March 31, 2023
Quite often the Classical Age and Golden Age are used by readers to mean the same thing. Basically, they are interested in knowing which period was the age of growth, rebirth, rekindling of ideas and art.

Classical age 

It refers to that phase of human history during which progress of highest level was witnessed. This level of progress was so high that it became model for future generations and the people in future tried to obtain it. The classicism of Gupta period needs to be comprehended in a light of progress – during the period that preceded it and the period that followed it. 

Golden age 

It refers to the age in History during which remarkable progress were witnessed in different spheres of human life. Such progress is all round and inclusive in character. The concept of Golden age was put forward by the nationalist school of historians. This school emerged during 1840-1860 as a response and reaction to negative portrayal of Indian history by the colonial historians. Historians like RC Majumdar, HC Raychadhuri and K Nilakantha Sastri belong to this group. These historians developed the concept of Golden age to counter the idea of dark age being propagated by colonial historians. It was emphasized that under the imperial Guptas remarkable progress was witnessed in every sphere of human life. 

Why is Gupta Age called a Classical Age in India?

The Gupta empire is so often referred to as India’s classical age because of the religious sculpture and temple architecture produced during the period. There were considerable achievements of Indians in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, science, religion and philosophy during the Gupta Empire.

After a period of decline post the highly civilized Indus Valley Civilization and brief Mauryan period, it was during the times of Guptas that the Art, Literature, Sculpture, Sciences and many other departments flourished that we cherish even till date.

Which age is known as Classical Age of South India?

The period of Cholas. Also, the Sangam literature flourished from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE in southern India.

This page/podcast discusses the Gupta and Classical Age of India. A very good source that has referenced Upinder Singh, Romila Thapar, RC Majumdar and the very widely popular RS Sharma.

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