A report on Maurya Empire

Territories of the Maurya Empire conceptualized as core areas or linear networks separated by large autonomous regions in the works of scholars such as: historians Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund; Burton Stein; David Ludden; and Romila Thapar; anthropologists Monica L. Smith and Stanley Tambiah; archaeologist Robin Coningham; and historical demographer Tim Dyson.
Pataliputra, capital of the Mauryas. Ruins of pillared hall at Kumrahar site.
Territories of the Maurya Empire conceptualized as core areas or linear networks separated by large autonomous regions in the works of scholars such as: historians Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund; Burton Stein; David Ludden; and Romila Thapar; anthropologists Monica L. Smith and Stanley Tambiah; archaeologist Robin Coningham; and historical demographer Tim Dyson.
The Pataliputra capital, discovered at the Bulandi Bagh site of Pataliputra, 4th–3rd c. BCE.
A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Maurya empire, period of Bindusara Maurya about 297–272 BC, workshop of Pataliputra. Obv: Symbols with a sun. Rev: Symbol. Dimensions: 14 × 11 mm. Weight: 3.4 g.
Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. c. 250 BCE.
Ashoka pillar at Vaishali.
Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edict of Ashoka (238 BCE), in Brahmi, sandstone, British Museum.
Statuettes of the Mauryan era
Maurya statuette, 2nd century BCE.
Bhadrabahu Cave, Shravanabelagola where Chandragupta is said to have died
The stupa, which contained the relics of Buddha, at the center of the Sanchi complex was originally built by the Maurya Empire, but the balustrade around it is Sunga, and the decorative gateways are from the later Satavahana period.
The Dharmarajika stupa in Taxila, modern Pakistan, is also thought to have been established by Emperor Asoka.
Mauryan architecture in the Barabar Caves. Lomas Rishi Cave. 3rd century BCE.
An early stupa, 6 meters in diameter, with fallen umbrella on side. Chakpat, near Chakdara. Probably Maurya, 3rd century BCE.
The two Yakshas, possibly 3rd century BCE, found in Pataliputra. The two Brahmi inscriptions starting with Gupta ashoka y.svgGupta ashoka khe.jpg... (Yakhe... for "Yaksha...") are paleographically of a later date, circa 2nd century CE Kushan.
Mauryan ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd Century BCE
A map showing the north western border of Maurya Empire, including its various neighboring states.
Figure of a foreigner, found in Sarnath, 3rd century BCE. This is a probable member of the West Asian Pahlava or Saka elite in the Gangetic plains during the Mauryan period.
The Kandahar Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar. Kabul Museum. (See image description page for translation.)
Hoard of mostly Mauryan coins.
Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant. 3rd century BCE.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}
Mauryan coin with arched hill symbol on reverse.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}
Mauryan Empire coin. Circa late 4th-2nd century BCE.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}
Mauryan Empire, Emperor Salisuka or later. Circa 207-194 BCE.<ref>CNG Coins {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170827130159/https://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=304898 |date=27 August 2017 }}</ref>
Remains of the Ashokan Pillar in polished stone (right of the Southern Gateway).
Remains of the shaft of the pillar of Ashoka, under a shed near the Southern Gateway.
Pillar and its inscription (the "Schism Edict") upon discovery.
The capital nowadays.<ref>Described in Marshall p.25-28 Ashoka pillar.</ref>
The distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka.<ref>Reference: "India: The Ancient Past" p.113, Burjor Avari, Routledge, {{ISBN|0-415-35615-6}}</ref>
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka.
Territories "conquered by the Dharma" according to Major Rock Edict No. 13 of Ashoka (260–218 BCE).{{sfn|Kosmin|2014|p=57}}<ref name=ME368>Thomas Mc Evilly "The shape of ancient thought", Allworth Press, New York, 2002, p.368</ref>

Geographically extensive ancient Indian Iron Age historical power in South Asia based in Magadha, having been founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE.

- Maurya Empire
Territories of the Maurya Empire conceptualized as core areas or linear networks separated by large autonomous regions in the works of scholars such as: historians Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund; Burton Stein; David Ludden; and Romila Thapar; anthropologists Monica L. Smith and Stanley Tambiah; archaeologist Robin Coningham; and historical demographer Tim Dyson.

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A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.

