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NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 6 Post Mauryan Developments
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Post Mauryan Developments
TEXT BOOK QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.1
Q.1. Who was the last Mauryan king?
Q.2. Who was Heliodorous?
Ans: Heliodorous was an envoy of the Indo-Greek ruler Antialkidas in the court of Kashiputra Bhagabhadra, a Shunga ruler.
Q.3. Which Indo-Greek king has been identified with king Milinda of the famous Buddhist texts Milindapanho?
Q.4. Which inscription happens to be the first royal inscription of early India composed in chaste Sanskrit?
Ans: Rudradaman’s Junagarh or Girnar rock inscription.
Q.5. The Shakas were the natives of which region?
Ans: Central Asia.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.2
Q.1. Who was the most prominent Kushana ruler?
Ans: Kanishka was the most prominent Kushana ruler.
Q.2. Who started the Shaka era and when?
Ans: Kanishka; in 78 AD.
Q.3. Where and under whose patronage did the fourth Buddhist council took place?
Ans: Kundalavana (present day Harivan near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir); under Kanishka’s patronage.
Q.4. Who was Charaka?
Ans: Charaka is considered as the father of Ayurveda who wrote a book on medicine called the Charaka samhita.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.3
Q.1. What were the main features of the Greek style coins?
Ans: They contained legends and but of the ruler.
Q.2. Which term was used for Greek astronomers in early Indian literature?
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.4.
Q.1. Who was Kharavela?
Ans: Kharavela was the ruler of the Chedi dynasty which ruled over Kalinga from around the second century BC.
Q.2. Where is the Hathigumpha Inscription?
Ans: Near Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.5
Q.1. Who is considered to be the greatest of the Satavahana rulers?
Ans: Gautamiputra Satakarni (1st century AD).
Q.2. Name the capital of the Satavahanas.
Q.3. What was the lowest administrative unit under the Satavahanas?
Ans: Grama was the lowest administrative unit under the Satavahanas.
Q.4. Rulers of which dynasty started the practice of giving tax free religious grants in India?
Ans: The Satavahanas started the practice of giving tax free religious grants in India.
Q.5. The Satavahanas claimed to have belonged to which varna?
Ans: The Satavahanas claimed to have belonged to Brahmanas.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.6
Q.1. What was Uttarapatha?
Ans: Uttarapatha was a land route which connected northern and eastern parts of India with the northwestern fringes, i.e., present day Pakistan and further beyond.
Q.2. What was Dakshinapatha?
Ans: Dakshinapatha was a land route which connected peninsular India with western and northern parts of India.
Q.3. What was the impact of the discovery of Monsoons on Indian History?
Ans: It encouraged sea route between Rome and the Indian coasts.
Q.4. Which book gives the best account of Indo-Roman trade?
Ans: Periplus of the Erythrean sea written in the first century AD by an anonymous author.
Q.5. What were guilds?
Ans: Guilds were communities of merchants and artisans.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.7
Q.1. What are the two most important features of the post-Mauryan architecture?
Ans: The two most important features of the post-Mauryan architecture are (i) construction of stupas. (ii) Development of regional schools of art.
Q.2. What was a stupa?
Ans: Stupa was the Buddhist place of worship, as it has relics of Buddha or some Buddhist monk.
Q.3. Which were the prominent stupas of the post-Mauryan period?
Ans: The prominent stupas of the post-Mauryan period included—(i) The Sanchi.
(ii) The Bharhut.
(iii) The Amravati.
(iv) The Nagarjunakonda stupas.
Q.4. Differentiate between a chaitya and a vihara.
Ans: Within the Buddhist architecture both chaitya and vihara were rock cut structures. Chaitya was used as shrine and vihara, as residence for monks.
Q.5. Name the schools of sculptural art that developed in the post-Mauryan period.
Ans: The Mathura, the Amaravati and the Gandhara schools of art.
Q.6. What kind of stone was used in the Mathura school?
Ans: Red sandstone with black spots.
