HISTORY OF INDIA FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES UP TO C. 300 C.E
IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment July 2023 & January 2024
Q. 1. Explain archaeoloical excavation. Discuss some prominent archaeological sites in the Indian subcontinent.
Ans. Archaeology is the study of material culture to know the past. Closely related to history, archaeological studies include: sculptures, pottery remains, bone fragments, house remains, temple remnants and floral remains such as charred grains, coins, seals and inscriptions.
Archaeological sources in reconstructing India’s past have been used in the past two centuries. Until the 1920s, the Indian civilization was considered to have started from c. 6th century BCE.
After the excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa, the starting of the Indian civilization has gone back to about 5000 BCE.
The pre-historic artifacts show human activities started in India as early as two million years ago. Archaeological evidence shows that India was populated sparsely and thickly right from the Stone Age periods.
Archaeological methods such as excavation and exploration are used to collect data on trade, state, economy, societal aspects, religion and mundane aspects like how people lived, ate and clothed themselves.
Excavations have provided evidence of Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Iron age, Megalithic and many other cultures.
We know about the origin, spread, settlement patterns, town planning, trade, polity, economy, agriculture, hunting, technology, beads, seals, fire altars and religion.
Archaeological Source: Various archaeological finds such as excavated remains, standing monuments, sculptural reliefs and inscribed records have been used for reconstructing Indian history. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Sites are identified through ground reconnaissance and aerial surveying. Experts involved in the study of archaeological artefacts include palaeontologists, palynologists, geo- archaeologists, archaeo-zoologists and ethno-archaeologists.
Excavation; Excavation are of two types [i] vertical and [ii] horizontal. vertical excavation reveal stratification and are cut into two deposits.
Horizontal excavation reveals the snatial relatioship between artefact and feature of a particular layer.
Excavators combine both the strategies. Archaeologists make a systematic study of the artefacts to arrive at conclusions regarding past life-ways and events.
Today, archaeologists use various dating methods and assign age to a particular artefact. Radiocarbon dating is the most popular. Other absolute dating techniques include Thermoluminiscence dating and Dendrochronology.
Historians have also used other branches like epigraphy and numismatics. We know about the Indo-Greek, Shaka-Pahlava and Kushan kings from numismatic sources. Epigraphs reveal Ashoka’s views on dhamma and the conquests of Samudragupta.
Coins: Coins have been found in excavations.
The study of coins is called Numismatics. Coins are considered as the 2nd most important source for reconstructing the history of India; the first being inscriptions.
Coins are very valuable because their chronology and cultural context are precise. They also bear the stamps of the issuing authorities.
The Second Urbanization (c. 6th century BCE) in the early Indian history is the first instance for which historians have found both the literary and archaeological evidence of coinage.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Inscriptions: The study of inscriptions is called Epigraphy. Inscriptions are carved on seals, copper plates, temple walls, wooden tablets, stone pillars, rock surfaces and bricks or images.
The oldest inscriptions in the Harappan script of c. 2500 BCE is still un-deciphered. The writing is carved on the Harappan seals.
The earliest deciphered inscriptions are the Ashokan edicts found on the rock surfaces and stone pillars.
In his empire in the present-day Afghanistan he used Aramaic and Greek scripts for his edicts. In the Gandhara region, he used Kharoshthi script.
The Brahmi script was used for the rest of his empire: from Kalsi in the north in Uttaranchal up to Mysore in the south.
The Brahmi script was also adopted by the rulers of the succeeding centuries. All the scripts of India including: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam in the south and Nagari, Gujarati and Bengali have developed from the Brahmi script.
The examples are the Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela – the 1st century BCE-1st century CE king of Kalinga (Odisha) -and the Allahabad Pillar inscription of the Gupta king Samudragupta. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Inscriptions of the Kshaharatas, Shaka-Kshatraps and Kushanas adopt Indian names within two or three generations.
These inscriptions show them being engaged in social and religious welfare activities. Sanskrit came to occupy a prime place since the Gupta period.
