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M11 Nano-History: Biography of the Life of Chandragupta Maurya

Alexis Happy
History 134
17 April 2016

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Chandragupta Maurya, who also had alternative titles such as Candra Gupta Maurya,
Chandra Gupta, Chandragupta, and Maurya, was the founder of the Mauryan dynasty and ruled
from 322 BCE to 298 BCE. [1] One source also claims that he had a nickname of Sandracottus. [2]
Even though that there is not much information about his family ancestry, it was due to his
family line that he ruled over the Nanda Empire. Not a lot was known about Chandra Guptas
family life before his rule, but there is information about part of his family during his rule.
Chandragupta Maurya ended up conquering most of India during his rule of the Mauryan
Empire, before his death.
Born around the time period of 340 BCE supposedly in Patna, which is now India, was
Chandragupta Maurya. Even though that the date and place of his birth are certain, it is
unknown who Chandraguptas parents were. There is little evidence of Chandragupta Mauryas
family life before his rule over the Nanda Empire. Some sources say that is parents were of the
Kshatriya caste, while other sources say that his father was of the Kshatriya class whereas his
mother was of the Shudra caste. Either way, part of his parental ancestry came from the
Kshatriyas. It was said that his father was likely Prince Sarvarthasiddhi, and there was a possible
relationship between Chandragupta Maurya and the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, but that is an
unknown claim that his grandson, Ashoka the Great, had for the family line. [3] One source claims
that Chandragupta Mauryas mother was a maid servant in the Shudra class named Mura, which
explains part of Chandragupta Mauryas name. [4] Even though that a lot of his family history is
unknown due to not keeping record before his reign of the Nanda Empire, his family allowed
him to become a born leader and rule over the entire Empire that was once in his fathers rule.
After Chandragupta Mauryas seizure of the throne after the last Nanda king, his father,
Chandragupta Maurya began to conquer part of northern India. During Chandragupta Mayuras

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24-year rule, Chandragupta Maurya was determined to follow up with the strong government
that was passed down to him from the foundation from former kings and his prime minister,
Chanakya. [5] Under this foundation, Chandragupta Maurya was determined to put an end to the
Magadhan rule in northern India, but ended up failing the first time he had tried. After this
failure, Chandragupta Maurya met Alexander the Great around 326 BCE or 325 BCE, who was
then exiled by Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta Maurya, after knowing the significance and
success of his Greek invasion, Chandragupta Maurya ended the Greek rule in northwest India, in
addition to obtaining present-day Afghanistan from a peace treaty. Chandragupta Maurya then
started what was known as the Mauryan Empire. Chandragupta Maurya was described as
opulent, brave, charismatic, and totalitarian. [6]
Chandragupta Mauryas Mauryan Empire started at present-day Afghanistan and went all
the way in the west to Myanmar, Jammu and Kashmir in the north, and Deccan Plateau in the
south. Chanakya was considered the prime minister of the government in the Mauryan Empire.
By 316 BCE, Chandragupta Maurya was able to conquer all of Alexander the Greats previously
owned satrapies, which are known today as Iran, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Wanting to expand
his empire even further, Chandragupta Maurya expanded his empire into eastern Persia, seizing
this land from Seleucus I Nicator from a peace treaty. This peace treaty not only ended this war,
but also gave Chandragupta Maurya all the land in Iran, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyztan, in addition to
marrying Seleucus I Nicators daughter. In exchange for the land and Seleucus I Nicators
daughters hand in marriage, Seleucus I Nicator obtained 500 war elephants that he later used in
war. After obtaining a wife and more land in Persia, Chandragupta Maurya wanted to expand his
empire into Southern India. Chandragupta Maurya commanded an army between 400,000600,000, and conquered all of Southern India, except for Kalinga, which is now present-day

