products from Mughal India, particularly cotton textiles. European fashion, for example, became increasingly dependent on Mughal Indian textiles and silks. But as well there was significant demand for other goods such as spices, peppers, indigo, silks, and saltpeter (for use in munitions). From the late 17th century to the early 18th century, Mughal India accounted for 95% of British imports from Asia, and the Bengal province alone accounted for 40% of Dutch imports from Asia. In contrast, there was very little demand for European goods in Mughal India. Mughal India was largely self-sufficient. Thus Europeans had very little to offer Mughal India, except for some woolens, unprocessed metals and a few luxury items. The trade imbalance caused Europeans to export large quantities of gold and silver to Mughal India in order to pay imports from Mughal India. Indian goods, especially those from Bengal, were also exported in large quantities to other Asian markets, such as Indonesia and Japan. The largest manufacturing industry in the Mughal Empire was textile manufacturing. In particular cotton textile manufacturing. This included the production of piece goods, calicos, and muslins. These were available both unbleached and in a variety of colors. The cotton textile industry was responsible for a large part of the empire's international trade. India had a 25% share of the global textile trade in the early 18th century. Indian cotton and silk textiles were the most important manufactured goods in world trade in the 18th century. These textiles were consumed across the world from the Americas to Japan. By the early 18th century, Mughal Indian textiles were clothing people across the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Japan, Indonesia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East. Indian textiles dominated the Indian Ocean trade for centuries, were sold in the Atlantic Ocean trade. They had a 38% share of the West African trade in the early 18th century. The most important center of cotton production was the Bengal province, particularly around its capital city of Dhaka. Bengali muslin textiles from Dhaka were sold in Central Asia, where they were known as "daka" textiles. In Europe Indian calicos were a major force. Re-exported Indian textiles accounted for 20% of total English trade with Southern Europe in the early 18th century. The worm gear roller cotton gin was invented in India during the early Delhi Sultanate era of the 13th–14th centuries. It came into use in the Mughal Empire sometime around the 16th century. It is still presently used in India. The incorporation of the crank handle in the cotton gin first appeared in India sometime during the late Delhi Sultanate or the early Mughal Empire. The production of cotton was advanced by the diffusion of the spinning wheel across India shortly before the Mughal era. This lowered the costs of yarn, helping to increase demand for cotton. This in turn led to greatly expanded Indian cotton textile production during the Mughal era. The cotton yarn was largely spun in the villages and then taken to towns to be woven into cloth textiles. Mughal India also had a large shipbuilding industry. As was the case with the cotton industry, this too was largely centered in the Bengal province. Historical estimates of shipbuilding output of Bengal during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are 223,250 tons annually. This compares to 23,061 tons produced during the three year period from 1769 to 1771 in Britain’s nineteen North American colonies. Ship repair facilities were also featured prominently in Bengal. Indian shipbuilding, particularly in Bengal, was advanced compared to European shipbuilding at the time. In fact Indian shipbuilders were selling ships to European firms. An important innovation in shipbuilding was the introduction of a flushed deck design in Bengal rice ships. This resulted in hulls that were stronger. The traditional European built ships with a stepped deck design were structurally weaker and more prone to leakage. The British East India Company later duplicated the flushed deck and hull designs of Bengal rice ships in the 1760s. This led to significant improvements in seaworthiness and navigation for European ships during the Industrial Revolution. The Bengal province was especially prosperous from the time of its takeover by the Mughals in 1590 until the British East India Company seized control in 1757. It was the Mughal Empire's wealthiest province, and the economic powerhouse of the Mughal Empire. Bengal alone is estimated to have generated up to 50% of the empire's GDP. Domestically, much of India depended on Bengali products such as rice, silks and cotton textiles. Overseas, Europeans depended on Bengali products such as cotton textiles, silks, and opium. From Bengal, saltpeter was also shipped to Europe. Opium was sold in Indonesia. Raw silk was exported to Japan and the Netherlands. Cotton and silk textiles were exported to Europe, Indonesia and Japan. Akbar played a key role in establishing Bengal as a leading economic center. He began transforming the delta and many of the jungles there into farms. As soon as he conquered the region, he brought tools and men to clear jungles in order to expand cultivation. Bengal was later described