Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kushan Empire of northern India

During the early centuries of the 1st millennium, the Kushan Empire was cosmopolitan center as well as a major spreading center for Buddhism. Kushan Empire covered a part of northern India for almost a hundred years.

The Kushan Empire’s relative success was due to the absence of any empire or strong kingdom in North India at that time. Before their rise to historical prominence, the Kushans were a nomadic Indo-Iranian culture, whose homeland was the Tarim Basin. After being brutally defeated by a more powerful Central Asian tribe, the Kushans moved west to conquer and rule Bactria and then Northern India.

They arrived in Bactria in 135 BC as a confederation of five ethically related clan groups and soon adopted the settled lifestyle of the native population.
In the middle of the first century AD Kujula Kadphises, the ruler of one of the clans, the Kushans, set himself up as king over all the other clans and began to expand his territorial rule onto Indo-Parthia, the Kabul region, and the upper reaches of the Indus valley.

Kanishka, the Kushan’s greatest emperor, completed this expansion in about 150 AD. A great conqueror and a patron of Buddhism, he combined in himself the military ability of Chandragupta Maurya and the religious zeal of Asoka.

The downfall of the Kushans began during the reign of Vasudeva, broke up into petty principalities under princelings, some of whom bore the name Vasudeva.
Kushan Empire of northern India
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