A History of India

Ref: C3671498

This course will look into the later "classical" period of the Indian subcontinent's history, beginning with the decline of the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms and the incursion of the Kushan invaders. We will look closely ant the nature of the Kushan takeover, ands make some assessment of their culture and contribution to the culture of northern India. We will go on to look in more depth at the emergence of the Kushan Empire, while at the same time contrasting this with the decline of Magadha under the Shunga and Kanva dynasties. We will go on to look at the emerging dynasties and powers of central India during the same period, in particular looking at he Satavahanas, Kalingas and also the southerly Pandyan kingdom and the rise of Sri Lankan identity. We will conclude with some consideration of the impact of the conflict between the Satavahanas and the Western Satraps, and the changing dynamic of power across central India in the face of the Kushan Empire.

Course aim

This course will examine the fortunes of the later Greek and Kushan dominions of the 1st century BC, and the decline of Magadha under the Kalingas, Shunga and Kanva dynasty.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Evaluate reasons for the decline of the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms
  • Demonstrate insights into the tensions within the Shunga dynasty
  • Evaluate the rivalries between the Shungas, Kalingas and Satavahanas
  • Gain some insights into the significance of the Kushan Empire & the Western Satraps

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • "Ancient India" EJ Rapson, Chios Classics "India: A History" John Keay, Harper Press "The Story of India" Michael Wood, BBC Books

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

A History of India Course Outline

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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