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Title: Asoka and the decline of the Mauryas
Author: Thapar, Romila
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1958
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The thesis considers in detail the reign and activities of Asoka Maurya (268-231 B.C.) of the Mauryan dynasty, in the context of the third century B.C. in India. The Introductory chapter deals with the various source materials and the secondary sources (i.e. published works on the period or relating to the period), and concludes with a brief summary of the reigns of the first two kings of this dynasty, Candragupta and Bindusara, the predecessors of Asoka. The second chapter is largely a reconstruction of the chronology of Asoka's reign. The next chapter is a detailed discussion on Asoka's policy of Dhamma, using the edicts and inscriptions of the king as expressions of this policy. A further chapter is concerned with relations between the Mauryan court and other neighbouring rulers, particularly the Greek kings to the west of India and the kingdoms of the south, and Ceylon. This chapter also contains the geographical identification of various places of importance during the Mauryan period, and includes a consideration of the importance of various trade routes. The following chapter deals with the organisation of Mauryan society and the economic and commercial life of the time. The sixth chapter is an examination of the administrative system of the period with special emphasis on the role of the king in the state machinary. The final chapter is concerned with the later Mauryas, the post-Asokan kings of the dynasty, under whom the Mauryan empire began to disintegrate. This chapter also contains an analysis of the causes of the decline of the dynasty. Appendices are included at the end of the work and are mainly detailed considerations of certain aspects of the study, demanding greater attention than was possible in the main body of the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral