Chapter 8: Vital Villages, Thriving Towns
Q1. Fill in the blanks.
i. Officials collected taxes from the area under the direct control of the ruler.
ii. Royal princes often went to the provinces as governors.
iii. The Mauryan rulers tried to control roads and rivers which were important for transport.
iv. People in forested regions provided the Mauryan officials with elephants, timber, honey and wax.
v. The Arthashastra tells us that the north-west was important for blankets.
vi. Ashoka was inspired by the teachings of Buddha.
i. Ujjain was the gateway to the north-west. False
ii. Chandragupta’s ideas were written down in the Arthashastra. True
iii. Kalinga was the ancient name of Bengal. False
iv. Most Ashokan inscriptions are in the Brahmi script. True
v. The Arthashastra tells us that south India for its gold and precious stones. True
vi. The empire that Ashoka ruled was founded by his father. False
vii. Ashoka appointed special officials who were known as the Dhamma Mahamatta. True
Q3. How did Ashoka convey his message to the people?
Ans. He conveyed his message to the people through inscriptions.
Q4. Who built Great Wall of China?
Ans. Emperors in China built the Great Wall.
Q5. Who wrote Arthashashtra?
Ans. Chanakya wrote Arthashashtra.
Q6. What is the ancient name of coastal Orissa?
Ans. Kalinga is the ancient name of coastal Orissa.
Q7. Name some cities of Mauryan Empire.
Ans. Pataliputra, Taxila, and Ujjain.
Q8. Name the book in which the ideas of Kautilya were written down.
Ans. Chanakya’s ideas were written down in a book called the Arthashastra.
Q9. What is dhamma?
Ans. ‘Dhamma’ is the Prakrit word for the Sanskrit term ‘Dharma’.
Q10. Name the provincial capital of Mauryan Empire.
Ans. Taxila or Ujjain
Q11. Who was Seleucus Nicator?
Ans. He was a Greek ruler of West Asia.
Q12. Which the region that was popular for the production of blanket during Maurya period?
Q13. Who was Chanakya?
Ans. Chandragupta was supported by a wise man named Chanakya or Kautilya.
Q14. Why was the Great Wall of China made?
Ans. It was built to protect the northern frontier of the empire from pastoral people.
Q15. Which script was used in the Ashoka’s inscriptions?
Ans. Most of Ashoka’s inscriptions were in Prakrit and were written in the Brahmi script.
Q16. Who founded the Mauryan Empire?
Ans. Mauryan Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya more than 2300 years ago.
Q17. Name the capital of Mauryan Empire. In which current state of India is it located?
Ans. Pataliputra (modern Patna) in Bihar
Q18. Name some countries where Ashoka propagated ‘Dhamma’.
Ans. Ashoka sent messengers to spread ideas about dhamma to other lands, such as Syria, Egypt, Greece and Sri Lanka.
Q19. Where did the lions on the currency come from?
Ans. The lions that we see on our notes and coins have a long history. They were carved in stone, and placed on top of a massive stone pillar at Sarnath.
Q20. Make a list of the occupations of the people who lived within the Mauryan Empire?
Ans. Merchants, officials, farmers, herders and crafts persons probably lived within the Mauryan Empire.
Q21. Who was sent to the court of Chandragupta as an ambassador by the Greek ruler of West Asia, Seeucus Nicator?
Ans. Megasthenes was sent to the court of Chandragupta as an ambassador by the Greek ruler of West Asia, Seeucus Nicator.
Q22. Explain the term tribute.
Ans. Unlike taxes, which were collected on a regular basis, tribute was collected as and when it was possible from people who gave a variety of things, more or less willingly.
Q23. Explain the term the Brahmi Script.
Ans. Brahmi is the modern name given to one of the oldest writing systems used in Ancient India. Most modern Indian scripts have developed from the Brahmi script over hundreds of years.
Q24. Why did Ashoka decided to give up wars?
Ans. Ashoka fought a war to conquer Kalinga. However, he was so horrified when he saw the violence and bloodshed that he decided not to fight any more wars.
Q25. What is Rampurwa bull and where it has been placed now?
Ans. The Rampurwa bull is finely polished stone sculpture. This was part of a Mauryan pillar found in Rampurwa, Bihar, and has now been placed in Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is an example of the skill of the sculptors of the time.
Q26. What were the things given as tribute by the people living in the forested areas?
Ans. People living in the forested areas were more or less independent, but may have been expected to provide elephants, timber, honey and wax to Mauryan officials.