Q.7. Who were the chief patrons of Gandhara school of art?
Ans: The Shakas and the Kushanas.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 6.8
Q.1. What are the Megaliths?
Ans: Megaliths were tomb spots consisting of burials or graves.
Q.2. What does the term Sangam refer to?
Ans: The term Sangam refers to an assembly or ‘meeting together’ of Tamil poets.
Q.3. What are the themes of Sangam literature?
Ans: Love and war.
Q.4. Which are the important chieftains mentioned in the Sangam literature?
Ans: The Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras.
Q.5. Which are the five tinai or eco-zones noted in the Sangam poems?
Ans: Kurinji (hilly area); palai (arid zone); makai (pastoral tracks); marudam (wet lands); and neital (seacoast).
Q.6. Which Chola chief build a dam on river Kaveri?
Ans: Chola chief Karikala of the Sangam age.
Q.1. Discuss the major political developments in north India after the Mauryas.
Ans: The major political developments in north India after the Mauryas:
(i) The disintegration of the Mauryan empire led to the rise of many regional kingdoms in different parts of the country. In the north India the Shungas established their dynasty.
(ii) The last Mauryan king was killed by his Commander-in-Chief, Pushyamitra Shunga, who then established his own dynasty in north India. It came to be known as Shunga dynasty.
(iii) While the Shungas were ruling in north India, the Indo-Greeks also known as Yavanas, emerged in Bactria (Balkh) as an independent power and soon started extending their rule in the north-western and northern parts of India.
(iv) There are indications that Pushyamitra Shunga came in conflict with Demetrius, Bactrian Greek ruler without suffering much political damage.
(v) After the death of Alexander in 323 BC many Greeks came to settle on the north western borders of India with Bactria (area to the north-west of the Hindukush mountains in the present day north Afghanistan) as an important centre. The rulers of Bactria came to be called the Bactrian-Greeks because of their Hellenistic (Greek) ancestry. One of the rulers of the line named Demetrius as mentioned above came into conflict with Pushyamitra. Menander was the most celebrated Indo-Greek ruler. His empire appears to have included southern Afghanistan and Gandhara.
(vi) Shakas gradually came to settle in north western India around Taxila in the first century BC. Under the successive Shaka rulers their territories extended upto Mathura and Gujarat. Rudradaman was the most famous Shaka ruler. He ruled in the middle of second century AD. His empire was spread over almost whole of western India.
(vii) The Parthians were of Iranian origin and because of strong cultural connection with the Shakas, these groups were referred to in the Indian sources as Shaka-Pahlava. The important Inscription indicating the Parthian rule in northwestern area of Pakistan is the famous Takht-i-Bahi inscription recovered from Mardan near Peshawar. The inscription, dated in 45 AD, refers to Gondophernes or Gondophares as a Parthian ruler. Some literary sources associate him with St. Thomas, who is said to have converted both, the king and his brother to Christianity.
Q.2. Who were the Kushanas ? How would you assess their contribution to India?
Ans: (i) The Kushanas, originally belonged to western China. After defeating Shakas and Parthians they created a big empire in Pakistan.
(ii) Kanishka was the most famous ruler of the Kushanas. He probably ascended the throne in AD 78, and started a new era, now known as the Shaka era. It was under Kanishka that the Kushan empire reached its maximum territorial limits.
Contribution of the Kushanas towards India:
(i) The Kushanas have a special place in the ancient Indian history because of their contribution to various aspects of life. Their vast empire helped in the growth of internal and external trade. It resulted in the rise of new urban centres. The rich state of economy under the Kushanas is also evidenced by the large number of gold and copper coins that they struck.
(ii) Under Kushanas India made remarkable progress in literature and medicine. Charaka, known as father of Ayurveda, wrote a book on medicine called Charaksamhita whereas Asvaghosha, a Buddhist scholar, wrote Buddhacharita a full length biography of the Buddha. Both these scholars were believed to be the contemporaries of king Kanishka.
