Table of Contents
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.
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?
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.
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.