Home Region:  Central India (South Asia)

Kadamba Empire

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  in_kadamba_emp / InKadam

Preceding:
[continuity; Pallava Empire] [continuity]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
543 CE 753 CE Chalukyas of Badami (in_badami_chalukya_emp)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

The Kadamba dynasty ruled over a region that largely falls within the boundaries of the modern-day Indian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. [1] An absolute start date could not be found in the specialist literature. However, much is known about this polity’s monarchs. Most notably, Kakushtavarma, widely regarded as the greatest Kadamba king, concluded marriage alliances with prominent ruling families (thus extending Kadamba influence over much of the subcontinent) and created an internal police force to ensure the safe movement of people from one part of the empire to another. [2] After Kakushtavarma, the empire was temporarily split among his heirs, each division with its own capital: Halsi for the north and west, Triparvata for the south, and Uchchangi for the east. [3] The empire was partly reunited a generation later under Ravivarma. [4] However, the polity disintegrated rapidly under Harivarma, and much of its territory was seized by the Chalukyas of Badami in the 540s CE. [5]
Population and political organization
In imitation of the Satavahanas, the Kadambas referred to their leader as dharmamaharaja [6] The dharmamaharaja was assisted at court by a royal council and the crown prince, and in the provinces he was represented by viceroys and governors. [6]
No population estimates for this period could be found in the specialist literature.

[1]: (Moraes [1931] 1990, 47) George Moraes. 1990. The Kadamba Kula. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

[2]: (Murthy and Ramakrishnan 1978, 47) H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan. 1978. A History of Karnataka. New Delhi: S. Chand.

[3]: (Murthy and Ramakrishnan 1978, 49) H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan. 1978. A History of Karnataka. New Delhi: S. Chand.

[4]: (Murthy and Ramakrishnan 1978, 48) H. V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan. 1978. A History of Karnataka. New Delhi: S. Chand.

[5]: (Kadambi 2007, 178) Hemanth Kadambi. 2007. ’Negotiated Pasts and Memorialized Present in Ancient India’, in Negotiating the Past in the Past: Identity, Memory, and Landscape in Archaeological Research, edited by Norman Yoffee, 155-82. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

[6]: (Kamath 1980, 38) Suryanath Kamath. 1980. A Concise History of Karnataka: From Pre-historic Times to the Present. Bangalore: Archana Prakashana.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
43 P  
Original Name:
Kadamba Empire  
Capital:
Banavasi  
Halsi  
Triparvata  
Uchchangi  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[435 CE ➜ 455 CE]  
Duration:
[345 CE ➜ 550 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Succeeding Entity:
Chalukyas of Badami  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Chalukyas of Badami (in_badami_chalukya_emp)    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-Iranian  
Dravidian  
Language:
Sanskrit  
Prakrit  
Kannada  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Polity Territory:
[50,000 to 100,000] km2  
Polity Population:
[650,000 to 750,000] people 400 CE
[700,000 to 800,000] people 500 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
[1 to 2]  
Military Level:
[4 to 6]  
Administrative Level:
[5 to 7]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred present  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
unknown  
Food Storage Site:
unknown  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
present  
Canal:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
unknown  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
inferred present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred present  
  Sword:
inferred present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
inferred present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
inferred present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
inferred present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
inferred present  
  Limb Protection:
inferred present  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
inferred present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Kadamba Empire (in_kadamba_emp) was in:
 (451 CE 540 CE)   Deccan
Home NGA: Deccan

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Kadamba Empire

Capital:
Banavasi

345-455 CE: Banavasi; 455?-? CE: Halsi; 460-? CE: Triparvata; 460?-? CE: Uchchangi. The Kadambas’ first capital was Banavasi [1] . Once the Empire is split in three, each division had its own capital: Halsi for the North and West, Triparvata for the South, and Uchchangi for the East [2] . However, none of the sources is clear regarding the dates in which these capitals were founded, and when they ceased to be capitals (as they must have done, considering that the empire was eventually reunited).

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), pp. 31

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 49

345-455 CE: Banavasi; 455?-? CE: Halsi; 460-? CE: Triparvata; 460?-? CE: Uchchangi. The Kadambas’ first capital was Banavasi [1] . Once the Empire is split in three, each division had its own capital: Halsi for the North and West, Triparvata for the South, and Uchchangi for the East [2] . However, none of the sources is clear regarding the dates in which these capitals were founded, and when they ceased to be capitals (as they must have done, considering that the empire was eventually reunited).