Ashoka

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A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.
Ashoka's Major Rock Edict at Junagadh contains inscriptions by Ashoka (fourteen of the Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but in vain. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Sanchi.
The Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka, mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name, as recipients of his teachings.
The Aramaic Inscription of Taxila probably mentions Ashoka.
The Saru Maru commemorative inscription seems to mention the presence of Ashoka in the area of Ujjain as he was still a Prince.
Kanaganahalli inscribed panel portraying Asoka with Brahmi label "King Asoka", 1st–3rd century CE.
Stupa of Sanchi. The central stupa was built during the Mauryas, and enlarged during the Sungas, but the decorative gateway is dated to the later dynasty of the Satavahanas.
Illustration of the original Mahabodhi Temple temple built by Asoka at Bodh Gaya. At the center, the Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", with its supporting columns, being the object of adoration. A Pillar of Ashoka topped by an elephant appears in the right corner. Bharhut relief, 1st century BCE.
The rediscovered Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. It was built by Ashoka to commemorate the enlightenment of the Buddha, about two hundred years before him.
Ashoka and Monk Moggaliputta-Tissa at the Third Buddhist Council. Nava Jetavana, Shravasti.
A king - most probably Ashoka - with his two queens and three attendants, in a relief at Sanchi. The king's identification with Ashoka is suggested by a similar relief at Kanaganahalli, which bears his name.
Ashoka with his queen, at Kanaganahalli near Sannati, 1st–3rd century CE. The relief bears the inscription "Rāya Asoko" (𑀭𑀸𑀬 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓𑁄, "King Ashoka") in Brahmi script. It depicts the king with his queen, two attendants bearing fly-whisks, and one attendant bearing an umbrella.
Emperor Ashoka and his Queen at the Deer Park. Sanchi relief.
The word Upāsaka (𑀉𑀧𑀸𑀲𑀓, "Buddhist lay follower", in the Brahmi script), used by Ashoka in his Minor Rock Edict No.1 to describe his affiliation to Buddhism (circa 258 BCE).
Territories "conquered by the Dhamma" according to Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka (260–218 BCE).
Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka, and location of the contemporary Greek city of Ai-Khanoum.
The Kandahar Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual inscription (in Greek and Aramaic) by King Ashoka, discovered at Kandahar (National Museum of Afghanistan).
The Minor Rock Edict of Maski mentions the author as "Devanampriya Asoka", definitively linking both names, and confirming Ashoka as the author of the famous Edicts.
A c. 1910 painting by Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951) depicting Ashoka's queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi (Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh).
The Ashokan pillar at Lumbini, Nepal, Buddha's birthplace
The Diamond throne at the Mahabodhi Temple, attributed to Ashoka
Front frieze of the Diamond throne
Mauryan ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd century BCE. British Museum
Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus, with two "flame palmettes" framing a lotus surrounded by small rosette flowers.
Caduceus symbol on a Maurya-era punch-marked coin
A punch-marked coin attributed to Ashoka<ref>{{cite book |last=Mitchiner |first=Michael |date=1978 |title=Oriental Coins & Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World 600 B.C. - A.D. 650 |publisher=Hawkins Publications |page=544 |isbn=978-0-9041731-6-1}}</ref>
A Maurya-era silver coin of 1 karshapana, possibly from Ashoka's period, workshop of Mathura. Obverse: Symbols including a sun and an animal Reverse: Symbol Dimensions: 13.92 x 11.75 mm Weight: 3.4 g.
The Lion Capital of Ashoka in Sarnath, showing its four Asiatic lions standing back to back, and symbolizing the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, supporting the Wheel of Moral law (Dharmachakra, reconstitution per Sarnath Museum notice). The lions stand on a circular abacus, decorated with dharmachakras alternating with four animals in profile: horse, bull, elephant, and lion. The architectural bell below the abacus, is a stylized upside down lotus. Sarnath Museum.

Ashoka Asoka, ; c. undefined 304 – 232 BCE), also known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Empire, son of Bindusara, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE.

Medieval stone relief at Digambara pilgrimage site Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It has been interpreted as Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya, but some disagree.

Chandragupta Maurya

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Ruler of Iron Age South Asia who expanded a geographically-extensive kingdom based in Magadha and founded the Maurya dynasty.

Ruler of Iron Age South Asia who expanded a geographically-extensive kingdom based in Magadha and founded the Maurya dynasty.

Medieval stone relief at Digambara pilgrimage site Shravanabelagola, Karnataka. It has been interpreted as Bhadrabahu and Chandragupta Maurya, but some disagree.
Statue of Shepherd Chandragupta Maurya at Parliament of India
7th-century Bhadrabahu inscription at Shravanabelagola (Sanskrit, Purvahale Kannada script). This is the oldest inscription at the site, and it mentions Bhadrabahu and Prabhacandra. Lewis Rice and Digambara Jains interpret Prabhacandra to be Chandragupta Maurya, while others such as J F Fleet, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar, and Svetambara Jains state this interpretation is wrong.
Chandragupta's guru was Chanakya, with whom he studied as a child and with whose counsel he built the Empire. This image is a 1915 artistic portrait of Chanakya.
Chandragupta had defeated the remaining Macedonian satrapies in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent by 317 BCE.
A modern statue depicting Chandragupta Maurya, Laxminarayan Temple, Delhi
Silver punch mark coin of the Maurya empire, with symbols of wheel and elephant (3rd century BCE)
1,300 years Old Shravanabelagola relief shows death of Chandragupta after taking the vow of Sallekhana. Some consider it about the legend of his arrival with Bhadrabahu.
A statue depicting Chandrgupta Maurya (right) with his spiritual mentor Acharya Bhadrabahu at Shravanabelagola.
Chandragupta Maurya having 16 auspicious dreams in Jainism
The Footprints of Chandragupta Maurya on Chandragiri Hill, where Chandragupta (the unifier of India and founder of the Maurya Dynasty) performed Sallekhana.

The Mauryan empire was a loose-knit empire.

Man on a relief, Bharhut, Shunga period.

