People really underestimate how much of a toll nature took on ancient & medieval civilizations. An example, the late antique ice age (circa 535 CE) caused by volanic eruptions in Iceland & El Salvador. Lead to volcanic winter, crop failure, famine, Justinian's plague etc.
When it comes to India, this field is as usual exceptionally poorly applied to history. Lack of proper primary sources that can be used as eyewitness accounts of change in weather or crop patterns. (Why did the Huns succeed? Why did the later Guptas collapse? How many famines?)
Indian history is extremley poorly studied. Climatology, archaeology, geology etc none of these fields are properly applied to history here. Half of it is our ancestors fault for being poor at recording history and half is just lack of interest/laziness by scholars today.
If one wants to witness the power of volcanic disturbances, look no further than Mount Tambora's 1815 eruption in Java or Mount Krakota 1885 (Indonesia again). They thought a rival power had brought canons, dispatched the army to fight them.

Krakatau erupted in 2018 and levelled an entire island. 1883 eruption levelled 70% of the archipelago. The blast was heard as far as Western Australia. Quite insane.

And people never bother to wonder how fast a premodern civ would collapse to such events!

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More from @IndianHistory0

21 Jul
How many of us know of Nīlakaṇṭha Somayājī?(1444-1545). One of the greatest mathematician-astronomers of the middle ages. He provided a geoheliocentric planetary model in which planets revolved around the sun. His calculations stayed the most accurate in the world until Kepler.
Somayājī (1444-1545) was a Namboodiri Brāhmaṇa of the Gargeya lineage (Ashvalayana Rigvedi) who provided a geoheliocentric model of planetary motion nearly century before Copernicus's pure heliocentric model. His calculations on planetary orbit around the sun were revolutionary.
Somayājī's work completely challenged the dominant geocentric model of planetary motion. 200 years after his magnum opus; a Danish astronomer by name of Tycho Brahe would propose the same geoheliocentric system.

However, no one knows about Somayājī today. Why?
Read 7 tweets
20 Jul
The most dramatic shift in public opinion that I have experienced within my lifetime is on homosexuality and homosexual marriage. Seems like overnight a switch was flipped on & everyone changed their minds.

2010 and 2015 seem to have been big turning points.
Looking back at the 2000s, I think virtually everyone in America was anti-gay in some way or the other. Supporting gay marriage in 2005 in America was a big no no. Today, my younger cousins tell me even speaking out against it in school is equivalent to becoming a social outcast.
In India we see the same shift happening. My cousins tell me it's more taboo to be anti-gay here than it is to express hatred against religious minorities. Quite wild. Wonder how long till LGBTQ+ marriage rights. Give or take a decade maybe. Probably only for Hindus.
Read 6 tweets
18 Jul
Two extremley aesthetic 19-20th century Indian palaces.

On the left is the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara. Built in 1890. On the right is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. Construction started in 1928, completed in 1943. Both designed in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style. ImageImage
The Lakshmi Vilas Palace was built in 1890 by the Hindu Maratha King Sayajirao Gaekwad III. It was designed by Major Charles Mant & serves as the residence of the Gaekwad Royal family. ImageImageImage
The Umaid Bhawan Palace was built from 1928-1943 by the Hindu Rajput King Umaid Singh. The palace was designed by Henry Vaugh Lanchester, a British architect. It serves as both a hotel (Taj Palace) & the residence of the Jodhpur Royal family. ImageImageImage
Read 10 tweets
17 Jul
Gangetic Plains Mesolithic Hunter Gatherers of India were the tallest on Earth, much taller than their European counterparts.

Damdama HG had a mean height of (179.1 cm /5′10.5″) for males & (173.0 cm / 5'8") for females.

Mahadaha males had a mean height of (181.1 cm / 5'11.3")
Gangetic Plain Mesolithic females (5'7"-5'8") were taller in mean stature than Western-European males of the time.
Not only were they very tall, but also quite muscular and likely involved in a lot of strenuous physical activity, indicated by hypertrophy in the forearms and legs. Specifically of the anconeus & supinator muscles (although no evidence of physical trauma)
Read 4 tweets
17 Jul
Certainly a hyper-muscular body is neither desirable nor a scriptural ideal. However, physical fitness (looking good, being healthy) & exercise was an important part of our ancient culture. The pictures below of Lord Rāma are an excellent archetype for all aesthetes.
From the Vālmiki Rāmāyaṇa we know that Rāma is विपुलांसो (broad shouldered) with महाबाहुः (large arms). He has a deep seat clavicle (due to his pectoralis muscles - गूढजत्रुः). He is six feet tall (श्चतुष्किष्कुश्चतुःसमः)

We find this information in Sundara Kanda, Sarga 33*/35
The Tattvadipika Tika clarifies this verse and says that men who are 6 feet tall (4 kiShkus or 96 a~Ngulas) are "God-like"

The Tika also says that Rāma had "long, strong bones" and a "big chest"
Read 8 tweets
17 Jul
It's been argued that Emperor Raghu in the Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa could have been Emperor Samudragupta. This would mean that Canto IV of the RV describes a Persian Campaign of none other than Samudragupta. And the entire poem would allude to a history of the Gupta Dynasty (1/n)
Verse 60, calls Raghu a saṃyamī (someone in control of their senses). This alludes to Gita 2.69 that mentions a man in control of his senses. But the very next verse (2.70) of the Gita mentions the Samudra (ocean) as the example of something in control of its senses.
Raghuvaṃśa 2.62-65 describes authentic information about the Persians. Importantly, they had beards like honeycombs (to which the bhalla[bear] arrows were drawn to like bears to honey).
Read 6 tweets

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