The first individual to interpret Ashoka's edicts was James Prinsep, a British antiquary and colonial administrator. Ashoka's inscriptions are the earliest physical evidence of Buddhism.
1. The Mauryan government was very centralized.
2. The Emperor possessed absolute power and was the source of all authority.
3. He was aided by a Ministerial Council. It was known as the 'Mantriparishad.' 'Mantris' was the name given to the ministers.
4. The council was led by a mantri parishad-adhyaksha, who was similar to today's Prime Minister.
5.Tirthas: the Highest category of officers in the administration. There were a total of \(18\) Tirthas.
6. Adhyakshya: Adhyakshya is ranked second only to Tirthas. There were a total of \(20\) Adhyakshyas present. They served both commercial and military purposes.
7. Mahamattas are higher-ranking government officials.
8. Amatyas: High-ranking officials, similar to secretaries today. They served in both administrative and judicial capacities.
9. The Adhyakshyas were organized into a secretariat with numerous departments.
10. Many Adhyaksha for commerce, storehouses, gold, ships, agriculture, cows, horses, city, chariots, mint, infantry, and other things are mentioned in the Arthashastra.
11. Yuktas are subordinate officers in charge of the Empire's finances.
12. Land measurement and boundary-fixing officers are known as Rajjukas.
13. Sanstha Adhyaksha: Mint Superintendent
14. Samastha Adhyaksha: Market Superintendent
15. Tolls Superintendent Sulka Adhyaksha
16. Sita Adhyaksha: Agriculture Superintendent
17. Navadhyaksha is a ship's superintendent.
18. Loh Adhyaksha is the iron superintendent.
19. Superintendent of Weights and Measures: Pauthavadhyakhsa
20. Mines Superintendent Nagaradhyaksha
21. Vyavaharika Mahamatta: Officers of the judiciary
22. Public relations officers in Pulisanj
1. Samharta was the head of the revenue department.
2. Sannidhata was another significant official (treasurer).
3. Land, irrigation, shops, customs, woods, ferries, mining, and pastures all generated revenue. Artist licence payments were collected, and fines were levied in the courts.
4. One-sixth of the produce earnings came from the land.
Senapati was the Emperor's military commander-in-chief, and he was the Emperor's second-in-command. He had been appointed by the Emperor.
The five military sectors were infantry, cavalry, chariots, elephant forces, navy, and transport and supply.
The army was compensated with cash.
The village was the smallest administrative entity.
Gramika Villages enjoyed a great deal of autonomy.
Pradeshika referred to the governors of provinces or district magistrates.
Tax collectors who work under Pradeshikas are known as Sthanikas.
Governors of forts, Durgapala.
Antapala: Frontier governors.
Lipikaras: Scribes Akshapatala: Accountant General.
Officials of note: Nagaraka is the city's administrator. Sita-Adhyaksha is the supervisor of agriculture, Samastha-Adhyaksha is the superintendent of the market, Nav Adhyaksha is the superintendent of ships, Sulka Adhyaksha is the collector of tolls, Loh Adhyaksha is the superintendent of iron, Nagaradhyaksha is the superintendent of mines, and Pautha Adhyaksha is the superintendent of weights and measures, and so on.
Megasthenes appointed six committees, five of which were in charge of Pataliputra's administration. The administration was in charge of industries, foreigners, birth and death registration, trade, manufacturing and selling commodities, and sales tax collection.
The Mauryan coinage was nearly entirely made up of \(3.4\) gram silver karshapana, which followed the Magadha karshapana series. Almost all Mauryan coins, like the Magadhan coins before them, include five punches: a sun, a "\(6\)-arm sign," and three others. On the reverse of several of the last coins in the series, there was a punch. The flans grew smaller and thicker over time. Because the coins appear to have been struck in the millions, the economy must have been enormously affluent. To this day, large hoards of Mauryan coins have been discovered, and as a result, the coins are quite inexpensive, especially given their age.
Trade and Urbanization:
The Mauryan Empire relied heavily on interregional trade. The empire's developing political unity and military security aided in the development of a single economic system, higher agricultural output, and improved trade and commerce. The Mauryan Empire benefited from increased contact with people from all over the world as a result of commerce with West Asia and the Roman Empire. Seaports, the Silk Road, and the Khyber Pass were all key main channels of exchange for trade.
Mauryan Art and Architecture:
The reign of the Mauryans is a significant period in our cultural history. Art and architecture were at their pinnacle during the Ashoka period and fell under the category of court art. Following Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism, massive Buddhist missionary activities spurred the creation of distinct sculptural and architectural styles. Let us investigate several works of art and architecture from the Mauryan period that were linked to the lives, activities, and patronage of common people.
Yakshas were deities connected with water, fertility, trees, the forest and wilderness. Yakshis were their female counterpart.
Art and architecture were at their pinnacle during the Ashoka period and fell under the category of court art. Following Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism, massive Buddhist missionary activities spurred the creation of distinct sculptural and architectural styles. Let us investigate several works of art and architecture from the Mauryan period that were linked to the lives, activities, and patronage of common people. Stupas, Pillars, Caves, Palaces, and Pottery are some of the categories.
A stupa is a brick or stone construction that resembles a hemispherical dome. The relics of the Buddha were deposited in the dome's center.
The Great Stupa is the most notable of the buildings at the historic site of Sanchi in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the country's oldest Buddhist monuments, as well as the site's largest stupa.
Monolithic Pillar – Sarnath:
One of the pillars in Sarnath, known as the "Lion Capital of Ashoka," has four lions on it. In \(1950\), a graphic rendition of Ashoka's Lion Capital was adopted as India's official emblem. All of the pillars were constructed in Buddhist monasteries and featured inscriptions honoring monks or commemorating King Ashoka's visits.
Reasons for the Decline of the Mauryan Empire:
After the death of Ashoka/Asoka, the Maurya Dynasty fell apart quickly. The succession of weak kings was one clear cause. Another obvious cause was the Empire's division into two halves. The Greek invasions could have been kept off if the partition had not occurred, giving the Mauryas a chance to reclaim some of their former authority. After Ashoka's death in \(232\) BC, the Mauryan Empire began to crumble. Brihadratha, the final king, was slain by his Brahmin general Pushyamitra Shunga.