Shunga Empire

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Ancient Indian dynasty from Magadha that controlled areas of the central and eastern Indian subcontinent from around 185 to 73 BCE.

Ancient Indian dynasty from Magadha that controlled areas of the central and eastern Indian subcontinent from around 185 to 73 BCE.

Man on a relief, Bharhut, Shunga period.
Royal family, Shunga, West Bengal 1st century BCE.
Shunga horseman, Bharhut.
Shunga period stupa at Sanchi.
East Gateway and Railings, Red Sandstone, Bharhut Stupa, 2nd century BCE. Indian Museum, Kolkata.
The Great Stupa under the Shungas. The Shungas nearly doubled the diameter of the initial stupa, encasing it in stone, and built a balustrade and a railing around it.
Extent of the Shunga Empire
Vedika pillar with "Yavana" Greek warrior. Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga Period, c. 100-80 BC. Reddish brown sandstone. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
The Yavanarajya inscription, dated to "year 116 of Yavana hegemony", probably 70 or 69 BCE, was discovered in Mathura. Mathura Museum.
The Heliodorus pillar was built in Vidisha under the Shungas, at the instigation of Heliodorus, ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas. The pillar originally supported a statue of Garuda. Established circa 100 BCE.
The Sunga territory circa 100 BCE, greatly reduced to the region of Magadha only, with many independent, petty kingdoms such as such as Mathura and Panchala
Shunga balustrade and staircase.
Shunga stonework.
Shunga vedika (railing) with inscriptions.
Deambulatory pathway.
Summit railing and umbrellas.
Elephant and Riders.
Balustrade post with Lakshmi.
Balustrade post with Yaksha.
Pillar with elephants supporting a wheel.
Personage.
Lotus.
Floral motif.
Foreigner on a horse, circa 115 BCE.
Ashoka supported by his two wives. Similar to [[:File:Sanchi King Ashoka with his Queens, South Gate, Stupa no. 1.jpg|the later relief at Gateway 1]].
Relic boxes found inside the stupa.
Stairway and railing.
Lotus medallions.
Floral designs.
Post relief.<ref>Marshall p.82</ref>
Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana.
Chandraketugarth, goddess of fecundity.
Chandraketugarth.
Shunga Yakshi, 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga masculine figurine (molded plate). 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga woman with child. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga Yaksha. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga mother figure, with attendant. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Shunga fecundity deity. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Baluster-holding yakṣa, Madhya Pradesh, Shunga period (2nd–1st century BCE). Guimet Museum.
Amorous royal couple. Shunga, 1st century BCE, West Bengal.
Sunga Love Scene.
Bronze coin of the Shunga period, Eastern India. 2nd–1st century BCE.
Another Shunga coin
A copper coin of 1/4 karshapana of Ujjain in Malwa.
Shunga coin.

The dynasty was established by Pushyamitra Shunga, after taking the throne of the Maurya Empire.

Pataliputra Palace capital, showing Greek and Persian influence, early Mauryan Empire period, 3rd century BC.

Indo-Greek Kingdom

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Hellenistic-era Greek kingdom covering various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent, (virtually all of modern Pakistan).

Hellenistic-era Greek kingdom covering various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent, (virtually all of modern Pakistan).