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Orissa), and the Tamil Kingdom. By the end of his rule, Chandragupta Maurya had conquered
and ruled almost all of the land-mass of India. [7]
One of Chandragupta Mauryas most known queens or consorts was Durdhara, which
was the mother of Bindusara, Chandragupta Maurya and Durdharas first born son. Even though
that Durdhara was one of his queens or consorts, it was highly likely that Chandragupta Maurya
had many more consorts. Nothing is known if or how many consorts Chandragupta Maurya had.
During Chandragupta Mauryas rule, his prime minister, Chanakya, was very worried that
Chandragupta Maurya was being targeted by one of Chandragupta Mauryas enemies, and had a
fear that Chandragupta Maurya was going to be poisoned. In order to avoid this encounter,
Chanakya began to mix small amounts of poison into Chandragupta Mauryas food. Since
Chanakya did not tell Chandragupta Maurya about this procedure, Chandragupta Maurya shared
his food with his pregnant wife, Durdhara, while she was pregnant with their first born son.
Although that emergency surgery was done to remove the infant Bindusara from his mother,
Durdhara died. Only a small amount of poison got to Bindusara, which left a small blue spot on
his forehead. [8]
After renouncing his rule in 298 BCE, Chandragupta Maurya eventually died in 297
BCE. [9] Chandragupta Maurya did a lot during his reign as king of the Mauryan Empire, seizing
almost all of India. Chandragupta Maurya was looked up to as a great ruler by those that
followed in his footsteps.

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Notes
1. "Chandragupta: Emperor of India." Encyclopaedia Britannica: School and Library
Subscribers. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Although he had many names, everyone understood who he was, no matter which name he
was associated with.
2. "Chandragupta Maurya." Encyclopedia.com. Cengage Learning, 2004. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Another source of one of his many names that was not included in the first source.
3. Szczepanski, Kallie. "Chandragupta Maurya." about education. About.com, 9 July 2015.
Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
The date and place of Chandragupta Mauryas birth, along with his ancestry and the
unknown details of his parents.
4. "Chandragupta Maurya." Encyclopedia.com. Cengage Learning, 2004. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
A claim on who Chandragupta Mauryas mother was.
5. "The Mauryan empire of Ancient India was the first great empire in India's long history, and
one of the great empires of the Ancient World." Civilization: The Mauryan Empire of
Ancient India. TimeMaps Ltd, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Chandragupta Maurya was able to seize the throne after it was passed down to him from his
father.
6. Szczepanski, Kallie. "Chandragupta Maurya." about education. About.com, 9 July 2015.
Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Chandragupta Maurya conquered over northern India, and founded the Mauryan Empire.
7. Szczepanski, Kallie. "Chandragupta Maurya." about education. About.com, 9 July 2015.
Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Chandragupta Maurya wanted to expand his rule, founding the Mauryan Empire and
conquering most of India.

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8. Szczepanski, Kallie. "Chandragupta Maurya." about education. About.com, 9 July 2015.
Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Chandragupta Mauryas family life during his rule over the Mauryan Empire.
9. "Chandragupta: Emperor of India." Encyclopaedia Britannica: School and Library
Subscribers. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
The decline of Chandragupta Mayura, the renouncing of his rule, and his death.

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Bibliography
"Chandragupta: Emperor of India." Encyclopaedia Britannica: School and Library Subscribers.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
The website, Encyclopaedia Britannica, provided a quick summary about Chandragupts
Mauryas life. This included personal information, such as all the different names he
went by, all the way to his death. The article, Chandragupta: Emperor of India, was
used in order to obtain basic information about Chandragupta Maurya for understanding
on who he used to be.
"Chandragupta Maurya." Encyclopedia.com. Cengage Learning, 2004. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Encyclopedia.com was a great source that provided additional personal information about
Chandragupta Maurya. Information that was excluded in other sources that was provided
by the article, Chandragupta Maurya, included additional names that he went by, and
family information. There were a few claims of who Chandragupta Mauryas mother
was, and this source gave information on who, potentially, could have been Chandragupta
Mauryas mother.
"The Mauryan empire of Ancient India was the first great empire in India's long history, and one
of the great empires of the Ancient World." Civilization: The Mauryan Empire of Ancient
India. TimeMaps Ltd, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
The website, Civilization, gave a summary about Chandragupta Maurya. The summary
about Chandragupta Maurya included how he came to the throne. Chandragupta Maurya
owes his rule to his family lineage.

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Szczepanski, Kallie. "Chandragupta Maurya." about education. About.com, 9 July 2015. Web.
17 Apr. 2016.
The most information in this paper was from the website, about education. The web
article, Chandragupta Maurya, written by Kallie Szczepanski, gave plentiful
information about the life of Chandragupta Maurya. Information gathered from this
source include his family life before his rule, his life during his rule, expansion of his
empire, and his death.

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