Maurya Empire      
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(Text by Duane R. Hurst © 2013)

Click on a link to view its information and pictures.
Significant Event:
    Seleucid-Mauryan War 305-303 BC

Main Cities: Mathura; Pataliputra
Time: 322-185 BC
Language: Sanskrit
Personage: Ashoka; Chandragupta Maurya
Religion: Buddhism; Hindu; Jainism
Related Country: India; Pakistan

Brief History:
      I have included only a few items concerning the history of this empire. A good source for more details can be found on Wikipedia or in history books.

Map of Maurya Empire
Click Map to Enlarge
      Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya Empire in 322 BC with help from Chanakya, a Brahmin teacher from Takshashila. Chandragupta swore to avenge an insult by destroying the Nanda Empire (345-321 BC). During the same period, troops of Alexander refused to cross the Beas River to invade Maurya. His successor, Seleucus, unsuccessfully attempted to expand his empire to the east in 305 BC. He and Chandragupta signed a peace treaty in which Seleucus received 500 war elephants.

      Chandragupta initiated a powerful central government and developed a strong economy throughout the Indian subcontinent. His son, Bindusara Maurya (320-272 BC), succeeded to the throne and extended the empire into southern India. He refrained from seizing the friendly states of Chera Kingdom and Chola Empire. Bindusara also maintained good relations with Seleucus and the Seleucids.

      Ashoka (304 to 232 BC) ruled Maurya following the death of his father, Bindusara. His capital was located in the state of Magadha. In 261 BC, he conquered the Kalinga Empire. After witnessing mass deaths he caused during that war, Ashoka converted to Buddhism in 263 BC and propagated the religion. His Edicts were inscribed on the Pillars of Ashoka.

      Weak kings ruled another 50 years after Ashoka's death. The last ruler was Brihadrata Maurya, who was assassinated in 185 BC by general Pusyamitra Sunga. He established the Sunga Empire (185-75 BC). In 180 BC, Demetrius I of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom seized Mauryan territory.

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst