Author: Irfan Habib
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-89487-83-3
Mauryan India, as part of the People’s History of India series, covers the period from about 350 BC to about 185BC, thereby encompassing the invasion of Alexander (327-325 BC ) and the history of the Mauryan Empire (c 324-185 BC). There is a detailed account of the inscriptions of Ashoka and their significance. A picture of the economy, society and culture of the time follows, constructed out of the varied sources available, epigraphic, textual and archaeological.
An effort is made throughout to keep the reader abreast of recent discoveries, and to share with him the reasons for all conclusions and inferences. There are special notes on Mauryan chronology, the date of the Arthashastra, the science of epigraphy, and the dialects of Ashokan Prakrit. As many as fifteen excerpts from Indian and Greek sources, including ten full edicts of Ashoka, are provided. There are nine maps (five of them exceptionally detailed) and twenty illustrations (black-and-white).
The volume is addressed to both the general reader and the student, and attempts to cover all topics that conventional textbooks include besides much other material that a people’s history needs to be concerned with, such as economic life, technology, social structure, gender relations, modes of exploitation, language, varied aspects of culture, etc. It is hoped that it will be considered a readable addition to what has so far been written on the Mauryan Empire.
Mauryan India has been inadvertently assigned Number 4 in the People’s History of India series, it being the fourth part to appear in print. The number does not, however, accord with its place in the plan of the series, where it is preceded by The Age of the Buddha, which is still to be published.
It has been decided henceforth to have the parts numbered in accordance with the order of sequence followed in our plan, and to ignore the actual order of publication. The Age of the Buddha, when published, will therefore, be numbered 3A.
ALEXANDER’S INVASION AND THE FORMATION OF THE MAURYAN EMPIRE
People of Northwestern India at the Time of Alexander’s Invasion
The Nandas and the Rise of Chandragupta Maurya
The Reign of Chandragupta Maurya (c 322-298 BC)
Bindusara and the Early Years of Ashoka (to c 262 BC)
Administrative Apparatus of the Mauryan Empire
ASHOKA AND THE LATER YEARS OF THE MAURYAN EMPIRE
The Dhamma of Ashoka
The Reign of Ashoka
Ashoka’s Successors and the End of the Mauryan Empire
South India and Sri Lanka
ECONOMY, SOCIETY AND CULTURE
Writing, Languages, Learning, Literature
Art and Architecture