Course code Vēst1069
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Credit points, number of lectures
Credit points ECTS Credit points Total number of auditorium hours Number of lecture hours Number of student independent work hours
2 3 32 32 48
E-courses Vēst1069: Concise History of South and Southeast Asia
Course annotation The study course deals with the history of South and Southeast Asia. It covers the main historical periods of the Indies and Nusantara; reflect the changing religious and ideological patterns. The students are introduced into the regional dynamics of modernisation and globalisation, as well as the main research paradigms. Considerable part of the studies course deals with historic roots of contemporary realities of the region.
Course responsible lecturer Jānis Priede
Results Students learn academic text reading and acquire analysis skills, conceptual thinking in the field of historical discourse. During the course students learn to formulate their own views using the given historical and ethnological concepts.
Course plan No.TopicPlanned amount in hours
1.South Asia as India until 1947. The origin of the notion of India. Does the history of India begin with the Indus Valley Civilisation? Vedic literature and the epics as important sources of Indian history2
2.The birth of Buddhism and Jainism. The invasion of Alexander in India and the influence of Greek culture2
3.Ashoka’s rule and his policy. The fragmentation of South Asia (230 B.C.- 320) and establishing of contacts between all parts of India2
4.The different „gold” of the Guptas (320-540)2
5. The South advances to the foreground. Literature and art at this time. Muslims at the Western border. Their rule in the 13-15 century. The bhakti movement2
6.Sikhism. The rulers of South Asia in 16-17 century. The foreign guests from across the sea. The beginnings of the exploration of India2
7.Enlightenment tendencies in the 19th century. Rammohan Ray. Vidyasagar. Bankimchandra Chattapadhyay2
8.Religious personalities Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. The slow engaging of Muslims with politics2
9.Swadeshi as the first wave of discontent (1904-1907). Indians during the First World War2
10.Mahatma Gandhi and the Non-violent Non-Cooperation2
11.The heritage of the British rule2
12.The heavy steps of the independent countries. The Nehru epoch in India2
13.The free market economics in India. The growth of the country retaining 300 million hungry people and a high birth-rate. 2
14..The special state of the most sacred Hindu source “Rigveda” in the discussion about the origin of Indo-Europeans and Indo-Aryans. 2
15.Upanishads as the philosophic basis of Hinduism. The main Hindu categories in Upanishads. 2
16.The role of religion in the whole subcontinent. The Islamic Republics of Pakistan and Bangladesh2
Requirements for obtaining credit points
Intermediate exam(50%)
Final examination – (50%)


Study programmes Asian Studies