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ROCK-CUT ELEl'IIANT AHOVE THE ASOKA INSCRIPTION AT DllAULI, ORISSA



THE EARLY
HISTORY OF INDIA

FROM 600 B.C. TO THE
MUHAMMAD AN CONQUEST

INCLUDING THE INVASION
OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

BY

VINCENT A. SMITH

M.A. (dUBL. ET OXON.) ; F.R.A.S., F.H.N.S., LATE OF THE INDIAN CIVIL SERVICE ;

AUTHOR OF *ASOKA, THE BUDDHIST EMPEROR OF INDIA,'

'a HISTORY OF FINE ART IN INDIA AND CEYLON,' ETC.

THIRD EDITION, REVISED AND ENLARGED



OXFOKD

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1914



OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

LONDON EDINBURGH GLASGOW NEW YORK
TORONTO MELBOURNE BOMBAY

HUMPHREY MILFORD M.A.

PUBUSHER TO THE UNIVERSITY



EXTRACT FROM PREFACE TO
FIRST EDITION

The plan and limitations of this book have been
explained so fully in the Introduction that little
more need be said by way of preface. The room
for difference of opinion on many of the subjects
treated is so great that I cannot expect my views
on controverted points to meet with universal
acceptance ; and the complexity of my undertaking
forbids me to hope that positive errors, justly open
to censure, have been avoided altogether ; but
I trust that critics will be prepared to concede the
amount of indulgence which may be granted legi-
timately to the work of a pioneer.

The devotion of a disproportionately large space
to tjie memorable invasion of Alexander the Great
is^due to the exceptional interest of the subject,
which, so far as I know, has not been treated
adequately in any modern book.

The presentation of cumbrous and unfamiliar
Oriental names must always be a difficulty for a
writer on Indian history. I have endeavoured to
secure reasonable uniformity of spelling without
pedantry. The system of transliteration followed
in the notes and appendices is substantially that
used in the Indian Antiquary ; while in the text
long vowels only are marked where necessary, and
all other diacritical signs are discarded.

Vowels have values as in Italian ; except the






iv PREFACE

short a, which is pronounced hke // in hut, when
with stress, and Hke A in Amaica, when without
stress. The consonants are to be pronounced as
in EngHsh ; and cli, consequently, is represented in
French by tch, and in German by tsch ; similarly,
j is equivalent to the French dj and the German
(Jsch. The international symbol c for the English
cli, as in churcJi, which has been adopted by the
Asiatic Societies, may have some advantages in
pinely technical publications ; but its use results
in such monstra horrcnda as Cac for Chach, and is
unsuitable in a work intended primarily for English
and Indian readers.



»



PREFACE TO THIRD EDITI0:N

This edition presents a view of the early history
of India as it appears to me after nearly forty years
study. It is as accurate and up-to-date as I can
make it, but does not pretend to be final, because
finality in a work dealing with a subject so pro-
gressive is unattainable. The mass of new matter
and fresh discussion accumulated since the publica-
tion of the last edition, a little more than five years
ago, is so great that difficulty has been experienced
in maintaining the decision to confine the book
within the limits of a single volume of reasonable
size and moderate price. It would be much easier
to expand it to double the length. Notwithstand-
ing constant effort to avoid prolixity and wearisome
details, material enlargement, compensated in some
measure by certain omissions, has proved inevitable.

Readers are invited to remember that the book
was designed to be, and still is, primarily a political
history. It is not intended to be an encyclopaedia
of Indian antiquities, as some critics seem to think
that it ought to be. The History of Fine Art in
India and Ceylon (1911), planned as a companion
volume in order to give the history of Indian
artistic utterance so far as it can be recovered,
renders unnecessary any detailed account of the
subject in this work. Special treatises on the his-
tory of literature, science, philosophy, religion, and
institutions, so far as they exist, must be consulted



vi PREFACE

by students desirous of full information on those
subjects, which cannot chiim more than slight
notice in this work.

Although emendations in both form and sub-
stance ha^'e been made in every chapter, the general
arrangement remains unaltered. The following
indications of the extent to which the present
edition differs from the second may be useful to
readers : —

Chapter I. References have been brought up to
date, and Appendix A, ' The Age of the Puranas,'
has been revised in the light of Mr. F. E. l*argiter's
book, The Dynasties of the Kali Age (Oxford
University Press, 1913).

Chapter II. The same book and other publica-
tions have rendered possible material improvements
in the second chapter, but the treatment of the
subject-matter necessarily continues to be specula-
tive to a large extent.

Chapters III, YV. New information concerning
Alexander's campaigns is so scanty that the changes
in these chapters are few and small. The Appendix,
' Aornos and Embolima ' (F of second edition)
has been omitted in consequence of the failure of
all attempts to identify the places named.

Chapter Y, In the second edition the brief
notice of the contents of the Kautilhja- or Artha-
sCistra excited so much interest, especially in Ger-
many, that much additional space has now been
given to the description of Indian political insti-
tutions in the age of Alexander the Great, as
revealed by tliat treatise. Appendix G, ' The
Arthdsa.strd or KaNtilli/a-sdsfra,' is new.



PREFACE vii

Chapters VI, VII. Substantial changes conse-
quent on recent discoveries and researches have
been made, and the bibliography of the Asoka
inscriptions has been revised.

Chapter VIII. The account of the Andhras and
connected dynasties has been largely rewritten.
Appendix J is new.

Chapter IX. The obscure and difficult subject
of the Indo-Greek and Indo-Parthian dynasties
has been reconsidered. Appendix M, * The Chris-
tians of St. Thomas,' is new.

Chapter X. The contentious questions connected
with the Kushan dynasty have been treated afresh.
The Appendix entitled ' The so-called Chinese
Hostages of Kanishka ' (L in second edition),
although perfectly sound, has been omitted in
order to save space.

Chapters XI, XII. A survey of the intellectual
achievements of the Gupta period has been in-
serted, and corrections in certain details have been
made. Appendix N, ' Vasubandhu and the Gup-
tas,' is new.

Chapter XIII. Sundry matters in the history
of Harsha, including the date of his death, have
been corrected.

Chapter XIV. The complicated history of the
Kingdoms of the North has been extensively re-
vised, especially in the sections dealing with Kanauj
and Bengal. Appendix O, ' The Origin and Chro-
nology of the Sena Dynasty,' is new.

Chapter XV. The emendations in the story of
the Kingdoms of the Deccan are of a minor
character.



viii PREFACE

Chapter XVI. The abundance of new data for
the reconstruction of the history of the Kingdoms
of the South has necessitated numerous and im-
portant alterations.

It may be well to observe that the Appendices
are intended for the satisfaction of advanced scholars
desirous of verifying- the statements in tlie text on
difficult or disputed subjects, and that they may
be neglected by the general reader or junior
student.

Three new plates have been inserted, and the
Index has been recast.

The kind attention of readers is invited to the
list of Additions and Corrections.

V. A. S.

March 31, 1914.



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. 1 . Introduction ....... 1

2. The Sources of Indian History ... 9

Appendix A. The Age of the Puranas . 21

Appendix B. The Cihnese Pilgrims , . 23

II. The Dynasties before Alexander, 600 to 326 b.c. . 27
Appendix C. Chronology of the Saisunaga and
Nanda Dynasties ..... 44

III. Alexander's Indian Campaign : the Advance . 49

Appendix D. Alexander's Camp : the Passage
OF THE Hydaspes ; and the Site of the
Battle with Poros . . . . .78

Appendix E. The Date of the Battle of the
Hydaspes ....... 85

IV. Alexander's Indian Campaign : the Retreat . 88

Chronology of the Indian Campaign of Alex-
ander THE Great . . . . .113

V. Chandragupta Maurya and Bindusara, from 221

to 272 B.C. 115

Appendix F. The Extent of the Cession of
Ariana by Seleukos Nikator to Chandra-
gupta Maurya . . . . . .149