as the Paradise of Nations by Mughal emperors. The Mughals introduced agrarian reforms, including the modern Bengali calendar. The calendar played a vital role in developing and organizing harvests. It also enhanced tax collection and Bengali culture in general, including the New Year and Autumn festivals. The province was a leading producer of grains, salt, fruits, liquors and wines, precious metals and ornaments. Its handloom industry flourished under royal warrants. He Bengali region became a hub of the worldwide muslin trade, which peaked in the 17th and 18th centuries. The provincial capital Dhaka became the commercial capital of the empire. After 150 years of rule by Mughal viceroys, Bengal gained semi-independence as a dominion under the Nawab of Bengal in 1717. The Nawabs permitted European companies to set up trading posts across the region, including firms from Britain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and Austria-Hungary. An Armenian community dominated banking and shipping in major cities and towns. The Europeans regarded Bengal as the richest place for trade. However by the late 18th century, the British displaced the Mughal ruling class in Bengal. India's population growth accelerated under the Mughal Empire. The unprecedented economic and demographic upsurge roughly tripled the Indian population in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Indian population had a faster growth rate during the Mughal era than at any known point in Indian history prior. The increased population growth rate was stimulated by Mughal agrarian reforms that intensified agricultural production. By the time of Aurangzeb's reign, there were a total of 455,698 villages in the Mughal Empire. Cities and towns as well boomed under the Mughal Empire. The empire had a relatively high degree of urbanization for its time, with 15% of its population living in urban centers. This was higher than the percentage of the urban population in contemporary Europe at the time. It was also higher than that of British India in the 19th century. The level of urbanization in Europe did not reach 15% until the 19th century. By 1700 Mughal India had an urban population of 23 million people, larger than British India's urban population of 22.3 million almost two centuries later in 1871. It is estimated that in the early 17th century Mughal India contained 20 large cities and 3200 townships. A number of cities in early 17th century India had a population between a quarter-million and half-million people, with larger cities including Agra with up to 800,000 people. The population of Lahore with up to 700,000 people. Dhaka (in Bengal) had over 1 million inhabitants. The population of Delhi (in Delhi Subah) was over 600,000. Cities acted as markets for the sale of goods. They also provided homes for a variety of merchants, traders, shopkeepers, artisans, moneylenders, weavers, craftspeople, officials, and religious figures. However, a number of cities were military and political centers, rather than manufacturing or commerce centers. The Mughal Empire was definitive in the early-modern and modern periods of South Asian history. Its legacy in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is evidenced in cultural contributions such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Its centralized imperial rule consolidated the smaller polities of South Asia. Its legacy is also evident in the amalgamation of Persian art and literature with Indian art. And the legacy is even found in the development of Mughlai cuisine, an amalgamation of South Asian, Iranian and Central Asian culinary styles. The empire also fostered the development of Mughal clothing, jewelry and fashion. These utilized richly decorated fabrics such as muslin, silk, brocade and velvet. The empire was also responsible for the standardization of the Hindustani language, and thus the development of Hindi and Urdu. Mughal gardening techniques were responsible for the introduction of sophisticated Iranian-style waterworks and horticulture. The introduction of Turkish baths into the Indian subcontinent was also due to the Moghul Empire. The evolution and refinement of Mughal and Indian architecture is also attributable to the empire. In turn also responsible for the development of later Rajput and Sikh palatial architecture. One of the most recognizable Mughal landmarks is the Taj Mahal. The Mughals also spurred development of the Pehlwani style of Indian wrestling. This is a combination of Indian malla-yuddha and Persian varzesh-e bastani. The construction of Maktab schools, where youth were taught the Quran and Islamic law such as the Fatawa-i-Alamgiri in their indigenous languages was also a Mughal innovation. And the Mughals were also responsible for the development of Hindustani classical music, as well as musical instruments such as the sitar. The Mughals made a major contribution to the Indian subcontinent with the development of their unique Indo-Persian architecture. Many monuments were built during the Mughal era by the Muslim emperors, especially Shah Jahan, including the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It attracts 7-8 million unique visitors a year. The palaces, tombs, gardens and forts built by the Moghul Dynasty still stand today. They may be