(iii) The Kushanas patronized the Gandhara and the Mathura schools of sculptural art which are known for producing the earliest images of Buddha and Boddhisattavas.
Q.3. Briefly discuss India’s contact with central Asian during the early centuries of the Christian era.
Ans: India’s contact with central Asia:
(i) Invasions of the Bactrian Greeks and Shaka-Pahlavas on India and its subsequent political contact with central Asia under the Kushanas resulted in immense cultural intermingling between the two regions.
(ii) These foreign groups gradually lost their foreign indentity and were incorporated in the Brahmanical society lower grade as Kshatriyas. Many of them adopted Buddhism. For example, the Indo-Bactrian ruler Menander was a follower of Buddhism.
(iii) Central Asian contacts also brought to India new methods of making coins. The crude punch-marked coins which were used earlier gradually gave way to refined Greek style coins containing legends and the bust of the ruler. subsequent coinage in India.
(iv) Indians also borrowed from Central Asians, particularly the Greeks, knowledge of astronomy. Early Indian literary works on astronomy frequently quote the Greek astronomers who are referred to as yavanacharya.
(v) Indians also learned the art of making horoscopes from the Greeks.
(vi) Central Asian contacts brought a fresh wave in the art of sculpture making. Buddhist sculptures of the Gandhara school, evolved as a result of the amalgamation of the Indian and the Greek styles.
Q.4. Write a short note on the achievements of Gautamiputra Satakarni.
Ans: Achievements of Gautamiputra Satakarni:
(i) Gautamiputra Satakarni is considered to be the greatest of the Satavahana rulers.
(ii) He is credited with the extension of Satavahana dominions by defeating Nahapana, the Shaka ruler of western India. His kingdom is said to have extended from river Krishna in south to river Godavari in north.
Q.5. Discuss the salient features of India’s overseas trade.
Ans: Salient features of India’s overseas trade:
(i) An important feature of the commercial activities in the thriving trade between India and the west, where the Roman empire was at its height.
(ii) Initially this trade was carried out through land, but owing to frequent obstructions created by the Persians, who ruled the areas through which these trade routes passed, the focus was shifted to sea routes. Now ships could move directly from Indian ports to the ports on Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
(iii) Spices, perfumes, jewels, ivory and fine textiles, i.e., muslin were exported from India to Rome.
(iv) Spices exported from India to the Roman empire included pepper, also called yavanapriya. The spice trade with the Roman empire was largely based in south India.
(v) Precious and semi-precious stones like diamond, carnelian, turquoise, agate, sapphire, etc., besides pearls, indigo, sandalwood and steel etc., were also exported from India to Rome.
(vi) India imported gold and silver from Rome. Other important items of import from the Roman empire included wine. Besides, the western traders also brought tin, lead, coral and slave girls.
Q.6. Write an essay on the various schools of sculptural art that emerged after the Mauryan empire.
Ans: Schools of sculptural art: There were three major schools of sculptural art which emerged after the Maurya empire. These were
(i) Mathura school of art.
(ii) Gandhara school of art.
(iii) Amravati school of art.
(i) The Mathura School of Art: The most prominent contribution of the Mathura school to the contemporary art was the images of Buddha which were carved for the first time perhaps in this art form. The Mathura artists used local red stone with black spots to make the images. Mathura has also yielded large numbers of sculptures of Jaina deities besides the ayagapatas or stone slabs to place objects of worship. The Brahmanical influence on the art school of Mathura is also evident. During the Kushana period a number of sculptures of brahmanical deities were carved, which included Kartikeya, Vishnu, Kubera.
(ii) The Gandhara School of Art: The Gandhara region was situated in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. This region was successively ruled by the Greeks, Mauryas, Sungas, Shakas, and Kushanas for many centuries. The school of art which developed here around the beginning of the Christian era has been called variously as Graceo-Roman, Indo Greek or Graeco-Buddhist, This is perhaps because this school has all the influences-Roman, Greek and Indian. The theme of sculptures is predominantly Buddhist but their style is Greek. The chief patrons of Gandhara art were the Shakas and Kushanas.
