NCERT Textbook - Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years Class 7 Notes | EduRev

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Class 7 : NCERT Textbook - Tracing Changes Through a Thousand Years Class 7 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


1
T
ake a look at Maps 1 and 2. Map 1 was made in
1154 CE by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi. The
section reproduced here is a detail of the Indian
subcontinent from his larger map of the world. Map 2
was made in the 1720s by a French cartographer. The
two maps are quite different even though they are of
the same area. In al-Idrisi’s map, south India is where
we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is
the island at the top. Place-names are marked in Arabic,
Cartographer
A person who
makes maps.
1
TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH
A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS
Map 1
A section of the world
map drawn by the
geographer al-Idrisi in
the twelfth century
showing the Indian
subcontinent.
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 2


1
T
ake a look at Maps 1 and 2. Map 1 was made in
1154 CE by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi. The
section reproduced here is a detail of the Indian
subcontinent from his larger map of the world. Map 2
was made in the 1720s by a French cartographer. The
two maps are quite different even though they are of
the same area. In al-Idrisi’s map, south India is where
we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is
the island at the top. Place-names are marked in Arabic,
Cartographer
A person who
makes maps.
1
TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH
A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS
Map 1
A section of the world
map drawn by the
geographer al-Idrisi in
the twelfth century
showing the Indian
subcontinent.
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
2 OUR PASTS – II
and there are some well-known names like Kanauj in
Uttar Pradesh (spelt in the map as Qanauj). Map 2
was made nearly 600 years after Map 1, during which
time information about the subcontinent had changed
considerably. This map seems more familiar to us and
the coastal areas in particular are surprisingly
detailed. This map was used by European sailors and
merchants on their voyages (see Chapter 6).
Look at the areas in the interior of the subcontinent on
Map 2. Are they as detailed as those on the coast? Follow
the course of the River Ganga and see how it is shown.
Why do you think there is a difference in the level of
detail and accuracy between the coastal and inland areas
in this map?
Map 2
The subcontinent, from
the early-eighteenth-
century Atlas Nouveau
of Guillaume de l’Isle.
?
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 3


1
T
ake a look at Maps 1 and 2. Map 1 was made in
1154 CE by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi. The
section reproduced here is a detail of the Indian
subcontinent from his larger map of the world. Map 2
was made in the 1720s by a French cartographer. The
two maps are quite different even though they are of
the same area. In al-Idrisi’s map, south India is where
we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is
the island at the top. Place-names are marked in Arabic,
Cartographer
A person who
makes maps.
1
TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH
A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS
Map 1
A section of the world
map drawn by the
geographer al-Idrisi in
the twelfth century
showing the Indian
subcontinent.
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
2 OUR PASTS – II
and there are some well-known names like Kanauj in
Uttar Pradesh (spelt in the map as Qanauj). Map 2
was made nearly 600 years after Map 1, during which
time information about the subcontinent had changed
considerably. This map seems more familiar to us and
the coastal areas in particular are surprisingly
detailed. This map was used by European sailors and
merchants on their voyages (see Chapter 6).
Look at the areas in the interior of the subcontinent on
Map 2. Are they as detailed as those on the coast? Follow
the course of the River Ganga and see how it is shown.
Why do you think there is a difference in the level of
detail and accuracy between the coastal and inland areas
in this map?
Map 2
The subcontinent, from
the early-eighteenth-
century Atlas Nouveau
of Guillaume de l’Isle.
?
2015-16 (12-01-15)
3
Equally important is the fact that the science of
cartography differed in the two periods. When historians
read documents, maps and texts from the past they
have to be sensitive to the different historical
backgrounds – the contexts – in which information
about the past was produced.
New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Terminologies nologies nologies nologies nologies
If the context in which information is produced
changes with time, what about language and
meanings? Historical records exist in a variety of
languages which have changed considerably over the
years. Medieval Persian, for example, is different from
modern Persian. The difference is not just with regard
to grammar and vocabulary; the meanings of words
also change over time.
Take the term “Hindustan”, for example. Today we
understand it as “India”, the modern nation-state.
When the term was used in the thirteenth century by
Minhaj-i-Siraj, a chronicler who wrote in Persian, he
meant the areas of Punjab, Haryana and the lands
between the Ganga and Yamuna. He used the term in
a political sense for lands that were a part of the
dominions of the Delhi Sultan. The areas included in
this term shifted with the extent of the Sultanate but
the term never included south India. By contrast, in
the early sixteenth century Babur used Hindustan to
describe the geography, the fauna and the culture of
the inhabitants of the subcontinent. As we will see later
in the chapter, this was somewhat similar to the way
the fourteenth-century poet Amir Khusrau used the
word “Hind”. While the idea of a geographical and
cultural entity like “India” did exist, the term
“Hindustan” did not carry the political and national
meanings which we associate with it today.
Historians today have to be careful about the terms
they use because they meant different things in the past.
Take, for example, a simple term like “foreigner”. It is
used today to mean someone who is not an Indian. In
Can you think of
any other words
whose meanings
change in different
contexts?
?
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 4