The Allahabad Pillar Inscription enumerates the achievements of Samudragupta. The Chalukya king Pulakeshin II gives a dynastic genealogy and achievements in his Aihole inscription.
Similarly, the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja gives full account of his predecessors and their achievements.
Some inscriptions record the construction of a dam, reservoir, tank, well or charitable feeding houses.
The Junagadh (Girnar) inscription of Shaka ruler Rudradaman records the construction of a water reservoir called Sudarshana lake during the time-period of Chandragupta Maurya, its completion during the reign of Ashoka and its repair in c. 2nd century CE.
Apart from these different kinds of inscriptions we also find miscellaneous types such as labels, graffiti, religious formulae and writing on seals, etc. The inscriptions are a good source of political, social and economic history.
Monuments: Many antiquarian tells about the past. The temples and sculptures found all over the country show the architectural and artistic history and achievements of Indian culture. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Large caves, like at Ajanta and Ellora, have been excavated in the hills in western India which constitute chaityas and viharas.
Large temples have been carved out of rock like the Kailash temple of Ellora and the rathas at Mamallapuram.
The monuments of medieval period show the grandeur and riches enjoyed by the ruling class. Also, they throw light on the regional styles of architecture, influences from different areas, etc.
The archaeological excavations also brought to light the townships of Taxila, Kaushambi, Kashi (Rajghat), Ayodhya, Vaishali, Bodhgaya, etc. belonging to the Buddha’s time.
All of these places except Taxila are said to have been visited by the Buddha in c. 6th century BCE.
Bhimbetka: Bhimbetka in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh was discovered in 1957 by V. S. Wakankar. It has over 700 caves and rock shelters in the sandstone formations of the Vindhyan hills. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Excavations revealed regular occupation from the lower Palaeolithic to Mesolithic. After Mesolithic, human presence and activities continued till the historical period. The
Excavation: Excavations are of two types: (i) Vertical, and (ii) Horizontal. Vertical excavations reveal stratification and are cut into deep deposits.
Horizontal excavations reveal the spatial relationships between artefacts and features of a particular Mesolithic period is very well-defined with its microlithic industry and known for its magnificence of rock art which primarily consists of paintings done in red ochre; although white, yellow and green have also been used.
These paintings represent naturalistic, figurative and abstract art and include a wide variety of scenes such as hunting, fishing, honey collection, dancing and some scenes that might be related to shamanism.
The earliest dates for the Mesolithic period at Bhimbetka go back to the 7th millennium BCE. In 2003, it was listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage site.
Mehrgarh: Mehrgarh in the Bolan valley in the northern part of the Kacchi/Kachhi plain near Baluchistan in present- day Pakistan is one of the earliest village settlements in the Indian subcontinent.
Excavations revealed seven occupational levels scattered over an area of 200 ha. Period I and Period II are Neolithic and the subsequent ones are Chalcolithic.
Evidence indicate people lived in the houses of small rectangular rooms made of handmade mud-bricks. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Neolithic ground or polished axes have bee found at the site. Blade-based microliths, grinding stones, some bone tools like awl, needles, etc. were also found.
Elaborate burials found at a necropolis had a niche cut into one side of the pit in which the body and grave goods were placed.
It was sealed by a wall of mud bricks. The body was covered with red ochre which may indicate a fertility related belief. Among grave goods offered were bitumen lined baskets, copper and shell beads.
A few skeletons were found with headbands and belt like waist ornaments made of shell beads and necklaces made of steatite beads.
Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli beads also occur which could have come from northern Baluchistan and Afghanistan.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Harappa: Harappa in the Punjab province of Pakistan was the first site of Harappan civilization. The excavation in 1920 at a the site of about 150 ha, located on the bank of river Ravi, found several mounds of Harappa.
The citadel mound is located on a higher area and the lower mound of the lower town to its south-east.
The roughly parallelogram shaped citadel was surrounded by a mud brick wall and with large towers and gates.
A Granary, 18 circular working floors and workmen’s quarters have been found to the north of the citadel (Mound F).
Areas of the lower town show various workshops where shell, copper, agate artefacts were made. Parts of the lower town indicate there were houses, drains, bathing platforms.
Two cemeteries – Cemetery H and R-37 to the south of the citadel mound have also been found.
Q. 2. Analyze the process of formation of some regions in ancient India.
Ans. Major perennial nuclear regions which emerged quite early as bases of power were Ganga-Yamuna doab, Middle Ganga valley, Malwa, Northern Deccan, Andhra, Kalinga (Coastal Odisha) and Tamil plains.
Konkan, Kanara and Chhattisgarh were smaller areas, may be called sub-regions, which preserved their individuality.
The Raichur doab between Krishna and Tungabhadra and Vengi between Godavari and Krishna have been the areas of dispute for their agricultural resource potential.
The Gangetic Basin: Ganga plain has played a dominant role in the Indian subcontinent because of its high agricultural productivity and rich population base.
Middle Ganga plains emerged more successful than the upper and lower plains. Indo- Gangetic divide was the center during the Rig-Vedic period.
The geographical focus shifted to Ganga-Yamuna doab in the later Vedic period around 1000 BCE. The emergence of Janapadas tended to accelerate by 6th century BCE.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Mahajanapadas incorporated smaller Janapadas. Dense jungles were cleared for habitation by fire and metallic tools. Surplus production of paddy was made possible by the deep ploughing iron ploughshare.
Agricultural surpluses helped in rise and growth of towns. Distinctive pottery NBP appeared around 500 BCE.
The first system of coinage was introduced. Evidence shows of a good communication network with other parts of the subcontinent. Social changes also happened.
Settled life helped in shedding pastoral arid tribal traits. Later Vedic people came into closer touch with the autochthons and there is evidence in later Vedic literature of this interaction and inter-mingling.
The diversification and specialization of occupations produced conditions congenial for the rise of caste system within the fourfold varna frame.
There were sweeping social, economic and political changes with the rise of Janapadas. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Grama (village), nigama (a bigger settlement where commercial exchange also took place) and nagara (town) were usual components of the Janapada.
Woods and jungles (vana) were also parts of it. With the rise of Mahajanapadas, the growth of Mahanagaras (big cities) and concomitant affluent and impoverished social categories also happened.
The Tamil Country: The Sangam literature has a vivid account of transition to a state-society in the ancient Tamil country (Tamilakam/Tamilaham) from an earlier tribal-pastoral stage.
There were different ecological regions. People were dependent on food gathering, marginal agriculture, fishing and cattle-tending to intensive agriculture.
The fertile river valleys of Kaveri, Periyar and Yaigai had the surplus agricultural production and were the stronghold of Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas.
The peasantry looking for protection from raids and plunder absorbed into a system in which a rudimentary state came into existence.
The state formation process was accelerated by: (i) Roman trade in early centuries of the Common Era, (ii) Rise of towns, and (iii) Penetration of northern Sanskritic (Aryan) culture along with the Brahmanas.
The Deccan: Andhra and Maharashtra: The iron-using Megalithic communities which followed the Neolithic-Chalcolithic cultures provided base for settled agriculture and helped in the transformation in Andhra and northern Deccan.
In 5th-3rd century BCE, peasants started cultivating high yielding paddy in the occupied coastal tracts of Andhra. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Evidence at Megalithic burials shows status differentiation, redimentary craft specialization and a rudimentary exchange network which transported mineral resources to northern Deccan.
The change of Megalithic phase from around the 3rd century BCE marks the beginnings of change in a largely egalitarian, ranked society into a stratified society.
By 2nd century BCE metallic money was introduced and Roman trade and urbanization happened. A number of towns existed in Andhra and Maharashtra during this period.
By this time Buddhism had spread in Deccan and growth of monasteries and Buddhist centres occurred. With the coming of Mauryas the Megalithic culture gave way to early historical settlements.
Many urban centres and monasteries in Deccan came up. This interaction led to the emergence of localities in Deccan. Localities were significant by the time of Satavahanas.
From 2nd century BCE, agricultural settlements expanded and integration of new communities happened. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
First, the monasteries and Buddhism and later, the Brahmanas and Brahmanism helped the process of social integration.
A triangular relationship between settled communities, state and the monasteries and or the Brahmanas developed.
Kalinga and Ancient Odisha: During 4th-3rd century BCE, major changes happened in the ancient Odisha. Between c. 300 BCE and c. 300 CE, internal transformations of tribal society happened.
The change was partly autonomous and partly stimulated by contracts with Sanskritic culture of Gangetic plains which started during Nandas and Mauryas.
In 4th-9th centuries, a series of sub-regional states in different pockets of the region emerged.
Littoral zone of the deltaic coast saw transition earlier than the inland forest tracts and rolling uplands which have much in common with the adjoining Chhattisgarh and Bastar sub- regions.
Tribal situation in central and western Odisha accounted for the arrested and uneven process of transformation in the region.
Large concentration of tribals and physiography of the land prevented a repetition of the Gangetic socio-economic pattern.
Caste society within the varna structure was late to emerge in Odisha. Odisha’s social structure presents an interesting case of regional variation.
The North-West: Sindh and Baluchistan in north-west were cut off from the mainstream of cultural development by the Great Indian Desert.
Since the Kushana period, these areas became a part of a supra-regional political system which included a major part of northern India.
However, in north-west the Gandhara region was an exception. In the 6th century BCE Gandhara was listed among the 16 Mahajanapadas.
Bimbisara, the king of Magadha, had diplomatic links with Gandhara and its capital Taxila was a centre of learning and trade. Evidence shows Gandhara had trade relation with Mathura, central India and the Romans.
Owing Gandhara continued to be a meeting place of various people and cultures. In the last quarter of 6th century BCE, the region was politically a part of Achaemenid (Persian) empire. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Urban life at Taxila existed from c. 500 BCE to c. 500 CE. The urban life was at its peak between 2nd century BCE-2nd century CE. Gandhara school of art developed during this period.
Q. 3. Describe the theories of suddEn decline of the Harappan civilization.
Ans. Some of the theories for the decline of the Harappan civilization are:
(a) Massive floods might have destroyed it,
(b) The shift in the course of rivers and the gradual drying up of the Ghgggar-Hakra river system,
(c) Barbarian invaders destroyed the cities,
(d) The growing demands of the centres disturbed the ecology of the region and the area could not support them anymore.
Floods and Earthquakes: The theory of flooding as the cause of decline of the civilization is inferred from the fact that the houses and streets of Mohenjodaro were covered with silty clay and collapsed building material.
This kind of catastrophic flooding and re-building on top of the debris seems to have happened at least thrice. Thick silt deposits have been noticed at points as high as 80 feet above the present-day ground level.
Raikes’s Hypothesis: Famous hydrologist R.L. Raikes believes that Harappan civilization declined because of catastrophic flooding causing prolonged submergence of cities located on the bank of the Indus.
He suggests that the Indus area is a disturbed seismic zone and earthquakes might have raised the level of flood plains of the lower Indus.
Criticism: H.T. Lambrick says the theory is incorrect due to two reasons:
(i) The large volume of water from the Indus would easily breach even if an earthquake artificially raised a bund down- stream.
(ii) The silt of Mohenjodaro might not be the deposition of a flood. Silt deposition would parallel the rising surface of water in the hypothetical lake. It would happen along the bottom of the former course of the river.
This theory also fails to explain the decline of settlements outside the Indus system.
The Shifting Away of the Indus: Lambrick believes that changes in the course of the Indus could be the cause of the destruction of Mohenjodaro.
It shifted about 30 miles away from Mohenjodaro. Increased Aridity and Dying up of Ghaggar: D .P. Agarwal and Sood suggest that the Harappan civilization declined because of increasing aridity in the area and the drying up of the Ghaggar-Hakra.
They say there was an increase in arid conditions by the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Barbarian Invasions: Wheeler believes that the Harappan civilization was destroyed by the Aryan invaders.
In the late phases of occupation at Mohenjodaro, there are evidences of a massacre. Human skeletons have been found lying on streets.
Q. 4. Disuess the polities and society in the later Vedic period.
Ans. Later Vedic society and polity was influenced by the change from a predominantly pastoral to a mixed farming economy. The main trends in the changes included:
(i) The nature of chiefship changed as territorial identity emerged in place of tribal identity.
(ii) The social structure became much more complex. There was inequality and the same clan was divided into groups.
Polity: The concept of Janapada, which meant the area where the tribe settled, emerged. The word Rashtra was used for the first time, but not in the sense of a state with well-defined territories.
The Kurus, formed from the union between two major Vedic tribes – the Bharatas and the Purus, occupied the area in the upper portion of the Ganga-Yamuna doab.
The Panchalas occupied the middle portion of the doab called the Panchala Desh. When the Kurus and Panchalas came together their authority over the upper and middle reaches of the Ganga-Yamuna doab was complete.
These changes helped towards the formation of Mahajanapadas and Janapadas by c. 6th century BCE.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Tribal Chiefs and Warriors: The status and functions of tribal chiefs changed when tribal groups were associated and identified with particular territories.
The rajan, or tribal chief, emerged as the protector of the territory where his tribesmen settled. The rajanya became the Kshatriya, who held power over dominions.
Kshatriyas became the protector of their tribes and the land over which their tribes settled.
The vish paid prestations to the Kshatriya for protection and thus, the vish became subordinates to Kshatriyas. Bali and Bhaga gradually became regular tributes and taxes.
Tribal Assemblies: The nature of tribal assemblies also changed. The sabha became more important than samiti. The sabha helped the king in his duties. The office of the raja was restricted to Kshatriyas.
Raja’s Legitimacy: Consecratory rituals became more important for the ruler to assert his authority. Ceremonial sacrifices like rajasuya, ashvamedha and vajapeya were performed on lavish scale.
The ashvamedha yajna was performed to subjugate other areas and legitimize the ruler’s hold over alien lands. Other yajnas included prayers for rulers’ health.
Tribal Conflicts: The nature of conflicts within the tribes changed. The acquisition of land became an important element. The necessity of increasing territory can be connected with the growth of population.
Iron weapons and light wheeled chariots driven by horses raised the efficiency of fighters. The Mahabharata depicts an intra-clan warfare between the Kauravas and Pandavas of the Kuru clan.
The Priest: The Brahmanas became important since they legitimized the office of the ruler through consecratory rituals.
The status of the officiating priests became at par with the Gods in the later period. The Gods had to be propitiated with yajnas and the officiating Brahman had to be satiated with dana.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Society: The society was divided into unequal groups- Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. The Brahmana was compared to the head whereas the Shudra was compared to the feet.
Concept of Varna: The features of varna system were: (a) status by birth, (b) hierarchical ordering of the varnas (Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) with Brahmana at the top and Shudra at the base), (c) rules of endogamy and ritual purity.
The Varna system was tied with the concept of Dharma i.e, universal law. The varna dharma was an attempt to establish a social law for a systematic functioning of the society.
Gotra: Gotra signified descent from a common ancestor. The people practiced gotra exogamy (marrying outside the gotra). Marriages could not happen between couples belonging to the same gotra.
Family: Family was patriarchal. The grihapati had a special status. The grihapatis were wealthy and their ritual role was that of a yajamana, who orders sacrifice.
Three Stages of Life: The three stages of life (ashramas) were Brahmacharya (studentship), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (partial retirement from house-holding life by living in the forest).
The fourth i.e. the Sanyasa (complete retirement from active participation in the world) stage was not known till the time the Upanishads were written.
The Sanyasis (the ascetics) in the later periods were individuals who protested against the Vedic social structure.
Q. 5. Write an essay on the types of trade in peninsular India.
Ans. In peninsular India, the growth of trade and emergence of urban centres happened along with other important changes generated by:
(i) Changes within the society after the growth of agriculture.
(ii) Mauryan expansion in peninsular India leading to greater contact with the north and to movement of traders, merchants and others.
(iii) From the close of 1st century BCE demand for Indian goods brought merchants from Roman world in the west in close contact with peninsular India.
