Chapter

The Satavahana Phase

R.S. Sharma

in India’s Ancient Past

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780195687859
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.003.0021
The Satavahana Phase

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The Satavahanas succeeded the Mauryas. They extended their power over Karnataka and Andhra. Their greatest competitors were the Shakas with whom they fought for the possession of the Konkan coast and Malwa. The material culture of the Deccan under the Satavahanas was a fusion of local elements and northern ingredients. An important feature of the Deccan was a developed advanced rural economy. The Satavahanas originally seem to have been a Deccan tribe. Their most famous king, Gautamiputra Satakarni, described himself as a brahmana and claimed to have established the fourfold varna system which had fallen into disorder. The Satavahanas display traces of a matrilineal social structure. There were also certain military and feudal traits in their administration. Their kingdom had three grades of feudatories. The Satavahana rulers were brahmanas, and they represented the march of triumphant Brahmanism. All their inscriptions were composed in Prakrit and written in the Brahmi script.

Keywords: Satavahanas; Shakas; Gautamiputra Satakarni; material culture; Deccan; Prakrit; administration; feudatories; Brahmi script; matrilineal social structure

Chapter.  2999 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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