Q27. What was Ashoka’s dhamma?
Ans. Ashoka’s dhamma did not involve worship of a god, or performance of a sacrifice. He felt that just as a father tries to teach his children, he had a duty to instruct his subjects. He was also inspired by the teachings of the Buddha.
Q28 How are empires different from kingdoms?
Ans. Empires are different from kingdoms in the following ways:
i. Emperors need more resources than kings because empires are larger than kingdoms, and need to be protected by big armies.
ii. So also they need a larger number of officials who collect taxes.
Q29. What does Dynasty mean?
Ans. When members of the same family become rulers one after another, the family is often called a dynasty. The Mauryas were a dynasty with three important rulers — Chandragupta, his son Bindusara, and Bindusara’s son, Ashoka.
Q30. When did Ashoka’s inclination towards Buddhism developed?
Ans. After the Battle of Kalinga, he was so horrified when he saw the violence and bloodshed that he decided not to fight any more wars.
He slowly became the follower of the Buddhist religion and adopted the path of non-violence.
Q31. Why Ashoka known as a unique ruler?
Ans. Ashoka was known as a unique ruler because
i. The most famous Mauryan ruler was Ashoka.
ii. He was the first ruler who tried to take his message to the people through inscriptions.
iii. Most of Ashoka’s inscriptions were in Prakrit and were written in the Brahmi script.
Q32. What were the problems that Ashoka wanted to solve by introducing dhamma?
Ans. There were many problems that Ashoka wanted to solve by introducing dhamma.
i. People in the empire followed different religions, and this sometimes led to conflict.
ii. Animals were sacrificed.
iii. Slaves and servants were ill-treated.
iv. Besides, there were quarrels in families and amongst neighbours.
Q33. Describe the Mauryan people?
Ans. Merchants, officials and crafts persons probably lived in these cities.
In other areas there were villages of farmers and herders. In some areas such as central India, there were forests where people gathered forest produce and hunted animals for food. People in different parts of the empire spoke different languages. They probably ate different kinds of food, and wore different kinds of clothes as well.
Q34. What were the effects of Kalinga war on Ashoka?
Ans. Effects of Kalinga war on Ashoka
i. Ashoka fought a war to conquer Kalinga.
ii. However, he was so horrified when he saw the violence and bloodshed that he decided not to fight any more wars.
iii. He is the only king in the history of the world who gave up conquest after winning a war.
iv. He decided to observe dhamma and to teach others about it as well.
Q35. What were the means adopted by Ashoka to spread the message of dhamma?
Ans. Means adopted by Ashoka to spread the message of dhamma were:
i. He appointed officials, known as the dhamma mahamatta who went from place to place teaching people about dhamma.
ii. Besides, Ashoka got his messages inscribed on rocks and pillars, instructing his officials to read his message to those who could not read it themselves.
iii. Ashoka also sent messengers to spread ideas about dhamma to other lands, such as Syria, Egypt, Greece and Sri Lanka.
Q36. What Megasthenes wrote about Mauryan Emperor?
Ans. Megasthenes wrote an account about what he saw. Mauryan Empire according to him was as follows:
i. Emperor is carried in a golden palanquin.
ii. His guards ride elephants decorated with gold and silver.
iii. Some of the guards carry trees on which live birds, including a flock of trained parrots, circle about the head of the emperor.
iv. The king is normally surrounded by armed women.
v. He has special servants to taste the food before he eats.
vi. He never sleeps in the same bedroom for two nights.
Q37. Describe the governance in Mauryan Empire?
Ans. Governance in Mauryan Empire
i. The area around Pataliputra was under the direct control of the emperor.
ii. This meant that officials were appointed to collect taxes from farmers, herders, crafts persons and traders, who lived in villages and towns in the area.
iii. There were other areas or provinces. Each of these was ruled from a provincial capital such as Taxila or Ujjain.
iv. Mauryas tried to control roads and rivers, which were important for transport, and to collect whatever resources were available as tax and tribute.
Q38. What Megasthenes wrote about Pataliputra (modern Patna)?
Ans. Megasthenes wrote about Pataliputra (modern Patna)
i. It is a large and beautiful city.
ii. It is surrounded by a massive wall.
iii. It has 570 towers and 64 gates.
iv. The houses, of two and three storeys, are built of wood and mud brick.
v. The king’s palace is also of wood, and decorated with stone carvings.
vi. It is surrounded with gardens and enclosures for keeping birds.