India´s First Empire

Claudia= Chandragupta Maurya Unifies North India
Kendrick=Runnig the Empire
Emily= Life in the City and the Country
Eliecer=A Period of Turmoil
Gabriela Elias= Daily life in India

Chandragupta Maurya Unifies North India

Claudia Franjul

The Mauryan Empire was the first to politically unite India.

The Mauryan Empire was established by the Indian military leader named Chandragupta Maurya, in about 321 BC. Chandragupta overthrew the oppressive and corrupt king of Magadha, who was a member of the Nanda family, and founded the Maurya dynasty. After this, Chandragupta went forward to expanding his empire across northwestern and central India, as well as into modern-day Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush. By 320 the Mauryan Empire controlled most of Northwestern India. However, in 305 BC Chandragupta’s empire faced difficulty when Seleucus I, who governed the Seleucid Empire and was one of Alexander’s generals who had inherited parts of Alexander’s empire, tried to conquer the Northwestern territories of India –which were part of the Mauryan empire-. At the end Chandragupta came out victorious, and Seleucus was forced to make a peace treaty with him.

The peace treaty between Chandragupta and Seleucus included:

  • Recognition of marriage between Indians and Greeks.
  • Chandragupta received the satrapies of Paromisade, Arachosia, and Gedrosia.
  • Seleucus I received 500 war elephants.

After Chandragupta defeated Selecucus he was able to take control of the Trans Indus Region and the Seleucid Persia. The empire would expand:

  • North along the Himalayas
  • East into Assam
  • West into modern Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • Southwards towards the Deccan Plateau.

Satrapies: The territory or province under the rule of a satrap -governor-.

Extension of Mauryan empire when it was founded by Chandragupta.Chandragupta_mauryan_empire_305_BC.gifChandragupta_Maurya_Empire.gif

Running the Empire

The Mauryan Empire was hold together by a man called Kautilya. he made a book who's purpose was to maintain the empire together with so cruel ideas like spying or assassinations. The ruler of the mMauryan Empire took the advice of the book and created a bureaucratic government and divided the empire into four provinves which each province was divide into 2 local districted and weren ruled by a royal prince.

A Period of Turmoil

For hundredths of years the arosion of the Andhra Dynasty dominated the region. ¨Because of their central position, the Andhras profited from theextensive trade between north and south India and also with Rome, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. The northern part of India had to absorb a lafge amount of new people fleeing political instability in other parts of Asia. During 500 years, starting from 185 B.C , wave after wave of Greeks, Persian and Central Asians poured into northern India. Since that happend they also introduce and stated their language and customs that added to the already-rich blend of India culture.

High Point of the Gupta Empire

The high point of the Gupta Empire was during the ruling of Chandra Gupta II. Although villagers continued to follow traditional ways, the third emperor's royal court was full of excitement and growth. Chandra Gupta II had expanded the empire westward when he defeated the Shakas and added their coastal territory to the land. As a result of the victory, a second trading capital at Ujjain was established. The Guptas engaged in profitable trade with the Mediterrranean while Chandra Gupta II strengthened the empire through peaceful means by negotiating different types of alliances.

The Indian Empire was especially noticed for their influential style of Hindu art, literature, culture and sciences during the reign of Chandra Gupta II. They experienced great achievements in this area. Some excellent works of Hindu art such as the panels at the Dashavatara Temple in Deogarh serve to create an example of the magnificence of Gupta art. Above all it was the synthesis of elements that gave Gupta art its distinctive flavor. During this period, the Guptas were supportive of thriving Buddhist and Jain cultures also, and for this reason there is a long history of non-Hindu Gupta period art as well. In particular, Gupta period Buddhist art was to be influential in most of East and Southeast Asia. Much of advances was recorded by the Chinese scholar and traveller Faxian (Fa-hien) in his diary and published afterwards.

As one of the sources states, "The court of Chandragupta was made even more illustrious by the fact that it was graced by the Navaratna (Nine Jewels), a group of nine who excelled in the literary arts. Amongst these men was the immortal Kalidasa whose works dwarfed the works of many other literary geniuses, not only in his own age but in the ages to come. Kalidasa was particularly known for his fine exploitation of the sringara (erotic) element in his verse." I believe this to be the reason they were a court of such growth and recognition.


{ Emily Perez }


Seleucus' ambassador , whose name was Megasthenes,
wrote a detailed account of India, fragments of which have
survived. They give a fascinating picture of life in the empire. Pataliputra,
Chandragupta's capital known today as Patna, covered eighteen square miles and
was probably the largest city in the world.

Megathenes described the people as skilled in arts, having an abundance of nourishing food, low incidence in thievery,and people often leaving their houses & property unguarded.

The wealthy of Pataliputra, had furnished homes surrounded by gardens, fruit trees and ornamental ponds. They enjoyed festivals, gambling, horsemanship, horseracing, archery, swimming competition, and private parties on each other's terraces. They were literate, and their city had a university, where Brahmins taught grammar, rhetoric, economics and politics. Pataliputra also had trade guilds and schools that taught crafts and technical subjects.

According to Megasthenes, some upper class women received an education and some were recognized as accomplished in the arts, but he added that ordinarily Brahmins did not wish to educate their wives, believing that knowledge and learning were not for females. He described a drop in the age at which females could be married. A man of twenty-four might marry a girl as young as eight, or a man of thirty might marry a twelve year-old.

The Mauryan state also controlled and encouraged economic life.
Kautilya's treatise, which is thought to reflect much actual practice, advises
the ruler to "facilitate mining opera
tions," "encourage manufacturers,"
"exploit forest wealth," "provide amenities" for cattle breeding and commerce,
and "construct highways both on land and on water." -

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