Indian empires - why were so ephemeral?

kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,366
#51
One of the other blames is the Caste system and a byzantine succession. The first has been debated to death. As for the latter - if one takes the Chinese dynasties as a whole, most often the son succeeds the father without much trouble on his part. In India - anyone of the royal family could in theory could succeed to the throne where nephews succeed uncles, uncles underpinning their brother's throne, son imprison their own fathers to rush their own succession, and the like.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,652
New Delhi, India
#52
That is not correct (at least among the Hindu and small-time Muslim rulers). The succession was majorly to the eldest son. The other sons were known as Rao-Raja (in Rajasthan) or Nawab-zadas (sons of the Nawab). They were given positions in the Kingdom and control over areas for their upkeep. These dynasties continued for centuries. Wars for succession were fought mostly among Muslim empires.
 
Oct 2015
1,133
India
#53
One of the other blames is the Caste system and a byzantine succession. The first has been debated to death. As for the latter - if one takes the Chinese dynasties as a whole, most often the son succeeds the father without much trouble on his part. In India - anyone of the royal family could in theory could succeed to the throne where nephews succeed uncles, uncles underpinning their brother's throne, son imprison their own fathers to rush their own succession, and the like.
Hi Kazeuma,

Your observation on troubled succession in dynasties applied more to Muslim dynasties - though even Hindu & Buddhist dynasties have had troubled succession. Here is a stat:

Average reign per king was 18.5 years in 16 Hindu / Buddhist dynasties in India. 208 kings ruled for 3854 years in these dynasties.

Average reign per king was 14.0 years in 12 Muslim dynasties in India. 99 kings ruled for 1387 years in these dynasties.

On the whole among Muslim dynasties 'survival of the fittest' in terms of military skill happened to a greater degree.

Regards

Rajeev
 
Mar 2019
1,535
KL
#54
some initial indian rulers were quite brutal for instance nanda, ashoka initially, but religion ultimately guided them to shed violence, this was never the case with the chinese, who implemented ruthlessness and complete extermination or regional natives and Hanizing china, this is not me but one chinese told me how it happened, a systematic purge was implemented by the chinese on the vanquished territories. Indian battle tactics were initially very lenient to begin with, the armies were not allowed to rape, plunder and destroy agricultural fields even of the enemies, the cities were not sacked and destroyed, the farmers were not to be harmed and the businessmen as well as innocents who had nothing to do with the war. Indians also had probably a huge religious influence so they avoided massacres probably, there was also a very strong regional identity in contrast to china and this regional identity was fiercely defended. Kalinga for instance had its own independent economy, and its own ports which it used to trade heavily with SEA, saurashtra trading with western asia etc compared to most chinese kingdoms which would have been landlocked.

regards
 

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