13 terms

Topic 3A

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Megasthenes
Ambassador of the hellenistic Seleucid king of 'Asia' to the court of Chandragupta Maurya ca BCE; wrote an account of Maury state and society that has considerable merit, but which also raises problems; describes Maurya society in terms that reflects both varna and jati
Seleucids
dynasty ruling Asia, from he Mediterranean to the Indus river in India, after Alecander the Great's death
Alexander the Great
356-323 BCE; King of Macedonia, norther Greece, a 'world conqueror' who conquered the ancient Persian empire even as far as north-west India (in eastern Iran and north-west India 327-323 BCE)
Hellenistic Kingdoms
those successor states to Alexander's conquest empire; hellenism aslo refers to a king of colonial Greek rule and international Greek culture of the period between Alexander and the late 1st c. and the dominance of Rome
Maurya dynasty
first great imperial dynasty in Indian history; originated in Magadha, modern Bihar in the north-eastern Gangetic plain; only the first three rulers of significance; seems to have quickly declined after the great emperor Ashoka
Chandragupta Maurya
r. ca. 322-373 founder of th eMaurya dynasty; ruled from Pataliputra (modern day patna); received the Seleucid ambassador of Megasthenes
Ashoka
r.ca. 273-232 BCE; grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and son of Bindusara; teh great Maurya ruler; converted to Buddhism because of his remorse over killing in his alinga war of imperial conquest; promoted in many inscriptions his ideas of dharma
Ashoka's Dharma
(dhama in his Prakrit inscriptions) more about personal and social morality than either the larger brahmanic concept of law; or the specific Buddhist sense of the Buddha's teachings: metaphysics
Brahmi
script used in most of Ashoka's inscriptions; seems to have been created for mauryan administration during ashoka's reign or shortly before; the root script for all modern Indic alphabets (inc. burmese + thai)
Pillar edicts
Ashoka's inscriptions on tall monumental pillars, symbolic of his reign and empire; mostly concerning his Buddhism , generally located in north India and the homeland of the Buddha
rock edict
ashoka's inscriptions on largre rock faces; his policy of dharma and how to implement it, found in Ashoka's empire- especially far south
Kautilya
supposed minister to Chandragupta Maurya; traditionally thought to have written the Atha-shastra as a guide to statecraft for his king
Atha-shastra
'treatise on power'; Kautilya's paranoid/pragmatic analysis of how a king should exercise power; contains a general theory of kingship, state to state relations and war; proposes a greatly bureaucratic internal state administration freaturing a kind of secret police and the employment of informers and spies. more a theoretical treatise than a practical handbook of rule; but maybe provides some balance to the kind proclamations of Ashoka