(iv) The growth of crafts specialization or growth of skill in producing crafts items.
For example, different types of pottery, bead- making, glass-making, weaving of cloth all required different skills.
All corners of India were not uniformly affected by these changes. Earlier forms of culture persisted in some areas.
The changes were more prominent in different parts of Deccan.
The growth of trade and urban centres can be studied under following heads:
(a) Exchange mechanism, (b) organizations of guilds, (c) trans-portation, storage and shipping, (d) means of exchange, (e) revenue from trade, (f) urban centres, and (g) economic trade.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
There were three levels of trade: (i) Local trade (ii) Long-distance overland [iii] long- distance overseas tradition.
Local Trade: Barter was the most common mode of transaction. Salt was exchanged for paddy; paddy was exchanged for milk, curd and ghee; honey was given for taking fish oil and liquor; rice flakes and sugarcane were given for venison and toddy.
Luxury items like pearls and elephant tusks also appeared as items of barter, but rarely. They were also bartered for articles of consumption such as rice, fish, toddy, etc. A loan system was also there.
A fixed quantity of an article could be taken to be repaid in the same kind and quantity at a later date. This was called Kurietirppai.
People were resorting to petty bargaining for fixing the price of articles. Salt was bartered for an equal measure of paddy.
In Deccan under the Satavahana rule, coins were used. Craft produces like pots, pans, toys and trinkets were bartered in rural areas.
Long-Distance Overland Trade: Contacts between the northern and southern parts of India can be traced back c. 4th century BCE. Early Buddhist literature refers to a route from the Ganga valley to the Godavari valley, known as the Dakshinapath.
Kautilya wrote about the advantage of this southern route. He wrote that the southern territories abounded in conch-shells,
diamonds, pearls, precious stones and gold. Besides, the route passed through territories that were rich in mines and valuable merchandise.
The route touched many southern centres including the city of Pratishthana, which became the capital of the Satavahanas later.
Luxury articles like pearls, precious stones and gold were traded in this northsouth trade. Good varieties of textiles also moved between north and south also.
A fine variety of silk from Kalinga was an important item favoured by the Tamil chieftains. The birds who sang in praise of chieftains received this silk cloth as a valuable present.
The fine type of pottery called Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) also found its way to the extreme south.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Long-Distance Overseas Trade: In Western countries, Indian spices, precious and semi-precious stones, timber, ivory and many other articles were in great demand. The south India was the main source of these articles.
Considering the bulk of transactions and the resultant profit, there was direct trade with the Roman world. Earlier the Arabs were the middlemen.
Later on a direct contact with the Romans established with knowledge of monsoon winds.
Q. 6. Heroic Poems.
Ans. The Tamil heroic poems were products of the folk. They signify and highlight the tradition of bards who roamed about singing the praise of their patron chiefs.
Some of them were also composed by scholarly poets who followed the bardic tradition. Kapilar, Paranar, Avvayar and Gautamanar were some of the well-known poets of the period.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
The Tamil heroic poems were collected and classified by the Sangam, an academy of scholars. The poems were written much earlier than the Sangam.
There were three sangams among which the works of the last one have survived. The time gap between the Sangam and the heroic poems shows that the name Sangam literature is a misnomer.
Spanned over a few centuries the poems reflect the gradual development of Tamil language and literature.
They survive not in their original independent form but as classified anthologies or choice collections.
Q. 7. Outline History of Satavahana Dynasty.
Ans. In the post-Mauryan period many local rulers started ruling in regions like Vidarbha, eastern Deccan, Karnataka and western Maharashtra.
The Satavahana empire is said to have been built through the consolidation of numerous local centres.
The Satavahanas probably belonged to a clan or branch of the Andhra tribe whose power gradually rose in the Deccan and western India around 1st century BCE (Chakravarti 2013:181).IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
They are believed to have begun their rule around 1st century BCE and the rule ended in early 3rd century CE. Simuka is known as the founder of this dynasty whose apex political centre was Pratishthan or Paithan.
The Prakrit Nasik inscription mentions the Satavahana ruler Gautamiputra Satkarni as ekabrahmana (Singh 2009: 383).
That another ruler of this dynasty – Satkarni I – performed ashvamedha sacrifices is known through the Nanaghat inscription.
These facts suggest that the local rulers played a significant role in the making of Satavahanas.
They were the earliest indigenous tribes that were transformed into a monarchical polity. The rulers of this dynasty may have attempted to sanctify their position through the performance of Vedic sacrifices.
Q. 8. Maurya’s administrative system.
Ans. The Arthashastra mentions Revenue Administration (kosha) as the essential component of the saptaanga rajya. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Samahartri was the chief collector of revenue and in-charge of maintaining accounts. Samnidhartri was the treasurer of the royal stores.
The chief collector was taking care of the revenue collection from seven heads: (i) the fortified urban area (durga), (ii) the countryside (rashtra), (iii) mines (khani), (iv) irrigation projects (setu), (v) forest (vana), (vi) pasture grounds (vraja), and (vii) trade routes (vanika path).
There were different sources of tax collection. There were about 22 taxes collected from the urban area (durga).
The revenues from the rural areas were collected in the form of income from crown lands (sita), land revenue (bhaga) from cultivators, taxes on orchards and ferry charges.
There were also some direct taxes. For instance, the gamblers were paying 5% of their winnings to the state and the merchants had to pay when their weights were tested and certified by the state officials.
The major part of revenue was used in the maintenance of armed forces, payment of salaries to the state officials and king’s expenses.
The state also spent a substantial portion for the promotion of religious activities and gifting. The state’s public welfare activities are also noticed in Ashokan inscriptions and in the Arthashastra.
Q. 9. Teachings of the Buddha.
Ans. The teachings of the Buddha were: (a) Four Noble Truths, and (b) Eight-Fold Path. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
The Four Noble Truths are: (i) The world is full of suffering. (ii) All suffering have a cause: desire, ignorance and attachment are the causes of suffering. (iii) The suffering could be removed by destroying its cause. (iv) To end suffering one must know the right path.
This path is called the Eight-Fold Path (Ashtangika Marga).
The Eight-Fold Path are:
(i) Finding the right view. (ii) Right aim. (iii) Right action. (v) Right livelihood. (vi) Right effort. (vii) Right mindfulness, and (vii) Right concentration.
Right speech (iv) The Buddha laid stress on certain other aspects: (i) He emphasized on the spirit of love. Love could be expressed on all living beings by following ahimsa (non-killing).
(ii) An individual should pursue the middle path and both severe asceticism and luxurious life are to be avoided.
The Buddha’s teachings put forward a serious challenge to the Brahmanical ideas: (iii) The Buddha’s liberal and democratic approach quickly attracted people from all sections.
His view against the caste system and supremacy of Brahmins was welcomed by the people of lower orders. In Buddhism salvation lay in one’s good deeds.
No middle man is needed for that.
(ii) The Buddha rejected the authority of the Vedas and condemned animal sacrifices. He protested against the complicated and meaningless rituals.
He said that neither sacrifice to gods can wash away sin nor any prayer of any priest do any good to a sinner.IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
Q. 10. The City in Archaeology.
Ans. Excavation reports provide more dependable idea regarding cities of the period because the archaeological data can be dated with greater certainty.
By about 700 BCE small settlements came into existence in places like Ayodhya, Kaushambi and Shravasti. Various kinds of potteries were used by the people in the period.
Painted Grey Ware (PGW) pottery is important among them because many people living in upper Gangetic valley were also using this pottery. In other settlements of middle Gangetic valley people used a pottery called Black- and Red Ware.
By about 6th century BCE people of this entire zone started using, along with other varieties of pottery, a particular kind of pottery having glossy surface, called Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW).
It indicates broad cultural uniformity in the Gangetic valley towns of c. 6th century BCE. Excavations at Taxila show that this town might have come into existence by 8th-7th century BCE. IGNOU BHIC 131 Solved Free Assignment
However, planned township came into existence only around c. 2nd century BCE. Excavations show that none of these cities would exceed four to five square km.