The stone used for making idols of Buddha and Boddhisattavas was predominantly blue-grey schist. Chief characteristics of Gandhara school of art lies in its beautiful portrayal of human figures with distinguished muscles of the body. Buddha is depicted with a garment draped in Graeco-Roman fashion, and with very curly hair. These beautiful images of the Buddha are ranked among the best pieces of sculptures.
(iii) The Amravati School of Art: The Amravati school of art flourished in the region of Andhra Pradesh between the lower valleys of rivers Krishna and Godavari. The important main patrons of this art form were the Satavahanas but it carried on even later, patronised by their successor Ikshavaku rulers. This art is said to have flourished between 150 BC and 350 AD. Sculptures of this school are mainly found on the railings, plinths and other parts of stupas. The thematic representations include the stories from the life of the Buddha.
An important characteristic of the Amravati school is the ‘narrative art’. The medallions were carved in such a manner that they depict an incident in a natural way. For example one medallion depicts a whole story of ‘taming of an elephant by the Buddha’. Another important feature of Amravati art is the use of white marble like stone to carve out the figures. There is prominence of human figures rather than of nature.
Q.7. What does the Sangam literature tell us about the political and social structure of Tamilaham during the early centuries of the Christian era?
Ans: A remarkable feature of the Sangam literature is its vivid portrayal of the contemporary society and culture of Tamilaham, or Tamil region and its peaceful and harmonious interaction with the northern (Aryan) culture.
Political structure of Tamilaham:
(i) Tamilaham stretches between the hills of Tirupati and the tip of Kanyakumari. It was divided amongst large number of chieftains and the chieftainship was hereditary.
(ii) The important chieftains who dominated Tamil region during Sangam Age were the Cholas, with their capital at Uraiyur, the Cheras with their capital at Vanji, and Pandyas with their capital at Madurai.
(iii) The Cholas, Pandyas and Cheras had several subordinate chiefs.
(iv) Tribute from subordinate chiefs along with plunder, were the main sources of revenue.
(v) There was frequent conflicts between the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. It gave large scope to the Sangam poets to compose poems on war.
(vi) The whole Tamilaham in this period was divided into five tinais or eco-zones, i.e., zones based on their economic resources. These were: Kurinji (hilly region); palai (arid zone); mullabi (pastoral tracts); marudam (wet lands); and neital (seacoast).
These zones were not clearly demarcated, and were scattered all around the region Because of their different geographical contexts and ecological specialities people in different tinais had their own modes of subsistence. For example, in Kurinji, it was hunting and gathering; in palai, where people could not produce anything they took to raiding and plundering; in mullai people practised animal husbandry; in marudam it was plough agriculture; and in neital people took to fishing and salt making..
Social structure of Tamilaham:
(i) Though the concept of varna was known, social classes in the Sangam period were not marked by higher or lower rankings as in north India. For example, Brahmanas were present in the society and they performed Vedic ceremonies and sacrifices and also acted as advisers to the chief but they enjoyed no special privileges.
(ii) People were known on the basis of their occupation they followed, such as artisans, salt merchants, textile merchants, etc.
(iii) The rich lived in well decorated brick houses and wore costly clothes whereas the poor lived in mud huts and had scanty clothes to wear.
(iv) War heroes occupied a special position in society, and memorial stones called nadukal or virukkal were raised in honour of those who died in fighting, and they were worshipped as godlings.
(v) Women in the Sangam period appear to have been educated. This is testified by many poems contributed by women poets to the Sangam literature.
(vi) Women were also engaged in various economic activities such as paddy plantation, cattle rearing, basket-making, spinning, etc.
(vii) The practice of Sati was also prevalent in Tamil society, and it was known as tippayadal. But it was not obligatory as there are references to widows present in society. However their position was miserable as they were prohibited to decorate themselves or participate in any form of amusement.