How do Historians come to know about Maurya period? - History

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Answer in Brief

How do Historians come to know about Maurya period? 

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Solution

Historical sources from the Mauryan period can be divided into two categories. The first is literary, while the second is archaeological. Among the literary sources are the Arthasastra of Kautilya, Mudra Rakshasa of Visakha Datta, Indica of Megasthenes, Buddhist literature, and Puranas. Among the archaeological sources are Ashokan edicts, inscriptions, and tangible artefacts like punch-marked silver and copper coins.

  1. Literary Sources:
    1. The Arthasastra is a book by Chanakya (known as Kautilya) that discusses politics, administration, diplomacy, and economics. It sheds light on the political and economic environment of the period.
    2. During the Gupta era, Visakha Datta wrote the book Mudra Rakshasa. The book also sheds light on socioeconomic realities by describing Chandragupta Maurya's battle against Nandas with Chanakya's assistance.
    3. According to Indica, Megasthenese, a Selecus Nikator representative, it arrived at Chandragupta Maurya's court. It demonstrates the governance of the Mauryan Empire, the seven caste system, and Inia's absence of slavery.
    4. Buddhist literature: The Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa illuminate Ashoka's role in bringing Buddhism to Sri Lanka. In contrast, Buddhist works like the Jatakas shed light on the socioeconomic conditions of the Mauryan period.
  1. Archaeological Sources:
    1. Ashokan Edicts: You can find Ashokan Edicts on rocks, pillars, and caves in the Indian Subcontinent. James Princep was able to read these edicts in the year 1838 AD.
    2. Material Remains: Remains from the Mauryan era include pottery, punch-marked silver and copper coins, and NBPW (Northern Black Polished Ware).
Concept: An Early Empire
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2022-2023 (March) Outside Delhi Set 1
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