Chandragupta Maurya founded the Mauryan Dynasty and was the first person to unify the majority of India under one government. He lived from around 340 B.C. to around 297 B.C.Continue Reading
Born into a family of warriors, Chandragupta Maurya grew up with a cowherd's family after his own father died. He attracted the attention of a powerful Brahman politician, Kautilya, who groomed him in the ways of war. After shattering the power of the Nanda Empire at the tender age of 20, Chandragupta took the throne of Magadha, a kingdom in what is now northeastern India, around 325 B.C. After consolidating his power, Chandragupta began to conquer the satrapies created by Alexander the Great, who had recently died.
After conquering much of north India, he pushed into the Seleucid Empire, taking its eastern provinces. With his rule secure in the north, Chandragupta then began pushing south into the Deccan Plateau in central and south India. In his early 40s, he became interested in Jainism, an acetic religion, and he eventually abdicated the throne of the Mauryan Empire in favor of his son Bindusara. He spent his last days practicing sallekhana, a Jainist form of suicide by fasting. The dynasty he founded ruled until 185 B.C. and produced one of the most revered rulers in India's history, Ashoka the Great.Learn more about Ancient History
Some of the achievements of the Ancient African Kingdom of Ghana were the establishment of a profitable trading center that linked the gold mines to the south of the kingdom to the salt mines to the north, the creation of a silent barter system for merchants who did not speak the same language and the construction of a separate city reserved for use by foreign traders. By charging foreign merchants a tax to enter and leave the kingdom, which was an obvious necessity to conduct their business, Ancient Ghana was able to grow wealthy and powerful.Full Answer >
The Zhou dynasty was noted for its many inventions and achievements. During this era, Chinese writing improved, iron was introduced and advancements were made in philosophy and culture.Full Answer >
Besides the creation of one of the world's largest empires and the largest empire ever on the Indian subcontinent, the achievements accomplished during the Mauryan Empire included a widespread bureaucracy and civil service that governed all aspects of society and a common economic system with a single currency that encouraged local and international trade. During the empire's era of peace and security, science, the arts and theology flourished.Full Answer >
One of the most famous cultural achievements of ancient Ghana was the beautiful gold jewelry they created. They were tolerant of different faiths and traditions and had a fairly elaborate system of government overseen by a king.Full Answer >