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The Maurya
Maurya
Empire
Empire
was a geographically extensive Iron Age
Iron Age
historical power founded by Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
which dominated ancient India between 322 BCE and 187 BCE. Extending into the kingdom of Magadha
Magadha
in the Indo-Gangetic Plain
Indo-Gangetic Plain
in the eastern side of the Indian subcontinent, the empire had its capital city at Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(modern Patna).[2][3] The empire was the largest to have ever existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning over 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) at its zenith under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
raised an army and with the assistance of Chanakya (also known as Kauṭilya),[4] overthrew the Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
in c. 322 BCE and rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India. By 317 BCE the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India, defeating and conquering the satraps left by Alexander
Alexander
the Great.[5] Chandragupta then defeated the invasion led by Seleucus I, a Macedonian general from Alexander's army, gaining additional territory west of the Indus River.[6] The Maurya
Maurya
Empire
Empire
was one of the largest empires of the world in its time. At its greatest extent, the empire stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas, to the east into Assam, to the west into Balochistan
Balochistan
(southwest Pakistan
Pakistan
and southeast Iran) and the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
mountains of what is now Afghanistan.[7] The Empire
Empire
was expanded into India's central and southern regions[8][9] by the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it excluded Kalinga (modern Odisha), until it was conquered by Ashoka.[10] It declined for about 50 years after Ashoka's rule ended, and it dissolved in 185 BCE with the foundation of the Shunga dynasty
Shunga dynasty
in Magadha. Under Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and his successors, internal and external trade, agriculture, and economic activities all thrived and expanded across India
India
thanks to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance, administration, and security. After the Kalinga War, the Empire
Empire
experienced nearly half a century of peace and security under Ashoka. Mauryan
Mauryan
India
India
also enjoyed an era of social harmony, religious transformation, and expansion of the sciences and of knowledge. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism
Jainism
increased social and religious renewal and reform across his society, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism
Buddhism
has been said to have been the foundation of the reign of social and political peace and non-violence across all of India. Ashoka
Ashoka
sponsored the spreading of Buddhist missionaries into Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, West Asia, North Africa, and Mediterranean Europe.[11] The population of the empire has been estimated to be about 50–60 million, making the Mauryan Empire
Mauryan Empire
one of the most populous empires of Antiquity.[12][13] Archaeologically, the period of Mauryan
Mauryan
rule in South Asia
South Asia
falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware
Northern Black Polished Ware
(NBPW). The Arthashastra[14] and the Edicts of Ashoka
Ashoka
are the primary sources of written records of Mauryan
Mauryan
times. The Lion Capital of Ashoka
Ashoka
at Sarnath
Sarnath
has been made the national emblem of India.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and Chanakya 1.2 Conquest of Magadha 1.3 Chandragupta Maurya 1.4 Bindusara 1.5 Ashoka 1.6 Decline

1.6.1 Shunga coup (185 BCE) 1.6.2 Establishment of the Indo-Greek Kingdom
Indo-Greek Kingdom
(180 BCE)

2 Administration 3 Economy 4 Religion

4.1 Buddhism 4.2 Jainism

5 Architectural remains 6 Natural history 7 Contacts with the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world

7.1 Foundation of the Empire 7.2 Reconquest of the Northwest (c. 317–316 BCE) 7.3 Conflict and alliance with Seleucus (305 BCE)

7.3.1 Marital alliance 7.3.2 Exchange of presents

7.4 Greek population in India 7.5 Buddhist missions to the West (c. 250 BCE) 7.6 Subhagasena and Antiochos III
Antiochos III
(206 BCE)

8 Timeline 9 In literature 10 See also 11 Notes

11.1 Sources

12 External links

History[edit] Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and Chanakya[edit] Main articles: Chanakya
Chanakya
and Chandragupta Maurya See also: List of Mauryan
Mauryan
rulers The Maurya
Maurya
Empire
Empire
was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, with help from Chanakya, at Takshashila. According to several legends, Chanakya travelled to Magadha, a kingdom that was large and militarily powerful and feared by its neighbors, but was insulted by its king Dhana Nanda, of the Nanda dynasty. Chanakya
Chanakya
swore revenge and vowed to destroy the Nanda Empire.[15] Meanwhile, the conquering armies of Alexander
Alexander
the Great refused to cross the Beas River
Beas River
and advance further eastward, deterred by the prospect of battling Magadha. Alexander
Alexander
returned to Babylon
Babylon
and re-deployed most of his troops west of the Indus River. Soon after Alexander
Alexander
died in Babylon
Babylon
in 323 BCE, his empire fragmented into independent kingdoms led by his generals.[16] The Greek generals Eudemus and Peithon ruled in the Indus Valley until around 317 BCE, when Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
(with the help of Chanakya, who was now his advisor) orchestrated a rebellion to drive out the Greek governors, and subsequently brought the Indus Valley under the control of his new seat of power in Magadha.[5] Chandragupta Maurya's rise to power is shrouded in mystery and controversy. On one hand, a number of ancient Indian accounts, such as the drama Mudrarakshasa (Signet ring of Rakshasa – Rakshasa was the prime minister of Magadha) by Vishakhadatta, describe his royal ancestry and even link him with the Nanda family. A kshatriya clan known as the Maurya's are referred to in the earliest Buddhist texts, Mahaparinibbana Sutta. However, any conclusions are hard to make without further historical evidence. Chandragupta first emerges in Greek accounts as "Sandrokottos". As a young man he is said to have met Alexander.[17] He is also said to have met the Nanda king, angered him, and made a narrow escape.[18] Chanakya's original intentions were to train a guerilla army under Chandragupta's command. Conquest of Magadha[edit] Main articles: Chandragupta Maurya, Nanda Dynasty, and Magadha Chanakya
Chanakya
encouraged Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and his army to take over the throne of Magadha. Using his intelligence network, Chandragupta gathered many young men from across Magadha
Magadha
and other provinces, men upset over the corrupt and oppressive rule of king Dhana Nanda, plus the resources necessary for his army to fight a long series of battles. These men included the former general of Taxila, accomplished students of Chanakya, the representative of King Parvataka, his son Malayaketu, and the rulers of small states. The Macedonians (described as Yona
Yona
or Yavana
Yavana
in Indian sources) may then have participated, together with other groups, in the armed uprising of Chandragupta Maurya
Maurya
against the Nanda dynasty. The Mudrarakshasa of Visakhadutta as well as the Jaina work Parisishtaparvan
Parisishtaparvan
talk of Chandragupta's alliance with the Himalayan king Parvataka, often identified with Porus,[19][20] although this identification is not accepted by all historians.[21] This Himalayan alliance gave Chandragupta a composite and powerful army made up of Yavanas (Greeks), Kambojas, Shakas (Scythians), Kiratas (Himalayans), Parasikas (Persians) and Bahlikas (Bactrians) who took Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(also called Kusumapura, "The City of Flowers"):[22][23]

"Kusumapura was besieged from every direction by the forces of Parvata and Chandragupta: Shakas, Yavanas, Kiratas, Kambojas, Parasikas, Bahlikas and others, assembled on the advice of Chanakya" in Mudrarakshasa 2 [24][22]

Preparing to invade Pataliputra, Maurya
Maurya
came up with a strategy. A battle was announced and the Magadhan army was drawn from the city to a distant battlefield to engage with Maurya's forces. Maurya's general and spies meanwhile bribed the corrupt general of Nanda. He also managed to create an atmosphere of civil war in the kingdom, which culminated in the death of the heir to the throne. Chanakya
Chanakya
managed to win over popular sentiment. Ultimately Nanda resigned, handing power to Chandragupta, and went into exile and was never heard of again. Chanakya
Chanakya
contacted the prime minister, Rakshasas, and made him understand that his loyalty was to Magadha, not to the Nanda dynasty, insisting that he continue in office. Chanakya
Chanakya
also reiterated that choosing to resist would start a war that would severely affect Magadha
Magadha
and destroy the city. Rakshasa accepted Chanakya's reasoning, and Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
was legitimately installed as the new King of Magadha. Rakshasa became Chandragupta's chief advisor, and Chanakya assumed the position of an elder statesman.

