feature of the dramas of this period is that while the higher varna men speak
in Sanskrit, the lower classes and women of all varnas speak Prakrit.
The Gupta period also saw the development of Sanskrit grammar based on
Panini (Ashtadhyayi) and Patanjaii (Mahabhashya). This period is
particularly memorable for the compilation of the Amarakosa by
Amarasimha. A Buddhist scholar from Bengal, Chandragomia, composed
a book on grammar, named Chandravyakaranam.
Prakrit Language and Literature
In addition to Sanskrit, literature in Prakrits also had their patronage outside
the court circle. The Gupta age in fact witnessed the evolution of many
Prakrit forms such as Suraseni used in Mathura and its vicinity, Ardha
Magadhi spoken in Oudh and Bundelkhand, Magadhi in modern Bihar, and
Maharashtri in Berar.
Mathematics and Astronomy
The formulation of the theory of zero and the consequent evolution of the
decimal system are to be credited to the thinkers of this age.
In the Surya Siddhanta, Aryabhatta (late fifth and early sixth century AD)
examines and explains the true cause of the solar and lunar eclipses. His
calculation of the size of the earth is very near to the modern estimation.
He was the first Indian astronomer to discover that the earth rotates round
its axis. He is also the author of Aryabhattiyam, which deals with
arithmetics, geometry and algebra.
Varahamihara’s Brihat Samhita (sixth century AD) is an encyclopaedia of
astronomy, physical geography, botany and natural history. His other
works are Panella Siddhantika, and Brihat Jataka.