Society and Economic Activity

Romila Thapar

in Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas

Third edition

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077244
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081073 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

Society and Economic Activity

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This chapter examines the social and economic activities in Mauryan India during the reign of Aśoka Maurya. It suggests that social and economic activities are of particular significance during this period given the fact that the organization of the empire meant a new type of economy, which in turn affected the social order. Based on literary and archaeological evidence, this chapter concludes that the Mauryan period was one of an expanding economy where new possibilities of the development of various crafts on a large scale were being realised, particularly in the context of increasing trade and all its attendant commercial advantages. It also highlights the benefits of the agrarian economy and the development of social organisation brought about by economic change.

Keywords: Mauryan India; social activities; economic activities; empire; social order; trade; agrarian economy; social organisation; economic change

Chapter.  17954 words.  Illustrated.

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