Pataliputra Palace capital, showing Greek and Persian influence, early Mauryan Empire period, 3rd century BC.
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar, Afghanistan.
According to the Mahavamsa, the Great Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, was dedicated by a 30,000-strong "Yona" (Greek) delegation from "Alexandria" around 130 BC.
Greco-Bactrian statue of an old man or philosopher, Ai Khanoum, Bactria, 2nd century BC
Corinthian capital, found at Ai-Khanoum, 2nd century BC
Coin depicting the Greco-Bactrian king Euthydemus 230–200 BC. The Greek inscription reads: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΥΘΥΔΗΜΟΥ – "(of) King Euthydemus".
Possible statuette of a Greek soldier, wearing a version of the Greek Phrygian helmet, from a 3rd-century BC burial site north of the Tian Shan, Xinjiang Region Museum, Urumqi.
Greco-Bactria and the city of Ai-Khanoum were located at the very doorstep of Mauryan India.
The Khalsi rock edict of Ashoka, which mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name, as recipients of his teachings.
Shunga horseman, Bharhut.
Apollodotus I (180–160 BC) the first king who ruled in the subcontinent only, and therefore the founder of the proper Indo-Greek kingdom.
Silver coin depicting Demetrius I of Bactria (reigned c. 200–180 BC), wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his conquests of areas in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The coinage of Agathocles (circa 180 BC) incorporated the Brahmi script and several deities from India, which have been variously interpreted as Vishnu, Shiva, Vasudeva, Balarama or the Buddha.
Kharoshthi legend on the reverse of a coin of Indo-Greek king Artemidoros Aniketos.
Menander I (155–130 BC) is one of the few Indo-Greek kings mentioned in both Graeco-Roman and Indian sources.
The Shinkot casket containing Buddhist relics was dedicated "in the reign of the Great King Menander".
Indian-standard coinage of Menander I. Obv ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ "Of Saviour King Menander". Rev Palm of victory, Kharoshthi legend Māhārajasa trātadasa Menandrāsa, British Museum.
King Hippostratos riding a horse, circa 100 BC (coin detail).
The Yavanarajya inscription discovered in Mathura, mentions its carving on "The last day of year 116 of Yavana hegemony" (Yavanarajya), or 116th year if the Yavana era, suggesting the Greeks ruled over Mathura as late as 60 BC. Mathura Museum.
The Mathura Herakles. A statue of Herakles strangling the Nemean lion from Mathura. Today in the Kolkota Indian Museum.
Possible statue of a Yavana/ Indo-Greek warrior with boots and chiton, from the Rani Gumpha or "Cave of the Queen" in the Udayagiri Caves on the east coast of India, where the Hathigumpha inscription was also found. 2nd or 1st century BC.
Heliocles (145–130 BC) was the last Greek king in Bactria.
Coin of Antialcidas (105–95 BC).
Coin of Philoxenos (100–95 BC).
Coin of Zoilos I (130–120 BC) showing on the reverse the Heraklean club with the Scythian bow, inside a victory wreath.
The Heliodorus pillar, commissioned by Indo-Greek ambassador Heliodorus, is the first known inscription related to Vaishnavism in India. Heliodurus was one of the earliest recorded Indo-Greek converts to Hinduism.
Heliodorus travelled from Taxila to Vidisha as an ambassador of king Antialkidas, and erected the Heliodorus pillar.
The Bharhut Yavana, a possible Indian depiction of Menander, with the flowing head band of a Greek king, northern tunic with Hellenistic pleats, and Buddhist triratana symbol on his sword. Bharhut, 100 BC. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
At Bharhut, the gateways were made by northwestern (probably Gandharan) masons using Kharosthi marks 100-75 BC.
the Kharosthi letters were found on the balusters
Foreigners on the Northern Gateway of Stupa I at Sanchi.
Foreigners worshiping Stupa
Greek travelling costume
Hermaeus (90–70 BC) was the last Indo-Greek king in the Western territories (Paropamisadae).
Hermaeus posthumous issue struck by Indo-Scythians near Kabul, circa 80–75 BC.
Tetradrachm of Hippostratos, reigned circa 65–55 BC, was the last Indo-Greek king in Western Punjab.
Hippostratos was replaced by the Indo-Scythian king Azes I (r. c. 35–12 BC).
Approximate region of East Punjab and Strato II's capital Sagala.
The last known Indo-Greek kings Strato II and Strato III, here on a joint coin (25 BC-10 AD), were the last Indo-Greek king in eartern territories of Eastern Punjab.
Pillar of the Great Chaitya at Karla Caves, mentioning its donation by a Yavana. Below: detail of the word "Ya-va-na-sa" in old Brahmi script: Brahmi y 2nd century CE.jpgBrahmi v 2nd century CE.gifBrahmi n.svgBrahmi s.svg, circa AD 120.
The Buddhist symbols of the triratna and of the swastika (reversed) around the word "Ya-va-ṇa-sa" in Brahmi (Brahmi y 2nd century CE.jpg Brahmi v 2nd century CE.gif Brahmi nn.svg Brahmi s.svg). Shivneri Caves 1st century AD.
Statue with inscription mentioning "year 318", probably of the Yavana era, i.e. AD 143.
Piedestal of the Hashtnagar Buddha statue, with Year 384 inscription, probably of the Yavana era, i.e. AD 209.
Evolution of Zeus Nikephoros ("Zeus holding Nike") on Indo-Greek coinage: from the Classical motif of Nike handing the wreath of victory to Zeus himself (left, coin of Heliocles I 145–130 BC), then to a baby elephant (middle, coin of Antialcidas 115–95 BC), and then to the Wheel of the Law, symbol of Buddhism (right, coin of Menander II 90–85 BC).
Indo-Corinthian capital representing a man wearing a Graeco-Roman-style coat with fibula, and making a blessing gesture. Butkara Stupa, National Museum of Oriental Art, Rome.
Evolution of the Butkara stupa, a large part of which occurred during the Indo-Greek period, through the addition of Hellenistic architectural elements.
Coin of Menander II (90–85 BC). "King Menander, follower of the Dharma" in Kharoshthi script, with Zeus holding Nike, who holds a victory wreath over an Eight-spoked wheel.
Greek Buddhist devotees, holding plantain leaves, in purely Hellenistic style, inside Corinthian columns, Buner relief, Victoria and Albert Museum.
Hellenistic culture in the Indian subcontinent: Greek clothes, amphoras, wine and music (Detail of Chakhil-i-Ghoundi stupa, Hadda, Gandhara, 1st century AD).
Intaglio gems engraved in the northwest of India (2nd century BCE-2nd century CE).
Seated Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd century (Ostasiatisches Museum, Berlin)
Stone palette depicting a mythological scene, 2nd–1st century BC.
Cupro-nickel coins of king Pantaleon point to a Chinese origin of the metal.
Athena in the art of Gandhara, displayed at the Lahore Museum, Pakistan
Strato I in combat gear, making a blessing gesture, circa 100 BC.
The Indo-Scythian Taxila copper plate uses the Macedonian month of "Panemos" for calendrical purposes (British Museum).
Hellenistic couple from Taxila (Guimet Museum)
The story of the Trojan horse was depicted in the art of Gandhara. (British Museum).
Foreigner on a horse. The medallions are dated circa 115 BC.
Lakshmi with lotus and two child attendants, probably derived from [[:File:Venus with two cupids 2.jpg|similar images of Venus]]<ref>An Indian Statuette From Pompeii, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, in Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950) p. 171</ref>
Griffin.
Female riding a Centaur.
Lotus within Hellenistic beads and reels motif.
Floral motif.
Exterior
Entrance pillars
Pillar capital
Interior
Standing Buddha
Philoxenus (c. 100 BC), unarmed, making a blessing gesture.
Nicias making a blessing gesture.
Various blessing gestures: divinities (top), kings (bottom).

