Short Notes - The Mauryan Empire (322-185 B.C.)
Category : UPSC
The Mauryan Empire (322-185 B.C.)
- Founder- Chandragupta Maurya
- He defeated the king Dhanananda with the help of Chanakya.
- Its capital was Pataliputra.
- Greek and Latin name of Chandragupta was Sandracottos" or "Andracottus.
- Megasthene [Greek Ambassador] came to his court.
- Chandragupta Maurya embraced Jainism.
- He died at Sravanbelagola of Chandragiri hill.
- Chandragupta Maurya was succeeded by his son Bindusara.
- Greeksources referto him as Amitrochates or in Sanskrit amitraghata ["destroyer of foes").
- The palace of Chandragupta was made of wood.
- Bindusara was followed by his son, Ashoka [273-232 B.C.).
- The war of Kalinga [BC 261) was the turning point ofAshoka's life. The mass death of the war changed his mind and he became a follower of Buddhism.
- Ashok Stambh of Sarnath was adopted as national emblem of India.
- Sanchi Stupa was built by Ashoka.
- Constructions carried out by Ashoka: Dhamek Stupa [Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh), Bharhut stupa [Madhya Pradesh), Mahabodhi Temple [Bihar).
- Ashoka's Dhamma was a code of conduct [a set of principles like respect to elders) mercy to slaves & emphasis on truth, non-violence & tolerance.
- Last Mauryan King: Brihadratha [Killed by his general Pushyamitra).
- Pushyamitra founded Sunga Dynasty.
- Important Sources of History of Mauryan Empire- Arthshastra [Kautilya), Indica [Megasi:henes), Rajtarangini [Kalhan), Mahalihasya [Patanjali)
- Other Sources: Puranas, Buddhist Texts, Asoka's Inscriptions, Rocks & Pillar Edicts of Mauryas.
Categories of Ashoka's Inscription
- Bhabru - Conversion of Buddhism
- Barabar Hills - Enjoins toleration
- Tarai Pillars - Respect to Buddhism
- 14 Rock Edicts - Administration and ethics.
- Minor Rock Edicts - Personal history of Ashoka & summary of Dhamma.
- 7 Pillar Rock Edicts - Appendix to Rock Edicts.
Sunga Dynasty (185 to 23 B.C.)
- Pushyamitra Sunga was the senapati of lastking of Mauryan empire Briliadratha. He killed Brihadratha and founded the Sunga dynasty in 187 B.C.
- It was a Magadha dynasty and its capital was Pataliputra but later Vidhisha was the capital of Sunga rulers.
Patanjali [grammarian of Sanskrit) was patronized by Pushyamitra Sunga.
Kanva Dynasty (73-28 B.C.)
- Founder- Vasudeva Kanva.
- Vasudeva was a Brahmin and follower of lord Vishnu.
- Other Sunga Rulers: Bhumimitra, Narayana;Susarman.
- Susarman was put to death by Satavahana ruler.
- It ruled in the Deccan and Central India after Mauryans.
- Founder- Simuka
- Andhra dynasty was situated between the region of Krishna and Godavari River.
- Most powerful Satavahana king - Gautamiputra Satakarni [A.D. 106-130)
- He defeated the Sakas, Yavanas [Greeks) and Pahlavas [Parithans)
- Kharavela was the greatest king of Chedi Dynasty.
- Source of information: Hatigumpha Pillar inscription (Created by Kharavela)
- He opposed Demetrius of Bactria and defeated them.
- The Indo-Greeks were the first to issue gold coins in India, Which increased in number under the Kushans.
- The Sakas were a group of nomadic tribes of Iranian origin or Scythian tribes, who lived in Central Asia.
- The most famous Saka ruler in India was Rudradaman-I (A.D. 130-150).
- The Saka kingdom in north-western India was followed by that of the Parthians (Saka-Pahlavas in Sanskrit text).
- The most famous Parthian king was Gondophernes.
- They were defeated by the Kushans in the second half of the 1st century AD.
- The Parthians were succeeded by the Kushans who established a powerful empire in north India.
- The greatest of the Kushana rulers was kanishka and is known for his military prowess.
- Capital of Kushans: Purushpura (Peshawar).
- Kanishka is considered to have conflicted with the Pataliputra and had taken Asvaghosa, the Buddhist Monk to Purushpura.
- He was a patron of Buddhism and convened the 4th Buddhist Council in the Kundalvana of Kashmir [or may be in Jalandhar) in 78 AD.
- Scholars in the Court of Kanishid were Parsva, Vasumitra, Asvaghosa Nagarjuna, Charaka and Mathara.
- Sushruta who wrote Sushruta Samhita has also been connected to Kanishka.
- Founder of Pallava Simhavishnu, Capital - Kanchi.
- Nrasimhavarman was the greates- king of Pallava Dynasty.