Appendix G. The ArthaSastra or Kautiliya-
Sastra . . . . . . . .151

VI. AsoKA Maurya 154

Appendix H. The Inscriptions of Asoka ;

Bibliographical Note . . . . .172

VII. Asoka Maurya (continued); and his Successors . 175
The Maurya Dynasty: Chronological Table . 196



X CONTENTS

CHAP. _ PAGE

VIII. The Sunga, Kanva, and Andhra Dynasties, from

185 B.C. TO c. A.D. 225 198

Appendix I. The Invasion of Menander, and

THE Date of Patanjali . . . .213
Appendix J. The Andhras and Connected

Dynasties . . . . . . ,215

IX. The Indo-Greek and Indo-Parthian Dynasties,

from about 250 B.C. to A.D. 60 . . . .219

Appendix K. Alphabetical List of Bactrian

AND Indo-Greek Kings and Queens . . 242
Appendix L. Synchronistic Table from about

280 B.C. to about a. d. 60 . . . . 244

Appendix M. The Christians of St. Thomas . 245

X. The Kushan or Indo-Scythian Dynasty, from

about A.D. 20 TO A.D. 225 ..... 248
Approximate Kushan Chronology . . . 277

XI. The Gupta Empire, and the Western Satraps ;
Chandra-gupta I to Kumaragupta I, from
A.D. 320 TO A.D. 455 279

XII. The Gupta Empire (continued) ; and the White

Huns, from a.d. 455 to 6o6 .... 301

Chronology of the Gupta Period . . . 327

Appendix N. Vasubandhu and the Guptas . 328

XIII. The Reign of Harsha, from a.d. 6o6 to 647 . 335

Chronology of the Seventh Century . . 359

XIV. The Mediaeval Kingdoms of the North, from

A.D. 647 to 1200 360

Appendix 0. The Origin and Chronology of
the Sena Dynasty . . . . .415

XV. The Kingdoms of the Deccan .... 423
Appendix P. The Principal Dynasties of the

Deccan ....... 436

XVI. The Kingdoms of the South .... 438

Epilogue. ....... 477

INDEX 479



ILLUSTRATIONS



Rock-cut Elephant above the Asoka Inscription at

Dhauli, Orissa Frontispiece

PAGE

Indian Coins To face xii



PiPRAWA Inscribed Vase containing Relics of Buddha
Indian Coins and Medals (2) .
Alexander the Great : the Tivoli Herm .
The Birth-place of Buddha ....
Inscribed Life-size Statue of Kanishka^ from Mat in

Mathura District .....

Inscribed Buddhist Pedestal from Hashtnagar
The Martanda Temple of the Sun, Kashmir
The Rock-cut Kailasa Temple at Elura .
The Great Temple at Tanjore ....
The Ganesa Ratha at Mamallapuram



16

72

110

168

260
266

372
428
465

472



MAPS AND PLANS

1. The Battlefield of the Hydaspes . , p^tg^ 67

2. Plan of the Battle of the Hydaspes . . To face 82

3. Position of the Autonomous Tribes conquered by

Alexander ....... 94

4. The Empire of Asoka, 250 b. c. . . . . l62

5. The Conquests of Samudragupta, a. d. 340 ; and the

Gupta Empire, a. d. 400 (Travels of Fa-hien) . 284

6. India in a. d. 640 ; the Empire of Harsha (Travels

of Hiuen Tsang) ...... 340



The later Andhra Kings and connected Dynasties



218



CONTENTS OF PLATE OF INDIAN COINS (1)
IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM



Kina.



Sophvtes.



Eukiatiiles.



Menander.



IleiTHaios.



Kadpliises I.



Gondopliares.



Sivalakuia of
And lira
dynasty.



iyn
wipl



Ka



Online LibraryVincent Arthur SmithThe early history of India from 600 B.C. to the Muhammadan conquest, including the invasion of Alexander the Great → online text (page 1 of 53)