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MAKING OF MAYURYAN EMPIRE

MAURYAN ADMINISTRATION

The Mayuryan empire was one of the largest empire of the world in its time. At its

greatest, the empire stretched to the north along the natural boundaries of the Himalayas t

the east into the Assam. To the West into Bluchistan (South west Pakistan and south east

Iran) and the Hindukush mountains of what is now Afghanistan. The empire was

expanded into India Central and Southern religions by the emperor Chandra Gupta and

Bindusar but it excluded Kalinga (Modern Odisha) until it was conquered by Ashoka. It

declined for about 50 years after Ashoka’s rule ended and it dissolved in 185 BCE with

the foundation of the Shunga dynasty in Magatha, under Chandra Gupta Mayurya and his

successor internal and external trade, agriculture and economic activities all tried and

expanded across India thanks to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance

administration and security after the Kalinga war. The empire experience nearly half

century of peace and security under Ashoka. Mayuryan India also enjoyed an ear of

social harmony, religious transformation and expansion of the science and of knowledge

Chandra Gupta Maurya embranced of janism increased social and religious renewal and

onform across. His society while Ashoka embrance of budhism has been said to have

been the foundatioin of the reign of social and political peace and non-violence across all

of India Ashoka sponsored the spreading of Buddhist missionaries into Sri Lanka, South

East Asia, West Asia, North Africa and Mediterranean Europe.

The population of the empire has been estimated to be about 50 – 60 million making the

mayuryan empire one of the most populous empire of the Antiquity.

EMPERORS OF MAYURYAN DYNASTY –


Many famous empires ruled the Mayuryan dynasty. Ashoka Mauryan was one of

the greatest emperors of the Mauryan dynasty list of Mauryan dynast –

(1) Chandragupta Maurya – 321 – 298 BC

(2) Bindusar – 298 – 272 BC

(3) Ashoka Maurya – 269 – 232 BC

(4) Dasaratha Maurya – 232 – 224 BC

(5) Samprati – 224 – 2015 BC

(6) Salisaka – 215 – 202 BC

(7) Devavarman Mayurya – 2002 – 195 BC

(8) Sathadhanvan – 195 – 187 BC

(9) Briha Artha Maurya – 187 – 180 BC.

(1) CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA –

The career and achievements of Chandra Gupta Maurya make an interesting story

in the history of India. The early career of Chandragupta is shrouded in legend

and romance. After the departure of Alexander there arose on the political

firmament of India a new star that soon eclipsed the rest of its brilliance.

Tradition differ regarding the entecedents of Chandragupta. The Brahmanical

tradition says that he was the son of Nanda king of a low born wife named Mara.

After who funded the mauryan dynasty. According to the Buddhist tradition he

was a descendant of the Kshatriya tribe called Moriya (who tamed peacocks, or

mayura poshaka) who at one time ruled over Pipphalivana, a region in modern

Uttar Pradesh. The classical source which know of the last nanda and the Marga,
though Chandragupta Known to them as Sandrakattusi is described to be of low

origin. As when historian Justin called Chandragupta Maurya “born in humble

origin he meant that he was not a shudra but of the Kshetriya dynasty lowered

down to the humble status of a peacock tamers. It is also suggested that name

ending Gupta in Chandragupta name and the later episode of Ashoka’s marriage

to the daughter of a merchant of Vidisha.

Achievements of Chandragupta Conquest –

War of Liberation from the Greeks –

The first task of Chandragupta was to liberate Sindh and Punjab from the hands of

greeks. The time was now ripe for Chandragupta t take the plunge as the position

of the greeks in India had been weakened by the death of Alexander and the

internecine squabbles among his generals. The Indians were also growing

resistive order the oppressive rule of the Greeks and the they demonstrated their

unrest by murdering the greek Satrap Nicanor and the formidable Philoppors.

Chandragupta moved to the North west to exploit the power vacuume created by

Alexander’s departure. He snatched away Sindh from the Greks. Then he turned

his attention to the Punjab by that time the power of Ambhi of Taxila was in a star

of decline King Porus had already been assassinated by a Greek general. So

Chandragupta conquered the Punjab with ease. Thus, he had liberated the Punjab

and Sindh from Greek domination.