Also several Greeks, such as the historian Megasthenes, followed by Deimachus and Dionysius, were sent to reside at the Mauryan court.

Magadha and other Mahajanapadas in the period of the Second Urbanization, early Historic Period.

Magadha

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Region and one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas of the Second Urbanization in what is now south Bihar (before expansion) at the eastern Ganges Plain.

Region and one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas of the Second Urbanization in what is now south Bihar (before expansion) at the eastern Ganges Plain.

Magadha and other Mahajanapadas in the period of the Second Urbanization, early Historic Period.
Cyclopean Wall of Rajgir which encircled the former capital of Magadha, Rajgir. Amongst the oldest pieces of cyclopeon masonry in the world
Magadha and other Mahajanapadas in the period of the Second Urbanization, early Historic Period.
Magadha in the early Iron Age (1100-600 BC)
Map depicting 16 mahajanapadas kingdoms and other kingdoms in 540 BCE.
King Bimbisara visits the Bamboo Garden (Venuvana) in Rajagriha; artwork from Sanchi.
Nanda empire 450 BCE or 346 BCE
Maurya Empire, c. 250 BCE
Magadha kingdom coin, c. 430–320 BCE, Karshapana
Magadha kingdom coin, c. 350 BCE, Karshapana
The ancient Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya prior to its restoration
The 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, Mahavira, who was born in Magadha to a royal family
The eastern Gangetic plain during the Magadha kingdom's early expansion

345–322 BCE), Maurya Empire (c.

