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History of India

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HISTORY
Subject

History
(For under graduate student)

Paper No.

Paper - II
History of India

Topic No. & Title

Topic - 9
Science and Technology In Early
Medieval India (650-1200 AD)

Lecture No. & Title :

Lecture - 1
Science and Technology In Early
Medieval India (650-1200 AD)

FAQs
1.

Discuss the contribution of Aryabhatta.


Aryabhatta was the first person to originate the epi-cyclic
theory of calculations in Astronomy. He also began
calculating the indeterminate equations of the first order.
In Mathematics he gave place value in which the
numbers were mentioned in alphabetical order with their
place values. He had propounded the theory that the
earth rotated on its own axis.

History of India

2.

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How had foreign knowledge entered into India?


Foreign knowledge systems had penetrated into India
because the Sakas and the Kushans came into India and
also the Indo-Romans much earlier. They had introduced
the Greek concepts of Astronomy and Mathematics which
was taken together with the earlier Indian systems of
Astronomy and Mathematics.

3.

Why is Brahmagupta famous?


Brahmagupta (598-668 AD) carried the concept of place
value system further. He was the first one to utilize the
concept of zero, gave it a place value and used it to
enhance the system of decimal numbering

4.

Why

was

Bhaskaracharya

II

considered

an

important scientist of the age?


Bhaskaracharya II was the first person to expound the
concept that the earth had a gravitational force the
Akrtsta Shakti, a particular force which keeps it in its
own place. He had already calculated the circumference
of the earth because he believed in the rotation of the

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earth. He also calculated the whole year in terms of days


and he gave almost an exact calculation.
5.

What were the hindrances to dissemination of


scientific information at that time?
The hindrances to dissemination of scientific information
at that time were multifold. Mantra gupti (professional
secrecy) prevented them from sharing data. Secondly the
composers

of

the

treatise

were

not

proficient

in

mathematics or language to compile the data perfectly in


a scientifically or linguistically correct manner. Another
factor was the popularization of rituals practiced by the
scientists and technologist. Most importantly there was a
divorce in the knowledge discovered in the workroom of
the artisans and the knowledge disseminated in formal
educational systems.
6.

Why was Aryabhattas idea criticized?


Aryabhatta propounded the theory that the earth rotated
on its own axis. This went against the then popular
religious concept that the earth was at the centre of the
universe

and

that

it

was

static.

So

Aryabhattas

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revolutionary

idea

was

criticized

severely

by

later

scientists like Varaha Mihira and Brahmagupta himself.


7.

Mention some writers whose scientific texts were


taught to students?
There

was

Sridhara

from

Bengal

whose

text

was

extremely popular in Eastern India. Then Mahanandin of


Benaras of 9th century AD was also very famous as well
as Sripati from Maharashtra.
8.

What is the importance of Surya Siddhanta?


Surya Siddhanta is a very good compilation of all earlier
calculations and concepts of Astronomy. There was a
foundation chapter where all the geometrical principles
which come into the aid of astronomical calculations were
laid down.

9.

Briefly

describe

the

compendium

Siddhanta

Shiromani.
Siddhanta Shiromani had four different books under it.
One of the books is Lilavati, which is on Arithmetic. Then
there

are

the

other

three

adhyaya

(Ganitadhaya,

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Goladhyaya, Bijaganitadhaya). All these taken together


were a very big research work.
10. What

is

basic

drawback

of

the

architectural

knowledge that was disseminated?


In architecture, from the early days building technology
had progressed together with developments in geometry
and trigonometry.

But this association somewhere got

lost. Architectural treatises like Manasara and Mayamata


gave a lot of calculations, dimensions, measurements but
it was only given in dimension form. There was some gap
between theoretical and practical knowledge.