1
T
ake a look at Maps 1 and 2. Map 1 was made in
1154 CE by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi. The
section reproduced here is a detail of the Indian
subcontinent from his larger map of the world. Map 2
was made in the 1720s by a French cartographer. The
two maps are quite different even though they are of
the same area. In al-Idrisi’s map, south India is where
we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is
the island at the top. Place-names are marked in Arabic,
Cartographer
A person who
makes maps.
1
TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH
A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS
Map 1
A section of the world
map drawn by the
geographer al-Idrisi in
the twelfth century
showing the Indian
subcontinent.
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
2 OUR PASTS – II
and there are some well-known names like Kanauj in
Uttar Pradesh (spelt in the map as Qanauj). Map 2
was made nearly 600 years after Map 1, during which
time information about the subcontinent had changed
considerably. This map seems more familiar to us and
the coastal areas in particular are surprisingly
detailed. This map was used by European sailors and
merchants on their voyages (see Chapter 6).
Look at the areas in the interior of the subcontinent on
Map 2. Are they as detailed as those on the coast? Follow
the course of the River Ganga and see how it is shown.
Why do you think there is a difference in the level of
detail and accuracy between the coastal and inland areas
in this map?
Map 2
The subcontinent, from
the early-eighteenth-
century Atlas Nouveau
of Guillaume de l’Isle.
?
2015-16 (12-01-15)
3
Equally important is the fact that the science of
cartography differed in the two periods. When historians
read documents, maps and texts from the past they
have to be sensitive to the different historical
backgrounds – the contexts – in which information
about the past was produced.
New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Terminologies nologies nologies nologies nologies
If the context in which information is produced
changes with time, what about language and
meanings? Historical records exist in a variety of
languages which have changed considerably over the
years. Medieval Persian, for example, is different from
modern Persian. The difference is not just with regard
to grammar and vocabulary; the meanings of words
also change over time.
Take the term “Hindustan”, for example. Today we
understand it as “India”, the modern nation-state.
When the term was used in the thirteenth century by
Minhaj-i-Siraj, a chronicler who wrote in Persian, he
meant the areas of Punjab, Haryana and the lands
between the Ganga and Yamuna. He used the term in
a political sense for lands that were a part of the
dominions of the Delhi Sultan. The areas included in
this term shifted with the extent of the Sultanate but
the term never included south India. By contrast, in
the early sixteenth century Babur used Hindustan to
describe the geography, the fauna and the culture of
the inhabitants of the subcontinent. As we will see later
in the chapter, this was somewhat similar to the way
the fourteenth-century poet Amir Khusrau used the
word “Hind”. While the idea of a geographical and
cultural entity like “India” did exist, the term
“Hindustan” did not carry the political and national
meanings which we associate with it today.
Historians today have to be careful about the terms
they use because they meant different things in the past.
Take, for example, a simple term like “foreigner”. It is
used today to mean someone who is not an Indian. In
Can you think of
any other words
whose meanings
change in different
contexts?
?
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
4 OUR PASTS – II
the medieval period a “foreigner” was any stranger who
appeared say in a given village, someone who was not
a part of that society or culture. (In Hindi the term
pardesi might be used to describe such a person and
in Persian, ajnabi.) A city-dweller, therefore, might have
regarded a forest-dweller as a “foreigner”, but two
peasants living in the same village were not foreigners
to each other, even though they may have had different
religious or caste backgrounds.
Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources
Historians use different types of sources to learn about
the past depending upon the period of their study and
the nature of their investigation. Last year, for example,
you read about rulers of the Gupta dynasty and
Harshavardhana. In this book we will read about the
following thousand years, from roughly 700 to 1750.
You will notice some continuity in the sources used
by historians for the study of this period. They still rely
on coins, inscriptions, architecture and textual records
for information. But there is also considerable
discontinuity. The number and variety of textual records
increased dramatically during this period. They slowly
displaced other types of available information. Through
this period paper gradually became cheaper and more
The value of paper The value of paper The value of paper The value of paper The value of paper
Compare the following:
(1) In the middle of the thirteenth century a scholar
wanted to copy a book. But he did not have enough
paper. So he washed the writing off a manuscript he did
not want, dried the paper and used it.
(2) A century later, if you bought some food in the
market you could be lucky and have the shopkeeper
wrap it for you in some paper.
When was paper more expensive and easily available
– in the thirteenth or the fourteenth century?
?
2015-16 (12-01-15)
Page 5


