CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Chapter 9 New Empires And Kingdoms

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 9 New Empires And Kingdoms


  1. Prashasti is a Sanskrit word which means in praise of. It is an inscription composed by the poets in praise of their rulers.
  2. Prashastis were composed for rulers such as Samudragupta Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni. Prashastis became far more important from the time of the Guptas.

Samudragupta’s Prashasti

  • Samudragupta was a famous ruler of the Gupta dynasty.
  • The prashasti of Samudragupta was composed as a Kavya by Harishena, the poet and a minister at the court of Samudragupta. It is a long inscription having very long sentences. It is inscribed on the Ashokan pillar at Allahabad,
  • In this prashasti, the poet praised the king by mentioning him as a warrior, as a king who won victories in battle, as a learned man, and as a great poet. He is also described as equal to the Gods.
  • In the prashasti, Harishena describes four different kinds of rulers, and mentions Samudragupta’s policies toward them, as follows
  • The Rulers of Aryavarta These included nine rulers of the Northern part of India who were removed and their kingdoms were made a part of Samudragupta’s empire.
  • The Rulers of Dakshinapatha These included twelve rulers of the Southern part of India. They surrendered to Samudragupta after being defeated and then allowed to rule again by Samudragupta.
  • The Rulers of Neighbouring States These included rulers of Assam, coastal Bengal, Nepal, and a number of gana sanghas in the North-West. They brought tribute, followed the orders of Samudragupta, and attended his court.
  • The Rulers of the Outlying Areas of India These included the ancestors of the Kushanas and Shakas, and the ruler of Sri Lanka, who surrendered to Samudragupta and offered daughters in marriage.

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Chapter 9 Genealogies

  • Most prashastis also provide genealogies i.e. information about the ancestors of the ruler. For example, Samudragupta’s prashasti provides information about his great-grandfather, father, and mother.
  • Samudragupta’s mother, Kumara Devi, belonged to the Lichchhavi gana, and his father Chandragupta, adopted the grand title of Maharaj-adhiraja. This title was also used by Samudragupta.
  • The great-grandfather and grandfather of Samudragupta are mentioned simply as maha rajas. This signifies that his family gained importance gradually.
  • The genealogies of loci rulers like his son Chandragupta II provide information about Samudragupta.
  • Information about Chandragupta 2 is known from the inscriptions and coins. He led an expedition to Western India, where he defeated the last Shaka ruler.
  • His court was full of learned people, including Kalidasa, the poet, and Aryabhata, the astronomer.
  • It refers to the era beginning in 58 BCE which is traditionally associated with the Gupta king.
  • Chandragupta II founded it as a mark of victory over the Shakas and assumed the title of Vikramaditya.

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Chapter 9 Harshavardhana and the Harshacharita

  • Apart from inscriptions and coins, information about some rulers can be acquired from biographies, For Example. biography of Harshavardhana, who ruled nearly 1400 years ago. His court poet, Banabhatta wrote his biography, the Harshacharita, in Sanskrit.
  • This biography of Harsha provides his genealogy. The account of Xuan Zang, who spent a lot of time in Harsha’s court, also provides information about Harsha.
  • Harshavardhana became king of Thanesar after his father and his elder brother died. His brother-in-law was the ruler of Kanauj but he was killed by the ruler of Bengal. So, Harsha took over the kingdom of Kanauj and led an army against the ruler of Bengal.
  • He was successful in the East and conquered Magadha and Bengal. He tried to cross the Narmada to march into the Deccan but was stopped by Pulakeshin II of the Chalukya dynasty.

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Chapter 9 The Pallavas, Chalukyas and Pulakeshin’s Prashasti

  • The Pallavas and Chalukyas were the most powerful and important ruling dynasties in South India during the Gupta period.
  • The kingdom of Pallavas spread from the region around their capital Kanchipuram to the Kaveri delta. The kingdom of the Chalukyas was located around the Raichur Doab, between the rivers Krishna and Tungabhadra.
  • The capital city of Chalukyas, Aihole, was an important trading center. It gradually developed as a religious center with a number of temples.
  • The Pallavas and Chalukyas frequently attacked each other’s lands, especially the capital cities, which were prosperous (wealthy) towns.
  • Pulakeshin II was the famous Chalukyan ruler. His prashasti was composed by his court poet Ravikirti, which gives information about his ancestors, especially the last four generations.
  • Pulakeshin II took over the kingdom from his uncle. According to Ravikirti, he led expeditions along the West and East coasts and stopped Harshavardhana from expanding his kingdom. Pulakeshin II also attacked the Pallava king, who took shelter behind the walls of Kanchipuram.
  • The kingdoms of Chalukyas and Pallavas were overthrown by the Rashtrakuta and Chola dynasties.

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Chapter 9 Administration of Kingdoms

  • The land revenue was important for the earlier kings, and the village remained the basic unit of administration. Some new developments were also made in the administration such as The kings started to adopt some new methods to win the support of men who were economically, or socially powerful, or because of their political and military strength.
  • Some important administrative posts were now hereditary. This means that sons succeeded their fathers in these posts. For example, the poet Harishena was a maha-danda-nayaka, or chief judicial officer, like his father.
  • Sometimes, one person maintained many offices. For example, besides being a maha-danda-nayaka,
  • Harishena was a kumar-amatya, meaning an important minister, and a sandhi-vigrahika, meaning a minister of war and peace.
  • H Important men probably had a role in local administration. These included
  • the nagara-shreshthi or chief banker or merchant of the city
  • the sarthavaha or leader of the merchant caravans
  • the Prathama-Kulik or the chief craftsman
  • and the head of the kayasthas or scribes
  • These policies or new developments were reasonably effective, but some powerful men became strong enough to set up independent kingdoms

A New Kind of Army

  • Some of the kings of the Gupta period maintained a well-organized army, with elephants, chariots, cavalry, and foot soldiers.
  • There were military leaders who provided troops to the king whenever he needed them. These military leaders were known as samantas. They were not paid regular salaries instead, some of them received grants of land.
  • They collected revenue from the land and used this to maintain soldiers and horses, and also provide equipment for warfare.
  • Whenever the ruler was weak, samantas tried to become independent.

Assemblies in the Southern Kingdoms

The inscriptions of the Pallavas mention a number of local assemblies. These were

  • Sabha It was an assembly of Brahmin landowners. This assembly functioned through sub-committees, which looked after irrigation, agricultural operations, making roads, local temples, etc.
  • It was a village assembly found in areas where the landowners were not Brahmins.
  • Nagaram was an organization of merchants. It was controlled by rich and powerful landowners and merchants.
  • Many of these local assemblies continued to function for centuries.

Ordinary People in the Kingdoms

  • The plays and the other accounts of the poets give information about the lives of ordinary people.
  • The plays of Kalidasa depict life in the king’s court. In these plays, the king and most brahmins are shown as speaking Sanskrit, while women and men other than the king and brahmins use Prakrit.
  • Abhijnana Shakuntalam is the most famous play of Kalidasa. It is the story of the love between a king named Dushyanta and a young woman named Shakuntala.
  • The Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian had mentioned in his account about the condition of the people treated as untouchables. They were expected to live outside the city.
  • If they wanted to enter a town or marketplace, they had to strike a piece of wood, so that the other people get aware of them.

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