What is going on with maurya empire map?

Apr 2018
128
Karachi
The usual map



Ashoka extended into Kalinga during the Kalinga War c. 265 BCE, and established superiority over the southern kingdoms.
The map suggested by German Indologists



Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund believe that Ashoka's empire did not include large parts of India, which were controlled by autonomous tribes.
why is there stark difference of territorial claims of the mauryas?

is there any agenda to reduce significance of the maurya empire?
 
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Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,482
Malaysia
Perhaps it is reflecting the historical reality more accurately. Maurya hegemony indeed did not hv such firm hold on almost entire Indian sub-continent, as indicated by map #1.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,739
New Delhi, India
That is OK. Government control is not uniform all over the country. Even today in India there are regions where Marxist extremists call the shots. In Pakistan you have the example of FATA. So there may have been areas in Maurya time also where the government control was not strong. However, these areas will still be subject to the central rule and would not declare independence, because that would invite retribution. It is not that Bastar and FATA have become independent.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,781
USA
Maurya empire map is a rough approximation based upon where the Ashokan rock edicts are found. It is not based on regions conquered. It just means that the rulers in the map accepted and subscribed to the non-violent ideals of Mauryan emperor Ashoka, and let him to install those edicts. It is not a map depicting absolute imperial rule. That is how Mauryan empire is usually drawn.

The holes shown in the German map are tribal areas where civilization had not penetrated, or desert regions.
 
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civfanatic

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
3,318
Des Moines, Iowa
That is OK. Government control is not uniform all over the country. Even today in India there are regions where Marxist extremists call the shots. In Pakistan you have the example of FATA. So there may have been areas in Maurya time also where the government control was not strong. However, these areas will still be subject to the central rule and would not declare independence, because that would invite retribution. It is not that Bastar and FATA have become independent.
If some region like Bastar and FATA are not under the control of the central government, then they are not "subject to central rule" in any meaningful sense. In other words, they are independent in all but name. The reason why they are still shown as part of India and Pakistan in official maps is because the purpose of official maps is to be depict recognized claims to territories by a sovereign state, and not necessarily actual control over those same territories. That's why official maps of Syria still depict all of Syria as one whole state, even though the Syrian government does not actually control all of Syria.

The reason why a declaration of independence in Bastar or FATA would be dangerous to the central authorities in New Delhi or Islamabad is because such a declaration would undermine the sovereignty of India and Pakistan. It would challenge the de jure concept that India and Pakistan have exclusive authority over the territories included within their borders, even if de facto they have no control over certain territories. This danger can only be fully appreciated if one considers the international system that exists today, which is made up of sovereign states who recognize and uphold the sovereignty (albeit sometimes selectively) of other states in the world-system. However, in ancient times such a world-system did not exist, which means that some tribes in Chattisgarh or Orissa would not form their own states contra the Maurya state simply to assert their own independence (since they were already independent as far as they were concerned).
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
Maurya empire map is a rough approximation based upon where the Ashokan rock edicts are found. It is not based on regions conquered. It just means that the rulers in the map accepted and subscribed to the non-violent ideals of Mauryan emperor Ashoka, and let him to install those edicts. It is not a map depicting absolute imperial rule. That is how Mauryan empire is usually drawn.

The holes shown in the German map are tribal areas where civilization had not penetrated, or desert regions.
Its how they make Roman Empire maps , with only regions covered by roads and settlements, Roman empire power extended way beyond that , just liek MAurya empire probably projected power also on those deserted regions.
 
Sep 2016
570
天下
Its how they make Roman Empire maps , with only regions covered by roads and settlements, Roman empire power extended way beyond that , just liek MAurya empire probably projected power also on those deserted regions.
Power, maybe, but not proper administration.

All in all it's a matter of cartographic philosophy. Do you paint only the areas of actual control or also those under nominal or weak domination?
 

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
What is going on with Maurya empire map? Nothing just useless hair splitting born out of absence of common sense.

That big chunk at the present Indo Pakistan border for instance is Thar desert. Population is sparse their even today and area is mostly inhabitable. It would have been even sparsely (infected hardly) populated during the Maurya times! Putting a big hole over Thar desert hardly makes any change on the assessment of Maurya empire! The fact is Maurya empire controlled all the civilized populated areas of the majority of subcontinent that we can think of. I don't recall any big state or even archaeological remnants of any considerable significance in those holes on the map! No rationale emperor would have wasted energy in conquering desert and forests!

It is infact not unique to maps of Maurya empire either. See for instance this maps of Qin and Han dynasty and compare them with normal google maps of same empires. Chinese civilization especially during those times was mostly concentrated during on major river systems. So it hardly makes any difference in overall equation.



 

civfanatic

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
3,318
Des Moines, Iowa
The Chinese maps posted above are not depicting the same thing as the Mauryan empire map. The Mauryan empire map is an estimate of Mauryan control based on archaeological evidence (which is the only meaningful evidence that exists for determining Mauryan influence or control), whereas the Qin and Han maps are depicting the areas with registered populations which were recorded and regularly taxed by the central bureaucracy. For example, Minyue (modern Fujian) is shown outside of Han "territory" in the above maps because it were not directly administered and taxed by the central bureaucratic apparatus, but my no means was Minyue totally independent or separate from the Han empire. We have plenty of archaeological evidence in the form of forts, roads, etc. to show than Han imperial control extended far beyond the area shown in the maps above, as far as Guangdong and Yunnan, whereas for the Mauryas no such archaeological evidence exists. If we apply the same standards for the Mauryas as we do for the Qin and Han in the maps above, then Mauryan "territory" probably wouldn't extend beyond the eastern Gangetic plain.

Also, even the truncated Mauryan map posted by OP is probably exaggerating the extent of Mauryan power. For example, it is not certain if the pillar inscription of Amaravati in coastal Andhra was even issued by the Mauryas (it doesn't match the usual Ashokan inscriptions), and there is really no evidence that the Mauryas exercised any sort of "rule" or "control" over that region. The Mauryas may have had cultural or religious influence in the region because of Ashoka's proselytization, but that is quite different from actual political control.