Territorial evolution of the Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire

The approximate extent of the Magadha
Magadha
state in the 5th century BCE.

The Maurya
Maurya
Empire
Empire
when it was first founded by Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
c. 320 BCE, after conquering the Nanda Empire
Nanda Empire
when he was only about 20 years old.

Chandragupta extended the borders of the Maurya
Maurya
Empire
Empire
towards Seleucid
Seleucid
Persia
Persia
after defeating Seleucus c. 305 BCE.[25]

Bindusara
Bindusara
extended the borders of the empire southward into the Deccan Plateau c. 300 BCE.[26]

Ashoka
Ashoka
extended into Kalinga during the Kalinga War
Kalinga War
c. 265 BCE, and established superiority over the southern kingdoms.

Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund believe that Ashoka's empire did not include large parts of India, which were controlled by autonomous tribes[27]

Chandragupta Maurya[edit] Main article: Chandragupta Maurya

The Pataliputra
Pataliputra
capital, ruins of pillared hall at Kumrahar site.

Chandragiri Hill, where Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
spent last years of his life as a Jain
Jain
monk.

Chandragupta campaigned against the Macedonians when Seleucus I Nicator, in the process of creating the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
out of the eastern conquests of Alexander
Alexander
the Great, tried to reconquer the northwestern parts of India
India
in 305 BCE. Seleucus failed (Seleucid– Mauryan
Mauryan
war), the two rulers finally concluded a peace treaty: a marital treaty (Epigamia) was concluded, in which the Greeks offered their Princess
Princess
for alliance and help from him. Chandragupta snatched the satrapies of Paropamisade
Paropamisade
(Kamboja and Gandhara), Arachosia
Arachosia
(Kandhahar) and Gedrosia
Gedrosia
(Balochistan), and Seleucus I Nicator received 500 war elephants that were to have a decisive role in his victory against western Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kings at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BCE. Diplomatic relations were established and several Greeks, such as the historian Megasthenes, Deimakos and Dionysius resided at the Mauryan
Mauryan
court. Megasthenes
Megasthenes
in particular was a notable Greek ambassador in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.[28] According to Arrian, ambassador Megasthenes
Megasthenes
(c.350–c.290 BCE) lived in Arachosia
Arachosia
and travelled to Pataliputra.[29] Chandragupta established a strong centralized state with an administration at Pataliputra, which, according to Megasthenes, was "surrounded by a wooden wall pierced by 64 gates and 570 towers". Aelian, although not expressly quoting Megasthenes
Megasthenes
nor mentionning Pataliputra, described Indian palaces as superior in splendor to Persia's Susa
Susa
or Ectabana.[30] The architecture of the city seems to have had many similarities with Persian cities of the period.[31] Chandragupta's son Bindusara
Bindusara
extended the rule of the Mauryan
Mauryan
empire towards southern India. The famous Tamil poet Mamulanar of the Sangam literature described how the Deccan Plateau
Deccan Plateau
was invaded by the Maurya army.[32] He also had a Greek ambassador at his court, named Megasthenes.[33] Megasthenes
Megasthenes
describes a disciplined multitude under Chandragupta, who live simply, honestly, and do not know writing:

"The Indians all live frugally, especially when in camp. They dislike a great undisciplined multitude, and consequently they observe good order. Theft is of very rare occurrence. Megasthenes
Megasthenes
says that those who were in the camp of Sandrakottos, wherein lay 400,000 men, found that the thefts reported on any one day did not exceed the value of two hundred drachmae, and this among a people who have no written laws, but are ignorant of writing, and must therefore in all the business of life trust to memory. They live, nevertheless, happily enough, being simple in their manners and frugal. They never drink wine except at sacrifices. Their beverage is a liquor composed from rice instead of barley, and their food is principally a rice-pottage." Strabo
Strabo
XV. i. 53–56, quoting Megasthenes.

Chandragupta renounced his throne and followed Jain
Jain
teacher Bhadrabahu.[34][35][36] He is said to have lived as an ascetic at Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
for several years before fasting to death, as per the Jain
Jain
practice of sallekhana.[37] Bindusara[edit] Main article: Bindusara

A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Maurya
Maurya
empire, period of Bindusara
Bindusara
Maurya
Maurya
about 297-272 BC, workshop of Pataliputra. Obv: Symbols with a Sun Rev: Symbol Dimensions: 14 x 11 mm Weight: 3.4 g.

Bindusara
Bindusara
extended the borders of the empire southward into the Deccan Plateau c. 300 BCE.[26]

Bindusara
Bindusara
was born to Chandragupta, the founder of the Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire. This is attested by several sources, including the various Puranas
Puranas
and the Mahavamsa.[38] He is attested by the Buddhist texts
Buddhist texts
such as Dipavamsa
Dipavamsa
and Mahavamsa
Mahavamsa
("Bindusaro"); the Jain
Jain
texts such as Parishishta-Parvan; as well as the Hindu texts such as Vishnu Purana ("Vindusara").[39][40] According to the 12th century Jain
Jain
writer Hemachandra's Parishishta-Parvan, the name of Bindusara's mother was Durdhara.[41] Some Greek sources also mention him by the name "Amitrochates" or its variations.[42][43] Historian Upinder Singh estimates that Bindusara
Bindusara
ascended the throne around 297 BCE.[44] Bindusara, just 22 years old, inherited a large empire that consisted of what is now, Northern, Central and Eastern parts of India
India
along with parts of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Baluchistan. Bindusara
Bindusara
extended this empire to the southern part of India, as far as what is now known as Karnataka. He brought sixteen states under the Mauryan Empire
Mauryan Empire
and thus conquered almost all of the Indian peninsula (he is said to have conquered the 'land between the two seas' – the peninsular region between the Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
and the Arabian Sea). Bindusara
Bindusara
didn't conquer the friendly Tamil kingdoms of the Cholas, ruled by King Ilamcetcenni, the Pandyas, and Cheras. Apart from these southern states, Kalinga (modern Odisha) was the only kingdom in India
India
that didn't form the part of Bindusara's empire.[45] It was later conquered by his son Ashoka, who served as the viceroy of Ujjaini
Ujjaini
during his father's reign, which highlights the importance of the town.[46][47] Bindusara's life has not been documented as well as that of his father Chandragupta or of his son Ashoka. Chanakya
Chanakya
continued to serve as prime minister during his reign. According to the medieval Tibetan scholar Taranatha who visited India, Chanakya
Chanakya
helped Bindusara
Bindusara
"to destroy the nobles and kings of the sixteen kingdoms and thus to become absolute master of the territory between the eastern and western oceans."[48] During his rule, the citizens of Taxila
Taxila
revolted twice. The reason for the first revolt was the maladministration of Susima, his eldest son. The reason for the second revolt is unknown, but Bindusara
Bindusara
could not suppress it in his lifetime. It was crushed by Ashoka
Ashoka
after Bindusara's death.[49] Bindusara
Bindusara
maintained friendly diplomatic relations with the Hellenic World. Deimachus was the ambassador of Seleucid
Seleucid
emperor Antiochus I
Antiochus I
at Bindusara's court.[50] Diodorus states that the king of Palibothra (Pataliputra, the Mauryan
Mauryan
capital) welcomed a Greek author, Iambulus. This king is usually identified as Bindusara.[50] Pliny states that the Egyptian king Philadelphus sent an envoy named Dionysius to India.[51][52] According to Sailendra Nath Sen, this appears to have happened during Bindusara's reign.[50] Unlike his father Chandragupta (who at a later stage converted to Jainism), Bindusara
Bindusara
believed in the Ajivika
Ajivika
sect. Bindusara's guru Pingalavatsa (Janasana) was a Brahmin[53] of the Ajivika
Ajivika
sect. Bindusara's wife, Queen Subhadrangi (Queen Aggamahesi) was a Brahmin[54] also of the Ajivika
Ajivika
sect from Champa (present Bhagalpur district). Bindusara
Bindusara
is credited with giving several grants to Brahmin monasteries (Brahmana-bhatto).[55] Historical evidence suggests that Bindusara
Bindusara
died in the 270s BCE. According to Upinder Singh, Bindusara
Bindusara
died around 273 BCE.[44] Alain Daniélou believes that he died around 274 BCE.[56] Sailendra Nath Sen believes that he died around 273-272 BCE, and that his death was followed by a four-year struggle of succession, after which his son Ashoka
Ashoka
became the emperor in 269-268 BCE.[50] According to the Mahavamsa, Bindusara
Bindusara
reigned for 28 years.[57] The Vayu Purana, which names Chandragupta's successor as "Bhadrasara", states that he ruled for 25 years.[58] Ashoka[edit] Main article: Ashoka

