Sources of History of Mauryan Empire
The starting of Mauryan Empire is from accession of Chandragupta Maurya to the Throne of Magadha in 321 BC. Sanskrit had emerged as a rich Indian Language by that time. Sources which gives an insight into the history of Maurya’s are as follwos:
1. Puranas like Vishnupurana, Bhagawat Purana, Markandeya Purana
2. Arthshastra by Kautilya
3. MudraRakshasha by Vishakhadatta
4. Mahabhasya by Patanjali
5. Malvikagnimitra by Kalidas
6. Harshcharita by Banabhatta
7. Rajtarangini by Kalhan
8. Some Buddhist Texts like Dipavansa, Mahavansa, Asokavadan , Milanda-Panho . Buddhist sources connect Maurya’s to some tribes of Sakya and gives details that their region was full of Peacocks (Mor in Hindi) and so known as Mauryas.
9. Some Jaina texts like Brihatkathakosha of Harisena, Aradhana by Prabhachandra, Kathakosha by Shrichand etc. Some of them link Chandragupta Maurya with Moriya tribe of peacock tamers.
10. The Brahamnical sources describe Maurya’s as Shudras. However Greek writers mention that they were from humble origin. In Greek sources Chandragupta is mentioned as Sandrokottas.
11. Greek accounts : Indica by Mehgasthanes. Accounts of Plutarch, Strabo, Ptolemy, Arian & Justin. Besides some writings of Fa Hien, Huen Tsang, I-tsing etc. Chinese Buddhist Pilgrims.
12. Asoka’s Inscriptions
13. Rocks & Pillar Edicts of Maurya’s
14. Hathigumpha Inscription gives account of Decline of Maurya’s
15. Girnar ‘s Inscription of Rudradaman gives account of Chandragupta and Asoka
16. Cave edict of Nagarjuni gives account of Dasarath