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), pp. 31

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 49

Capital:
Triparvata

345-455 CE: Banavasi; 455?-? CE: Halsi; 460-? CE: Triparvata; 460?-? CE: Uchchangi. The Kadambas’ first capital was Banavasi [1] . Once the Empire is split in three, each division had its own capital: Halsi for the North and West, Triparvata for the South, and Uchchangi for the East [2] . However, none of the sources is clear regarding the dates in which these capitals were founded, and when they ceased to be capitals (as they must have done, considering that the empire was eventually reunited).

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), pp. 31

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 49

Capital:
Uchchangi

345-455 CE: Banavasi; 455?-? CE: Halsi; 460-? CE: Triparvata; 460?-? CE: Uchchangi. The Kadambas’ first capital was Banavasi [1] . Once the Empire is split in three, each division had its own capital: Halsi for the North and West, Triparvata for the South, and Uchchangi for the East [2] . However, none of the sources is clear regarding the dates in which these capitals were founded, and when they ceased to be capitals (as they must have done, considering that the empire was eventually reunited).

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), pp. 31

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 49


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[435 CE ➜ 455 CE]

[1] The reign of Kakushtavarma is widely regarded as the greatest era of the Kadamba Empire. The Emperor concluded matrimonial alliances with other prominent families, thus extending the Kadambas’ influence over the rest of peninsular India [2] . Moreover, he created an internal "protective force" to ensure safe movement of people from one part of the empire to another [3] .

[1]: http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsFarEast/IndiaBanavasi.htm

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 46

[3]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 47


Duration:
[345 CE ➜ 550 CE]

The Kadamba Empire was founded more or less around the time of their rebellion in the face of their feudal overlords (possibly the Pallavas), and it ended with their defeat at the hands of the Chalukyas [1] .

[1]: http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsFarEast/IndiaBanavasi.htm


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none

Independent polity.


Succeeding Entity:
Chalukyas of Badami

Chalukya Empire [1]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 38


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

feudal subordinates [1]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 30


Preceding Entity:
Pallava Empire

(Relationship): feudal subordinates [1]
(Entity): Though it is not entirely clear, it seems that the Kadambas started out as feudal subordinates to the Pallavas [1] .

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 30

Preceding Entity:
Kadamba Empire [in_kadamba_emp] ---> Chalukyas of Badami [in_badami_chalukya_emp]

[1] .

[1]: H. Kadambi, Negotiated Pasts and Memorialized Present in Ancient India, in N. Yoffee (ed), Negotiating the Past in the Past (2008), p. 158


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

feudal empire; tripartite empire Inferred from the fact that the empire’s provinces were not directly ruled by the Emperor, but by "viceroys" [1] . After Mrigashavarma’s succession to the throne in 450, his brothers declared themselves independent rulers of their own territories, and the empire was therefore split into three smaller polities [2] . In the literature, this appears to be considered more a "phase" in the empire’s history than the beginning of three new polities, which is why I have elected not to create a separate page for whichever polity included the NGA we are interested in. Indeed, the polities would eventually reunite [3] .

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 39

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), pp. 47-48

[3]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 48


Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-Iranian
Linguistic Family:
Dravidian

Language:
Sanskrit

Prakrit and Sanskrit were official, court languages, while Kannada was probably the "colloquial" language [1] EXTERNAL_INLINE_LINK: http://seshat.info/File:Kadambamaps.nelson.png

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 40

Language:
Prakrit

Prakrit and Sanskrit were official, court languages, while Kannada was probably the "colloquial" language [1] EXTERNAL_INLINE_LINK: http://seshat.info/File:Kadambamaps.nelson.png

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 40

Language:
Kannada

Prakrit and Sanskrit were official, court languages, while Kannada was probably the "colloquial" language [1] EXTERNAL_INLINE_LINK: http://seshat.info/File:Kadambamaps.nelson.png

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 40


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Polity Territory:
[50,000 to 100,000] km2

in squared kilometers. "The epigraphical records of the dynasty suggest that the area comprising Belgaum, North Canara, Shimoga, Chitradurga and Bellary districts formed the Kadamba kingdom during its heydays" [1] . This would suggest an area of 49,088 squared kilometers. However, these districts are not all adjacent to one another, which suggests that this polity was somewhat larger, probably including a few more neighbouring districts.

