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India in the Middle Ages

Tomb and Mosque from Lodi dynasty India. The Lodis, from Afghanistan, ruled parts of northern India from 1451 to 1526, before the...Read More >>Tomb and Mosque from Lodi dynasty India. The Lodis, from Afghanistan, ruled parts of northern India from 1451 to 1526, before the Mughals took over India. Two great empires ruled India in the early Middle Ages: the Kushans in the first three centuries AD and the Guptas in the 300s and 400s. Northern India fell under Muslim control during the 1200s. For a short time, the country was almost entirely united under the Delhi Sultanate. By the late 1400s, however, it controlled just the north of the country. 



A Kushan coin showing Vima Kadphises. The text around the edge is in Greek script.

The Kushan Empire

The Kushans were a group of nomads who had overrun the Greek kingdom of Bactria in Afghanistan by about 135 BC. In around AD 50, they invaded northern India, creating an empire that stretched from the Aral Sea in central Asia to the River Ganges in eastern India. This was the Kushan Empire, which reached its peak under Vima Kadphises, who ruled roughly between the years AD 75 and 100.

The Kushans used the Greek alphabet, adapted to suit their own language.

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