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Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas$
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Romila Thapar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077244.001.0001

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Society and Economic Activity

Society and Economic Activity

(p.70) Chapter III Society and Economic Activity
Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas

Romila Thapar

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the social and economic activities in Mauryan India during the reign of Aśoka Maurya. It suggests that social and economic activities are of particular significance during this period given the fact that the organization of the empire meant a new type of economy, which in turn affected the social order. Based on literary and archaeological evidence, this chapter concludes that the Mauryan period was one of an expanding economy where new possibilities of the development of various crafts on a large scale were being realised, particularly in the context of increasing trade and all its attendant commercial advantages. It also highlights the benefits of the agrarian economy and the development of social organisation brought about by economic change.

Keywords:   Mauryan India, social activities, economic activities, empire, social order, trade, agrarian economy, social organisation, economic change

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