25 December 2014

CBSE NCERT Notes: New Empires and Kingdoms

CBSE / NCERT Revision Notes of Class 6 Social Science

New Empires and Kingdoms

Importance of Prashastis  : Chapter Summary

Prashastis are special kind of inscriptions and is a Sanskrit word which means “in praise for”. Prashastis are glowing praises of kings and rulers, and were written by the poets of that time.
A famous Prashasti, engraved on the Ashokan pillar in Allahabad, conveys significant information about king Samudragupta of the Gupta Empire, written by Samudragipta’s court poet Harishena. Harishena wrote about the battles won by King Samudragupta and his genealogy and policies.

Harshachararita written by court poet Banabhatta, gives us information about the life and rule of King Harshavardhana. King Harshavardhana belonged to the Vardhana dynasty and he ruled Northern India during the 7th century. 

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Hieun Tsang in India
Hieun Tsang stayed in India for 15 years. He frequently attended Harsha’s court and recorded his observations about the period in his book. The Pallavas and the Chalukyas were two important ruling dynasties in south India. Pulakeshin II is the best known Chalukya ruler.

A Prashasti composed by his court poet Ravikirti is the chief source of information about him. The Prashasti, gives us information about the administrative styles favoured by these kings. Land was the main source of revenue.

To ensure the flow of revenue, the kings adopted number of steps, like 
  • making the important administrative posts hereditary, 
  • allowing a person to hold more than one important posts 
  • involving the village administrative officers in the decision making process 
Villages were backbone of a kingdom. Land revenues from a village helped the king to maintain his army. There were special military leaders, samantas, to provide the kings with troops whenever he needed them.

An assembly of Brahmin land owners was called a Sabha; an assembly of non-Brahmin land owners was called an Ur, while an organisation of merchants was called as a Nagaram.

These assemblies had sub-assemblies taking care of various departments like irrigation, agricultural operations, road making, temple construction, etc.

An important difference between the local and royal people was that most locals spoke the Prakrit language, whereas the Rajas and Brahmins spoke Sanskrit.

CBSE NCERT Class VI (6th) | History Social Studies (Our Pasts-1) Unit Lesson : 11

New Empires and Kingdoms

CBSE NCERT Solved Question Answer

1.Question. State whether True or False.
(a) Harishena composed a prashasti in praise of Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni. (False)
(b) The rulers of Aryavarta brought tribute for samudragupta.(False)
(c) There were twelve rulers in Dakshinapatha. (True)
(d) Taxila and Maduari were important centres under the control of Gupta rulers. (False)
(e) Aihole was the capital of the Pallavas.  (False)
(f)  Local assemblies functioned for several centuries in south India. (True)

2.Question. Mention two authors who wrote about Harsha-vardhana.
Answer. The two authors who wrote about Harsha-vardhana are:
(1) Banabhatta, who wrote harshacharita.
(2)  Xuan-Zang , the Chinese traveller who left a detailed account of what he saw in the count.

3.Question. What changes do you find in the army at this time?
Answer. The changes made in  the army at this time  were:
(1) Like earlier rulers , the king maintained a well organize army, with elephants,chariots, cavalry and foot soldiers.
(2) There were military leaders who provided the king with troops whenever the king asked for them. They were not given regular salaries, but got grants of land . They collected  the revenue and used it to maintain soldiers and horses and provide equipment for warfare. These men were known as samantas.

4.Question. What were the new administrative arrangements during this period ?
Answer. The new administrative arrangements during this period were:
1. Some important administrative  posts were made hereditary, e.g, the poet  Harishena was a maha-danda-nayaka or the cheif juidicial; officer, like his father.
2. One person held many offices,  e.g, besides being a maha-danda-nayaka , Harishena was kumar-amatya which means an important minister, and a sandhi-vigrahika meaning minister of ward and peace.
3. Important  men probably had a say in local administration. These  inculoed negar-shreshti or chierf banker ormerchant of the city, the sarthavah or leader of the merchant caravans, the partrthamm-kulika or the cheif carftman and the head of the Kayasthas or scribes.

5.Question. What do you think Arvind would have to do if he was acting as Samundragupta?
Answer. If Arvind would have to do if he was acting as Samundragupta would have to :
(1) Lead the army and successfully plan his campaign in almost all parts of India.
(2) Establish an efficient administration and a strong government.
(3) Look after the welfare of the people. 
(4) Hear complaints and decide cases.

6.Question. Do you think ordinary people  would have read and understood the prashastis? Give reasons for your answer.
(1) The parashasti in praise of  Samundragupta was written in sanskrit language, the language of the learned people.
(2) The parashasti was composed in very long sentences. So the people may not have understood the prashasti.

7.Question. How do you think wars affect the lives of ordinary people today?
Answer. In the present times, the wars adversely affect the lives of the people e.g:
(a) The economy of the country is disrupted and prices of the essential commodities also start rising.
(b) There can be large scale destruction , caused due to air warfare.
(c) Chemical warfare and use of nuclear bombs can affect not only the present generation but also many generation  to come.

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