[1]: http://archive.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/feb032004/spt3.asp


Polity Population:
[650,000 to 750,000] people
400 CE

People. [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 182-185) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.

Polity Population:
[700,000 to 800,000] people
500 CE

People. [1]

[1]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 182-185) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd. London.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
1. Capital(s) [1] [2]
2. Seat of a mandala’s viceroyInferred from the fact that the empire was divided in mandalas, each governed by a viceroy [3] .
3. Seat of a vishaya governor (manneya)Inferred from the fact that mandalas were divided into vishayas [3] , which were probably governed by manneyas [4] .
4. Village [3]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), pp. 31

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 49

[3]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 38

[4]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), pp. 50


Religious Level:
[1 to 2]

levels.
_Hinduism_
There are no official priestly hierarchies in Hinduism [1] . However, several sources allude to the importance, at least for some branches of the religion, of the relationship between student and teacher or guru (e.g. [2] ), which suggests that perhaps it would not be entirely inappropriate to say that there is indeed a Hindu religious hierarchy, and that it is composed of two levels.
_Buddhism_
"Buddhist monastic communities replaced the caste system with one based on year of ordination. Previously ordained monks enjoyed rights and privileges higher in status than monks ordained later, and monks were categorically of higher status and privilege than nuns. In effect seniority and gender provided criteria for social status and increased access to ’pure’ teachings and exemption from ’impure’ duties." [3] .

[1]: http://ezinearticles.com/?Religious-Hierarchy-in-Hinduism&id=1864556

[2]: G. Flood, Introduction, in G. Flood (ed), The Blackwell Comapnion to Hinduism (2003), p. 4

[3]: P. Nietupsky, Hygiene: Buddhist Perspective, in W.M. Johnson, Encyclopedia of Monasticism (2000), p. 628


Military Level:
[4 to 6]

levels.
1. EmperorBased on analogy with preceding and subsequent polities in the region (e.g. [1] ).
2. Minister of warBased on analogy with preceding and subsequent polities in the region (e.g. [1] ).
3. OfficersContemporary texts refer to several different kinds of officers, such as jagadala, dandanayka, and sendhipati, but without providing any clear description of the military hierarchy [2] -- coding a range to express uncertainty here
4. SoldiersLike preceding and subsequent polities, the Kadamba army was made up of infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots [2] .

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 70

[2]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 39


Administrative Level:
[5 to 7]

levels.
1. Dharmamaharaja
In imitation of the Satavahanas, the Kadambas referred to their leader as Dharmamaharaja [1] .
_Court_
2. Royal CouncilMade up of the pradhyana (head minister), the manevergade (steward of the household), the kramukapala (betel-carrier), the tantrapala, and the sabhakaya (secretary of the council) [1] .
3. Other ministersIncluding the Chief Justice, the dharmadhyaksha [1] .
. The Crown Prince [1] .
_Provincial government_
4. Viceroys/PrincesGoverned over mandalas, or provinces [1] .
5. Governors of vishayas (Manneyas?)The Vishaya was the administrative division of Kadamba territory immediately beneath the mandala [1] : it is presumed that someone was in charge of governing it. It may have been the manneyas, who some sources say were in charge of "districts" [2] .
6. Governors of mahagramas and dashagramasMahagramas were groups of ten villages, dashagramas, groups of twenty-four [1] : it is presumed that someone was in charge of governing them.
7. Gramikas/Grama-mukhtasIn charge of villages [3] .

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 38

[2]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), pp. 50

[3]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 50


Professions
Professional Soldier:
unknown

Professional Priesthood:
present

Hinduism had its representatives in Brahmanas [1] , Buddhism in monks [2] .

[1]: L. Rocher, The Dharmasastras, in G. Flood (ed), The Balckwell Companion to Hinduism (2003), p. 103

[2]: L. Aldritt, Buddhism (2009), p. 12


Professional Military Officer:
present

Contemporary texts refer to several different kinds of officers, such as jagadala, dandanayka, and sendhipati, but without providing any clear description of the military hierarchy [1] .