found in Agra, Aurangabad, Delhi, Dhaka, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Lahore, Kabul, Sheikhupura, and many other cities of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Two remarkable examples are Verinag Gardens and Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar, Kashmir, India. The Mughal artistic tradition was eclectic, borrowing from Iranian, Indian, Chinese and Renaissance European stylistic and thematic elements. The art was mainly expressed in painted miniatures, as well as small luxury objects. Mughal emperors often took in Iranian bookbinders, illustrators, painters and calligraphers from the Safavid court. This was due to the commonalities of their Timurid styles. It was also due to the Mughal affinity for Iranian art and calligraphy. Miniatures commissioned by the Mughal emperors initially focused on large projects illustrating books with eventful historical scenes and court life. However later miniatures included more single images for albums. Portraits and animal paintings displayed a profound appreciation for the serenity and beauty of the natural world. Emperor Jahangir for example commissioned brilliant artists such as Ustad Mansur, to realistically portray unusual flora and fauna throughout the empire. The literary works the Moghul Emperors Akbar and Jahangir ordered to be illustrated ranged from epics like the Razmnama (a Persian translation of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata) to historical memoirs or biographies of the dynasty. Richly-finished albums decorated with calligraphy and artistic scenes were mounted onto pages with decorative borders. The albums were then bound with covers of stamped and gilded or painted and lacquered leather. It was also during this time period that the poet Mashafi coined the name 'Urdu' to describe a Persian-derived form of Hindustani Urdu. This was a derivation of “Zaban-i-Ordu”, a language spoken along the Indus. Although Persian was the dominant and "official" language of the empire, it was Urdu which was the language of the elite. The language was written in a type of Perso-Arabic script known as Nastaliq. It borrowed from Persian, Arabic and Turkic languages literary conventions and specialized vocabulary. Mughal India was one of the three Islamic gunpowder empires, along with the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia. Babur had employed an Ottoman expert to acquaint Mughal military forces with the standard Ottoman formation. This featured artillery and firearm-equipped infantry protected by wagons in the center, and mounted archers on both wings. Babur used this formation at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. This battle was notable in that it pitted Mughal forces against Afghan and Rajput forces loyal to the Delhi Sultanate. Though superior in numbers, they were without gunpowder weapons, and so were defeated by the Mughal forces. The decisive victory is one reason opponents rarely met Mughal princes in pitched battle over the course of the empire's history. In India, guns made of bronze in the early 16th century were recovered from Calicut (circa 1504) and Diu (circa 1533). By the 17th century, Indians were manufacturing a diverse variety of firearms. This included large guns in particular, strategically located in Tanjore, Dacca, Bijapur and Murshidabad. Gujarāt supplied Europe saltpeter for use in gunpowder warfare during the 17th century. Mughal Bengal and Mālwa also participated in saltpeter production. The Dutch, French, Portuguese and English used Chāpra as a center of saltpeter refining. In the 16th century, Akbar was the first to initiate and use metal cylinder rockets. They proved to be particularly effective during the Battle of Sanbal against war elephants. In 1657, the Mughal Army used rockets during the Siege of Bidar. Prince Aurangzeb's forces discharged rockets and grenades while scaling the walls. Bidar’s Prince was mortally wounded when a rocket struck Bidar’s gunpowder depot. Bidar was captured by the victorious Mughals after twenty-seven days of hard fighting. The Indian war rockets were formidable weapons before such rockets were used in Europe. They had bamboo rods, a rocket-body lashed to the rod, and iron points. They were directed at the target and fired by lighting the fuse. Nonetheless primitive, the trajectory was rather erratic. There exist descriptions of events during times of Akbar and Jahāngir mentioning the use of mines and counter-mines with explosive charges. Later Mysore rockets were upgraded versions of Mughal rockets used during the Siege of Jinji. These rockets turned fortunes in favor of the Sultanate of Mysore during the Second Anglo-Mysore War. This was particularly so during the Battle of Pollilur. In turn, the Mysorean rockets were the basis for the Congreve rockets. Britain deployed these rockets in the Napoleonic Wars against France. They were also used against the United States of America during the War of 1812 [Wikipedia]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: Very good to like new. See detailed condition description below., Publisher: Time-Life Books (1988), Format: Hardcover with decorated laminate covers, Length: 175 pages, Dimensions: 11¼ x 9¼ inches; 2 pounds

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