Chapter 5: Kingdoms, Kings and an Early Republic
Q1. Fill in the blanks.
i. The Rigveda has been written in Sanskrit.
ii. Inamgaon is situated on the river Ghod.
iii. The Rigveda was composed about 3500 years ago.
iv. Sanskrit is part of a family of languages known as Indo-European.
v. The major gods praised in the hymns of the Rigveda were Agni, Indra, and Soma.
vi. The dead were buried with distinctive pots, which are called Black and Red Ware.
i. The river Ghod is a tributary of the Bhima. True
ii. The oldest Veda is the Samaveda. False
iii. Slaves were women and men who were often captured in war. True
iv. Hymns were composed by sages (rishis). True
v. In a hymn in the Rigveda, Vishvamitra used the word ‘sisters’ for the two rivers Beas and Sutlej. True
vi. Roma, a plant from which a special drink was prepared. False
Q3. Which is the oldest Veda among the four Vedas?
Ans. The oldest Veda is the Rigveda.
Q4. In which language Rigveda was written?
Ans. The Rigveda is in old or Vedic Sanskrit.
Q5. As per Rigveda, why battles were fought?
Ans. Battles were fought for cattle, land, water and for capturing people.
Q6. What are Megaliths?
Ans. Stone boulders used to mark burial sites are known as megaliths.
Q7. Where was the page from a manuscript of the Rigveda found?
Ans. This manuscript of the Rigveda, on birch bark, was found in Kashmir.
Q8. Why yajnas or sacrifices were performed?
Ans. Yajnas or sacrifices were performed to please gods and goddesses.
Q9. Which language belongs to the Dravidian family?
Ans. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam belong to the Dravidian family.
Q10. Which language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family?
Ans. Language used in the north-east belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family.
Q11. Name the site where skeleton was found with 33 gold beads, 2 stone beads, 4 copper bangles, and one conch shell.
Q12. What is Sukta?
Ans. The Rigveda includes more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or “well-said”.
Q13. Name 4 Vedas.
Ans. There are four of them – the Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.
Q14. What do people at Inamgaon ate?
Ans. People at Inamgaon ate wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas and sesame.
Q15. How were yajnas performed?
Ans. Yajnas were performed by offering ghee and grains into the fire in order to please god and goddesses.
Q16. How slaves were treated?
Ans. They were treated as the property of their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.
Q17. Which language belongs to the Austro- Asiatic family?
Ans. The languages spoken in Jharkhand and parts of central India belong to the Austro-Asiatic family.
Q18. Where the practice of erecting megaliths was prevalent?
Ans. The practice of erecting megaliths was prevalent throughout the Deccan, south India, in the north-east and Kashmir.
Q19. Who was Charaka?
Ans. About 2000 years ago, there was a famous physician named Charaka who wrote a book on medicine known as the Charaka Samhita.
Q20. Why were portholes used for?
Ans. Portholes were used as an entrance. Through these portholes the bodies of family members who died later were brought into the grave.
Q21. Which two words were used to describe the people or the community as a whole?
Ans. One was the word jana, which we still use in Hindi and other languages. The other was vish. The word vaishya comes from vish.
Q22. Name the two groups described in terms of their work.
Ans. There are two groups who are described in terms of their work — the priests, sometimes called brahmins, who performed various rituals and the rajas.
Q23. Were some burial spots meant for certain families?
Ans. Sometimes, megaliths contain more than one skeleton. These indicate that people, perhaps belonging to the same family, were buried in the same place though not at the same time.
Q24. What were oracle bones?
Ans. Around 3500 years ago, we find some of the first evidence of writing in China. These writings were on animal bones. These are called oracle bones, because they were used to predict the future.
Q25. What do circle of stone boulders or a single large stone standing on the ground indicates?
Ans. Sometimes, archaeologists find a circle of stone boulders or a single large stone standing on the ground. These are the only indications that there are burials beneath.
Q26. In what ways are the books we read today different from the Rigveda?
Ans. The books we use are written and printed. The Rigveda was recited and heard rather than read. It was written down several centuries after it was first composed, and printed less than 200 years ago.
Q27. Differentiate between ‘Aryas’ and ‘Dasas’.
|The people who composed the hymns described themselves as Aryas.||Aryas called their opponents Dasas or Dasyus. These were people who did not perform sacrifices, and probably spoke different languages.|
Q28. What kind of evidence from burials do archaeologists use to find out whether there were social differences amongst those who were buried?
Ans. Objects were found in the grave of the dead person. Sometimes, more objects are found in one grave than in another. These finds suggest that there was some difference in status amongst the people who were buried. Some were rich, others poor, some chiefs, others followers.
Q29. In what ways do you think that the life of a raja was different from that of a dasa or dasi?
|Raja||Dasa or Dasi|
|1. Raja was a powerful leader who used to rule.||1. They were often captured in war.|
|2. Raja was a free person.||2. They were treated as the property of their owners, who could make them do whatever work they wanted.|
|3. The rajas led a luxurious life.||3. They led a miserable life.|
Q30. How horses, cattle, chariot and battles are depicted in Rigveda?
Ans. There are many prayers in the Rigveda for cattle, horses, chariot and battles. Horses were yoked to chariots that were used in battles, which were fought to capture cattle. Battles were also fought for land, which was important for pasture, and for growing hardy crops that ripened quickly, such as barley. Some battles were fought for water, and to capture people.
Q31. Write a note on Rigveda.
Ans. The oldest Veda is the Rigveda, composed about 3500 years ago. The Rigveda includes more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or “well-said”. These hymns are in praise of various gods and goddesses. Three gods are especially important: Agni, the god of fire; Indra, a warrior god; and Soma, a plant from which a special drink was prepared. These hymns were composed by sages (rishis). Most of the hymns were composed, taught and learnt by men. A few were composed by women. The Rigveda is in old or Vedic Sanskrit.
Q32. Write a short note on the Wars fought in the Rigvedic period?
Ans. Battles were fought for cattle, land, water, and to capture people. Some of the wealth that was obtained was kept by the leaders, some was given to the priests and the rest was distributed amongst the people. Some wealth was used for the performance of yajnas or sacrifices in which offerings were made into the fire. These were meant for gods and goddesses. Most men took part in these wars. There was no regular army, but there were assemblies where people met and discussed matters of war and peace. They also chose leaders, who were often brave and skilful warriors.