Aśoka pillar at Sarnath. ca. 250 BCE.

Ashoka
Ashoka
pillar at Vaishali.

Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edict of Ashoka
Ashoka
(238 BCE), in Brahmi, sandstone, British Museum.

As a young prince, Ashoka
Ashoka
(r. 272–232 BCE) was a brilliant commander who crushed revolts in Ujjain
Ujjain
and Takshashila. As monarch he was ambitious and aggressive, re-asserting the Empire's superiority in southern and western India. But it was his conquest of Kalinga (262–261 BCE) which proved to be the pivotal event of his life. Although Ashoka's army succeeded in overwhelming Kalinga forces of royal soldiers and civilian units, an estimated 100,000 soldiers and civilians were killed in the furious warfare, including over 10,000 of Ashoka's own men. Hundreds of thousands of people were adversely affected by the destruction and fallout of war. When he personally witnessed the devastation, Ashoka
Ashoka
began feeling remorse. Although the annexation of Kalinga was completed, Ashoka
Ashoka
embraced the teachings of Buddhism, and renounced war and violence. He sent out missionaries to travel around Asia
Asia
and spread Buddhism
Buddhism
to other countries.[citation needed] Ashoka
Ashoka
implemented principles of ahimsa by banning hunting and violent sports activity and ending indentured and forced labor (many thousands of people in war-ravaged Kalinga had been forced into hard labour and servitude). While he maintained a large and powerful army, to keep the peace and maintain authority, Ashoka
Ashoka
expanded friendly relations with states across Asia
Asia
and Europe, and he sponsored Buddhist missions. He undertook a massive public works building campaign across the country. Over 40 years of peace, harmony and prosperity made Ashoka
Ashoka
one of the most successful and famous monarchs in Indian history. He remains an idealized figure of inspiration in modern India.[citation needed] The Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, are found throughout the Subcontinent. Ranging from as far west as Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and as far south as Andhra (Nellore District), Ashoka's edicts state his policies and accomplishments. Although predominantly written in Prakrit, two of them were written in Greek, and one in both Greek and Aramaic. Ashoka's edicts refer to the Greeks, Kambojas, and Gandharas as peoples forming a frontier region of his empire. They also attest to Ashoka's having sent envoys to the Greek rulers in the West as far as the Mediterranean. The edicts precisely name each of the rulers of the Hellenic world at the time such as Amtiyoko (Antiochus), Tulamaya (Ptolemy), Amtikini (Antigonos), Maka (Magas) and Alikasudaro (Alexander) as recipients of Ashoka's proselytism.[citation needed] The Edicts also accurately locate their territory "600 yojanas away" (a yojanas being about 7 miles), corresponding to the distance between the center of India
India
and Greece
Greece
(roughly 4,000 miles).[59] Decline[edit] Ashoka
Ashoka
was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. Brihadratha, the last ruler of the Mauryan
Mauryan
dynasty, held territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of emperor Ashoka. Brihadratha was assassinated in 185 BCE during a military parade by the Brahmin
Brahmin
general Pushyamitra Shunga, commander-in-chief of his guard, who then took over the throne and established the Shunga dynasty.[60] Shunga coup (185 BCE)[edit] Buddhist records such as the Ashokavadana
Ashokavadana
write that the assassination of Brihadratha and the rise of the Shunga empire led to a wave of religious persecution for Buddhists,[61] and a resurgence of Hinduism. According to Sir John Marshall,[62] Pushyamitra may have been the main author of the persecutions, although later Shunga kings seem to have been more supportive of Buddhism. Other historians, such as Etienne Lamotte[63] and Romila Thapar,[64] among others, have argued that archaeological evidence in favour of the allegations of persecution of Buddhists
Buddhists
are lacking, and that the extent and magnitude of the atrocities have been exaggerated. Establishment of the Indo-Greek Kingdom
Indo-Greek Kingdom
(180 BCE)[edit] Main article: Indo-Greek Kingdom The fall of the Mauryas left the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
unguarded, and a wave of foreign invasion followed. The Greco-Bactrian king, Demetrius, capitalized on the break-up, and he conquered southern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and parts of northwestern India
India
around 180 BCE, forming the Indo-Greek Kingdom. The Indo-Greeks
Indo-Greeks
would maintain holdings on the trans-Indus region, and make forays into central India, for about a century. Under them, Buddhism
Buddhism
flourished, and one of their kings, Menander, became a famous figure of Buddhism; he was to establish a new capital of Sagala, the modern city of Sialkot. However, the extent of their domains and the lengths of their rule are subject to much debate. Numismatic evidence indicates that they retained holdings in the subcontinent right up to the birth of Christ. Although the extent of their successes against indigenous powers such as the Shungas, Satavahanas, and Kalingas are unclear, what is clear is that Scythian tribes, renamed Indo-Scythians, brought about the demise of the Indo-Greeks
Indo-Greeks
from around 70 BCE and retained lands in the trans-Indus, the region of Mathura, and Gujarat.[citation needed] Administration[edit]

Statuettes of the Mauryan
Mauryan
era

The Empire
Empire
was divided into four provinces, with the imperial capital at Pataliputra. From Ashokan edicts, the names of the four provincial capitals are Tosali
Tosali
(in the east), Ujjain
Ujjain
(in the west), Suvarnagiri (in the south), and Taxila
Taxila
(in the north). The head of the provincial administration was the Kumara (royal prince), who governed the provinces as king's representative. The kumara was assisted by Mahamatyas and council of ministers. This organizational structure was reflected at the imperial level with the Emperor and his Mantriparishad (Council of Ministers).[citation needed] Historians theorise that the organisation of the Empire
Empire
was in line with the extensive bureaucracy described by Kautilya
Kautilya
in the Arthashastra: a sophisticated civil service governed everything from municipal hygiene to international trade. The expansion and defense of the empire was made possible by what appears to have been one of the largest armies in the world during the Iron Age.[65] According to Megasthenes, the empire wielded a military of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, 8,000 chariots and 9,000 war elephants besides followers and attendants.[66] A vast espionage system collected intelligence for both internal and external security purposes. Having renounced offensive warfare and expansionism, Ashoka
Ashoka
nevertheless continued to maintain this large army, to protect the Empire
Empire
and instil stability and peace across West and South Asia.[citation needed] Economy[edit] See also: Economic history of India
India
and Coinage of India

Maurya
Maurya
statuette, 2nd century BCE.