Sanchi

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Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Plan of the monuments of the hill of Sanchi, numbered 1 to 50.
The Ashoka pillar at Sanchi.
The capital of the Sanchi pillar of Ashoka, as discovered (left), and simulation of original appearance (right). It is very similar to the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, except for the abacus, here adorned with flame palmettes and facing geese, 250 BCE. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
by later illustrations among the Sanchi reliefs
The Great Stupa under the Sungas. The Sungas nearly doubled the diameter of the initial stupa, encasing it in stone, and built a balustrade and a railing around it.
Foreigner on a horse, circa 115 BCE, Stupa No2.
Sunga period railings were initially blank (left: Great Stupa), and only started to be decorated circa 115 BCE with Stupa No.2 (right).
Sunga pillar No25 with own capital on the side.
Siri-Satakani inscription
Cave No.19
The Worship of the Bodhisattva's hair
Vedisakehi damtakārehi rupakammam katam
The Great Stupa at the time of the Satavahanas.
Temptation of the Buddha, with the Buddha on the left (symbolized by his throne only) surrounded by rejoicing devotees, Mara and his daughters (center), and the demons of Mara fleeing (right).
War over the Buddha's Relics, kept by the city of Kushinagar, South Gate, Stupa no.1, Sanchi.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but he failed, the Nagas being too powerful. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Southern Gateway, Sanchi.
Ashoka in grief, supported by his two queens, in a relief at Sanchi. Stupa 1, Southern gateway. The identification with Ashoka is confirm by a similar relief from Kanaganahalli inscribed "Raya Asoko".
Bodhi tree temple depicted in Sanchi, Stupa 1, Southern gateway.
Temple for the Bodhi Tree (Eastern Gateway).
foreigners illustrated at Sanchi worshiping the Great Stupa
Foreigners worshiping Stupa
Greek travelling costume
Another one
Miracle at Kapilavastu
Miracle of the Buddha walking on the river Nairanjana
Procession of king Suddhodana from Kapilavastu
"The promenade of the Buddha", or Chankrama, used to depict the Buddha in motion in Buddhist aniconism.
Bimbisara with his royal cortege issuing from the city of Rajagriha to visit the Buddha
Foreigners making a dedication at the Southern Gateway of Stupa No 1
Stupas and monasteries at Sanchi in the early centuries of the current era. Reconstruction, 1900
Sanchi inscription of Chandragupta II.
Temple 17: a Gupta period tetrastyle prostyle temple of Classical appearance. 5th century CE
Statue of Padmapani (5th c.or 9th c.) Victoria and Albert Museum.
Pillar 26: one of the two four-lions stambha capitals at Sanchi, with lions, central flame palmette and Wheel of Law (axis, stubs of the spokes and part of the circumference only), initially located at the Northern Gateway of the Great Stupa. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
Pillar 26: lion pillar capital at time of discovery, with Dharmachakra wheel (reconstitution). Northern Gateway.
this image
Pillar 35 column stump (right), and bell capital with abacus, positioned upside down.
Vajrapani statue of pillar 35, 5th c. CE. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.
Temple 18 at Sanchi, an apsidal hall with Maurya foundations, rebuilt at the time of Harsha (7th century CE).
Temple 45
The Great Stupa as breached by Sir Herbert Maddock in 1822. Watercolor by Frederick Charles Maisey, in 1851.
Ruins of the Southern Gateway, Sanchi in 1875.
A Gate to the Stupa of Sanchi 1932
Chetiyagiri Vihara
Inscribed panel from Sanchi in Brahmi script in the British Museum
The last two letters to the right of this inscription in Brahmi form the word "dǎnam" (donation). This hypothesis permitted the decipherment of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep in 1837.
General view of the Stupas at Sanchi by F.C. Maisey, 1851 (The Great Stupa on top of the hill, and Stupa 2 at the forefront)
The Great Stupa (Stupa No.1), started in the 3rd century BCE
Stupa No.2
Stupa No.3
Buddhist Temple, No.17
Remains of the Ashokan Pillar in polished stone (right of the Southern Gateway), with its Edict.
Sanchi Minor Pillar Edict of Ashoka, in-situ (detail of the previous image).
Remains of the shaft of the pillar of Ashoka, under a shed near the Southern Gateway.
Side view of the capital. Sanchi Archaeological Museum.<ref name="p.25-28 Ashoka pillar"/>
Shunga balustrade and staircase.
Shunga stonework.
Shunga vedika (railing) with inscriptions.
Deambulatory pathway.
Summit railing and umbrellas.
Flame palmette.
Flame palmette and lotus.
Peacock.
Woman riding a Centaur.
Lotus.
Half lotus.
Lion.
Elephant.
Elephant with branch.
Floral motif.
Lakshmi with lotus and two child attendants, probably derived from [[:File:Venus with two cupids 2.jpg|similar images of Venus]]<ref>An Indian Statuette From Pompeii, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, in Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950) p. 171</ref>
Griffin with Brahmi script inscription.
Female riding a Centaur.
Lotus within beads and reels motif.
Stairway and railing.
Lotus medallions.
Floral designs.
Post relief.<ref>Marshall p. 82</ref>
Relics of Sariputra and Mahamoggallana.
Detail of the foreigners, in Greek dress and playing carnyxes and aolus flute. Northern Gateway of Stupa I (detail).
Foreigners holding grapes and riding winged lions, Sanchi Stupa 1, Eastern Gateway.<ref>"The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, John Boardman, 1993, p. 112 Note 91</ref>
Foreigners riding horses.
Foreign heroe fighting a Makara
Foreigners on horses, wearing headbands, caps and boots. Western gate of Stupa 1.
Hero with headband wrestling a Makara.
Indians riding horses.
Indians riding bulls.
Indians riding bulls.
Queen Maya lustrated by Elephants.
The Buddha represented by the Dharmacakra.
Bodhi Tree.
Winged lion.
Winged lions.
The Buddha represented by the Dharmacakra.
Men and Women on Elephants.
Men and Women on Elephants.
Stupa representing a Buddha.
Lakshmi lustrated by Elephants.
Men on lions.
Men on lions.
2nd panel
3rd panel
Second panel
Bottom panel Dvarapala guardian deity or devotee.
Second panel
Possibly demons, or the attack of Mara.
Second panel
Bottom panel Dvarapala guardian deity or devotee.
2nd panel
3rd panel
A Seated Buddha statue (Gupta temple).
Buddha Statue (Great Stupa).
Seated Buddha (Great Stupa).
Pillar 34 with lion.<ref>Marshall p. 52 Pillar 34</ref>
The winged lion capital of pillar 34 (lost).
Great Stupa, Eastern Gateway, in 1875.
West Gateway in 1882.
South Gateway in 1882.
Great Stupa, Northern Gateway in 1861.
Temple 18 in 1861.
A vision of ancient Indian court life, using motifs from Sanchi (wood engraving, 1878).

The monuments at Sanchi today comprise a series of Buddhist monuments starting from the Mauryan Empire period (3rd century BCE), continuing with the Gupta Empire period (5th century CE), and ending around the 12th century CE.

Possible extent of the Nanda Empire under its last ruler Dhana Nanda (c. 325 BCE).

Nanda Empire

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The Nanda dynasty ruled in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent during the 4th century BCE, and possibly during the 5th century BCE.

The Nanda dynasty ruled in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent during the 4th century BCE, and possibly during the 5th century BCE.

Possible extent of the Nanda Empire under its last ruler Dhana Nanda (c. 325 BCE).
An estimate of the territorial evolution of the Magadha empires, including during the rule of predecessors and successors of the Nandas
A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Magadha Empire (ca 600–32 BCE), King Mahapadma Nanda or his sons (ca 346–321 BCE) Obv: different symbols Rev: different symbols including an elephant. Dimensions: 17 mm Weight: 2.5 g.

The last Nanda king was overthrown by Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya Empire, and the latter's mentor Chanakya.

