(Last Updated on : 11/04/2012)
The period of the Mauryan Empire, scripts a whole new epoch in the history of India. A little is known about the age old history of the Mauryan Empire while a lot is still shrouded in mystery. The Sources for the history of the Mauryan period are as follows:
: Megasthenese was the ambassador of Greek ruler Selucus. Megasthenese was in the court of Chandra Gupta and remained in India for fourteen years. In his book 'Indica', he has described the different aspects of Indian life including the administration of the state, local administration, life of the king etc. It is one of the most important sources for knowing the details about the Mauryan dynasty.
: Kautilya's 'Arthasastra' is also a very important source for the knowledge of Mauryan dynasty. Chanakya or Kautilya, the minister of Chandra Gupta throws a flood of light upon the contemporary social, political and economic conditions of the country at that time. They also gave a wealth of information regarding duties of the king, his foreign policy and organization of spies.
: Ashoka's inscriptions form the most important source of the Mauryan period. They are important for providing the knowledge about the extension of his empire, his religious policy, administration and his character.
: 'Mahavamsa', 'Diparamsa','Dibyavadan' Buddhist texts provide a lot of information regarding Mauryan period. 'Mudrarakshasha' of Visakhadatta, Purans, Tibetan and Nepali text are also important in this respect. Last but not the least, Rudradman inscription of Junagadh also furnishes some information about certain incidents of Mauryan period.