For the first time in South Asia, political unity and military security allowed for a common economic system and enhanced trade and commerce, with increased agricultural productivity. The previous situation involving hundreds of kingdoms, many small armies, powerful regional chieftains, and internecine warfare, gave way to a disciplined central authority. Farmers were freed of tax and crop collection burdens from regional kings, paying instead to a nationally administered and strict-but-fair system of taxation as advised by the principles in the Arthashastra. Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
established a single currency across India, and a network of regional governors and administrators and a civil service provided justice and security for merchants, farmers and traders. The Mauryan
Mauryan
army wiped out many gangs of bandits, regional private armies, and powerful chieftains who sought to impose their own supremacy in small areas. Although regimental in revenue collection, Maurya
Maurya
also sponsored many public works and waterways to enhance productivity, while internal trade in India
India
expanded greatly due to new-found political unity and internal peace.[citation needed] Under the Indo-Greek friendship treaty, and during Ashoka's reign, an international network of trade expanded. The Khyber Pass, on the modern boundary of Pakistan
Pakistan
and Afghanistan, became a strategically important port of trade and intercourse with the outside world. Greek states and Hellenic kingdoms in West Asia
West Asia
became important trade partners of India. Trade also extended through the Malay peninsula into Southeast Asia. India's exports included silk goods and textiles, spices and exotic foods. The external world came across new scientific knowledge and technology with expanding trade with the Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire. Ashoka
Ashoka
also sponsored the construction of thousands of roads, waterways, canals, hospitals, rest-houses and other public works. The easing of many over-rigorous administrative practices, including those regarding taxation and crop collection, helped increase productivity and economic activity across the Empire.[citation needed] In many ways, the economic situation in the Mauryan Empire
Mauryan Empire
is analogous to the Roman Empire
Empire
of several centuries later. Both had extensive trade connections and both had organizations similar to corporations. While Rome had organizational entities which were largely used for public state-driven projects, Mauryan
Mauryan
India
India
had numerous private commercial entities. These existed purely for private commerce and developed before the Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire itself.[67][unreliable source?]

Maurya
Maurya
Empire
Empire
coinage

Hoard of mostly Mauryan
Mauryan
coins.

Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya
Maurya
empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant. 3rd century BCE.[citation needed]

Mauryan
Mauryan
coin with arched hill symbol on reverse.[citation needed]

Mauryan Empire
Mauryan Empire
coin. Circa late 4th-2nd century BCE.[citation needed]

Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire, Emperor Salisuka
Salisuka
or later. Circa 207-194 BCE.[68]

Religion[edit] Buddhism[edit]

The stupa, which contained the relics of Buddha, at the center of the Sanchi
Sanchi
complex was originally built by the Maurya
Maurya
Empire, but the balustrade around it is Sunga, and the decorative gateways are from the later Satavahana
Satavahana
period.

The Dharmarajika
Dharmarajika
stupa in Taxila, modern Pakistan, is also thought to have been established by Emperor Asoka.

Magadha, the centre of the empire, was also the birthplace of Buddhism. Ashoka
Ashoka
initially practised Hinduism
Hinduism
but later embraced Buddhism; following the Kalinga War, he renounced expansionism and aggression, and the harsher injunctions of the Arthashastra
Arthashastra
on the use of force, intensive policing, and ruthless measures for tax collection and against rebels. Ashoka
Ashoka
sent a mission led by his son Mahinda and daughter Sanghamitta
Sanghamitta
to Sri Lanka, whose king Tissa was so charmed with Buddhist ideals that he adopted them himself and made Buddhism the state religion. Ashoka
Ashoka
sent many Buddhist missions to West Asia, Greece
Greece
and South East Asia, and commissioned the construction of monasteries and schools, as well as the publication of Buddhist literature across the empire. He is believed to have built as many as 84,000 stupas across India, such as Sanchi
Sanchi
and Mahabodhi Temple, and he increased the popularity of Buddhism
Buddhism
in Afghanistan, Thailand
Thailand
and North Asia
North Asia
including Siberia. Ashoka
Ashoka
helped convene the Third Buddhist Council of India's and South Asia's Buddhist orders near his capital, a council that undertook much work of reform and expansion of the Buddhist religion. Indian merchants embraced Buddhism
Buddhism
and played a large role in spreading the religion across the Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire.[69] Jainism[edit]

Bhadrabahu
Bhadrabahu
Cave, Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
where Chandragupta is said to have died

Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
embraced Jainism
Jainism
after retiring, when he renounced his throne and material possessions to join a wandering group of Jain monks. Chandragupta was a disciple of the Jain
Jain
monk Bhadrabahu. It is said that in his last days, he observed the rigorous but self-purifying Jain
Jain
ritual of santhara (fast unto death), at Shravana Belgola in Karnataka.[37][36][70][35] However, his successor, Bindusara, was a follower of another ascetic movement, Ājīvika,[71] and distanced himself from Jain
Jain
and Buddhist movements.[citation needed] Samprati, the grandson of Ashoka, also embraced Jainism. Samprati
Samprati
was influenced by the teachings of Jain
Jain
monks and he is known to have built 125,000 derasars across India. Some of them are still found in the towns of Ahmedabad, Viramgam, Ujjain, and Palitana. It is also said that just like Ashoka, Samprati
Samprati
sent messengers and preachers to Greece, Persia
Persia
and the Middle East
Middle East
for the spread of Jainism, but, to date, no research has been done in this area.[72][73] Thus, Jainism
Jainism
became a vital force under the Mauryan
Mauryan
Rule. Chandragupta and Samprati
Samprati
are credited for the spread of Jainism
Jainism
in South India. Hundreds of thousands of temples and stupas are said to have been erected during their reigns. However, due to lack of royal patronage, its own strict principles, and the rise of Shankaracharya and Ramanuja, Jainism, once a major religion of southern India, began to decline.[citation needed] Architectural remains[edit] Main articles: Edicts of Ashoka, Sanchi
Sanchi
Stupa, and Mauryan
Mauryan
art

Mauryan
Mauryan
architecture in the Barabar Caves. Lomas Rishi Cave. 3rd century BCE.

The greatest monument of this period, executed in the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, was the old palace at the site of Kumhrar. Excavations at the site of Kumhrar
Kumhrar
nearby have unearthed the remains of the palace. The palace is thought to have been an aggregate of buildings, the most important of which was an immense pillared hall supported on a high substratum of timbers. The pillars were set in regular rows, thus dividing the hall into a number of smaller square bays. The number of columns is 80, each about 7 meters high. According to the eyewitness account of Megasthenes, the palace was chiefly constructed of timber, and was considered to exceed in splendour and magnificence the palaces of Susa
Susa
and Ecbatana, its gilded pillars being adorned with golden vines and silver birds. The buildings stood in an extensive park studded with fish ponds and furnished with a great variety of ornamental trees and shrubs.[74][better source needed] Kauṭilya's Arthashastra also gives the method of palace construction from this period. Later fragments of stone pillars, including one nearly complete, with their round tapering shafts and smooth polish, indicate that Ashoka
Ashoka
was responsible for the construction of the stone columns which replaced the earlier wooden ones.[citation needed]

An early stupa, 6 meters in diameter, with fallen umbrella on side. Chakpat, near Chakdara. Probably Maurya, 3rd century BCE.

