Chandragupta

Chandragupta

[chuhn-druh-goop-tuh]
Chandragupta (Chandragupta Maurya), fl. c.321 B.C.-c.298 B.C., Indian emperor, founder of the Maurya dynasty and grandfather of Asoka. He conquered the Magadha kingdom (in modern Bihar and Jharkhand) and eventually controlled all India N of the Vindhya Hills. In c.305, Chandragupta, with a huge army, defeated Seleucus I (Nicator) who had invaded NW India in an attempt to regain Alexander the Great's Indian provinces. Seleucus had to yield parts of Afghanistan to Chandragupta, and some sort of marriage alliance followed. From Megasthenes, a Seleucid envoy at the court of Chandragupta, comes much of the information about the period. The emperor dwelt in an enormous, ornate palace at Pataliputra (Patna) and administered a highly bureaucratic government. He was advised by Kautilya (also called Chanakya), a very able but unscrupulous Brahman, to whom is attributed the Arthasastra, a guide to statecraft. Chandragupta established a vast secret service system and, fearing assassination, rarely left his palace. Jain tradition says that he abdicated his throne, became a Jain monk, and fasted to death.
or Candra Gupta Maurya

(flourished 4th–3rd centuries BC, India) Founder of the Maurya dynasty and the first emperor (r. circa 321–circa 297 BC) to unify most of India under one administration (see Mauryan empire). Born to a destitute migrant Mauryan family, he was sold into slavery and eventually purchased by a Brahman politician, who gave him an education in military tactics and the arts. Chandragupta gathered mercenary soldiers, secured public support, overthrew the Nanda dynasty, and established his own in modern-day Bihar. On the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), he won control of the Punjab (circa 322). He expanded his empire east to the borders of Persia, south to India's tip, and north to the Himalayas and the Kabul River valley. His administration was patterned on that of the Persian Achaemenian dynasty. He died fasting in sympathy for his people during a time of famine.

Learn more about Chandragupta Maurya with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Chandragupta may refer to:

Search another word or see chandraguptaon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature