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The indian subcontinent

Back to The Indian Subcontinent: 400 to 301 B.C.

Ashoka Vardhana (also Asoka), grandson of Chandragupta, came to the throne in 273 B.C., monarch of Afghanistan, Baluchistan and all of modern India except Tamil Land in the extreme south. At first he ruled well, although cruelly. In midlife he became intensely interested in Buddhism, changed his ways, joined a Buddhist order and became an ardent missionary and zealous administrator. He was hated by the Brahmins, the priestly class of the old religion, and in spite of Ashoka's Buddhism it was in this century that Hinduism finally evolved with a new generation of gods; Shiva, Vishnu, Rama and Brahma. (Ref. 213 )

On the "Rock Edicts of Ashoka" appear "Arabic" numerals - a thousand years before they appear in Arabic literature. These numerals are one of our great heritages from India. Among inscriptions of this century are statements that hospitals had been established for humans and for animals, although it is not clear if these were the first. Elaborate dispensaries and special maternal and operating facilities were also described. (Ref. 125 ) Most artisans of the Maurya Empire worked in guilds which eventually developed many features similar to trade unions. (Ref. 213 ) After Ashoka's death, the empire was split into a number of parts.

Forward to The Indian Subcontinent: 200 to 101 B.C.

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Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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