Kings, Farmers and Towns Early States and Economies- CBSE Notes for Class 12 History

• After the decline of Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), many significant changes took place in the Indian subcontinent.
• Vedas (Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharveda) and other religious and literary works are an invaluable source to know the history of that period.
• In first century BCE, many changes took place regarding the last rites of the dead in the central and south India. In this period dead bodies were buried in graves and these graves were surrounded by big stone called as the megaliths.
• In the 6th century BCE sixteen big kingdoms known as Mahajanapadas came into existence.
• Among these sixteen Mahajanapadas were-Magadha, Koshala, Vatsa and Avant which
were the most powerful. .
• In the 5th century BCE, the powerful Mahajanapadas turned into powerful empires.
• Magadha was very powerful Mahajanapada. There were several causes responsible for it.
• Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of Mauryan Empire. He founded Mauryan Empire by defeating the last ruler of Nanda Dynasty, Mahajanapadas.
• Megasthenes’s Indica and Kautilya’s Arthashastra provided valuable information about the Mauryan Empire.
• After the death of Chandragupta Maurya’s his son, Bindusara became the next ruler who ruled from 298 to 272 BCE.
• After Bindusara, Ashoka occupied the throne in 272 and ruled till 231 BCE.
• After the Kalinga War, Ashoka gave up policy of war and expansion.
• Inscriptions of Ashoka are the most relevant sources to know about Mauryan period. These inscriptions are written in the Brahmi (Prakrit) script.
• After the downfall of the Gupta Dynasty many new dynasties came up and ruled in many parts of India. Some of the dynasties were the Satvahanas, the Shakas, the Pandyas, the Cholas, Cheras and Kushanas.
• With the emergence of the Gupta, a new age started in the ancient Indian History.
• The founder of the Gupta Dynasty was Srigupta. He founded this dynasty in 275 CE and ruled till 300. After his death his son Ghatotkacha ruled from 300 CE to 320 CE.
• Ghatotkacha’s successor Chandragupta I sat on the throne in 320 and assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja. He ruled till 335 CE.
• Sumudragupta is one of the greatest rulers of India and was the son of Chandragupta. He ruled from 335 to 375 CE. After his death Chandragupta-II ruled till 415.
• The Gupta ruler established a glorious empire with their untiring efforts. Their rule is called the Golden Age in Indian History. This vast Empire began to disintegrate at the end of the 5th century CE.
1. Janapada: The land where the people belonging to a clan or tribe had settled.
2. Dhammo Mahanatta: Officer appointed by Ashoka to spread the message of his Dharma.
3. Matriliny: This term is used when descent is traced through mother.
4. Tamilakam: The name of the ancient Tamil country which included the parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
5. Megaliths: Stone structures which were built by some communities of South India over the grave of the dead.
6. Vellators: The big zamindars.
7. Agrahara: The land which Brahmanas got as land grants.
Time Line:
1. 600-500  BCE Emergence of Mahajanapadas
2. 544-492  BCE Reign of Bimbisara
3. 492-460  BCE Tenure of Ajatsatru
4. 269-231  BCE Reign of Ashoka
5. 201  BCE Kalinga war was fought
6. 335-375  BCE Reign of Sumudragupta
7. 375-415  CE Reign of Chandragupta-II
8. 1784  Asiatic Society (Bengal) was founded
9. 1810s  Colin Mackenzie collects over 8,000 inscriptions in Sanskrit and Dravidian languages.
10. 1838  Brahmi script James Prinsept deciphered.
11. 1877  Alexander Cunningham published a set of Asokan inscriptions.
12. 1886  First issue of Epigraphia Camatica, journal of South Indian inscriptions.
13. 1888  First issue of Epigraphia Indica.
14. 1965-66  D.C. Sircar published Indian Epigraphy and Indian Epigraphical Glossary.

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