During the Ashokan period, stonework was of a highly diversified order and comprised lofty free-standing pillars, railings of stupas, lion thrones and other colossal figures. The use of stone had reached such great perfection during this time that even small fragments of stone art were given a high lustrous polish resembling fine enamel. This period marked the beginning of the Buddhist school of architecture. Ashoka
Ashoka
was responsible for the construction of several stupas, which were large domes and bearing symbols of Buddha. The most important ones are located at Sanchi, Bharhut, Amaravati, Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya
and Nagarjunakonda. The most widespread examples of Mauryan
Mauryan
architecture are the Ashoka
Ashoka
pillars and carved edicts of Ashoka, often exquisitely decorated, with more than 40 spread throughout the Indian subcontinent.[75][better source needed] The peacock was a dynastic symbol of Mauryans, as depicted by Ashoka's pillars at Nandangarh and Sanchi
Sanchi
Stupa.[76]

Mauryan
Mauryan
structures and decorations at Sanchi (3rd century BCE)

Approximate reconstitution of the Great Stupa
Stupa
under the Mauryas.

Remains of the Ashokan Pillar in polished stone, to the right of the Southern Gateway.

Remains of the shaft of the pillar of Ashoka, under a shed near the Southern Gateway.

The Sanchi
Sanchi
pillar capital of Ashoka
Ashoka
as discovered (left), and simulation of original appearance (right).[77] Flame palmettes and geese adorn the abacus.

Natural history[edit]

The two Yakshas, possibly 3rd century BCE, found in Pataliputra.

The protection of animals in India
India
became serious business by the time of the Maurya
Maurya
dynasty; being the first empire to provide a unified political entity in India, the attitude of the Mauryas towards forests, their denizens, and fauna in general is of interest.[citation needed] The Mauryas firstly looked at forests as resources. For them, the most important forest product was the elephant. Military might in those times depended not only upon horses and men but also battle-elephants; these played a role in the defeat of Seleucus, one of Alexander's former generals. The Mauryas sought to preserve supplies of elephants since it was cheaper and took less time to catch, tame and train wild elephants than to raise them. Kautilya's Arthashastra
Arthashastra
contains not only maxims on ancient statecraft, but also unambiguously specifies the responsibilities of officials such as the Protector of the Elephant Forests.[78]

On the border of the forest, he should establish a forest for elephants guarded by foresters. The Office of the Chief Elephant Forester should with the help of guards protect the elephants in any terrain. The slaying of an elephant is punishable by death. — Arthashastra

The Mauryas also designated separate forests to protect supplies of timber, as well as lions and tigers for skins. Elsewhere the Protector of Animals also worked to eliminate thieves, tigers and other predators to render the woods safe for grazing cattle.[citation needed] The Mauryas valued certain forest tracts in strategic or economic terms and instituted curbs and control measures over them. They regarded all forest tribes with distrust and controlled them with bribery and political subjugation. They employed some of them, the food-gatherers or aranyaca to guard borders and trap animals. The sometimes tense and conflict-ridden relationship nevertheless enabled the Mauryas to guard their vast empire.[79] When Ashoka
Ashoka
embraced Buddhism
Buddhism
in the latter part of his reign, he brought about significant changes in his style of governance, which included providing protection to fauna, and even relinquished the royal hunt. He was the first ruler in history[not in citation given] to advocate conservation measures for wildlife and even had rules inscribed in stone edicts. The edicts proclaim that many followed the king's example in giving up the slaughter of animals; one of them proudly states:[79]

Our king killed very few animals. — Edict on Fifth Pillar

However, the edicts of Ashoka
Ashoka
reflect more the desire of rulers than actual events; the mention of a 100 'panas' (coins) fine for poaching deer in royal hunting preserves shows that rule-breakers did exist. The legal restrictions conflicted with the practices freely exercised by the common people in hunting, felling, fishing and setting fires in forests.[79] Contacts with the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world[edit]

Mauryan
Mauryan
ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd Century BCE

Foundation of the Empire[edit] Relations with the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world may have started from the very beginning of the Maurya
Maurya
Empire. Plutarch
Plutarch
reports that Chandragupta Maurya
Maurya
met with Alexander
Alexander
the Great, probably around Taxila
Taxila
in the northwest:

"Sandrocottus, when he was a stripling, saw Alexander
Alexander
himself, and we are told that he often said in later times that Alexander
Alexander
narrowly missed making himself master of the country, since its king was hated and despised on account of his baseness and low birth". Plutarch 62-4[80][non-primary source needed]

Reconquest of the Northwest (c. 317–316 BCE)[edit] Chandragupta ultimately occupied Northwestern India, in the territories formerly ruled by the Greeks, where he fought the satraps (described as "Prefects" in Western sources) left in place after Alexander
Alexander
(Justin), among whom may have been Eudemus, ruler in the western Punjab
Punjab
until his departure in 317 BCE or Peithon, son of Agenor, ruler of the Greek colonies along the Indus until his departure for Babylon
Babylon
in 316 BCE.[citation needed]

"India, after the death of Alexander, had assassinated his prefects, as if shaking the burden of servitude. The author of this liberation was Sandracottos, but he had transformed liberation in servitude after victory, since, after taking the throne, he himself oppressed the very people he has liberated from foreign domination" Justin XV.4.12–13[81]

"Later, as he was preparing war against the prefects of Alexander, a huge wild elephant went to him and took him on his back as if tame, and he became a remarkable fighter and war leader. Having thus acquired royal power, Sandracottos possessed India
India
at the time Seleucos was preparing future glory." Justin XV.4.19[82]

Conflict and alliance with Seleucus (305 BCE)[edit] Main article: Seleucid– Mauryan
Mauryan
war

A map showing the north western border of Maurya
Maurya
Empire, including its various neighboring states.

Seleucus I
Seleucus I
Nicator, the Macedonian satrap of the Asian portion of Alexander's former empire, conquered and put under his own authority eastern territories as far as Bactria
Bactria
and the Indus (Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55), until in 305 BCE he entered into a confrontation with Emperor Chandragupta:

"Always lying in wait for the neighbouring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he [Seleucus] acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia
Asia
after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus". Appian, History of Rome, The Syrian Wars 55[83]

Though no accounts of the conflict remain, it is clear that Seleucus fared poorly against the Indian Emperor as he failed to conquer any territory, and in fact was forced to surrender much that was already his. Regardless, Seleucus and Chandragupta ultimately reached a settlement and through a treaty sealed in 305 BCE, Seleucus, according to Strabo, ceded a number of territories to Chandragupta, including large parts of what is now Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and parts of Balochistan.[citation needed] Marital alliance[edit] It is generally thought that Chandragupta married Seleucus's daughter, or a Greek Macedonian princess, a gift from Seleucus to formalise an alliance. In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants,[25][84][85][86][87] a military asset which would play a decisive role at the Battle of Ipsus
Battle of Ipsus
in 301 BCE.[88] In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, and later Deimakos to his son Bindusara, at the Mauryan court at Pataliputra
Pataliputra
(modern Patna
Patna
in Bihar
Bihar
state). Later, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt
Ptolemaic Egypt
and contemporary of Ashoka, is also recorded by Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
as having sent an ambassador named Dionysius to the Mauryan
Mauryan
court.[89][better source needed] Mainstream scholarship asserts that Chandragupta received vast territory west of the Indus, including the Hindu Kush, modern-day Afghanistan, and the Balochistan
Balochistan
province of Pakistan.[90][91] Archaeologically, concrete indications of Mauryan
Mauryan
rule, such as the inscriptions of the Edicts of Ashoka, are known as far as Kandahar
Kandahar
in southern Afghanistan.