1
T
ake a look at Maps 1 and 2. Map 1 was made in
1154 CE by the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi. The
section reproduced here is a detail of the Indian
subcontinent from his larger map of the world. Map 2
was made in the 1720s by a French cartographer. The
two maps are quite different even though they are of
the same area. In al-Idrisi’s map, south India is where
we would expect to find north India and Sri Lanka is
the island at the top. Place-names are marked in Arabic,
Cartographer
A person who
makes maps.
1
TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH TRACING CHANGES THROUGH
A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS A THOUSAND YEARS
Map 1
A section of the world
map drawn by the
geographer al-Idrisi in
the twelfth century
showing the Indian
subcontinent.
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
2 OUR PASTS – II
and there are some well-known names like Kanauj in
Uttar Pradesh (spelt in the map as Qanauj). Map 2
was made nearly 600 years after Map 1, during which
time information about the subcontinent had changed
considerably. This map seems more familiar to us and
the coastal areas in particular are surprisingly
detailed. This map was used by European sailors and
merchants on their voyages (see Chapter 6).
Look at the areas in the interior of the subcontinent on
Map 2. Are they as detailed as those on the coast? Follow
the course of the River Ganga and see how it is shown.
Why do you think there is a difference in the level of
detail and accuracy between the coastal and inland areas
in this map?
Map 2
The subcontinent, from
the early-eighteenth-
century Atlas Nouveau
of Guillaume de l’Isle.
?
2015-16 (12-01-15)
3
Equally important is the fact that the science of
cartography differed in the two periods. When historians
read documents, maps and texts from the past they
have to be sensitive to the different historical
backgrounds – the contexts – in which information
about the past was produced.
New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Termi New and Old Terminologies nologies nologies nologies nologies
If the context in which information is produced
changes with time, what about language and
meanings? Historical records exist in a variety of
languages which have changed considerably over the
years. Medieval Persian, for example, is different from
modern Persian. The difference is not just with regard
to grammar and vocabulary; the meanings of words
also change over time.
Take the term “Hindustan”, for example. Today we
understand it as “India”, the modern nation-state.
When the term was used in the thirteenth century by
Minhaj-i-Siraj, a chronicler who wrote in Persian, he
meant the areas of Punjab, Haryana and the lands
between the Ganga and Yamuna. He used the term in
a political sense for lands that were a part of the
dominions of the Delhi Sultan. The areas included in
this term shifted with the extent of the Sultanate but
the term never included south India. By contrast, in
the early sixteenth century Babur used Hindustan to
describe the geography, the fauna and the culture of
the inhabitants of the subcontinent. As we will see later
in the chapter, this was somewhat similar to the way
the fourteenth-century poet Amir Khusrau used the
word “Hind”. While the idea of a geographical and
cultural entity like “India” did exist, the term
“Hindustan” did not carry the political and national
meanings which we associate with it today.
Historians today have to be careful about the terms
they use because they meant different things in the past.
Take, for example, a simple term like “foreigner”. It is
used today to mean someone who is not an Indian. In
Can you think of
any other words
whose meanings
change in different
contexts?
?
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
4 OUR PASTS – II
the medieval period a “foreigner” was any stranger who
appeared say in a given village, someone who was not
a part of that society or culture. (In Hindi the term
pardesi might be used to describe such a person and
in Persian, ajnabi.) A city-dweller, therefore, might have
regarded a forest-dweller as a “foreigner”, but two
peasants living in the same village were not foreigners
to each other, even though they may have had different
religious or caste backgrounds.
Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources Historians and their Sources
Historians use different types of sources to learn about
the past depending upon the period of their study and
the nature of their investigation. Last year, for example,
you read about rulers of the Gupta dynasty and
Harshavardhana. In this book we will read about the
following thousand years, from roughly 700 to 1750.
You will notice some continuity in the sources used
by historians for the study of this period. They still rely
on coins, inscriptions, architecture and textual records
for information. But there is also considerable
discontinuity. The number and variety of textual records
increased dramatically during this period. They slowly
displaced other types of available information. Through
this period paper gradually became cheaper and more
The value of paper The value of paper The value of paper The value of paper The value of paper
Compare the following:
(1) In the middle of the thirteenth century a scholar
wanted to copy a book. But he did not have enough
paper. So he washed the writing off a manuscript he did
not want, dried the paper and used it.
(2) A century later, if you bought some food in the
market you could be lucky and have the shopkeeper
wrap it for you in some paper.
When was paper more expensive and easily available
– in the thirteenth or the fourteenth century?
?
2015-16 (12-01-15)
5
widely available. People used it to write holy texts,
chronicles of rulers, letters and teachings of saints,
petitions and judicial records, and for registers of
accounts and taxes. Manuscripts were collected by
wealthy people, rulers, monasteries and temples. They
were placed in libraries and archives. These manuscripts
and documents provide a lot of detailed information to
historians but they are also difficult to use.
There was no printing press in those days so scribes
copied manuscripts by hand. If you have ever copied a
friend’s homework you would know that this is not a
simple exercise. Sometimes you cannot read your
friend’s handwriting and are forced to guess what is
written. As a result there are small but significant
differences in your copy of your friend’s work.
Manuscript copying is somewhat similar. As scribes
copied manuscripts, they also introduced small changes
– a word here, a sentence there. These small differences
grew over centuries of copying until manuscripts of the
Archive
A place where
documents and
manuscripts are
stored. Today all
national and state
governments have
archives where
they keep all their
old official records
and transactions.
Fig. 1
A painting of a scribe
making a copy of a
manuscript. This
painting is only
10.5 cm by 7.1 cm in
size. Because of its
size it is called a
miniature. Miniature
paintings were
sometimes used to
illustrate the texts of
manuscripts. They
were so beautiful that
later collectors often
took the manuscripts
apart and sold just the
miniatures.
TRACING CHANGES...
2015-16 (12-01-15)
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