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Brihadratha Maurya
Mauryan Samrat
Mauryan Emperor Brhahadratha by Ashok B. Chikte.
Full name Ashoka Bindusara Maurya
Royal House Mauryan dynasty
Religious beliefs Buddhism

Brihadratha Maurya was the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty. He ruled from c. 187–180 BCE. He was killed by his senapati (commander-in-chief), Pusyamitra Sunga

Contents

Reign

According to the Puranas, Brihadratha succeeded Śatadhanvan and he ruled for seven years.[1] Mauryan territories, centered around the capital of Pataliputra, had shrunk considerably from the time of the great Emperor Ashoka when Brihadratha came to the throne.

Invasion of Demetrius I

In 180 BCE, northwestern India (parts of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan) were attacked by the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius. He established his rule in the Kabul Valley and parts of the Punjab (the present-day Pakistan). The Yuga Purana section of the Gargi Samhita says that the Yavana (Greco-Bactrian) army led by King Dhamamita (Demetrius) invaded the Mauryan territories during Brihadratha's reign and after occupying Panchala region and the cities of Saketa and Mathura, they finally captured Pataliputra. But soon they had to leave to Bactria to fight a fierce battle (probably between Eucratides and Demetrius).[2]

Usurption of power by Pushyamitra Sunga

He was killed in 180 BCE and power usurped by his commander-in-chief, the Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga, who then took over the throne and established the Sunga dynasty. Banabhatta in his Harshacharita says, Pushyamitra, while parading the entire Mauryan army before Brihadratha on the pretext of showing him the strength of the army, crushed his master, Brihadratha Maurya, because he was too weak to keep his promise (probably to repulse the Yavanas).[3]

Notes

  1. ^ Thapar, Romila (2001). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryan, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, ISBN 019 564445 X, p.183
  2. ^ Lahiri, B. (1974). Indigenous States of Northern India (Circa 200 B.C. to 320 A.D.) , Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.22-4
  3. ^ Lahiri, B. (1974). Indigenous States of Northern India (Circa 200 B.C. to 320 A.D.) , Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.24-5
Brihadratha Maurya
Preceded by
Satadhanvan
Mauryan Emperor
187–180
Succeeded by
Pusyamitra
(Sunga dynasty)
Succeeded by
Demetrius I
(Indo-Greek kingdom)
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