The Mauryan Empire is regarded as the first and one of the greatest empires in India. It is called an empire because it annexed and brought several smaller states under its control. Chandragupta Maurya founded the Mauryan Empire in the 4th century BC after overthrowing the Nandas from Magadha.
- He was the founder of the Mauryan Empire. He defeated the Nandas of Magadha with the help and assistance of Kautilya.
- Chandra Gupta Maurya founded the empire after the Greeks under Alexander attacked India. After the Greeks retreated to their land, he first occupied Punjab and later attacked and annexed Magadha. He made Patliputra his capital.
- Seleucus, one of the army commanders of Alexander, again attacked India in 306 BC. Chandragupta Maurya defeated him and signed a treaty with Seleucus according to which he received the territories of Kabul, Kandahar, Heart and Baluchistan. He also married Seleucus’s daughter, Helena.
- According to Jain literature, Chandra Gupta renounced the world after ruling for 24 years. Silver coin of Seleucus Nikator, who fought the battle with Chandra Gupta Maurya in 305 BC.
- Bindusara succeeded Chandra Gupta Maurya. He ruled up to 273 BC. He is regarded as the ‘slayer of foes’ as he conquered many parts of South India after defeating sixteen rulers.
- Arthashastra written by Kautilya forms one of the most important sources of the history of the Mauryan period. Kautilya or Chanakya was the chief advisor of Chandragupta Maurya. The book contains important information on politics, rules in diplomacy, principles of administration, and other state matters.
- Indika was written by Megasthenes who was the Greek ambassador at the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He was sent to Chandragupta’s court by Seleucus, a Greek ruler. Megasthenes lived in the court of Chandragupta for about five years. He observed the societal norms, culture, and people in the country. His work on India was later referred to by scholars such as Arrian, Strabo, and Diodorus.
Also, Read The Mauryan Empire