Brief History‎ > ‎Medieval Period‎ > ‎

maurya, yuyana, shung

327 BC - greek
300 - 185 BC -maurya 250 - 130 BC - yuyan greek
185 BC - 50 AD - shung
130 BC - 100 AD - shaka 78 - 144 AD - kushan
40 BC - 220 AD - satvahan 250 - 500 AD - vatakas 300 - 800 AD - pallava and pandya

Maurya Dynasty

Chandragupta and Chanakya(Kautilya), together destroyed the Nanda rulers of Magadha and established the Mauryan empire. On Chanakya's advise, Chandragupta defeated Selucus Nicator (Macedonian ruler of territories captured by Alexander the Great.) and seized Northwestern territory from him. Chandragupta later married Nicator's daughter. After ruling for about 40 years, Chandragupta coronated his son Bindusar, and retired to live as a Jain monk. Bindusar annexed Deccan to his empire. After him, his son Ashoka became the king of the vast Mauryan Empire.

Ashoka extended the boundaries of the empire he inherited. The Kalinga War, fought by him, claimed lives of many soldiers. It deeply distressed Ashoka. He sought peace in Buddha's teachings of non-violence and love. Under his reign Buddhism spread to Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, Central Asia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Tibet.

Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador, describes the very well governed Mauryan administration, as autocracy at the top and democracy at the city level. Kautilya's (Chalukya) treatise Arthashastra is a major work from this period.

Ashoka built many Buddhist Stupas and pillars throughout his empire. The wheel in India's flag and national emblem, are symbols from Ashokas's Stupas. Before 200BC, India was first to built a dome shaped roof.

Indo-Greek Rulers: 250 BC - 130 BC

After death of Alexander in 323 BC, his general, Selucus Nicator, proclaimed himself King. After the Mauryan Empire grew weak (after Ashoka's death and more over after the Shunga coup), the Indo-Greek kings annexed Mauryan territories, and ruled over Afghanistan, Sindh and Punjab.

Of these Greek kings, most famous is Menander (160-145 BC). He is known in the Hindu Puranas as Milinda. He ruled from Sialkot. Menander earned fame as a great ruler and a philosopher in India and the Greek world too.

About 40 Greek kings ruled this area until they were overrun by Scythian invaders in 130BC and then by the Kushans.

Shunga Dynasty: 185BC - 50AD

The last Mauryan king Brithadratha was killed by his commander-in-chief Pushyamitra Sunga in 185 BC. The stronghold of Buddhism during Mauryan rule invited this change. Shungas patronised Hinduism.

Pushyamitra Sunga a brahamin from Ujjayini, became the ruler of the Magadha and neighbouring territories. The north-western regions comprising Rajputana, Malwa, Punjab, Afghanistan and Baluchastan, passed into the hands of Greek rulers.

He was succeeded by son Agnimitra. Agnimitra is the hero of Malavikagnimitra, a famous drama by Kalidasa. After Agnimitra, the power of the Sungas gradually weakened.

Kanvas ruled the Magadha area, for @50 years, after the Shunga power weakened