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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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The Significance of Maurya Rule

The Significance of Maurya Rule

(p.179) 19 The Significance of Maurya Rule
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

Ashoka proclaimed dharma and appointed officials to infuse and impose its essentials throughout India. An assertion of royal absolutism was a natural culmination of the policy of military conquest adopted by the princes of Magadha. According to the Arthashastra of Kautilya, a striking social development of the Maurya period was the employment of slaves in agricultural operations. Kautilya appoints many taxes which were collected from peasants, artisans, and traders. The Mauryas made a remarkable contribution to art and architecture, and introduced stone masonry on a wide scale. The Maurya period saw a rapid growth of material culture in the Gangetic plains. The Brahmanical reaction, financial crisis, oppressive rule, new knowledge in the outlying areas, and the neglect of the North-West frontier and the Great Wall of China were the several causes that appear to have brought about the decline and fall of the Maurya Empire.

Keywords:   Ashoka, Maurya period, Kautilya, material culture, Brahmanical reaction, finanicial crisis, North-West frontier

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