“ "He (Seleucus) crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus [Maurya], king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship." ”

“ "After having made a treaty with him (Sandrakotos) and put in order the Orient situation, Seleucos went to war against Antigonus." ”

— Junianus Justinus, Historiarum Philippicarum, libri XLIV, XV.4.15

The treaty on "Epigamia" implies lawful marriage between Greeks and Indians was recognized at the State level, although it is unclear whether it occurred among dynastic rulers or common people, or both.[citation needed]. Exchange of presents[edit] Classical sources have also recorded that following their treaty, Chandragupta and Seleucus exchanged presents, such as when Chandragupta sent various aphrodisiacs to Seleucus:[42]

"And Theophrastus says that some contrivances are of wondrous efficacy in such matters [as to make people more amorous]. And Phylarchus confirms him, by reference to some of the presents which Sandrakottus, the king of the Indians, sent to Seleucus; which were to act like charms in producing a wonderful degree of affection, while some, on the contrary, were to banish love." Athenaeus
Athenaeus
of Naucratis, "The deipnosophists" Book I, chapter 32[92]

His son Bindusara
Bindusara
'Amitraghata' (Slayer of Enemies) also is recorded in Classical sources as having exchanged presents with Antiochus I:[42]

"But dried figs were so very much sought after by all men (for really, as Aristophanes
Aristophanes
says, "There's really nothing nicer than dried figs"), that even Amitrochates, the king of the Indians, wrote to Antiochus, entreating him (it is Hegesander who tells this story) to buy and send him some sweet wine, and some dried figs, and a sophist; and that Antiochus wrote to him in answer, "The dry figs and the sweet wine we will send you; but it is not lawful for a sophist to be sold in Greece." Athenaeus, "Deipnosophistae" XIV.67[93]

Greek population in India[edit] The Greek population apparently remained in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
under Ashoka's rule. In his Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, some of them written in Greek, Ashoka
Ashoka
relates that the Greek population within his realm was absorbed, integrated, and converted to Buddhism:

"Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dharma". Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika).[non-primary source needed]

The Kandahar
Kandahar
Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar. Kabul
Kabul
Museum. (Click image for translation).

Fragments of Edict 13 have been found in Greek, and a full Edict, written in both Greek and Aramaic, has been discovered in Kandahar. It is said to be written in excellent Classical Greek, using sophisticated philosophical terms. In this Edict, Ashoka
Ashoka
uses the word Eusebeia ("Piety") as the Greek translation for the ubiquitous "Dharma" of his other Edicts written in Prakrit:[non-primary source needed]

"Ten years (of reign) having been completed, King Piodasses (Ashoka) made known (the doctrine of) Piety
Piety
(εὐσέβεια, Eusebeia) to men; and from this moment he has made men more pious, and everything thrives throughout the whole world. And the king abstains from (killing) living beings, and other men and those who (are) huntsmen and fishermen of the king have desisted from hunting. And if some (were) intemperate, they have ceased from their intemperance as was in their power; and obedient to their father and mother and to the elders, in opposition to the past also in the future, by so acting on every occasion, they will live better and more happily". (Trans. by G.P. Carratelli [4])[unreliable source?]

Buddhist missions to the West (c. 250 BCE)[edit]

The distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka.[94]

Buddhist proselytism at the time of king Ashoka
Ashoka
(260–218 BCE).

Also, in the Edicts of Ashoka, Ashoka
Ashoka
mentions the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
kings of the period as recipients of his Buddhist proselytism, although no Western historical record of this event remains:

"The conquest by Dharma
Dharma
has been won here, on the borders, and even six hundred yojanas (5,400–9,600 km) away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander
Alexander
rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni
Tamraparni
(Sri Lanka)." (Edicts of Ashoka, 13th Rock Edict, S. Dhammika).[non-primary source needed]

Ashoka
Ashoka
also encouraged the development of herbal medicine, for men and animals, in their territories:

"Everywhere within Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi's [Ashoka's] domain, and among the people beyond the borders, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputras, the Keralaputras, as far as Tamraparni
Tamraparni
and where the Greek king Antiochos rules, and among the kings who are neighbors of Antiochos, everywhere has Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, made provision for two types of medical treatment: medical treatment for humans and medical treatment for animals. Wherever medical herbs suitable for humans or animals are not available, I have had them imported and grown. Wherever medical roots or fruits are not available I have had them imported and grown. Along roads I have had wells dug and trees planted for the benefit of humans and animals". 2nd Rock Edict[non-primary source needed]

The Greeks in India
India
even seem to have played an active role in the propagation of Buddhism, as some of the emissaries of Ashoka, such as Dharmaraksita, are described in Pali sources as leading Greek ("Yona") Buddhist monks, active in Buddhist proselytism (the Mahavamsa, XII[95][non-primary source needed]). Subhagasena and Antiochos III
Antiochos III
(206 BCE)[edit] Sophagasenus was an Indian Mauryan
Mauryan
ruler of the 3rd century BCE, described in ancient Greek sources, and named Subhagasena or Subhashasena in Prakrit. His name is mentioned in the list of Mauryan princes[citation needed], and also in the list of the Yadava dynasty, as a descendant of Pradyumna. He may have been a grandson of Ashoka, or Kunala, the son of Ashoka. He ruled an area south of the Hindu Kush, possibly in Gandhara. Antiochos III, the Seleucid
Seleucid
king, after having made peace with Euthydemus in Bactria, went to India
India
in 206 BCE and is said to have renewed his friendship with the Indian king there: "He (Antiochus) crossed the Caucasus and descended into India; renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus the king of the Indians; received more elephants, until he had a hundred and fifty altogether; and having once more provisioned his troops, set out again personally with his army: leaving Androsthenes of Cyzicus the duty of taking home the treasure which this king had agreed to hand over to him". Polybius 11.39[non-primary source needed] Timeline[edit]

322 BCE : Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
founded the Mauryan Empire
Mauryan Empire
by overthrowing the Nanda Dynasty. 317–316 BCE : Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
conquers the Northwest of the Indian subcontinent. 305–303 BCE : Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
gains territory from the Seleucid
Seleucid
Empire. 298–269 BCE : Reign of Bindusara, Chandragupta's son. He conquers parts of Deccan, southern India. 269–232 BCE : The Mauryan Empire
Mauryan Empire
reaches its height under Ashoka, Chandragupta's grandson. 261 BCE : Ashoka
Ashoka
conquers the kingdom of Kalinga. 250 BCE : Ashoka
Ashoka
builds Buddhist stupas and erects pillars bearing inscriptions. 184 BCE : The empire collapses when Brihadnatha, the last emperor, is killed by Pushyamitra Shunga, a Mauryan
Mauryan
general and the founder of the Shunga Empire.

