For the first time, almost the whole of India became united as a great empire and came under one imperial administration. For the first time also, the political power of India was felt by the foreign powers outside with the victory of Indian forces over them. It was not merely the military power of the Mauryas which made India great, but her subsequent moral role in spreading the Indian religion and culture outside which made her greater still. The civilizing mission of the third Maurya, Asoka,opened a new chapter in the history of Asian civilisation, and prepared path for the spread of Buddhism far across the frontiers of India.
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Thus, in B. Whilst Alexander won some spectacular battles, his Indian campaign was ultimately a failure. One of them is the founding of a new Indian Empire — the Mauryan Empire, which would eventually unify the whole of India.
The founder of the Mauryan Empire was a man by the name of Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta is said to have been born in about B.
Other sources, however, state that his father was a king, whilst his mother was from the Sudra servant caste. It has also been claimed that Chandragupta was the son of a Nanda prince the dominant power in northern India during the 4 th century B.
Regardless of the various accounts, we can be fairly sure that Chandragupta was of humble birth, as the details of his life before becoming an emperor were not recorded by contemporary writers.
A statue of Chandragupta Maurya. Wikipedia It is said that the young Chandragupta displayed the qualities of a natural leader — courage and charisma. The scholar began training the young Chandragupta to become a great king. With the help of this tactician, Chandragupta managed to raise an army and wage war against the Nanda Empire. By B. Thus, the Mauryan Empire was established. Coin of the Maurya Empire, with wheel and elephant symbols.
Thus, by about B. As a result, the western border of the Mauryan Empire was extended to the edge of modern day Iran, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In B. This region belonged to the Seleucid Empire, and was ruled at that time by its founder, Seleucus I Nicator, a formidable general of Alexander the Great. Whilst the resulting conflict was inconclusive, the peace treaty struck between Seleucus and Chandragupta seems to have favored the latter.
Seleucus ceded the areas in eastern Persia conquered by Chandragupta. In return, Chandragupta gave Seleucus war elephants. The Mauryan Empire in its largest extent Creative Commons According to Jain tradition, Chandragupta decided to abdicate when he was 42 years old, and became an ascetic. Jain tradition also reports that Chandragupta ended his life by sallekhana — meditation without eating or drinking until the person dies of starvation.
He was succeeded by his son, Bindusara. Nevertheless, Chandragupta is perhaps best remembered today as the king who unified India. Illustraion of Chandragupta Maurya. Source Background, India Source.
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age of the nandas and mauryas
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