UPSC : Pre-Gupta Period UPSC Notes | EduRev
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- Pushyamitra Sunga assassinated Brihadratha, the last Maurya ruler and founded the Sunga dynasty.
- Vasudeva, the minister of the last Sunga ruler, murdered his master and founded the dynasty. Suserman, the last Kanva ruler, was killed by Pulamayi I of Satavahanas.
- Simukha was the founder and Pulamayi III was the last Satavahana ruler.
- Gautamiputra Satakarni was the greatest Satavahana ruler, praised in Nasik Inscription.
- Sri Satakarni is praised in the Nanaghat and Hathigupha Inscriptions.
- Feudal practices began during this period.
- Decline of the Satavahanas by 220 A.D. due to the constant conflict with the Sakas and the claiming of independence by local governors.
- They were the first foreign rulers of north-western India in the post-Maurya period.
- Introduction of Hellenistic art features in the north-western India.
- They were the first to issue gold coins.
- Menander was the most famous of all the Indo-Greek rulers.
- Among the five branches of Sakas with their seats of power in different parts of India, the most important was the one which ruled in western India till the fourth century A.D.
- Maga was the first Saka ruler in western India.
- The most famous saka ruler in India was Rudradaman I.
- Other important Saka rulers in India were Nahapana, Ushavadatta, Ghamatika, Ghastana etc.
- Replaced the Sakas in north western India.
- Originally they were from Iran.
- The most famous Parthian king was Gondophernes.
- Kushans replaced the Parthians in north-western India.
- they were one of the five Yeuchi clans of Central Asia.
- The most famous of all the Kushan rulers was Kanishka.
- He started the Saka era in 78 A.D.
- Vasudeva I was the last Kushnana ruler.
- Nagas replaced the Kushanas.
Chronology of Kings
- In the promotion and expansion of trade and commerce, the greatest contribution was made by the Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, etc.
- Arthashastra’s chapter on Kantakasodhana is mostly devoted to the strict control of artisans and traders by the state.
- The industries in early ancient India were concentrated in the areas where raw materials and markets were available.
- The main land routs between India and Western Asia passed through the pass of Khyber and the valley of Kabul.
- In the Mauryan and post-Mauryan periods, the most important emporium of trade in Western India was Bharukachchha.
- The Great Royal Road mentioned by Megasthenes ran from the Indus to Pataliputra.
- Sind Sauvira was famous in ancient India as the home of horses and asses.
- According to Patanjali, Mahura was specially famous for its textile (sataka) Industries.
- Magadha had the monopoly of iron deposit.
- The first to establish trade contacts with the Roman empire were Tamil and Chera Kingdoms.
- The main items of export from India to the Roman empire were luxury goods.
- On account of the use of Muslin imported from India did the Roman ladies become a menace to the city’s morals.
- The balance of trade was very unfavorable to the West and resulted in a serious drain of gold from the Roman empire. It was lamented by Pliny.
- The most interesting thing about the punch marked coins is that they do not bear the name of any ruler.
- The primary reason for the extension of India’s trade with South-East Asia was that the Roman need for spices could not be met entirely by local supply, and this led Indian merchants to venture as middlemen into South-east Asia.
- From the branch road connecting Kausambi and Bharukachchha the main route to the South took off from Ujjani.
- The port known to the author of Periplus Maris Erthreae as Padouke was Arikamedu.
- The oldest and the largest entrepot on the western coast on India, which handled the bulk of trade with Western Asia, was Barygaza.
- At Arikamedu a sizable Roman settlement and a roman factory have been discovered.
- About Kaveripattanam there are descriptions in early Tamil literature to the effect that, the Yavana ships used to arrive with their cargoes and that the Yavana section of the city overflowed with prosperity.
- An early ancient Indian city, which was a nodal point for trade routes from east to west and from north to south, was Vidisha.
- The great meeting ground of the Indian and Western merchants during the early centuries of the Christian era was Alexandria.
- The most commonly used coin, during the Mauryan period, was Karshapana.
- The metal, in which the Karshapana coins were minted, was Silver or Copper.
- Imported coins were mostly used as Bullion.
- The largest number of Roman coins have been found from Tamil Nadu.
- Seaborne trade between India and Rome received great impetus during the reign of Roman Emperor-Cladius.
- Banking functions were performed by the trade guilds of the period.
- The most widely exported metal from India was Iron and Steel.
- From the first century A.D. India’s foreign trade was mainly carried on by sea, because of the discovery of monsoon winds.
- The first Indian rulers to issue gold coins on the Roman pattern were Kushanas.
- The rulers of an ancient Indian ruling dynasty, who issued the coins representing as many as thirty-five deities worshipped by different peoples living in their kingdom, were the Kushanas.
- India maintained connection with Egypt through Red Sea route.
- In ancient India the guilds, besides being the organisation of craftsmen and merchants, also acted as—(I) Banks receiving public deposits; (II) Agencies receiving public deposits as trust properties; (III) Agencies spending the interests on deposits for specified religious or charitable purposes.
- With the Huna invasion of the Roman empire, India’s trade with it came to an end.
- Reasons for general decline of foreign trade during the later Gupta period—(I) Decline and fall of the Roman empire; (II) Arabs and Chinese outstripped the Indians in the art of shipbuilding; (III) Indian law-makers declared it a great sin for a Hindu to travel by sea.
- Nagar-sresthins acted as bankers and moneylenders.
- Silver was extensively imported from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
- Apart from Chinese silk, other important items of import were ivory and horses. Ivory was imported from Ethiopia.
- Persians seem to have monopolised trade in silk.
- Tamralipti was the port of call for voyagers from China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
- Pataliputra lost its prominence during the post-Gupta period.
- The silver coins of the Gupta period were known as Rupyaka.
- The Suvarnabhumi or Suvarnadvipa was a generic name for Burma, Malay peninsula and Neighbouring Indonesian islands.
- The most important imports to India from the Western World were wine, precious stones, medicines, and herbs.
- The fine textiles known as Dukula made of Fibres of plant.
- The term puga stood for a group of merchants.
- The term naigama stood for a group of inhabitants of the same town.
- In the Gupta period, the largest number of coins were issued in gold.
- Cowries was the common medium of exchange, according to Fahien.
- The issue of a large number of gold coins during the Gupta period indicates large inflow of gold due to growth in foreign trade.
- Chandragupta II, Vikramaditya was the first Gupta king to issue silver coins. He issued his silver coins on the model of silver coins of Sakas of Western and Central India.
Chandragupta - II
- Debasement of the coins and gradual disappearance of gold coins during the post-Gupta period indicates decline of trade.
- Certain scholars interpret the decline in the money economy in the post-Gupta period as indicative of emergence of feudalism.