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Ancient India
The Mauryan Dynasty



The Mauryan Dynasty
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.75

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Arthasastra, co-exist, aftermath, subcontinent, determined, VYSH-yuh, infrastructure, castaway, humiliation, conquest, instability, coup, mentor, nonviolence, competent, dynasty
     content words:    Philip II, Middle East, Central Asia, Persian Empire, South Asia, Indus River, Ganges Valley, Chandragupta Maurya, Pusyamitra Sunga


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The Mauryan Dynasty
By Vickie Chao
  

1     July 20th of 356 B.C. was a very important date in human history, for two major events were said to have taken place on that particular day. The first was the burning of the famous Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, near the present-day city of Izmir in Turkey. The second was the birth of Alexander the Great.
 
2     Alexander the Great was the son of the Macedonian king Philip II and the Epirus princess Olympias. He ascended the throne at the age of twenty after his father was assassinated. During his short reign of twelve years, he set out to conquer the world and almost succeeded. His army swept across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. He captured Egypt in 332 B.C. and defeated the Persian Empire in 330 B.C. Overwhelmed by the victories, Alexander the Great decided to press ahead. This time, he aimed for the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. In 326 B.C. he and his troops crossed the Indus River and disarmed the two kingdoms in the Punjab region (located in present-day India and Pakistan). Just as he was ready to advance to the kingdom of Magadha in the Ganges Valley, his soldiers rebelled and refused to go any farther. Under immense pressure, Alexander the Great discarded his grand plan and, thus, spared the rest of India and other countries in Asia. Three years after his reluctant withdrawal, he died in Babylon.
 
3     The sudden death of Alexander the Great dismantled the massive empire almost overnight. With no apparent heirs competent enough to continue the legacy, a power struggle quickly broke out. The instability helped give rise to a man named Chandragupta Maurya (pronounced "chun-druh-GOOP-tuh MOW-ur-yuh") who later assembled a strong army and became the first person to unite India.

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