Society of Mauryan Empire

  • Megasthenese mentioned that during this period, the society was comprising seven castes, namely −
    • Philosophers,
    • Farmers,
    • Soldiers,
    • Herdsmen,
    • Artisans,
    • Magistrates, and
    • Councillors
  • Megasthenes, however, failed to comprehend the Indian society properly and confused among the terms jati, Varna, and the occupation.
  • Chaturvarna system continued to govern the society.
  • The urban way of life developed and the craftsmen enjoyed a high place in the society.
  • Teaching continued to be the main job of the Brahmans.
  • Buddhist monasteries were developed as important educational institutions. Taxila, Ujjayini, and Varanasi were famous educational centres.
  • Technical education was generally provided through guilds, where pupils learnt the crafts from the early age.
  • Joint family system was the norm in the domestic life.
  • A married woman had her own property in the form of bride-gift (streedhana).
  • Widows had given respect in the society. All streedhana (bride-gift and jewellery) belongs to her. Offences against women were severely dealt with.
  • Kautilya also laid down penalties against officials, in charge of workshops and prisons who misbehaved with women.
  • Megasthenes mentioned that slavery did not exist in India.
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