Brihadratha Maurya

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For the legendary king of Magadha, see Brihadratha.
Brihadratha Maurya
9th Mauryan emperor
Reign c. 187 – c. 180 BCE
Predecessor Shatadhanvan
Successor Pushyamitra Shunga (Founder of Shunga dynasty)
Dynasty Maurya Empire
Maurya Kings (322 BCE – 180 BCE)
Chandragupta (322–297 BCE)
Bindusara (297–272/268 BCE)
Ashoka (272/268–232 BCE)
Dasharatha (232–224 BCE)
Samprati (224–215 BCE)
Shalishuka (215–202 BCE)
Devavarman (202–195 BCE)
Shatadhanvan (195–187 BCE)
Brihadratha (187–180 BCE)
Pushyamitra
(Shunga Empire)
(180–149 BCE)

Brihadratha Maurya (IAST: Bṛhadratha Maurya) was the last ruler of the Maurya Empire. He ruled from c. 187 – c. 180 BCE. He was killed by his general, Pushyamitra Shunga, who went on to establish the Shunga Empire.

Reign[edit]

According to the Puranas, Brihadratha succeeded Shatadhanvan and ruled for seven years.[1] Mauryan territories, centred on the capital of Pataliputra, had shrunk considerably from the time of Ashoka when Brihadratha came to the throne.

Invasion of Demetrius I[edit]

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 region. The Yuga Purana says that the Yavana army led by King Dharmamita (Demetrius) invaded the Mauryan territories during Brihadratha's reign and after occupying Panchala region and the cities of Saket and Mathura, they finally captured Pataliputra. But soon they had to leave for Bactria to fight a fierce battle (probably between Eucratides I and Demetrius).[2]

Usurpation of power by Pushyamitra Shunga[edit]

He was killed in 180 BCE and power usurped by his general, Pushyamitra Shunga, who then took over the throne and established the Shunga Empire. Bāṇabhaṭṭa's Harshacharita says that Pushyamitra, while parading the entire Mauryan army before Brihadratha on the pretext of showing him the strength of the army, crushed his master.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thapar, Romila (1998). Aśoka and the decline of the Mauryas : with new afterword, bibliography and index (2nd ed.). Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 183. ISBN 0-19-564445-X. 
  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
Shatadhanvan
Maurya Emperor
187–180
Succeeded by
Pushyamitra
(Shunga Empire)
Succeeded by
Demetrius I
(Indo-Greek Kingdom)