Describe the salient features of mahajanapadas.
Ans: The salient features of mahajanapadas are as follows :
- The most important mahajanapadas were Vajji, Magadha, Koshala, Kuru, Panchala, Gandhara and Avanti.
- Most mahajanapadas were ruled by kings.
- Some, known as ganas or sanghas, were oligarchies where power was shared by a number of men, often collectively called rajas.
- In some cases, as in the case of the Vajji sangha, the rajas probably controlled resources such as land collectively.
- Each mahajanapada had a capital city, which was often fortified.
- Brahmanas composed the Dharmasutras which laid down norms for rulers as well as for other social categories. The rulers were ideally expected to be Kshatriyas. Rulers were advised to collect taxes and tribute from cultivators, traders and artisans.
- Sometimes raids on neighbouring states were conducted for acquiring wealth. These raids were recognised as legitimate means.
- Gradually, some states acquired standing armies and maintained regular bureaucracies. Others continued to depend on militia, recruited from the peasantry.
Class 12 History Chapter 1 Bricks, Beads and Bones The Harappan Civilisation
2. How do archaeologists trace socio-economic differences in Harappan society? What are the differences that they notice?
3. Would you agree that the drainage system in Harappan cities indicates town planning? Give reasons for your answer.
4. List the materials used to make beads in the Harappan Civilisation. Describe the process by which any one kind of bead was made.
5. Look at figure 1.30 (See NCERT page-26) and describe what you see. How is the body placed? What are the objects placed near it? Are there any artefacts on the body? Do these indicate the sex of the skeleton?
6. Describe some of the distinctive features of Mohenjodaro.
7. List the raw materials required for craft production in the Harappan Civilisation and discuss how these might have been obtained.
8. Discuss how archaeologists reconstruct the past.
9. Discuss the functions that may have been performed by rulers in Harappan society.
10. On the given map, use a pencil to circle the sites where evidence of agriculture has been recovered. Mark an X against sites where there is evidence of craft production and R against sites where raw materials were found.
Class 12 History Chapter 2 Kings, Farmers and Towns Early States and Economies
1. Discuss the evidence of craft production in Early Historic cities. In what ways is this different from the evidence from Harappan cities?
2. Describe the salient features of mahajanapadas.
3. How do historians reconstruct the lives of ordinary people?
4. Compare and Contrast The List Of Things Given To The Pandyan Chief With Those Produced In The Village of Danguna Do You Notice Any Similarities and Differences?
5. List some of the problems faced by epigraphists.
6. Discuss The Main Features Of Mauryan Administration. Which Of These Elements Are Evident In The Asokan Inscriptions That You Have Studied?
7.This is a statement made by one of the best-known epigraphists of the twentieth century, D.C. Sircar: “There is no aspect of life, culture, activities of the Indians that is not reflected in inscriptions.” Discuss.
8.Discuss the notions of kingship that developed in the post-Mauryan period
9. To What Extent Were Agricultural Practices Transformed In The Period Under Consideration?