Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 12 History Notes Chapter 3 Foreign Invasions and Assimilation
Later Mauryan Period:
- Period from decline of the Maurya empire to the rise of the Gupta empire is called later Mauryan period. .
- Later Mauryan period is the period which tells us the history of the period from decline of the Maurya empire to the rise of the Gupta empire. This was the period when Mauryans’ centralized power was disintegrating and foreign dynasties were attacking India regularly. On the other hand, several Indian dynasties were struggling for their existence.
- There were two categories of rulers who ruled India during the later Mauryan period foreign rulers, and Indian rulers.
- Foreign rulers: The main foreign rulers were Greeks (Indo-Greek), Shakas, Kushana, Huna etc.
- Indian rulers: Main Indian rulers were: Shunga dynasty, Satvahana, Chedi dynasty Kandva dynasty etc.
Sources of information of the later Mauryan Period are:
Gargi Samhita, Mahabhashya, Divyavdan, Malvikagnimitram of Kalidas, Harshacharita of Banabhatta, Rajatarangini of Kalhad, Buddhacharita of Ashvaghosh, Zeroism of Nagarjuna, relativity and transitional formula, Charak Samhita, Documents of Huen Tsang (Chinese traveller) and Milindpant etc.
Greek Attacks and Indian Political Condition:
- In 327 BC, Alexander arrived in India. He won the area of Afghanistan, Sisan and entered India.
- Alexander invaded interior India after winning upon small kingdoms.
- After living for 19 months in India, Alexander went back from the way to Jhelum.
- After coming back, Alexander went at the confluence of Raavi and Chenab. There he fought with Shiliyo and Agreshranniyo.
- Alexander fought with Malvos and Shudras and he got badly wounded.
- Alexander reached at Sindhu where he battled with Meseskenvs, Sumleose and Oxycanus.
- In 325 BC, Alexander left India at the age of 32 years , and died in 323 BC at Iran’s Sausa Nagar.
- After Alexander’s death, his commander-in-chief Anteyyocus III became his heir.
- In 306 BC, Anteyyocus III attacked the ‘Hindukush’ king Subhagsen. Subhagsen bad to surrender. This was the era which was the origin of Bactrian Greek because at that time Northern Iran and Afghanistan were known as Bactria and Parthiya.
- At last Indian society got mixed with Greek culture and became Indo-Greek.
- Menander was the most prominent Greek ruler among others such as Heleolese, and Apolozetum.
- Menander won more countries than Alexander.
- According to Milindpanha, Menander became the follower of Buddhism.
- Bactrian Greeks ruled here for approximately two centuries. It affected the Indian culture and society. Greek coins, were more comprehensive than Indian currency because during that period, neither name nor date was mentioned on the Indian currency while Greek coins inscribed the king’s name, rank and date.
- In Indo-Greek period astronomy, religion and architecture got developed, along with waterways and land way trade.
- During this period, there was a huge demand of elephant tusks, jewels, spices and good variety of cloth.
- In contemporary coins, there were 30 Indo-Greeks rulers’ names inscribed on them.
- The Greeks also adopted many religious concepts and ideals of Indian civilization.
- During this period, Kharosti and Brahmi script were used.
Mainly they were natives of Middle Asia. They lived in Seethiya. That’s why they were known as Sethians.
- Sethians established five branches in India:
- whose capital was Nasik. This period was the beginning of Vikram Era in 57 BC whose supposed founder and king of Ujjain was Vikramaditya.
- There was a tradition of rank of ‘Vikramaditya’.
- The most important branch was Nasik or Ujjain.
- Famous Shaka ruler Nahapana defeated Satvahanas and established his control over a vast empire.
- In 124 BC, Gautamiputra Satkami killed Nahapana. After his death, Ujjain Shakas were ruined.
Shaka Ruler Rudramana-I:
- Rudradaman ruled from 130 tol50 BC. He was a prominent ruler of Ujjain.
