Brihadratha Maurya

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Brihadratha Maurya
Maurya Empire
Reign 187–180 BC
Predecessor Satadhanvan
Full name
Brihadratha Maurya
House Maurya Empire
Religion Buddhism

Brihadratha Maurya (Sanskrit; IAST: Bṛhadratha Maurya) was the last ruler of the Maurya Empire. He ruled from c. 187–180 BCE. He was killed by his senapati (commander-in-chief), Pushyamitra Sunga, who established the Śuṅga Empire.

Reign[edit]

According to the Puranas, Brihadratha succeeded Śatadhanvan and ruled for seven years.[1] Mauryan territories, centered around 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 Sunga[edit]

He was killed in 180 BCE and power usurped by his commander-in-chief, Pushyamitra Śuṅga, who then took over the throne and established the Śuṅga 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, Brihadratha Maurya,.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Thapar, Romila (2001). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryan, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-564445-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
Maurya Emperor
187–180
Succeeded by
Pushyamitra
(Śuṅga Empire)
Succeeded by
Demetrius I
(Indo-Greek Kingdom)