Chapter 7: POST MAURYAN PERIOD
The Mauryan Empire was divided into north and south
after Ashok's death. The north collapsed due to Bactrian invasions.
The south was curtailed as Kalinga declared independence. Satvahana
dynasty also declared independence.
The end of the Mauryan's was done by Pushpamitra
Sunga. The Sunga dynasty had to face Bactrian and Greek
invasions which captured Patliputra for some time. The Sunga
dynasts were Brahmins but they patronised Buddhist art too.
Sunga's were followed by short reign of Kanva dynasty.
Sunga kings promoted Sanskrit and Vaishnavism which reached its
pinnacle during Gupta Empire.
The Kanva dynasty ended and no record is kept of
Mauryan Empire after their end till the Gupta Empire
The Satvahana dynasty was present in Andhra
Pradesh. But it was extended to Nasik in west and Berar.
They were feudatories of the Mauryan’s but
after the decline of Mauryan’s they established an independent
kingdom for 450 years.
Gautamiputra Satkarni was greatest ruler. He
conquered Deccan province.
- Oversees trade was flourishing during this
period. Silver coins were used. Merchants were organized into
guilds to increase their activities.
- Buddhism and Brahmanism were patronized.
- Prakrit language flourished here.
Greek rulers of Bactria captured Ujjain,
Sind, Punjab and Afghanistan however they couldn’t maintain
Patliputra due to Sunga dynasty.
The Greeks embraced Buddhism. Some were influenced
by Vaishnavism too.
The Sakas or Scythians ruled over North
West and captured them from Bactrian’s. The northern satraps
ruled over Taxila and southern ruled over Maharashtra.
Saka's of Taxila were overthrown by Parthian’s.
Fig 1: Foreign Invasians
They were central Asian tribes. They displaced the
Sakas in Bactria. Their Empire extended up to Mathura in north
India. Kadaphises II and Kanishaka were famous Kushana rulers.
Kanishka: Founded the Saka era in 78 AD. Saka era starts at
22nd or 23rd March. He captured Bodh Gaya,
Patliputra, Magadha and Kashmir. His Empire extended from
Gandhar to Banaras, Kashmir to Malwa. His capital was Peshawar.
Kanishka embraced Buddhism but in his time
Mahayana school emerged.
Buddha worshipped using flowers, rituals. He
convened the fourth Buddhist council and Mahayana doctrine was
finalised. He was a patron of Mahayana.
The last dynasty to control the silk route.