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History - Assignment Example

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Sources from the Past: Readings in History February 2011 The caste system in the Aryan social structure 4. Briefly explain the origins of the caste system. Include the original Aryan social structure. Define “caste.” Name the castes that developed in the late Vedic Age…
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The four castes were recognizable around 1000 BCE (). The division was part of the creation process. For example, the highest caste of Brahmins came about from the mouth of the primeval being Purusha. The other castes were the Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. These three castes came about from the Purusha’s arms, thighs and feet respectively. The relative heights of these bodily locations correspond exactly to the relative levels of the four castes in the social hiearchy. There are many other castes in the Aryan social structure as well, but the aforementioned are the main four. Source: Ralph T. Griffith, trans. The Hymns of the Rigveda, 4 vols., 2nd ed. Benares: E. J. Lazarus, 1889–92, 4:289–93. The ‘Mandate from Heaven’ and its significance 5. What is the meaning of the “Mandate from Heaven?” Why was it significant to the Zhou Dynasty? How did a ruler know he had lost the mandate from heaven? The expression ‘mandate from heaven’ refers to the legitimacy of the Chinese emperor’s right to rule the throne. Thus, Chinese emperors acquired their office not merely through exercising force but through permission of divine origin. This mandate made the emperor a holder of absolute power though limited by his responsibility towards heaven. A failure to fulfill this responsibility and in enforcing basic morals had the consequence of resulting in a loss of the divine mandate. ... Read More
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