Ancient India: Maurya and Post-Maurya Rulers
Asoka, The Emperor
• The Mauryas were a dynasty, more than 2300 years ago, with three important rulers —
Chandragupta[founder], his son Bindusara, and Bindusara’s son, Ashoka.
• Chandragupta was supported by a wise man named Chanakya or Kautilya. Many of Chanakya’s ideas were written down in a book titled Arthashastra.
• Megasthenes was an ambassador who was sent to the court of Chandragupta by the Greek
ruler of West Asia named Seleucus Nicator.
• Ashoka was one of the greatest rulers known to history and on his instructions, inscriptions were carved on pillars, as well as on rock surfaces.
• Most of Ashoka’s inscriptions were in Prakrit and were written in the Brahmi script.
• People in different parts of the empire spoke different languages.
RULING THE EMPIRE
• As the empire was so large, different parts were ruled differently.
• The area around Pataliputra was under the direct control of the emperor. This meant that officials were appointed to collect taxes.
• Spies were kept a watch on the officials.
• Other areas or provinces was ruled from a provincial capital such as
Taxila or Ujjain.
• Here Royal Princes were often send as governors, local customs and rules
• After Kalinga [current coastal Odisha he gave up war.
• He started to execute Dhamma [prakrit term for Dharma]
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