Chandragupta Overthrow the Nandas –

Having driven away the greeks beyond the Indus Chandragupta collected a

strong force to thy in the task was paravtoaxa who has some time been identified

with Porus. But definite detils of conquest of Magadha by Chandragupta have not

been served. According to all accounts, pouranic, Buddhist or Jain agree that

Chandragupta was able to root ut the Nandas army completely but he Brahminical

tradition regard Koutaliya rather than Chandragupta. As the chief actor in the

drama Mudrarakshsa, the figure of Chandragupta is almost lost into shade by the

brilliant and masterful personality of Chanakya we may hold that the astute

diplomacy of Chanakya played no less prominent part in the bravery and military

skills of Chandragupta who besieged Pataliputra and killed Dhan Nanda and the

Nanda empire all into his hands. Historians have placed the date of Chandragupta

accession t the throne of Magadha and beginning of Magadha and Mauryan

Sovereignty as 322 – 321 BC.

Preparing to invade Pataliputra Maurya came up with a strategy. A battle

was announced an the Magdhan army was drawn from the city to a distant battle

field to engage with Maurya forces. Mayurya genral and spices meanwhile bribed

the corrupt general of Nanda. He also managed to create an atmosphere of civil

war in the kingdom which calminated in the death of the heir to the death of the

heir of the throne Chanakya managed to win over poplar sentiment. Ultimately

Nanda resigned handing power to Chandragupta, and went into exile and was

never heard of again. Chanakya contacted the prime minister Rakhsas and made

understand that his loyalty was to Magadha not to the Nanda dynasty.
Insistingthat choosing to resist could start a war that wouldseverly effect Magadha

and detroy the city Rakhsa accepted Chanakya reasoning and Chandragupta

Maurya was legitimately installed as the new king of Magadha.

Bindusar Maurya –

Bindusar was the son of the first Mauryan empire Chandragupta Mayurya and his

queen Durdhara. During his reign the empire expanded south wordly. According

to the Rajavalikatha a jain work. The original name of this emperor was

simhasena according to the legend mentioned in the jain text Chandragupta’s guru

and advisor Chanakya used to feed to build his immunity against possible

assassination attempts by his enemies. One day Chandragupta not known about

the poison shared his food with his pregnant wife. Who was 7 day away from

delivery. The queen collapsed and dired within few minutes chanakya entered the

room at they very moment she collapsed and in order to save the child in the

womb, he immediately cut open the dead queen’s belly and took the body out. By

that time a drop of poison had already reached the day baby and touched its head,

due to which the child got a permanent bluish spot (a. bindu) on his forehead thus

the newborn was named bindusar.

Bindusar just 22 years old inherited a large empire that consisted of what is now

Northern central and western parts of India along parts of Afganistan Bidusar

extended this empire to the sourthern parts of India. As far what is now known as

Karnataka he brought sixteen states under the Mauryan empire and thus conquried

almost all of the India peninsula (he is adi to have conquered the land between the
two seas the peninsular reign between the bay of Bengal and the Arabian sea)

apart from these southern states. Kalinga was the only kingdom in empire it was

later conquered by his son Ashoka. Who served as the victory of Ujjain during

his father’s reign. Bindusar life has not been documented as well as that of his

father Chandragupta jor of his son Ashoka. Chanakya continued to serve as Prime

minister during his reign. According to the medieval Tibetan scholar tranatha.

Klho visited India chanakya helped Bindusara to destroy the sixteen kingdom and

thus to become absolute mater of the territory between the eastern and western

ocean.

During his rule the citizen of taxila xxxxxxxxx twice the reason for the first revolt

was the Mal administration of Susima his eldest son. The reason for the second

revolt is unkown. But Bindusar could not suppress it in his lifetime. It was

crushed by Ashoka after bindusar death. It was crushed by Ashcoka after bindusar

death. Bindusar died in 272 BC (Some records say 268 BCE) and was succeded

by his son Ashoka.

ASHOKA –

As a young prince AShoka 272-232 BC was the brilliant commander who crushed

revolts in Ujjain and Taxhshila. He was a great conquer, people matter

administrator reformer moralist and a preacher. At the apex of his victorious

military xxxxx he gave up war and proclaimed the ideal of peace and non

violence.
The reign of Ashoka form the brightest of the history of India. The ruler himself

takes xxxxxxx early among the master minds of the xxxxxx, and xxxxx his

leadership India came to occup the foremost place amoing the civilized nations of

the time. The year 273 BC in which Ashoka ascended the Magadhan throne make

the beginning of a new opoch of Indias history. He left on imperishable mark on

India’s history.

