Chandragupta Maurya (ruled 322298 BC) was the founder of the Mauryan Empire. He is widely considered to be the first great emperor of India
The Mauryan empire, whose capital was Pataliputra (modern day Patna) in
Eastern India, is acknowledged to be the greatest empire in ancient India,
and lasted until 185 BC, fifty years after the death of Chandragupta's famous
grandson, Emperor Ashoka the Great. Prior to Chandragupta's consolidation
of power, small regional kingdoms dominated Northern and Eastern India.
Chandragupta is acknowledged as one of the greatest military commander in
ancient India, and his kingdom, which spanned from Afghanistan in the West,
Bengal in the East, the Deccan plateau in the South and Kashmir in the North,
was the greatest power of its day. There are different theories regarding
Chandragupta Mauryas origns. Many regard Chandragupta to be the son of
a Nanda prince in Magadha. There is however an alternative school of scholars
who also connect Chandragupta to Gandhara (in modern day Pakistan). Claims
that the Mauryas were the Muras or rather Mors and were jatt of Indo-Scythian
origin have been proposed. Based on Plutarch's evidence, other historians
state that Chandragupta Maurya belonged to the Ashvaka (q.v.) or Assakenoi
clan of Swat/Kunar valley ( modern Mer-coh or Koh-I-Mor the Meros of the
classical writings). Ashvakas were a section of the Kambojas who were exclusively
engaged in horse-culture and were noted for renting out their cavalry services.
Regardless, his achievements, which ranged from defeating macedonian armies
to establishing centralized rule throughout North India, remain some of
the most celebrated in Indian history. Two thousand years later, the accomplishments
of Chandragupta and his successors are objects of great study in the annals
of south asian and world history.
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