(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination :Indian History - Quick Revision Notes (IV)

Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes


Indian History

57. The kings of several regions gave themselves various titles. While the kings of middle country were called raja, the eastern kings were titled Samrat, the southern Bhoj, those in the west Svarat, and the rulers of the northern realms were called Virat.

58. The taxes collected from people in the later Vedic age were referred to as bali and sulka. 59. During late Vedic period, Vratyas and the Nishads were two important bodies of men outside the regular castes. The Vratyas were Aryans outside the pale of Brahminism. They appear to have had some special connection with the people of Magadha and the cult of Shiv. The Nishads were non-Aryan people who lived in their own villages and had their own rulers. They were probably identical with modern Bhils.

60. Shortly before the rise of Buddhism there were sixteen great nations that occupied the territory from Kabul valley to the banks of Godavari. These were: Anga (East Bihar), Magadha (South Bihar), Kasi (Benaras), Kosala (Oudh), Vriji (North Bihar), Malla (Gorakhpur district), Chedi (between Yamuna and Narmada), Vatsa (Allahabad region), Kuru (Thanesar, Delhi and Meerut districts), Panchal (Bareilly, Buduan and Farrukhabad districts), Matsya (Jaipur), Surasena (Mathura), Asmak (on the Godavari), Avanti (in Malwa), Gandhara (Peshawar and Rawalpindi districts) and Kamboj (South-west Kashmir and parts of Kafiristan).

61. The Vriji people were regarded by the Brahaman law-givers as Vratyas or degraded Kshatriyas. The Vrijis had no monarch, but a popular assembly of elders who carried on the business of the State. This type of polity was known as Gana or republic. The Mallas also had a similar constitution.

62. The four kingdoms of later Vedic age who grew most powerful were: Avanti, Vatsa, Kosala and Magadha.

63. The kingdom of Avanti had its capital at Ujjain in modern Malwa. 4. One prominent ruler  of Vatsa territory was Udayana, a scion of the Bharat race. 65. Kosala had its capital at Ayodhya and was ruled by a dynasty that claimed descent from illustrious Ishvaku, famed in Vedic and epic traditions.

66. The Kosalas extended their boundaries in several directions, including Nepalese Tarai, but their ambitious designs were frustrated by Magadha power.

67. Gargi and Maitreyi were two prominent intellectual women of late Vedic period.

68. Magadha and Anga were two kingdoms which the Aryans could not Brahmanise thoroughly and came to possess a mixed population. Kikatas were prominent non-Aryans who lived in Magadha. They were known for their wealth. There was a dislike for Magadha in the Rigveda and the same dislike was continued even during the period of later Vedic civilisation.

69. In the sixth and fifth century B.C. the throne of Magadha was occupied by a line of kings styled Saisunagas in the Purans, an appellation derived from Sisunaga, the first king of the line in the Puranic list.

70. The Buddhist writers, however, put Sisunaga much lower in the list of Magadha kings and split the line into two distinct groups. To the earlier of the two groups they give the name Haryanka, whose most remarkable king was Srenika or Bimbisara.

71. The Ashtadhyayi of Panini is a book on Sanskrit grammar.

72. Khari, Patra, Vista, Satamana, Adhaka, Achita, Purusha and Dishta were different kinds of weights and measures used in later Vedic age. 73. Taxila or Takshashila was a great centre of learning in late Vedic period. It was famous for the teaching of medicine, law and military science.

74. India and Persia have very ancient relations. There are many common gods in the Rig Veda and the Zinda Avesta. The Iranian gods Mithra, Yima and Veretraghna have their counterpart in the Indian Mitra, Yama and Indra Vritrahan.

75. The Boghaz-Koi inscriptions of about 1400 B.C. refer to certain contracts made between the King of the Hittites (in Persia) and the King of Mitani. In those inscriptions same gods are mentioned as the protectors of these contracts.

76. The continuance of strong influence of Persia upon India in the Vedic age is indicated by prevalence of the Kharoshti script, a variety of Aramaic, in the provinces near the Frontier, by the long continued use of the Persian title Satrap, by the form of the Ashoka inscriptions and by the architecture.

77. Sanskrit is a branch of a linguistic tree known as Indo-European. The trunk of the tree was a common tongue probably spoken in the region north-west of the Black Sea about 2500 B.C.

78. The Upanishads probe into the nature of universe and the human soul, and the relation of each to the other. They make no absolute statements of right and wrong, of creation, the gods or man; instead, they speculate, seeking always to find truth, as opposed to stating it, and offering a wide range of possibilities.

79. A rudimentary administrative system was prevalent during the Vedic period. The tribal kingdom (rashtra) contained tribes (jana), tribal units (vish) and villages (grama). The nucleus was the family (kula), with the eldest male member as its head (kulapa).   

<< Previous   |   Home >>