Ch. 5 Disintegration of Empire Shungas Kalinga Indo-Greeks Kushans Shakas
Political events in India became diffuse, with a variety of kings, eras, and people. • Caught up in the turmoil in in Central Asia. • The 2c B.C.E saw the sub-continent divided into a number of political regions, each with its own ambition.
The Shungas • Political heirs to the Mauryan dynasty • Came from Ujjain in Western India • They were officials of Mauryas there. • Pushyamitra assassinated the last Mauryan ruler to declare himself the ruler. • Opposed Buddhism • Supporter of Hinduism (brahmanical orthodoxy) • Performed horse sacrifices
Wars • Shungas were constantly occupied with wars. • South- and northern Deccan • Greek in the North West • Within a 100 years the kingdom had dwindled to Magadha alone.
Kalinga • Cause of anxiety for the Shungas. • Rose to power in the middle of the 1c B.C.E. • King Kharavela, illustrious rulers of Kalinga • A Jain but continued warfare. • Hathigumpha (elephant’s cave) inscription records his conquests • Defeated- Magadha, Deccan, Pnadyas. • No mention of Mauryas- although mentions Nandas
Indo-Greeks • The generals in North west broke away from Greek empire and create their own kingdoms. • Diodotus revolted against the Achaemenid dynasty • Finally the Seleucids recognised the independence of Bactria in 200 B.C.E.
Menander (155-130) • Best remembered of the Indo-Greek rulers • Milindapanha- the Questions of Milinda • Between Buddhist philosopher Nagasena and Menander • Buddhist • N-w India
Besnagar • Pillar inscription of Heliodorus • Envoy of king Antialkidas of Taxila to the King of Besnagar • Heliodorus professes himself to be a bhagavata (follower of Vasudeva) • Though a Greek, became a convert to Hinduism.
The Kushans • The Chinese began building the great wall to guard against the tribes on their border. • The tribes are pastoral, nomad- but raided China from time to time • Hiungnu, Wu-sun, and Yue-chi • These tribes could not raid China because of the great wall, but began moving South and West.
There were two groups of Yue-Chi that migrated- One (the Little Yue-chi) settled in the Tibet • The other- The great Yue-Chi fought the Shakas, Parthians and Scythians and settled in Bactria and Gandhara region. • Kanishka was the most illustrious of the Kushan rulers • Built numerous stupas- the Bamiyan Buddha • Gandhran Buddhism is attributed to him
Shakas • Founder was Maus • Azes- wellknown for bis defeat of Greek kings • Gondophernes- known for his relations with St. Thomas • It is said that St. Thomas visited the court of Gondophernes in 1c C.E. • Administration similar to the Achemenids • Tool the exalted titles: ‘king of kings’- derived from Achaemenid usage
Shakas and Kanishka • The Shakas were driven out by Yue- Chi • The Chines Historian Sima Qian records that- Kujula Kadphises united five tribes and led them into India. • Established himself in Kashmir and Kabul- defeated Hermeus • His son Vima Khadphises • Vima issued gold coins- similar to Roman denarii.
Kanishka – succeeded Vima- his relation to Vima is questioned- but most probably his son • 78 – 144 is dated for Kanishka • 78 C.E is the beginning of Shaka era- the calandar begun by Shakas in India • The kingdom included ganges basin • 4th Buddhist council was held under the patronage of Kanishka • Buddhist missionaries were sent to other countries • Huviskha was successor of Kanishka- Gandhara was again taken by Iranian dynasty-
Shakas • Shakas were pushed into South India by the Kushans • Rudradaman’s- inscription at the Sudarshana lake speaks of his achievements • Campaigns against Satavahanas • Yaudheyas • Shaka declined after the death of Rudradaman