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 39


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Royal council was made up of the pradhyana (head minister), the manevergade (steward of the household), the kramukapala (betel-carrier), the tantrapala, and the sabhakaya (secretary of the council). [1]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 38


Examination System:
unknown

Law
Professional Lawyer:
unknown

Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Irrigation System:
unknown

already established structure in the region


Food Storage Site:
unknown

already established practice in the region


Transport Infrastructure

Goa and Chaul were important port towns [1] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 52



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System

Script:
present

Prakrit and Sanskrit were official, court languages, while Kannada was probably the "colloquial" language [1]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 40


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Prakrit and Sanskrit were official, court languages, while Kannada was probably the "colloquial" language [1]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 40


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

Prakrit and Sanskrit were official, court languages, while Kannada was probably the "colloquial" language [1]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 40


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Sacred Text:
present

"People spent their leisure usefully listening usefully listening to the discourses on Purana, Bharata and Bhagavata conducted regularly in the mathas and agraharas" [1] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 51


Religious Literature:
present

Buddhist, Jain and Hindu texts, including commentaries.


Practical Literature:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra contains a chapter title "Measurement of Space and Time." [1] The Arthaśāstra "probably arose in the first half of the first millennium AD" but probably largely "derive[s] from older handbooks". [2]

[1]: (Subramaniam 2001, 79) Subramaniam, V. in Farazmand, Ali. ed. 2001. Handbook of Comparative and Development Public Administration. CRC Press.

[2]: (Schlingloff 2013: 15) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DAMFF2NV.


Fiction:
present

"Literary talents were not lacking in the period becomes evident from the inscriptions [sic]. But we have no reference to the poets who flourished in the Kadamba kingdom" [1] .

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 54


Calendar:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra contains a chapter title "Measurement of Space and Time." [1] The Arthaśāstra "probably arose in the first half of the first millennium AD" but probably largely "derive[s] from older handbooks". [2]

[1]: (Subramaniam 2001, 79) Subramaniam, V. in Farazmand, Ali. ed. 2001. Handbook of Comparative and Development Public Administration. CRC Press.

[2]: (Schlingloff 2013: 15) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/DAMFF2NV.


Information / Money

Indigenous Coin:
present

[1]

[1]: H.V. Sreenivasa Murthy and R. Ramakrishnan, A History of Karnataka (1978), p. 52



Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
absent


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

The Banavasi fort was surrounded by a stone wall. It is not indicated whether or not it was mortared [1]

[1]: S.K. Joshi, Defense Architecture of the Kadambas, in B.R. Gopal and N.S. Tharanatha, Kadambas: Their History and Culture (1996), p. 74


Stone Walls Mortared:
unknown

The Banavasi fort was surrounded by a stone wall. It is not indicated whether or not it was mortared [1]

[1]: S.K. Joshi, Defense Architecture of the Kadambas, in B.R. Gopal and N.S. Tharanatha, Kadambas: Their History and Culture (1996), p. 74


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Commenting on Jean Deloche’s ’Studies on Fortification in India’ a book reviewer says that fort construction "with long-term building and modification programs ... became the focal point for local populations as well as for their leaders" and often were "placed at points on the landscape that already were natural strongholds and places of ritual devolution". [1] The Banavasi fort was partly protected by the river Varada [2] .

[1]: (Smith 2010, 273) Monica L Smith. January 2010. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 130.2. Studies on Fortification in India. Collection Indologie, vol. 104. Four Forts of the Deccan vol. 111. Senji (Gingee): A Fortified City in the Tamil Country. vol. 101 by Jean Deloche.

[2]: S.K. Joshi, Defense Architecture of the Kadambas, in B.R. Gopal and N.S. Tharanatha, Kadambas: Their History and Culture (1996), p. 74



The Banavasi fort was partly protected by a moat. [1]

[1]: S.K. Joshi, Defense Architecture of the Kadambas, in B.R. Gopal and N.S. Tharanatha, Kadambas: Their History and Culture (1996), p. 74



Earth Rampart:
present

"Till date, the best study of the evolution of fortifications in India from the Indus Valley Civilization till the rise of British power, remains Deloche’s monograph on fortification in India. Deloche notes that between the third and fourteenth centuries, the Hindu rulers constructed complex gateways, towers and thicker walls with earthen embankments in order to make their durgas (forts) impregnable." [1] Deloche’s studies on Indian fortifications are in French. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions ramparts constructed with earth and moats. [2]

[1]: (Roy 2011, 123) Kaushik Roy. Historiographical Survey of the Writings on Indian Military History. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. ed. 2011. Approaches to History: Essays in Indian Historiography. Primus Books. Delhi.

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 103) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.




