Danino 4 and 5, The Idea of India, and its Interactions with the Western World

The Idea of India, and its Interactions with the Western World

These are lectures 4 and 5 in a series of lectures given by the French-Indian historian Michel Danino covering recent findings in ancient Indian history that I am showing presently.

Today I am introducing two lectures together, because I judge these to only be of marginal interest to my readers here, although the 6th lecture, which I will show next week, concerns the interaction between Indian and the Eastern world and is of central importance for Buddhist studies.

In the 4th of his lecture series Danino looks at the idea of India itself and shows how there was indeed a concept of the country from the very earliest times, which is evidenced in many ways, including geography, cultural history and pilgrimages that were undertaken.

Many people have suggested that even the notion of “India” as a country is a modern concept, an idea that was prevalent during colonial times. Danino shows how this is not so, and that from the earliest times there was an idea of the country, and as being one unified culture.

 

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In the 5th lecture, which is also in sequence with the following lecture, Danino looks at the evidence for interaction of India with the western world, from the very earliest times, and how that continued throughout the middle ages with the rise of Islam in India.

This is very interesting from a historical point-of-view, as it shows that right from the time of the Indus Valley civilisation India was in contact with the countries to its west, and there was a lot of trade and cultural influence passing back and forth along the trade routes.

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to see a set of stills click on the screenshot below

 

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