The brightest chapter of human history was the life and achievements of

AShoka whose reign is regarded as one of the brightest interludes in the troubled

history of mankind. Ashoka the philosopher king of India was great as a king and

great still as a man, because he was not as great a warrior diplomat or stateman.

AS he was a philanthropist. The ideal of kingship that he laid down also novel in

as much as considered all his subject as his children. He was the very

embodiment of a king and sage a Rajarishi a Philosopher king.

The birth and early life of Ashoka we hear very little from tradition.

During the reign of his father there were a revolt in the province of tAxila and he

successfully suppressed the rebellion after the death of his father, Ashoka became

king in 273 BC. Bindusar fell il and was near his end Ashoka went over

Pushpapura (patliputra) and took charge of the administration of the empire. The

formal coronation took place in 269 BC.

Kalinga War –
The earliest event of AShokas reign that we find recorded his inscriptions is the

conquest of Kalinga (a part of xxxxx Kalinga usually denoted the long stretch

between the river Suvarnarekha and Godavari, but it exact limits in the days.

Ashoka cannot be determined. There is no doubt that it was powerful and popular

xxxxxxxxxxxxx state. It was in 261 BC in the Twelfth year of his reign. Ashoka

declare war against Kalinga war there were some plausible causes for the invasion

of Kalinga.

CAUSES –

1. Ashoka wanted to undertake the conquest of Kalinga to xxxx of his

empire.

2. The existence of Kalinga as powerful and independent kingdom was

certainly a menance to Ashoka’s empire obviously a powerful neighbour

with a large army was constance cause of anxity to the mauryan empire.

3. Achoka like his grandfather believed in conquest imperialism.

4. Kalinga had been hostile to magadha. It had helped the cholas and

pandyas of for South against Bindusar Kalinga pose a threat to magadha.

5. In the Words of A.K. Busham conquest of Kaling made to supplement

depleted treasury resources of the mauryas.

Ashoka took a big army and invaded Kalinga in 261 BC there ensure a horrible war

between the armies of the two kingdom Rock no XII built by Aschoka provided a vivid

description of the horrors of the war the death of loving soldiers was remarkable. The

destruction caused by the war filled the king with remorse. Son after the victory of
Kalinga, it becames a part of mauryanemire. Toshali or modern Dhauli near bhubanesar

became the headquarter of Kalinga. A prince of the royal blood was posted as the viceroy

at Toshali in these edits AShoka makes his famous declaration “All men are my children”

and charges his officer to see that justice is done to the people.

Edicts of Ashoka –

The Edicts of Ashoka set in stone are found throughout the subcontinent ranging from as

far as west as Afgahanistan and as far south as Andhra (Vellor District) Ashoka Edicts

state his policies and accomplishment although predominantly written in prakrit two of

them were written in greeks. Kambojas and Gandharas as people region of his empire.

They greek rulsers in the west as far as the Mediterranean. The edicts precisely name

each of the rulers of Hellenic walld at the time scuh as Amtiyoko (Antiochus) Talumaya

(Ptoten/Amtikini (Antigones) Maka (Mayas) and Alikasudaro (Alexander) as recipients

of Ashokas proselytism.

In the first pillar edict, Ashoka says, for this is my principles to protect although

Dharmma, to administer Affairs according to Dhamma to guard the empire with

Dhamma. Here he shows that the ideal king ought the rule according to Dhamma so the

whoel policy of Dhamma is the result of his ideal of kingship.

The Mauryan Administration System –

The Mauryan administration system was efficient and maonarchical the king of the

mauryan government was the head of the mauryan empire administration. The Mauryan

empire had the privilege of having successful administration such as Chandragupta


Maurya, Bindusar Mayura and Ashoka the great. The administration of the mauryan

empire was decentralized and the administration power were divided into convenient

administrative unit. Through the unit were administrated on common system they were

under a rigid central control,

MAYURYAN CENTRALIZED ADMINISTRATION –

The administration of mauryan dynasty was controlled by the king. The king was

supreme and sovereign authority of the mauryan empire administration. He had the

supreme executive legislative and judicial power and functions in the government. As the

head of the executive, the mauryan king maintained social order by punishing the guilty.

He was responsible for the safety and security of his kingdom. It was his duty to protect

the life and property of his subject. He was to collect report from the spices. He had to

plan different campaigns and movements. He laid down the general lines of polices to be

followed by his subordinate officials. He appointed ministers and other officer of the

royal administration.

