THE MAURYAN EMPIRE
THE MAURYA EMPIRE
Short Answer Question: –
- Name any three rulers of the Maurya dynasty.
Ans. Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara and Ashoka.
- Who was Megasthenes?
Ans. Megasthenes was the Greek ambassador of Seleucus Nikator who arrived in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.
- Name the book written by Megasthenes.
Ans. Megasthenes wrote the book name “INDIKA”.
- Who was Chanakya?
Ans. Chanakya was the chief adviser, and the philosopher and guide of Chandragupta Maurya.
- Name the book written by Chanakya.
Ans. Chanakya wrote the book “Arthashastra”.
- Who was the Greek ruler who came under a war with Chandragupta Maurya?
Ans. Chandragupta Maurya came under a war with Seleucus Nikator.
- Who wrote the book “Mudra Rakshasa”?
Ans. “Mudra Rakshasa” was written by Visakha Dutta.
- Who was the founder of the Mauryan Empire?
Ans. Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Maurya Empire.
- Name the four provinces under Chandragupta Maurya.
Ans. Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Baluchistan are the four provinces under Chandragupta Maurya.
- Who was Ashoka?
Ans. Ashoka was the son and successor of Bindusara.
- Name the war fought by Ashoka.
Ans. Ashoka fought the Kalinga war.
- When was the Kalinga war fought?
Ans. The Kalinga war was fought in 261 B.C.
- What is meant by Ashoka’s “Dhamma”?
Ans. Ashoka’s “Dhamma” or dharma was a set of moral principles and was not dogmatic.
- Which ambition did Ashoka give up?
Ans. Ashoka gave up the ambition of ‘Dig Vijay’ or ‘Victory in all Direction’.
- What is ‘Ahimsa’?
Ans. ‘Ahimsa’ is non-injury to any living being.
LONG – ANSWER QUESTIONS:
- Explain the war fought by Ashoka.
Ans. The conquest of Kalinga was perhaps the most important event in Ashoka’s reign. Ashoka invaded Kalinga in 261 B.C. The people of Kalinga put a tough resistance but they were defeated by Ashoka. Thousands of people died in this war. Massive death and destruction in the Kalinga war made Ashoka so sad and unhappy that it became a turning point in his life and he became the first monarch in world history to leave the path of war and violence.
- With reference to Chandragupta Maurya’s conquest, explain his war with Seleucas.
Ans. Seleucas was a Greek general of Alexander who became the ruler of the territories conquered by Alexander from Asia Minor to the Indus. He wanted to recover the Indian territories which had now become a part of the Maurya Empire. It brought him in conflict with Chandragupta Maurya who defeated the Greek general and consequently he had to surrender not only the four provinces of Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Baluchistan but also had to give his daughter in marriage to the Maurya Emperor.
- With reference to the Mauryan Administration, explain the Civic Administration of Pataliputra.
Ans. Pataliputra was the capital of the Maurya’s. It was a beautiful city and it was surrounded by a deep moat and high walls. A committee of 30 members used to look after the administration of city. This committee was further divided into six boards: –
- i) The first board looked after the industries and arts.
- ii) The second board looked after the needs of the foreigners.
iii) The third board recorded the births and deaths.
- iv) The fourth board regulated the trade and commerce.
- v) The fifth board ensured the quality of the manufactured articles.
- vi) The sixth board collected taxes on sold goods.
- Explain the Revenue System under the Mauryans.
Ans. The main source of income of the kingdom was land revenue. It varied from 1/6th to 1/4th of the total produce. Mine, forests, cattle, toll, were also other sources of tax collection. The money, which was thus collected, was usually spent on public works like roads, hospitals, irrigation, etc. and to pay the salaries of the officers and to maintain a large army.
- Explain Chandragupta Maurya’s Military Administration.
Ans. Chandragupta had a huge army of 6,00,000 in fantry 30,000 cavalry, 9,000 elephants and 8,000 chariots. It was necessary to maintain such a large army to look after so big an empire. Besides, there was an efficient network of spy system spread all over the empire. These spies kept the emperor informed about all the important matters.
- What was the extent of Ashoka’s Empire?
Ans. Ashoka’s Empire was a very vast one. It extended from the Brahmaputra in the east to the Hindukush in the north-west & the Arabian Sea in the west and from the Himalayas in the north to river Pennar in the south. Some portions of Nepal & Kashmir also formed a part of Ashoka’s Empire. Kabul, Herat & Kandahar were the provinces outside India that were also included. Thus it turned to be the biggest empire in ancient India.
- What were the main principles of Ashoka’s ‘Dhamma’?
Ans.Main principles of Ashoka’s ‘Dhamma’ –
- i) Respect of elders – Ashoka preached that obedience must be shown to the parents. And students must show respect to their teacher.
- ii) Proper Treatment of Youngsters – Elders, superiors, and officers should be polite and kind to those who were their youngsters, inferiors and subordinates.
iii)Ahimsa – Ashoka not only forbade the slaughter of animals but himself gave up hunting and flesh-eating.
- iv) Tolerance – Ashoka said there should not be honour to one’s own sect or condemnation of another sect. Other sects should also be honoured.
- v) Truthfulness – A man should speak truth at all times.
Vi) Charity – One should give education to the illiterate, money to the poor and knowledge of the Dhamma to everyone.
vii) Pure life – Ashoka believed in a pure and simple life. Anger, cruelty, pride and jealousy were treated as great sins.
- Explain the changes brought by Ashoka in the Mauryan administration.
Ans. There was now great stress on the people’s welfare. Various roads with trees planted on both the sides were built. Various rest-houses were also built for the travellers. Various wells were also dug for the welfare of the people. He opened a large number of hospitals both for men and animals. He treated his subjects as his children. He was ever-ready for the service of the people. Ashoka appointed a new class of officers known as “Dhamma Mahamatras” to raise the moral of the people.
- How was the Kalinga war a turning point of Ashoka’s life?
Ans. Death and destruction in the Kalinga war made Ashoka sad and unhappy. Kalinga war thus became a turning point in Ashoka’s life and he became the first monarch in the world history to leave the path of war and violence. For the next thirty years of his life as a ruler, he never went to war and became an ardent follower of Buddha and Buddhism. Thereafter, Ashoka dropped his ambition of ‘Digvijay’ or victory in all directions and took up the policy of ‘Dharma Vijay’.