In literature[edit] According to Vicarasreni of Merutunga, Mauryans rose to power in 312 BC.[96] See also[edit]

Pradyota dynasty Gupta Empire History of India List of largest empires that existed in India

Notes[edit]

^ Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of world-systems research. 12 (2): 223. ISSN 1076-156X. Retrieved 16 September 2016.  ^ Kulke & Rothermund 2004, pp. xii, 448. ^ Thapar, Romila (1990). A History of India, Volume 1. Penguin Books. p. 384. ISBN 0-14-013835-8.  ^ Keay, John (2000). India: A History. Grove Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-8021-3797-5.  ^ a b Mookerji 1988, p. 31. ^ Seleucus I
Seleucus I
ceded the territories of Arachosia
Arachosia
(modern Kandahar), Gedrosia
Gedrosia
(modern Balochistan), and Paropamisadae
Paropamisadae
(or Gandhara). Aria (modern Herat) "has been wrongly included in the list of ceded satrapies by some scholars [...] on the basis of wrong assessments of the passage of Strabo
Strabo
[...] and a statement by Pliny." (Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, p. 594). Seleucus "must [...] have held Aria", and furthermore, his "son Antiochos was active there fifteen years later." (Grainger 2014, p. 109). ^ The account of Strabo
Strabo
indicates that the western-most territory of the empire extended from the southeastern Hindu Kush, through the region of Kandahar, to coastal Balochistan
Balochistan
to the south of that (Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, p. 594). ^ Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and the southernmost parts of India
India
(modern Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
and Kerala) remained independent, despite the diplomacy and cultural influence of their larger neighbor to the north (Schwartzberg 1992, p. 18; Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 68). ^ The empire was once thought to have directly controlled most of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
excepting the far south, but its core regions are now thought to have been separated by large tribal regions (especially in the Deccan peninsula) that were relatively autonomous. (Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 68-71, as well as Stein 1998, p. 74). "The major part of the Deccan was ruled by [ Mauryan
Mauryan
administration]. But in the belt of land on either side of the Nerbudda, the Godavari and the upper Mahanadi there were, in all probability, certain areas that were technically outside the limits of the empire proper. Ashoka
Ashoka
evidently draws a distinction between the forests and the inhabiting tribes which are in the dominions (vijita) and peoples on the border (anta avijita) for whose benefit some of the special edicts were issued. Certain vassal tribes are specifically mentioned." (Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee pp. 275–6) ^ Kalinga had been conquered by the preceding Nanda Dynasty
Nanda Dynasty
but subsequently broke free until it was re-conquered by Ashoka, c. 260 BCE. (Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee, pp. 204–209, pp. 270–271) ^ Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 67. ^ Boesche, Roger (2003-03-01). The First Great Political Realist: Kautilya
Kautilya
and His Arthashastra. p. 11. ISBN 9780739106075.  ^ Demeny, Paul George; McNicoll, Geoffrey (May 2003). Encyclopedia of population. ISBN 9780028656793.  ^ "It is doubtful if, in its present shape, [the Arthashastra] is as old as the time of the first Maurya," as it probably contains layers of text ranging from Maurya
Maurya
times till as late as the 2nd century CE. Nonetheless, "though a comparatively late work, it may be used [...] to confirm and supplement the information gleaned from earlier sources." (Raychaudhuri & Mukherjee 1996, pp.246–7) ^ Sugandhi, Namita Sanjay (2008). Between the Patterns of History: Rethinking Mauryan
Mauryan
Imperial Interaction in the Southern Deccan. pp. 88–89. ISBN 9780549744412.  ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 31. ^ :"Androcottus, when he was a stripling, saw Alexander
Alexander
himself, and we are told that he often said in later times that Alexander
Alexander
narrowly missed making himself master of the country, since its king was hated and despised on account of his baseness and low birth." Plutarch
Plutarch
62-3 Plutarch
Plutarch
62-3 ^ :"He was of humble Indian to a change of rule." Justin XV.4.15 "Fuit hic humili quidem genere natus, sed ad regni potestatem maiestate numinis inpulsus. Quippe cum procacitate sua Nandrum regem offendisset, interfici a rege iussus salutem pedum ceieritate quaesierat. (Ex qua fatigatione cum somno captus iaceret, leo ingentis formae ad dormientem accessit sudoremque profluentem lingua ei detersit expergefactumque blande reliquit. Hoc prodigio primum ad spem regni inpulsus) contractis latronibus Indos ad nouitatem regni sollicitauit." Justin XV.4.15 ^ Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and His Times, Radhakumud Mookerji, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1966, p.26-27 [1] ^ Sir John Marshall, "Taxila", p. 18 et passim ^ K. A. Nilakanta Sastri (ed., 1967), Age of the Nandas and Mauryas, p.147 ^ a b Chandragupta Maurya
Chandragupta Maurya
and His Times, Radhakumud Mookerji, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1966, p.27 [2] ^ History Of The Chamar Dynasty, Raj Kumar, Gyan Publishing House, 2008, p.51 [3] ^ Sanskrit original: "asti tava Shaka-Yavana-Kirata-Kamboja-Parasika-Bahlika parbhutibhih Chankyamatipragrahittaishcha Chandergupta Parvateshvara balairudidhibhiriva parchalitsalilaih samantaad uprudham Kusumpurama". From the French translation, in "Le Ministre et la marque de l'anneau", ISBN 2-7475-5135-0 ^ a b Majumdar 2003, p. 105. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, p. 39. ^ Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 69-70. ^ Paul J. Kosmin 2014, p. 38. ^ " Megasthenes
Megasthenes
lived with Sibyrtius, satrap of Arachosia, and often speaks of his visiting Sandracottus, the king of the Indians." Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri
Anabasis Alexandri
Arrian. "Book 5". Anabasis.  ^ "In the royal residences in India
India
where the greatest of the kings of that country live, there are so many objects for admiration that neither Memnon's city of Susa
Susa
with all its extravagance, nor the magnificence of Ectabana
Ectabana
is to be compared with them. (...) In the parks, tame peacocks and pheasants are kept." Aelian, "Characteristics of animals" Aelian, Characteristics of animals, book XIII, Chapter 18, also quoted in The Cambridge History of India, Volume 1, p411 ^ "The architectural closeness of certain buildings in Achaemenid Iran and Mauryan
Mauryan
India
India
have raised much comment. The royal palace at Pataliputra
Pataliputra
is the most striking example and has been compared with the palaces at Susa, Ecbatana, and Persepolis" Aśoka and the decline of the Mauryas, Volume 5, p.129, Romila Thapar, Oxford University Press, 1961 ^ A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th century by Upinder Singh p.331 ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 32. ^ Mookerji 1988, pp. 39-40. ^ a b Samuel 2010, pp. 60. ^ a b Thapar 2004, p. 178. ^ a b Mookerji 1988, pp. 39-41. ^ Srinivasachariar 1974, p. lxxxvii. ^ Vincent Arthur Smith (1920). Asoka, the Buddhist emperor of India. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 9788120613034.  ^ Rajendralal Mitra
Rajendralal Mitra
(1878). "On the Early Life of Asoka". Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Asiatic Society of Bengal: 10.  ^ Motilal Banarsidass
Motilal Banarsidass
(1993). "The Minister Cāṇakya, from the Pariśiṣtaparvan of Hemacandra". In Phyllis Granoff. The Clever Adulteress and Other Stories: A Treasury of Jaina Literature. Translated by Rosalind Lefeber. pp. 204–206.  ^ a b c Kosmin 2014, p. 35. ^ Daniélou 2003, p. 108. ^ a b Singh 2008, p. 331. ^ Dineschandra Sircar 1971, p. 167. ^ William Woodthorpe Tarn (2010). The Greeks in Bactria
Bactria
and India. Cambridge University Press. p. 152. ISBN 9781108009416.  ^ Mookerji Radhakumud (1962). Asoka. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 8. ISBN 978-81-208-0582-8.  ^ P.109 A brief history of India
India
by Alain Daniélou, Kenneth Hurry ^ Eugène Burnouf (1911). Legends of Indian Buddhism. New York: E. P. Dutton. p. 59.  ^ a b c d Sen 1999, p. 142. ^ "Three Greek ambassadors are known by name: Megasthenes, ambassador to Chandragupta; Deimachus, ambassador to Chandragupta's son Bindusara; and Dyonisius, whom Ptolemy Philadelphus sent to the court of Ashoka, Bindusara's son", McEvilley, p.367 ^ India, the Ancient Past, Burjor Avari, p.108-109 ^ P. 138 and P. 146 History and doctrines of the Ājīvikas: a vanished Indian religion by Arthur Llewellyn Basham ^ P. 24 Buddhism
Buddhism
in comparative light by Anukul Chandra Banerjee ^ P. 171 Ashoka
Ashoka
and his inscriptions, Volume 1 by Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa ^ Daniélou 2003, p. 109. ^ Kashi Nath Upadhyaya (1997). Early Buddhism
Buddhism
and the Bhagavadgita. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 33. ISBN 9788120808805.  ^ Fitzedward Hall, ed. (1868). The Vishnu Purana. IV. Translated by H. H. Wilson. Trübner & Co. p. 188.  ^ Edicts of Ashoka, 13th Rock Edict, translation S. Dhammika. ^ Army and Power in the Ancient World by Angelos Chaniotis/Pierre Ducrey(Eds.), Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart, P35 ^ According to the Ashokavadana ^ Sir John Marshall, "A Guide to Sanchi", Eastern Book House, 1990, ISBN 81-85204-32-2, pg.38 ^ E. Lamotte: History of Indian Buddhism, Institut Orientaliste, Louvain-la-Neuve 1988 (1958) ^ Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas by Romila Thapar, Oxford University Press, 1960 P200 ^ Gabriel A, Richard (30 November 2006), The Ancient World :Volume 1 of Soldiers' lives through history, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 28  ^ Majumdar 2003, p. 107. ^ The Economic History of the Corporate Form in Ancient India. University of Michigan. ^ CNG Coins ^ Jerry Bentley, Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts in Pre-Modern Times (New York: Oxford University Press), 46 ^ Kulke & Rothermund 2004, pp. 64-65. ^ Basham 1951, p. 138, 146. ^ Cort 2010, p. 199. ^ Tukol, T. K., Jainism
Jainism
in South India  ^ "L'age d'or de l'Inde Classique", p23 ^ "L'age d'or de l'Inde Classique", p22 ^ Mookerji 1988, p. 15. ^ Drawing reconstruction by F.C. Maisey for reference ^ Rangarajan, M. (2001) India's Wildlife History, pp 7. ^ a b c Rangarajan, M. (2001) India's Wildlife History, pp 8. ^ "Plutarch, Alexander, chapter 1, section 1".  ^ "(Transitum deinde in Indiam fecit), quae post mortem Alexandri, ueluti ceruicibus iugo seruitutis excusso, praefectos eius occiderat. Auctor libertatis Sandrocottus fuerat, sed titulum libertatis post uictoriam in seruitutem uerterat ; 14 siquidem occupato regno populum quem ab externa dominatione uindicauerat ipse seruitio premebat." Justin XV.4.12–13 ^ "Molienti deinde bellum aduersus praefectos Alexandri elephantus ferus infinitae magnitudinis ultro se obtulit et ueluti domita mansuetudine eum tergo excepit duxque belli et proeliator insignis fuit. Sic adquisito regno Sandrocottus ea tempestate, qua Seleucus futurae magnitudinis fundamenta iaciebat, Indiam possidebat." Justin XV.4.19 ^ "Appian, The Syrian Wars 11".  ^ Ancient India, (Kachroo, p.196) ^ The Imperial Gazetteer of India, (Hunter, p.167) ^ The evolution of man and society, (Darlington, p.223) ^ W. W. Tarn (1940). "Two Notes on Seleucid
Seleucid
History: 1. Seleucus' 500 Elephants, 2. Tarmita", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 60, p. 84-94. ^ Kosmin 2014, p. 37. ^ "Pliny the Elder, The Natural History (eds. John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S., H.T. Riley, Esq., B.A.)". Archived from the original on 28 July 2013.  ^ Vincent A. Smith (1998). Ashoka. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-1303-1. ^ Walter Eugene Clark (1919). "The Importance of Hellenism from the Point of View of Indic-Philology", Classical Philology 14 (4), p. 297-313. ^ "Problem while searching in The Literature Collection".  ^ "The Literature Collection: The deipnosophists, or, Banquet of the learned of Athenæus (volume III): Book XIV".  ^ Reference: "India: The Ancient Past" p.113, Burjor Avari, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-35615-6 ^ Full text of the Mahavamsa
Mahavamsa
Click chapter XII ^ Kailash Chand Jain
Jain
1991, p. 85.