The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucid Empire

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Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was founded by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire originally founded by Alexander the Great.

Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was founded by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire originally founded by Alexander the Great.

The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator
"Chandra Gupta Maurya entertains his bride from Babylon": a conjectural interpretation of the "marriage agreement" between the Seleucids and Chandragupta Maurya, related by Appian
The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator
Coin of Seleucus I Nicator
In Bactria, the satrap Diodotus asserted independence to form the Greco-Bactrian kingdom c. 245 BC.
Drachm of the Frataraka ruler Vahbarz (Oborzos), thought to have initiated the independence of Persis from the Seleucid Empire. The coin shows on the reverse an Achaemenid king slaying an armoured, possibly Greek or Macedonian, soldier. This possibly refers to the events related by Polyainos (Strat. 7.40), in which Vahbarz (Oborzos) is said to have killed 3000 Seleucid settlers.
Silver coin of Antiochus III the Great.
The Seleucid Empire in 200 BC (before expansion into Anatolia and Greece).
The reduced empire (titled: Syria, Kingdom of the Seleucids) and the expanded states of Pergamum and Rhodes, after the defeat of Antiochus III by Rome. Circa 188 BC.
The Hellenistic Prince, a bronze statue originally thought to be a Seleucid, or Attalus II of Pergamon, now considered a portrait of a Roman general, made by a Greek artist working in Rome in the 2nd century BC.
Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Seleucid Syria in early 124 BC under Alexander II Zabinas, who ruled the country with the exception of the city of Ptolemais
Seleucid Kingdom in 87 BC
Bagadates I (Minted 290–280 BC) was the first native Seleucid satrap to be appointed.
Seleucid Bronze Coin depicting Antiochus III with Laureate head of Apollo Circa. 200 BCE
Price of barley and dates per tonne
Episodes of Seleucid dispoliation from Michael J. Taylor's Sacred Plunder

To the east, conflict with the Indian ruler Chandragupta of the Maurya Empire in 305 BC led to the cession of vast territory west of the Indus and a political alliance.

19th century map of northern Gandhara.

Gandhara

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Name of an ancient region located in present-day north-west Pakistan and parts of north-east Afghanistan.

Name of an ancient region located in present-day north-west Pakistan and parts of north-east Afghanistan.

19th century map of northern Gandhara.
A modern satellite view of Gandhara (October 2020).
Cremation urn, Gandhara grave culture, Swat Valley, c. 1200 BC.
Female spouted figure, terracotta, Charsadda, Gandhara, 3rd to 1st century BCE Victoria and Albert Museum
Mother Goddess (fertility divinity), possibly derived from the Indus Valley Civilization, terracotta, Sar Dheri, Gandhara, 1st century BC, Victoria and Albert Museum
Kingdoms and cities of ancient Buddhism, with Gandhara located in the northwest of this region, during the time of the Buddha (c. 500 BC).
Xerxes I tomb, Gandāra soldier, circa 470 BC.
Athens coin (c. 500/490–485 BCE) discovered in Pushkalavati. This coin is the earliest known example of its type to be found so far east. Such coins were circulating in the area as currency, at least as far as the Indus, during the reign of the Achaemenids.
"Victory coin" of Alexander the Great, minted in Babylon c. 322 BC, following his campaigns in Bactria and the Indus Valley. Obverse: Alexander being crowned by Nike. Reverse: Alexander attacking king Porus on his elephant. Silver. British Museum.
Coin of Early Gandhara Janapada: AR Shatamana and one-eighth Shatamana (round), Taxila-Gandhara region, c. 600–300 BCE
A monetary silver coin of the satrapy of Gandhara about 500–400 BCE. Obv: Gandhara symbol representing 6 weapons with one point between two weapons; At the bottom of the point, a hollow moon. Rev: Empty. Dimensions: 14 mm Weight: 1.4 g.
Greco-Buddhist statue of standing Buddha, Gandhara (1st–2nd century), Tokyo National Museum
Marine deities, Gandhara.
Casket of Kanishka the Great, with Buddhist motifs
Head of a bodhisattva, c. 4th century CE
The Seated Buddha, dating from 300 to 500 AD, was found near Jamal Garhi, and is now on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
Gandhara fortified city depicted in a Buddhist relief
Sharing of the Buddha's relics, above a Gandhara fortified city.
Many stupas, such as the Shingerdar stupa in Ghalegay, are scattered throughout the region near Peshawar.
Maitreya Bodhisattva, Gautama Buddha, and Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva. 2nd–3rd century CE, Gandhāra
Bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva. Fearlessness mudrā. 3rd century CE, Gandhāra
Greco-Buddhist Portraits from the site of Hadda, Gandhara, 3rd century, Guimet Museum
Chanakya
Vasubandhu: Wood, 186 cm height, about 1208, Kofukuji Temple, Nara, Japan
Standing Bodhisattva (1st–2nd century)
Buddha head (2nd century)
Buddha head (4th–6th century)
Buddha in acanthus capital
The Greek god Atlas, supporting a Buddhist monument, Hadda
The Bodhisattva Maitreya (2nd century)
Wine-drinking and music, Hadda (1st–2nd century)
Maya's white elephant dream (2nd–3rd century)
The birth of Siddharta (2nd–3rd century)
The Great Departure from the Palace (2nd–3rd century)
The end of ascetism (2nd–3rd century)
The Buddha preaching at the Deer Park in Sarnath (2nd–3rd century)
Scene of the life of the Buddha (2nd–3rd century)
The death of the Buddha, or parinirvana (2nd–3rd century)
A sculpture from Hadda, (3rd century)
The Bodhisattva and Chandeka, Hadda (5th century)
The Buddha and Vajrapani under the guise of Herakles
Hellenistic decorative scrolls from Hadda, Afghanistan
Hellenistic scene, Gandhara (1st century)
A stone plate (1st century).
"Laughing boy" from Hadda
Bodhisattva seated in meditation

