Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ashoka the Great (contd-2)

Under the Indo-Greek friendship treaty, and during Ashoka's reign, an international net work of trade expanded. The Khyber pass (now in Pakistan) became a strategically important port of trade and intercourse with outside world. Greek states and Hellenic kimgdoms in west Asia became important trde partnersof India. trde also extended through the Malay peninsula into South-east Asia. India's export included silk goods and textiles,spices and exotic foods. The empire also enriched further with an exchange of scientific knowledge and technology with Europe and west Asia. Ashka also constructed thousands of roads , waterways, canals, hospitals, rest-houses and other public works.
Ashoka was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. Brihadrata , the last ruler of Mauryan Dynasty , held territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of Ashoka, although he still upheld the Budhist faith.
Brihadrata was assassinated in 185 BCE during a military parade, by the commander in chief of his guard , the brahmin general Pusymitra Sunga, who then took over the throne and established. Budhist  records such as the Asokavandana write that the assassination of Brihadrata and rise of Sunga empire led to a wave of persecution of Budhists , and a resurgence of Hinduism.The other historians such as omila Thaper said that the allegations for persecution of Budhists was lacking from archaeological sources.