Emergence of Mahajanapadas (600-321 BC)
In the later Vedic period, the tribal organisations changed their identity and gradually shifted to the territorial identity, and the area of settlement was now regarded as janapadas or states. In transition from tribal to monarchy, they lost the essential democratic pattern of the tribe but retained the idea of government through an assembly representing the tribes.
These states consisted of either a single tribe such as Shakyas, Kolias, Malas etc. The people in the lower Ganges Valley and Delta, which were outside the Aryan pale, were not incorporated. There was, therefore, a strong consciousness of the pure land of the Aryans called Aryavarta. Each janapada tried to dominate and subjugate other janapadas to become Mahajanapadas.
Important Republics: The kings in these states had the supreme authority. The Mahajanpadas of Vriji, Malla, Kuru, Panchal and Kamboj were republican states and so were other smaller states like Lichhavi, Shakya, Koliya, Bhagga, and Moriya. These republican states had a Gana-parishad or an Assembly of senior and responsible citizens. This Gana-Parishad had the supreme authority in the state. All the administrative decisions were taken by this Parishad.
Again, the republics were basically of two types:
(a) the republics comprising a single tribe like those of the Sakyas, the Kolias and the Mallas, and
(b) the republics comprising a number of tribes or the republics of confederacy like the Vrijjis. Match the following Mahajanapadas with their capitals
Match the following Mahajanapadas with their capitals
Difference between Republics and Monarchies
In the fourth century BC, the Greeks and the Iranians fought for the supremacy of the world. The Greek ruler Alexander conquered not only Asia Minor and Iraq but also Iran. From Iran, he marched to India, obviously attracted by its great wealth. Alexander conquered principalities one by one. Among the rulers of these territories, two were well-known: Ambhi, the prince of Taxila, and Porus whose kingdom lay between the Jhelum and the Chenab. After the conquest of Iran, Alexander moved on to Kabul, from where he marched India through the Khyber Pass. Ambhi, the ruler of Taxila, readily submitted to the invader, augmented his army and replenished his treasure.
Alexander remained in India for 19 months (326-325 BC), which were full of fighting. He had barely any time to organize his conquest. Still, he made some arrangements. Most of the conquered states were restored to their rulers who submitted to his authority. But his own territorial possessions were divided into three parts, which were placed under three Greek governors.
From which pass did Alexander & his army marched into India?
The Achaemenid rulers of Iran, who expanded their empire at the same time as the Magadhan kings, took advantage of the political disunity on the north-west frontier. The Iranian ruler, Darius, penetrated into north-west India in 518 BC and annexed Punjab, west of the Indus, and Sindh.
The Persian Invasion
He divided the province in 20th Straphy, which was considered to be the richest and the most populous province of the Persian empire. According to Herodotus, Punjab and Sindh satrapy (province) was the twentieth in the Persian empire. It was considered to be the richest and the most popular province of the Persian empire. Its annual tribute amounted to 360 Euboic talents of gold-dust. The Kharosthi script was used on the north-western frontier from then until about the 4th century AD. On the eve of Alexander's invasion, the hold of Persian emperors on their Indian provinces had become weak.
King Darius or Darus invaded India
Alexander invaded India
Indo Greeks or Bactrians invaded India
Sakas invaded India
Ist century AD
Pahalavas invaded India
Kushanas or Yue-chis invaded India
Effects of Persian Invasion
Effects of Greek Invasion
Arrange the following ruler’s/kingdom invasions on India in the chronological order (Oldest to latest)
1. Alexander Invasion
2. King Darius
4. Indo Greeks