Gandhara was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, Alexander the Great in 327 BCE, and later became part of the Maurya Empire before being a centre of the Indo-Greek Kingdom.

Edicts of Ashoka

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Brahmi script consonants, and their evolution down to modern Devanagari, according to James Prinsep, as published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in March 1838. All the letters are correctly deciphered, except for two missing on the right: 𑀰(ś) and 𑀱(ṣ).
The first known inscription by Ashoka, the Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription, in Greek and in Aramaic, written in the 10th year of his reign (260 BCE).
The full title Devanampiyasa Piyadasino Asokaraja in the Gujarra inscription.
The four scripts used by Ashoka in his Edicts: Brahmi (top left), Kharoshthi (top right), Greek (bottom left) and Aramaic (bottom right).
The Prakrit word "Dha-ṃ-ma" (𑀥𑀁𑀫, Sanskrit: Dharma) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Ashoka in his Edicts. Topra Kalan pillar, now in New Delhi.
Animals pervade imperial Mauryan art. Rampurva bull capital established by Ashoka, 3rd century BCE. Now in the Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace, New Delhi.
Ashoka and his two queens, visiting the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, in a relief at Sanchi (1st century CE). The identification with Ashoka is confirmed by the similar relief from Kanaganahalli inscribed "Raya Asoka".
The words "Bu-dhe" (𑀩𑀼𑀥𑁂, the Buddha) and "Sa-kya-mu-nī " ( 𑀲𑀓𑁆𑀬𑀫𑀼𑀦𑀻, "Sage of the Shakyas") in Brahmi script, on Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict (circa 250 BCE).
The Barabar caves were built by Ashoka for the ascetic sect of the Ajivikas, as well as for the Buddhists, illustrating his respect for several faiths. Lomas Rishi cave. 3rd century BCE.
The Seleucid king Antiochos ("Aṃtiyakā", "Aṃtiyako" or "Aṃtiyoga" depending on the transliterations) is named as a recipient of Ashoka's medical treatments, together with his Hellenistic neighbours.
"Aṃtiyako Yona Rājā" ("The Greek king Antiochos"), mentioned in Major Rock Edict No.2, here at Girnar. Brahmi script.
The Kalsi rock edict of Ashoka, which mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name (underlined in color).
The word Yona for "Greek" in the Girnar 2nd Major Rock Edict of Ashoka. The word is part of the phrase "Amtiyako Yona Raja" (The Greek King Antiochus).
Territories "conquered by the Dharma" according to Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka (260–232 BCE).
Top: Wheels in Egyptian temples according to Hero of Alexandria. Bottom: Possible wheel and trisula symbol on Ptolemaic tombstones in Egypt.
The word Lipī (𑀮𑀺𑀧𑀻) used by Ashoka to describe his "Edicts". Brahmi script (Li= La+ i; pī= Pa+ ii).
The same word was "Dipi" in the northwest, identical with the Persian word for writing, as in this segment "Dhrama-Dipi" (𐨢𐨿𐨪𐨨𐨡𐨁𐨤𐨁, "inscription of the Dharma") in Kharosthi script in the First Edict at Shahbazgarhi. The third letter from the right reads "Di" Kharoshthi letter Di.jpg and not "Li" Kharoshthi letter Li.jpg.
The same expression Dhamma Lipi ("Dharma inscriptions") in Brahmi script (𑀥𑀁𑀫𑀮𑀺𑀧𑀺), Delhi-Topra pillar.
The numerals used by Ashoka in his Edicts
The number "256" in Ashoka's Minor Rock Edict No.1 in Sasaram
The Edicts of Ashoka started a tradition of epigraphical inscriptions. 1800 years separate these two inscriptions: Brahmi script of the 3rd century BCE (Major Pillar Edict of Ashoka), and its derivative, 16th century CE Devanagari script (1524 CE), on the Delhi-Topra pillar.
Seleucid king Antiochus II Theos of Syria (261–246 BCE).
Ptolemy II Philadelphos of Egypt (285–247 BCE) with his sister Arsinoe II.
Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedon (278–239 BCE).
Magas of Cyrene (300–258 BCE).
Alexander II of Epirus (272–258 BCE) on a cameo of agate.

The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of more than thirty inscriptions on the pillars, as well as boulders and cave walls, attributed to Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire who reigned from 268 BCE to 232 BCE.