The Mauryan king was the head of the judicial department. It was his duty to ensure the

justice to the people and redress their grievance the mauryan empire was vast and this

vastness debarred the king from personally disposing of all the cases. But he was the final

court of appeal and issued ready judgment. The mauryan kings remained whole day int

eh court to hear appeals from the people and in this cause he even never cared for these

personal amenities. King Ashoka made many reform in the judicial system of the

Mauryan empire.
The king had the sovereign power of law making and also the power and right ot

supercede usage and equality.

In addition to all these the king was the supreme commander of the army and head of the

military administration of mauryan empire. The king was also the ultimate authority of

the bureaucracy. The king als controlled the Mauryan empire revenue system, It is true

thathte Mauryan kng enjoyed huge poer. But still there were several limits upon the royal

authority. We can summarize these limitaionis in the following manner –

o Firstly, Mauryan empire before Ashoka was essentially a Hindu state.

Accordingly to the Hindu concept, the supreme sovereign of the state was

Dharma or Law and the king was merely its guardian.

o Secondly, the Mauryan king never dared to defy the ancient laws and usage.

o Thirdly, the king was aided and advised by a mantra parishad in ordinary times he

could ignore th adivse of his minister but in times of emergency it was obligatory

on him to hear the individual and collective advice of his minsters.

o Fourthly, the Brahmins had great influence over the king and even the king and

even the later dared not to disobey them instead he always had to look.

This is so far the power and position of the king is concerned but he called not run

this vast empire alone. So he had to depend on various officials and ministers. The

Mauryan king had to depend on the council of ministers for the success of the

mauryan administration. The council of minister of mauryan empire were known as

the mantra parishad.

For efficient central administration of Mauryan governments there was an

efficient and well organized hierarchy of bureaucrats who filled the central executive,
judicial and revenue officers. The functionaries of the Mauryan empire

administration system were conducted by several departments, each of which was

headed by a superintendent (ADhyaksha) in order to conduct the smooth functioning

of the deparment the adhyaksha was assisted by a band of clerks, accountants and

spies etc., possible the Mauryan central government had not more than 30

superintendents or Adhyaksha.

In addition to these posts of superintendent there were two other post fo high

officials in Mauryan administrative system – The “Samaharta: and the “Sannidharta”.

The Samharta was the collector general of revenue for the whole of the Mauryan

Empire. Probably the post of Sannidhata was meant for the officer-in-charge of the

treasury and store. There were also other officers like army minister chief priest,

governor of forts etc.

PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION –

For the Mauryan Provincial administration the entire empire was divided into two

parts such as –

o The Kingdom under the direct rule of the king and

o The Ussal states.

The Mauryan territory that was direct ruled by the king was divided into a number of

province of Janapadas. Ashoka had at least five provinces whose capital were Taxila,

Ujjain, Tosali, Suvarnagiri and Pataliputra. Each provinces was sub-divided into number

of district and each district was again sub-divided into number units.
However, in addition to these centrally ruled Mauryan territories, there were of Vassal

states. They enjoyed a great deal of autonomy. The Mauryan provincial administration

was similar to that of the central administration, the Mauryan emperor directly ruled by

the provincial governors. The provincial governors were responsible for the day to day

administration of the provinces. They were expected to consult important matter with the

central administration. There were also the district officers reporters, clearks, etc. who

helped provincial administration, in the provincial administration the village was at the

lowest unit.

REVENUE SYSTEM –

Kautilya, the greatest political thinker of the ancient India laid greater stress on the

treasury as the smooth and successful functioning of the government depends on finance.

The main source of Mauryan revenue were taxation and rent, the land revenue was the

main source of revenue collection. Though theoretically the rate of and revenue was 1/6

of the total produce, yet in reality much higher proportion was charged varying with the

economics, from the writing of the Greek writers we came to now that the whole of India

was the property of the King and no private land nor were they permitted to keep any

land of their own.

In addition to land revenue, there were other sources of revenue of the state. These

included excise duty, forest taxes, water taxes, mines coinage etc. much of the state

revenue was expended on paying the army, the officials of royal government, on charities

and of different public works like irrigation project, road construction etc.
MAURYAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM –

As regards the judicial system, the king was the head of the judiciary and he himself was

the judge. He was the highest court of Appeal and personally listened to appeals from the

people. However, since the Mauryan empire was hudge it was not possible for the king

to solve each and every case, so he appointed many judges subordinate to him to hear the

cases.

