The Earliest Asian Empires

B mauryan empire 1 chandragupta maurya 322 298 bce

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B. Mauryan Empire 1. Chandragupta Maurya : 322-298 BCE Original ruler Extent beyond the border of present day India Kaulilya (Chanakya), author of Arthasastra (Elements of Indian Statecraft) ; minister for Chandragupta Maurya Very Machiavellian kind of text Megasthenes (Greek ambassador who described Pataliputra (Patna), the Mauryan capital 2. Ashoka : 272-232 BCE Showed clip from The Story of India with Michael Wood , Part 2, “The Power of Ideas” (available in Newman Library, DVD 2713) C. End of Mauryan Empire to Gupta Empire (4 th -5 th centuries CE) Short-lived Collapsed around 125 BCE 1. Era characterized by political decentralization; invasions of newcomers from northwest o Such as the Indo-Greak o Bring new cultural influence to India 2. Oral literature becomes recorded and standardized in Sanskrit (e.g., law books and epics: Mahabharata and Ramayana ,) o The 1 st one being the one from Ashoka 3. Classical culture exemplified in Sanskrit poetry and drama; earliest extant religious architecture and sculpture 4. Buddhism at peak and spreads to other parts of Asia; evolution of classical Hindusim o Journey to the West
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