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Seleucid-Mauryan War (305-303 Bce)

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About Seleucid-Mauryan War

The battle between Seleucid and Chandragupta Maurya from the Mauryan Empire took place between 305-303 BCE. Alexander the Great had left a list of Satrapies, that is governors when he had headed towards the west, and thus, Indian emperor and king of the Maurya Dynasty—Chandragupta Maurya initiated a list of campaigns, all aimed at retaking these Satrapies.

It was Seleucus I Nicator who began to defend these territories, leading to the Seleucid-Mauryan war, however, a truce finally happened in 303 BCE, with a treaty wherein Chandragupta Maurya got all the territories that he was seeking, and in return, Seleucus was given a total of 500 highly efficient war elephants.

Chandragupta Maurya had fought a battle over 11 years to finally defeat the Nanda Empire and claim the kingdom of Magadha, conquering its capital: Patliputra around 321 BCE. It was after Alexander’s demise that his territories ranging from modern Afghanistan as well as Indus Valley having many states in its jurisdiction fell under conflicts as Alexander’s generals began to have a dispute over these territories.

It was the eastern region of these territories, which was under one of Alexander’s generals: Seleucus I Nicator, where he wanted to establish the Selucid Empir, and he had already begun doing so. This territory was also a part of Alexander’s conquests from the Indus Valley.

However, when the Mauryan Dynasty from Patliputra began to expand in all definite parts of India, conflict arose when Chandragupta Maurya claimed reign over the eastern territory from Indus Valley, which was under the hold of Seleucus, leading to the Seleucid-Mauryan War in 305 BCE.

According to Appian, a popular Roman historian, a part of the truce also came through Seleucus forming a marriage relationship with the Mauryas, by getting his daughter Helena betrothed to Chandragupta Maurya, thus receiving 500 very efficient war elephants as a part of the dowry in return.

If this theory stands true, then it can be assumed that emperor Chandragupta Maurya had a Greek wife, who would have later been the grandmother of Emperor Ashoka. The treaty to end the Seleucid-Mauryan war was negotiated by Megasthenes, a Greek envoy, who had had many journeys into the Mauryan Empire and had often chronicled them.

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