Das Gupta-Reich am Ende des 5. Jh.
the Gupta realm at the end 5. Jh.

The Gupta (Sanskrit, गुप्त, gupta) was an Indian ruler dynasty. Their name stands beside the Maurya and Kushana for the antique India.

Table of contents


the Gupta kings came 330 n. Chr. to power and terminated the Kleinstaaterei on the Indian Subkontinent, which since the fall of the Kushana - realm prevailed.

Master father of the Gupta dynasty was Chandragupta I. (move approx. 320-335, not to confound with the Chandragupta Maurya, which approximately 6 centuries before the Maurya - dynasty had justified), which probably descended from a Kshatriyafamilie. At least one did not find coins of the predecessors, so that the maintained royal origin is very vague. But by Chandraguptas wedding with Kumaradevi to become a princess of the Licchavi - sex was possible it for it , king in the course region, in direct proximity of the Magadha - realm.

rule over India

only 15 years later could the son, Samudragupta (move 335-375), the borders of the realm expand. Into the initial phase of its conquests the income of Pataliputra falls in Magadha, the later capital. At that time he also still called himself as a “daughter son of the Licchavi “and not as “Gupta”, which changed however soon. The conquerer left an inscription on a column Ashokas in Allahabad, so that its against Indian small states admits numerous war courses are. On the column Sri Lanka and north Iran are the speech of the subjected kings and conquered areas in the north, a military strike in the south as well as from tributes the western Shakaregion.

Under Samudragupta into India gold coins were introduced, which these not only when conquerers, but also as musicians to represent. These impressive coins were like the titles of the Gupta (about: Maharajahiraja Paramabhattaraka, i.e. the “large king of the kings, highest master”) an important propaganda means and besides an indication of the prosperity. The king by the way saw itself as first Hindu as Chakravartin - a ruler (wörtl.: “Radandreher”) on, as an ideal ruler, who turns at the wheel of the life and whom world controls.

Chandragupta II.

A Chandragupta II. attributed, not rusting iron column in Delhi

its son, Chandragupta II. (move 375-413/15), made from the Gupta dynasty a superpower, by being able to merge the states by marriage politics, with which its father the war had wohlweislich avoided: He saw his chance in the alliance of the Gupta with the Vakataka - dynasty Rudrasenas II. South India. By the marriage of its daughter Chandragupta II. secured itself Prabhavatigupta into this ruling family. the peace with the south. And so itself its troops could on the fight in the north, D. h. on subjecting the Shakas and the remainder of west India concentrate (approx. 397-409).

The political fate of its rulers made itself paid for the Gupta: A local official became landexpensively loaded from its portions that, dealers accumulated a fortune with the trade between China and the Mediterranean , since they controlled the commercial routes. The Regierungsgewalt in the cities was often put consisted into the hands by Gilden of the craftsmen, dealers and bankers and many town councillors of craftsmen, artists and dealers. Generally the Indian cities of this time had a higher economic and cultural value than later in the Indian Middle Ages.

Worth mentioning also still some information of the Chinese Pilgermönches Faxian ( Dongjin, traveled 399-412) is, that the realm Chandraguptas II. visited. It wrote: “The people is richly and lucky, unbelästigt of any Kopfsteuer or national restrictions. Only those, which cultivate the country of the king, pay one landexpensively. They are free to go or remain. The king governs the country without the death penalty to use. Even high traitors keep only their right hand reduced. “

To time of the Gupta also the renewal of the Hinduismus took place: The old writings were read again and to the Buddhismus implemented up to then were again given up. Also the ideology of the box nature, which has to today in India validity, was again maintained.

down and fall

in 5. Century went down the India of the Gupta dynasty. In the meantime a peaceful emperor prevailed - to Kumara Gupta I. (move 415-455) - over the country, religion and monastery possession were promoted. The administration was strongly partitioned: in provinces, districts, cities and villages. The king controlled only one part of it directly, it gave authority overlaps and the rule ignored creeping the local princes . Also the tax receipts no more were not exhausted to the Gupta ruler, but the revenue officers kept these for their own interests.

Under Skandagupta (move 455-67) and its nephew Budhagupta (move 467/76 497, - only the expansion of the realm became generally accepted still existing in a follow-up war of many years) remained, but afterwards several kings arose at the same time around 500.

From the north a new threat came: The Hunnen related people established themselves in Baktrien and pulled now slowly over the mountains of northwest India. 458 it already came to the fight between the Gupta and the “Hunas” - here unclearly whether Kidaraniten or already Hephthaliten -, but Skandagupta could hold back the idea again.

In early 6. Again intruders occurred to century in India, the Hephthaliten. They were called also “white Hunnen “and the Gupta lost Kashmir and the Punjab at their ruler, Toramana and Mihirakula. The last serious Gupta Thronanwärter Bhanugupta Baladitya II. (move 503-30) a battle lost 510 against Toramana and had after Bengalen to flee. This loss of the most important areas of the north introduced finally the end of the Gupta realm: India was divided again under the restaurant principalities.

Partial prince and generals like the younger Gupta in (east) Malwa, the Vardhanas (see. Harsha) to Thanesar and the Maukharis to Kannauj transferred the follow-up.

list of the rulers

the governments off approx. 500 is konfus.

  • Gupta (approx. 275-300)
  • Ghatotkacha (approx. 300-320)
  • Chandragupta I. (320-335)
  • Samudragupta (335-375)
  • Ramagupta around 375 (?)
  • Chandragupta II. (375-413/5)
  • Kumaragupta I. (415-455)
  • Skandagupta (455 -467)
  • Purugupta (approx. 467-472)
  • Narasimhagupta Baladitya (approx. 472/73)
  • Kumaragupta II. (approx. 473-476)
  • Budhagupta (approx. 476-495)
  • several throne candidates around 500 FF.
    • Chandragupta III. around 500
    • Prakâshâdityagupta around 500
    • Vainyagupta around 500
    • Narasimhagupta II. around 500 FF.
  • Bhanugupta Baladitya II. (approx. 50? - 530)
  • Kumaragupta III. (approx. 530-540)
  • Vishnugupta (approx. 540-550)


  • Hermann Kulke, Dietmar red ago mouth: History of India, C.H.Beck, Munich 1998, ISBN 3406433383

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