The inscriptions on stones and copper plates are the main source of information to know about the system of land grants and trade from C.600 BCE to 600 CE.
1. Grants were made to religious institutions and Samantas.
2. Brahmans were given Agrahara grants.
3. The system of giving land as grants was adopted as a strategic tool to extend Brahmanical practices and to provide scope for the expansion of agriculture.
4. The kings wanted to make allies as the weakening of the powers was evident.
1. Both Inland and overseas trade flourished.
2. Inland trade developed within the country whereas trade relations were established with Central and West Asia and Northern Africa.
3. Inland trade was done through the rivers.
4. Merchants used caravans and bullock cart while the peddlers travelled on foot to carry on their business.
5. Salt, timber, cloth, spices and medicinal plants were some of the items that were traded.
6. Punch marked coins were introduced to facilitate trade.
7. The texts written in Tamil and Pali provide us with enough information on the trade practices during the period.
The social and economic life of the people can be understood from the inscriptions and manuscripts.
The Mauryan administration was praise-worthy.
The following are the sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryas.
a. Arthasastra written by Kautilya is the primary source of information about the Mauryas.
b. The Greek Ambassador, Megasthenes, who was in the court of Chandragupta Maurya wrote a book called Indica which is one of the valuable source of information of the Mauryan empire.
c. The archaeological evidences which are found on the palace walls of Pataliputra.
d. Buddhist, Jaina and Puranic literature also gives us details.
e. The pillar inscriptions and rock edicts also give us information about the Mauryan history.
1. Pataliputra was the capital of the Mauryas.
2. There were four provincial centres- Taxila, Ujjain, Tosali and Suvarnagiri.
3. The four provinces and the capital were well administered.
4. Taxila and Ujjain were on the important trade routes.
5. Suvarnagiri played a pivotal role in tapping Karnataka’s gold reserves.
6. The functioning of the military was administered by a committee.
7. Six sub committees were appointed to look after the functions of the navy, transport and provisions, foot soldiers, horses, chariots and elephants respectively.
Thus, the provincial administration of the Mauryas was commendable.
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