The syllabus consists of six themes on The Ancient World - (i) The River Valley Civilizations, (ii) The Vedic Civilization, (iii) Mahavira & Buddha - Great Preachers, (iv) Rise of Kingdoms & Republicans, (v) The Mauryan Empire, and (vi) The Golden Age - Gupta Empire.

Theme 1: The River Valley Civilizations

'Civilization' - meaning

Reasons for settlement near rivers.

Major Civilizations:

  • Indus Valley
  • Mesopotamian
  • Egyptian
  • Chinese

Main Characteristics:

  • Origin
  • Location (*Map)
  • Rivers
  • Society
  • Social life - Family, Community
  • Town Planning
  • Occupations
  • Trade
  • Art and (Craft) Architecture
  • Religious Beliefs

Decline

Theme 2: The Vedic Civilization

Aryans in the Sapta Sindhu & Gangetic valley

‘Vedas’ and ‘Vedic’ - meaning

The four Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas

Epics Ramayana & Mahabharata

Brahmavarta (Early Vedic age)

  • Political Organization
  • Social life
  • Economic life

Aryavarta (Later Vedic age)

  • Political Org.
  • Social Life
  • Four Ashramas

Gurukul System 

Economic life

Theme 3: Mahavira & Buddha - Great Preachers

Social conditions for rise of Jainism and Buddhism.

Vardhamana Mahavira

  • Jainism
  • Early life
  • Teachings (Ahimsa, Caste system, Karma, Rebirth, Search for truth)
  • Sub Sections of Jainism

Gautama Buddha

  • Buddhism
  • Early life
  • Teachings (Four Noble Truths, Eight Fold Path, Ahimsa, Karma, Nirvana, Caste System)
  • Sub Sections of Buddhism

A comparative study between Jainism and Buddhism

  • Spread and Decline.

Theme 4: Rise of Kingdoms & Republicans

Introduction to terms - Janapadas & Mahajanapadas.

Powerful Kingdoms:

  • Vatsa
  • Avanti
  • Kosala
  • Magadha

Mighty Kingdom of Magadha:

  • Rulers (Bimbisara, Ajatashatru)
  • Rule of Nandas
  • Alexander’s Invasion
  • Chandragupta Maurya (Brief Mention of his life before he became the ruler)

Theme 5: The Mauryan Empire

Sources: Indica & Arthashastra

Chandragupta Maurya

  • Role of Chanakya

Bindusara

Ashoka (Ascend to throne, extent of kingdom, Kalinga War, Welfare state)

Ashoka’s Dhamma & Edicts.

Mauryan Administration

  • With reference to Pataliputra

Mauryan Art and Economy

Decline.

Theme 6: The Golden Age - Gupta Empire

Sources: The history of the Gupta Empire

Rulers of the Gupta Empire:

  • Chandragupta I
  • Samudragupta
  • Chandragupta II

The Golden Age:

  • Features / Characteristics
  • Administration
  • Economy
  • Religious Life
  • Scientific Progress
  • Art, Architecture and Literature
  • Education