Ordinary petty cases were generally adjudicated by the village headman. However,

during Ashoka’s time many reforms were made in the judicial system. Granting of

pardon etc.was introduced from that time.

MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM –

There were the municipal boards. The Greek writer Megathenes had given us an account

how the city of Pataliputra was administered. The Municipal board was a board of 30

members divided into six commites. Each of these committees had five members to

manage the administration of the city.

The six committees had the following duties respectively. They were industrial arts to

take care of the foreigners, to register the birth and death of the citizens of Pataliputra to

took after trade and commerce, to supervise different manufacture and to collect excise

duties and customs duties.

MILITARY ADMINISTRATION –
It is also learnt that the war office of Mauryans were managed by a Board of 30 memebrs

they were also divided into six committees each of the committees having five members

to look after –

 Navy

 Transport and Supply9

 Infantry

 Cavalry

 The War chariots and of

 War Elephants.

MAURYAN ADMINISTRATION OF ASHOKA THE GREAT –

King Ashoka also known as Ashoka the great, introduced innovations and reforms in the

mauryan empire administration system. Ashoka improved every sphere of

administration, executive, legislative and judiciary. He had reformed many aspects of the

provincial xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx administration. He appointed many new officers in

Mauryan government to contribute the tasks of public welfare. In introducing these

reforms he was guided by humanitarian and paternal sentiments.

Ashoka appointed a special class of offiers known as the Dhamma Maha Matras. The

Dhamma Mahamatras were appointed by him to look after the material and spiritual well

being of the people. He introduced these officers to preach the principle of Dharma.

But the most outstanding reforms of Mauryan Administration during the rule of AShoka

was in the realm of judiciary. The principle of uniformity of penalty and uniformity of

judicial procedure wwere also enforced in Maurya government. Those officer were
Rajuka, Predesika, Yukta, Prativadaka, Lipikar, Duta, Ayukta, Etc. the main duties of the

Rajuka was to look after the Janapedas. To measure and keep financial accounts. The

Braja Bhumik managed works of public utility. The pressure kept liaison between the

Gopas were the head of four or ten villages. The Villages head was called Gramika in the

city administration he introduced an officer of the designation of Nagara Vyavaharika.

Ashoka introduced a homogenous system of administration in all the provinces of his

empire. He also introduced common laws to promote unity.

LOCAL ADMINISTRATION –

The province were divided into divison. The pradeshtri or Divisional commissioneir was

in charge of the administration of the divisionis. The divisions were sub-divided into

Aharas or Visayas District. The head of the district administration was Sthanika. He was

assisted by a class of officer called Gopa. All of them were responsible of Samaharata

the Minister of Interior.

The Village constituted the smaller administrative unit. The Gramani was the officer in

Charge of village administration. Gnerally he was elected by the village and he was

assisted by the village elders Grama Vriddhas.

PUBLIC WORKS –

The Mauryan state took a peep interest in public works. Network of road was spread

over the country and with of main and side road was fixed. Road signs were installed at

regular interval. The capital city Pataliputra was connected with distant parts of the

empire by Roads. Inns were built all along the roads for the comfort of travelers.
Educationi and health care not neglected either, Educational institutions were set up at

government expenses. Hospital equipped with adequate medicines were established in

the town. Sanitary regulation were made to keep the town clean and healthy. Canals,

Lakes, and Tanks were constructed to facilitate irrigation of agriculture land.

SECRETARIAT –

There was a highly organized secretariate for the conduct of state business. There were

several department and each was under an ADhyaksha or Superintendent. Kautilya

mentions about 30 departments which deal with all the activities of a modern government

such as education, medical relief, revenue, irrigation, metals, mine, etc. the

superintendent of each department was assisted by accountants, stock taker, spies etc.
CONCLUSION :

The Mauryan Empire was founded by king Chandragupta. He reign was one of the most

successful one. He was followed by his son Bindusar. Bindusar was known to have

conquered two seas and was quite well known among the Greek.

After Bindusar his son fought for the throne for quite a long time and finally Ashoka the

great was successful. Ashoka was known leader but later his attitude became a hindrance

and the Mauryan Empire lost its position after Ashoka’s decline.

(2)

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