Home : Indian Coins : Early punchmarked coinage (600-100 BC) : Mauryan Empire (321-187 BC) : Ashoka "the Great" (ca.272-232 BC) : Silver drachm of Ashoka the Great (ca.272-232 BC), Mathura mint, Mauryan Empire, India (G/H 510)

Silver drachm of Ashoka the Great (ca.272-232 BC), Mathura mint, Mauryan Empire, India (G/H 510)

Silver drachm of Ashoka the Great (ca.272-232 BC), Mathura mint, Mauryan Empire, India (G/H 510)

Five punch-mark symbols (see below) / Small Ashoka's symbol. Irregular flat silver planchet, 15mmx11mm, 3.4g. Mathura mint. Gupta/Hardaker ISPC XIV A 21 (#510); MACW 4227-4228.

The Mauryan Empire was India's first great unified empire. It lasted from 321 to 185 BCE, and was ruled by the Mauryan dynasty. At its height it ruled virtually all of northern and central India and parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The reign of Asoka was followed for 50 years by a succession of weaker kings. Brhadrata, the last ruler of the Mauryan dynasty, ruled territories that had shrunk considerably from the time of emperor Ashoka, but he was still upholding theBuddhist faith. He was assassinated in 185 BCE during a military parade by the commander-in-chief of his guard, the Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga, who then took over the throne and established the Sunga dynasty.

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