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Maurya Empire & Formation of Silk Road. Role of Alexander, Successor States & Hellenism Maurya Empire Connection Nomad Connection & Kushan Empire Trade & Buddhism along Silk Road IDs: Asoka (r. 268-231bce), Kushan Empire, Xiongnu , bodhisattva, Mahayana Buddhism.

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Maurya empire formation of silk road
Maurya Empire & Formation of Silk Road

  • Role of Alexander, Successor States & Hellenism

  • Maurya Empire Connection

  • Nomad Connection & Kushan Empire

  • Trade & Buddhism along Silk Road

    IDs: Asoka (r. 268-231bce), Kushan Empire, Xiongnu, bodhisattva, Mahayana Buddhism

Argument connected

  • Between 336 BCE and 50 CE, the Silk Road was formed by the collective actions of Alexander of Macedonia, the Hellenistic successor states, the Maurya Empire, the Central Asian nomads & the Chinese. Once formed, its east-west and north-south connections across Afro-Eurasia were never broken.

Spread of hellenistic culture
Spread of Hellenistic Culture connected

Greek language

Gymnasiums (education)


Athletic games





Hellenism hellenistic culture
Hellenism/Hellenistic Culture connected

Influences elites from Spain to India


Indo greek states graeco bactria
“Indo-Greek” states: connectedGraeco-Bactria

Ii maurya empire connection 321 184 bce
II. connectedMaurya Empire Connection, 321-184 BCE

First large-scale South Asian empire

Chandragupta Maurya

Seleucid kingdom

Expanded into persia central asia
Expanded into Persia & Central Asia connected

Exchange with Seleucid Empire

Asoka reigned 268 231 bce
Asoka (reigned 268-231 BCE) connected

Third Mauryan king

1. Conqueror until

Kalinga conquest

2 adopted buddhism
2. Adopted Buddhism connected

Built stupas

Rule by dhamma (dharma)

3 rock pillar edicts
3. Rock & Pillar Edicts connected

Multicultural tolerance: hundreds of South Asian ethnic groups, Hindus, Buddhists, Greeks, Persians

Iii nomad connection
III. connectedNomad Connection


Central Asia

1 conquer seleucid empire persian empire 200 bce
1. Conquer Seleucid Empire connected “Persian” Empire (200 BCE)

2 xiongnu pressure yuezhi qin han in china
2. Xiongnu pressure connectedYuezhi & Qin & Han in China

3 yuezhi flee southeast conquer bactria form kushan empire 50 ce
3. connectedYuezhi flee southeast, conquer Bactria & form Kushan Empire (50 CE)

B nomads
B. Nomads connected

  • Supported trade networks already established

  • Extended trade

  • Adopted cultures of settled peoples they conquered

Coin of saka nomad king maues
Coin of connectedSaka (nomad) king Maues

Image of Zeus

“King of Kings, the Great Maues” (Persian title written in Greek letters)

Greek goddess Nike

Same inscription written in S. Asian script

C kushan empire
C. Kushan Empire connected

1. Bridge to China: Formation of Silk Road, 50 CE



Allies against Xiongnu

A overland route
A. Overland Route connected





Commercial hubs: Petra & Palmyra

B sea routes
B. Sea Routes connected

C spread transformation of buddhism
C. Spread & Transformation of Buddhism connected

Spread into Central Asia (Kushan Empire)

2 changes in buddhism
2. Changes in Buddhism connected

  • The Buddha becomes a god

  • Nirvana becomes afterlife (Buddha lands)

2 creation of mahayana buddhism
2. Creation of Mahayana Buddhism connected

Great Vehicle


Question connected

  • How did the successor states, the Maurya Empire, nomads & the Chinese contribute to the formation of the Silk Road and the exchanges which took place along it?

3 effects of alexander successor states
3. Effects of Alexander & Successor States connected

Lasting connection between regions across Afro-Eurasia

Silk Road & sea routes

Huge increase in trade

Cultural exchange