Ashoka, The Emperor
Who Gave Up War
Q& A based on NCERT Chapter 8
|Ashoka Pillar - National Emblem|
Can you tell how many lions are there in the emblem?
image credits: AS Mysore For Vincent Arthur Smith
Q.1 Name the ruler who spread Buddhism all over the world.
Q.2 Who wrote Arthshastra? What is it about?
Answer: Chanakya wrote Arthshastra. Many of Chanakya's ideas about how to rule a kingdom were written in it.
Q.3 Name two languages used during Ashokan period.
Answer: Prakrit and Sanskrit were used during Ashokan period.
Q.4 Who was Seleucus Nicator?
Answer: Seleucus Nicator was the greek ruler of West Asia.
Q.5 What do you mean by Dynasty?
Answer: When members of the same family become rulers one after another, the family is often called dynasty.
Q.6 How is an empire different from a kingdom?
Answer: Empires are larger than kingdoms. Therefore, emperors need more
resources than a king.Empires need to be protected by large armies.
Large numbers of officials were also needed to collect taxes.
Q.7 Differentiate between tribute and taxes.
Answer: Unlike taxes,which were collected on regular basis, tribute was collected as and when it was possible from people who gave a variety of things more or less willingly.
Q.8 Why did Mauryans tried to control roads and rivers?
Answer: The Mauryans tried to control roads and rivers which were important for transport and to collect whatever resources were available as tax and tribute.
Q.9 Which animal figure in our national emblem?
Answer: Four lions
Q.10 Name some important cities of mauryan empire.
Answer: Taxila, Patliputra and Ujjain
Q.11 What is Dhamma?
Answer: Ashoka's Dhamma was not related to the worship of any god or performance of sacrifice. He considered that it was his responsibility, just like a father has towards his children, to instruct the people of the empire so as to reduce conflicts among them. He was inspired by the teachings of the Buddha.
Q.12 Why Ashoka gave up wars?
Answer: Ashoka fought a war to conquer Kalinga. But he was horrified by the violence and bloodshed in that. He is the only king in the history of the world who gave up conquest after winning a war.
Q.13 Name three rulers of Mauryan Dynasty.
Answer: Chandragupta Maurya, his son Bindusara and Bindusara's son Ashoka.
Q.14 Write a short note on Patliputra.
Answer: Patliputra was capital of Ashoka. It was a large beautiful city. It was surrounded by a massive wall. It had 570 towers and 64 gates. The houses of two or three storeys were built of mud bricks and wood.
Q.15 What was the language in which the rock edicts were written?
Answer: They were written in Brahmi script, in Prakrit which was the language of the common people.
Q.16 Describe the administrative system of Mauryas.
Answer: The different parts of the large empire were ruled differently. The emperor supervised them all.
a) The areas under Patliputra was under direct control of the emperor.
This meant, officials were appointed to collect taxes from farmers, traders etc. Officials punish those who disobeys the ruler's orders.
b) Other areas such as Taxila and Ujjain were under the governorship of royal princes. Local customs and rules were probably followed.
c) In the vast areas between these centers, Mauryans tried to control the transport( rivers and roads) and to collect whatever resources were available as tax and tribute.
Q.17 Why do you think slaves and servants were ill-treated? Do you think orders of emperor improved their condition?
a) Slaves and servants were ill treated because slaves were captured in wars and servants were poor people, who work for their master for less wages.
b) They were treated as the property of their master.
c) The orders of emperors would have improved their condition because then their wages could be fixed and they may not be overworked.
Q.18 Which methods were adopted by Ashoka to spread dhamma?
Answer: He appointed officials, known as Dhamma Mahamatta who went from place to place teaching people about Dhamma. Besides, Ashok got his messages inscribed on rocks and pillars.He also instructed his officials to read his message to those who were unable to read by themselves. He also sent messengers to other lands to spread Dhamma.