Sources[edit]

Jain, Kailash Chand (1991), Lord Mahāvīra and His Times, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-81-208-0805-8  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press  Kosmin, Paul J. (2014), The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid
Seleucid
Empire, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0  Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004), A History of India
India
(4th ed.), London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-15481-2  Thapar, Romila (2004) [first published by Penguin in 2002], Early India: From the Origins to A.D. 1300, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-24225-8  Keay, John (2000). India, a History. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. Stein, Burton (1998). A History of India
India
(1st ed.), Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Raychaudhuri, H. C.; Mukherjee, B. N. (1996), Political History of Ancient India: From the Accession of Parikshit to the Extinction of the Gupta Dynasty, Oxford University Press  Schwartzberg, J. E. (1992). A Historical Atlas of South Asia. University of Oxford Press. Grainger, John D. (1990, 2014). Seleukos Nikator: Constructing a Hellenistic
Hellenistic
Kingdom. Routledge. Mookerji, Radha Kumud (1988) [first published in 1966], Chandragupta Maurya
Maurya
and his times (4th ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0433-3  Cort, John (2010) [1953], Framing the Jina: Narratives of Icons and Idols in Jain
Jain
History, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-538502-1  Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2003) [1952], Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0436-8  Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Arthur Llewellyn Basham
(1951), History and doctrines of the Ājīvikas: a vanished Indian religion, foreword by L. D. Barnett (1 ed.), London: Luzac  Chanakya, Arthashastra, ISBN 0-14-044603-6 J.F.C. Fuller, The Generalship of Alexander
Alexander
the Great, ISBN 0-306-81330-0 Robert Morkot, The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece, ISBN 0-14-051335-3

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mauryan
Mauryan
Empire.

Livius.org: Maurya
Maurya
dynasty Extent of the Empire Ashoka's Edicts

Preceded by Nanda dynasty Magadha
Magadha
dynasties Maurya
Maurya
Empire Succeeded by Shunga dynasty

v t e

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Timeline and cultural period

Northwestern India (Punjab-Sapta Sindhu)

Indo-Gangetic Plain Central India Southern India

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IRON AGE

Culture Late Vedic Period Late Vedic Period ( Brahmin
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 6th century BC Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Magadha

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 3rd century BC Maurya
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Ramayana
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Shahi

Maitraka

Adivasi
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(tribes) Badami Chalukyas Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture Late-Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
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- Tantra Decline of Buddhism
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 7th century Indo-Sassanids

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(tribes) Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Pandyan Kingdom(Revival) Pallava

 8th century Kabul
Kabul
Shahi

Pala Empire Pandyan Kingdom Kalachuri

 9th century

Gurjara-Pratihara

Rashtrakuta dynasty Pandyan Kingdom Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai

10th century Ghaznavids

Pala dynasty Kamboja-Pala dynasty

Kalyani Chalukyas Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai Rashtrakuta

References and sources for table

References

^ Samuel ^ Samuel ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Micheals (2004) p.40 ^ Michaels (2004) p.41

Sources

Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press  Hiltebeitel, Alf (2002), Hinduism. In: Joseph Kitagawa, "The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and Culture", Routledge  Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism. Past and present, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press 

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