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14.4 The Early Civilization of India

The history we need to tell here of India is simpler even than this brief record of Egypt. The Dravidian peoples in the Ganges valley developed upon parallel lines to the Sumerian and Egyptian societies. But it is doubtful if they ever got to so high a stage of social development; they have left few monuments, and they never achieved any form of writing.

Somewhere about the time of Hammurabi or later, a branch of the Aryan- speaking people who then occupied North Persia and Afghanistan pushed down the north-west passes into India. They conquered their way until they prevailed over all the darker populations of North India, and spread their rule or influence over the whole peninsula. They never achieved any unity in India; their history is a history of warring kings and republics.

The Persian empire, in the days of its expansion after the capture of Babylon, pushed its boundaries beyond the Indus, and later Alexander the Great marched as far as the border of the desert that separates the Punjab from the Ganges valley. But with this bare statement we will for a time leave the history of India.

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