Short Q & A :
Q1: Write short notes on King Chandragupta Maurya.
Ans : Chandragupta Maurya was the founder of the Mauryan empire. He defeated Dhananda the last Nanda ruler. His court was adorned by wise men like Kautilya and ambassadors like Megasthenes. Many of Chanakya's ideas were written down in a book called theArthashastra. Megasthenes was sent to the court of Chandragupta by the Greek ruler of West Asia named Seleucus Nicator. He has given a lot of information regarding the King and the capital city of Pataliputra.
Q2: Differentiate between tribute and taxes.
Ans : Tribute was collected not on regular basis and people gave it more or less willingly, taxes were collected on regular basis and it was compulsory for the people to pay them
Q3: How can we say that Ashoka was a unique ruler?
Ashoka was the most famous Mauryan ruler.
Q4: Who paid taxes to the emperor?
Ans : axes were collected from farmers, herders, crafts persons and traders, who lived in villages and towns in the area. They were collected by officials appointed by the emperor.
Q5: Name some of the important cities of the Mauryan empire?
Ans : There were several cities in the empire such as the capital city Pataliputra, Taxila, and Ujjain.
Q6: Name the three important rulers of the Mauryan dynasty.
Ans : Chandragupta, his son Bindusara, and Bindusara's son, Ashoka were three important rulers of the Mauryan dynasty.
Q7: What was the relation of the people who lived in the forest areas with the empire?
Ans : People who lived in the forest areas were more or less independent, but they were expected to provide elephants, timber, honey and way to Mauryan officials.
Q8: What does Megasthenes write about Pataliputra?
Ans : According to Megasthenes, Pataliputra was a beautiful city surrounded by a huge wall. It had 570 towers and 64 gates. The houses had two or three storeys and were made of wood and mud brick. The palace of the king was made of wood with stone carvings. It was surrounded with gardens and enclosures for keeping birds.
Q9: How did Ashoka convey his message to the people?
Ans : Ashoka conveyed his message through inscriptions and his officials.
Q10: What does Megasthenes write about the Mauryan emperor?
Ans : According to the account of Megasthenes, the emperor appeared in public with grand royal processions. He was carried in a golden palanquin. Elephants guarding were decorated with gold and silver. The king was surrounded by armed women, as he was afraid someone might kill him. He never slept in the same bedroom for two nights. He had special servants who would taste his food before the king ate it
Q11: The lion capital is made of which material? What is the common feature between our national flag and the Lion capital?
Ans : The Lion capital is carved in stone. The Wheel "Ashoka Chakra" is found in both our National Flag and the Lion capital.
Q12: Where this lion capital was originally placed and how many lions are there in this Lion capital?
Ans : It was originally placed atop the Ashokan pillar at Sarnath, now in the state of Uttar Pradesh. There are four lions in this Lion capital.
Q13: What was Ashoka's dhamma? Explain.
Ans : Ashoka's dhamma was not related to the worship of any god or performance of sacrifice. He considered that it was his responsibility, just like a father has towards his children, to instruct the people of the empire so as to reduce conflicts among them. He was inspired by the teachings of the Buddha.
Q14: Why did Ashoka give up fighting wars?
Ans : Ashoka fought a war to conquer Kalinga. It was his last war. He decided to give up fighting wars after the victory over Kalinga, because he was horrified by the violence and bloodshed in that. He is the only king in the history of the world who gave up conquest after winning a war.
Q15: Write a note on the cities of the Mauryan empire.
Ans : The Mauryan empire was one of the largest empires to rule the Indian subcontinent. In the Mauryan empire, there were several cities such as the capital Pataliputra, Taxila and Ujjain. Taxila was a gateway to the northwest, including Central Asia, while Ujjain lay on the route from north to south India. Merchants, officials and crafts persons probably lived in these cities.
Q16: How can we say that Ashoka was a unique ruler?
Ans : Ashoka was the most famous Mauryan ruler. He was the first ruler who tried to take his message to the people through inscriptions. Most of his inscriptions were in Prakrit and were written in Brahmi script.
Q17: Explain the war which diverted Ashoka towards Buddhism?
Ans : The most famous war fought by Ashoka was the War of Kalinga. The blood and violence compelled him to abandon the fights on a large scale. The War of Kalinga diverted him to the teachings of Buddha. He is the only king in the history who gave up conquest after winning the war.
Q18: What was the difference between tributes and taxes?
Ans : Tributes were gifts that were given to the rulers by people with free will, taxes on the other hand were levied by the state administration and had to be paid. The taxes were the main source of revenue for the state.
Q19: How do we know that Ashoka did not force his people to become Buddhist?
Ans : Ashoka's edicts propagate Dhamma vis-vis Buddhism. Dhamma lays down principals of disciplined living and how to be a good human being.
Q20: What are Dipavamsa, Ashokavadana & Mahavamsha?
Ans : These are names of books, one in Sanskrit and two in Sinhalese which describe the life and times of Ashoka.
Q21: What did the Dhamma Mamattas do?
Ans : Dhamma Mahamattas, as the term implies spread the word of Dhamma amongst the people. They saw the carving of the edicts and even read them out to people who were unable to read it.
Q22: The empire was a vast territory. How did the Emperor run the empire?
Ans : Administration was decentralized. Provinces had governors and only the area in the immediate proximity of the capital was under the direct supervision of the emperor. Spies too were deployed to monitor the functioning of officials.
Q23: Ashoka propogated the principle of non-violence yet maintained a large standing army? Why?
Ans : The army was a deterrent for anyone who thought of attacking the far flung frontiers of Ashoka's empire.
Q24: Why are the Sarnath Lions and the Ashoka Chakra important for us?
Ans : The Sarnath lions are our National emblem and the Ashoka chakra occupies the palce of pride on our National Flag.
Long Q & A :
Q1: Briefly describe the administration of the Mauryan Empire.
The Mauryan empire was so large that different parts were ruled differently. The empire was divided into provinces with the imperial capital at Pataliputra. The area around Pataliputra was under the direct control of the emperor. Other areas or provinces were ruled from the provincial capitals such as Taxila and Ujjain.
For efficient administrative control over provinces following steps were taken -