- Junagarh inscription is the largest Sanskrit inscription.
- Skandagupta built the Sudarshan lake in Gimar for public welfare.
- During Asoka’s reign, many canals were built for irrigation.
- Rudradaman won the area of Aakar, Avanti, Anup, Trivrath, Kathiawad, Saurashtra Maru, Kachh, Sindhu, Eastern part, Nishadh, Konkan, Aravalli hills.
- Kanishka was a prominent and liberal king. He became king in 78 BC.
- Kanishka ruled over many kingdoms as—Parthiya, Patliputra, Kashmir, Ujjain, Middle Asia. He attacked on China and defeated Chinese king.
- Kanishka established Peshawar as the capital that was the centre of his reign which was spread over Central Asia.
- Kanishka was protector of Buddhism. Before this, he believed in Iranian, Greek and Hindu mythology. On his coins, he marked the images of Iran’s god Mihir, Agni, Ahurmjdha, Greek gods Heleons, Hereclese, and the Hindu gods such as Surya, Chandra, Shiva etc. were included.
- In the fourth council of Buddhism held in Kashmir, the entire Buddha literature was checked thoroughly. Its acknowledgement is known as ‘Maha Vibhash’ or ‘Buddhist religion dictionary’.
- In this fourth Buddhist Council, Buddhism was divided into two branches—Hinayana and Mahayana. Hinayana Buddhists used Pali language and Mahayana Buddhists used Sanskrit language.
- Mahayana included worship of ‘Buddha’ and principles of Buddha.
- Nagaijuna was the originator of zerosim and propounder of relativity. He wrote ‘Madhyamika Sutra’. He is known as ‘Indian Einstein’.
- Kanishka was a great builder. His main monument designs are found in Peshawar, Mathura, Kanishkpur and Taxila. Mathura became the centre of all skills and art. At present only a statue .without head of Kanishka is present in Mathura museum.
- Decline of Kushan dynasty took place because of Kanishka’s belligerent nature.
Most of the historians recall that Hunas were the caste of Mongols in Central Asia. They robbed the wealth of India. That’s why many historians called them ‘Banjaras’ (nomads) and ‘Gurjars’. The origin of Hunas was mainly from ‘Kokacious’.
Huna King Torman:
Torman was the greatest Huna king.
Decline of Hunas by Yashovarman:
- Hunas were eliminated by Yashovarman and Balditya in 528 BC. Hunas were certainly defeated by Yashovarman but they didn’t go back to their original place in Central Asia. Rather they assimilated Hindu religion and culture in themselves and became part of it and got merged into it.
- It is believed that Hunas belonged to ‘Shaiva’ religion. They gave slogan ‘Har-Har Mahadev’.
Important dates and the events given in the chapter:
|327 BC||Alexander arrived in India.|
|325 BC||Alexander left India.|
|323 BC||Alexander died.|
|306 BC||Atreyyocus attacked on the ‘Hindukush’ king Subhagsen.|
|166 BC||King Atiocus arranged an exhibition of different Indian things such as spices and the things made of ivory etc. in Greece.|
|150 CE||Rudradaman issued Junagarh inscription.|
|130 CE-150 CE||The reign of Shaka ruler Rudradaman I.|
|124 BC||Gautamiputra Satkami killed Nahapana.|
|78 BC||Kanshika became the king.|
|450 CE||Hunas invaded India.|
|528 CE||Hunas were eliminated by Yashovarman and Balditya.|
- Menandar — Most prominent Greek ruler.
- Sethians — These were mainly the citizens of Middle Asia. They lived in Sethia, so they were called Sethians.
- Nahapana — Famous Shaka ruler.
- Hinayana — The Oldest branch of Buddhism.
- Mahayana — A branch of Buddhism.
- Mahavibhash — Buddhist religious dictionary.
- Nagarjuna — Propounder of zeroism and theory of relativity, known as Indian Einstein.
- Madhyamika Sutra—Written by Nagarujna.