Satavahana Dynasty, also known as the Andhra Dynasty owing to its roots to the Telugu native, probably is in everyone’s mind only because of the vague mention in our social text books. May be one half mark worth objective on our boards. But a short trip on the internet gave us a view into the awesomeness of Satavahana Kingdom that thrived over 2000 years ago. We thought we had to share with you our excitement about history. Here goes!
First of all look at that expanse. Look how strong the empire was just on the map!
They ruled for almost 5 centuries; through 250 BC to 3rd century AD. This Greek traveler wrote about the might of the kingdom’s army as, 50,000 foot-soldiers, 4000 cavalry, and 400 elephants. Wouldn’t that look awesome in a movie!?
Digital Representation of Satavahana soldiers
Now with that kind of military might, they’re sure to kick some serious ass! And they did. They had immense victories with major kingdoms who tried conquest. They were called Shakas, Yavanas and Pahlavas, and they’re basically Iranians, Greeks and Persians.
Sculpture of the Satavahana Royals of 2 century BC
So if anyone spoke of trade in India, it would begin with the Satavahana’s trade with the Romans, Egypt and the Middle East. They were already exporting spices and cotton in the 1st century AD.
Fun Fact: they figured out the trade aspect of this kingdom as they found historic Roman coins in the excavations in India.
A Roman coin found in India, dated 194 CE; it has an Indian countermark.
Another Awesome Fun Fact: Satavahana Dynasty was the first native kingdom to issue coins as currency for trade with inscriptions on them.
The Governance of the Satavahana era was incredibly forward, with the kingdom divided into Districts, Mandals and Villages. Also the women of the kingdom were honoured. They were given higher education and they took part in religious functions.
Amaravati the heart of the Satavahana Dynasty became a hub for a new form of art that was christened Amaravati School of Art. This included sculptures with distinct characteristics; smoothened stone, elongated bodies of human figures flowing sculptural volume and illusion of life. This art form travelled all the way to Sri Lanka and to most parts of South East Asia.
A history so grand and so ancient…2000 years to be precise, staring at our faces through the little fragments that are left of it, indeed does humble our momentary existence, doesn’t it?
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