Military use of Metals

Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Indian iron smiths invented the ’wootz’ method of steel creation between 550-450 BCE. The Greek physician Ctesias of Cnidus commented on an Indian steel sword in the possession of Artaxerxes II of Persia (c400 BCE). [1]

[1]: (Singh 1997, 102) Sarva Daman Singh. 1997. Ancient Indian Warfare: With Special Reference to the Vedic Period. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. Delhi.


Probably more often used for ornamental features or for handles.


Probably more often used for ornamental features or for handles.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

According to Jaina texts, Ajatashatru, a 5th century BCE king of Magadha in North India, used a catapult "capable of hurling huge pieces of stone". [1] Ancient Indian armies had siege engines that could "fling stones and lead balls wrapped up in burning materials. The Mahabharata mentions an Asma-yantra (a stone-throwing machine) in the battle with Jarasandha and we have further records that such engines were used in later periods to set enemy fortifications alight and that ’liquid fires’ containing naphtha were in use in ancient India." [2]

[1]: (Singh 2008, 272) Upinder Singh. 2008. A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Longman. Delhi.

[2]: (Forbes 1959, 88-89) Robert James Forbes. 1959. More studies in early petroleum history. Brill Archive.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Byzantines or perhaps Chinese first used gravity-powered sling machines.


Last reference currently found for slings was for the Satavahanas. [1]

[1]: C. Margabandhu, Archaeology of the Satavahana Kshatrapa Times (1985), p. 311


In the hot Monsoon climate of India the composite bow decomposed rapidly so Ancient Indians made bows out of Wootz steel. These were "considerably more rigid than their composite bretheren, meaning they were also less powerful. But they were reliable and predictable, and could be stored away in munitions vaults without worry of decomposition." [1] "The Hindus used bows made of cane or bamboos which were inferior in range, accuracy and penetrative power when compared to the composite bows." [2] Composite bow came to India with the Kushanas but "after the collapse of the Gupta Empire, the use of composite bows died out in India." [2]

[1]: (O’Bryan 2013, 54) A History of Weapons: Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up. Chronicle Books LLC. San Francisco.

[2]: (Roy 2011, 122) Kaushik Roy. Historiographical Survey of the Writings on Indian Military History. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. ed. 2011. Approaches to History: Essays in Indian Historiography. Primus Books. Delhi.


Vakataka - Gupta Age weapons included the javelin. [1] Soldiers were still using javelins under the later Rashtrakuta monarchs. [2]

[1]: (Majumdar and Altekar 1986, 277) Anant Sadashiv Altekar. The Administrative Organisation. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar. Anant Sadashiv Altekar. 1986. Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi.

[2]: N.S. Ramachandra Murthy, Military Administration of the Rashtrakutas in the Telugu Country, in B.R. Gopal, The Rashtrakutas of Malkhed (1994), p. 116



Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Known to Chinese in the first millennium BCE but Vedic literature does not describe anything like a crossbow although Pant suggests "the weapon mentioned as the nalika in ancient Sanskrit literature was a crossbow." [1] "The hand crossbow was usd on Indian battlefields probably from the third century A.D. It was mainly used as an infantry weapon and occasionally as a cavalry weapon. A Sanskrit inscription at Avanthipuram, in South India, reads: ’... Of him who has the name of Ananta impelled with speed and skillfully discharged from the machines of his bow fitted with the well stretched string....’ Obviously, the machine referred to was a hand crossbow." [1]

[1]: (Phillips 2016) Henry Pratap Phillips. 2016. The History and Chronology of Gunpowder and Gunpowder Weapons (c.1000 to 1850). Notion Press.


Composite Bow:
unknown

"The Hindus used bows made of cane or bamboos which were inferior in range, accuracy and penetrative power when compared to the composite bows." [1] Composite bow came to India with the Kushanas but "after the collapse of the Gupta Empire, the use of composite bows died out in India." [1] ’From the Kushans, the Indians learnt the use of composite bows. The Sanchi sculptures which can be dated to the first century BC show many soldiers carrying strung and unstrung composite bows. Murray B. Emeneau writes that the Guptas used Sassanian types of composite bows.’ [2]

[1]: (Roy 2011, 122) Kaushik Roy. Historiographical Survey of the Writings on Indian Military History. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. ed. 2011. Approaches to History: Essays in Indian Historiography. Primus Books. Delhi.

[2]: (Roy 2013, 23) Kaushik Roy. 2013. Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia. Routledge. London.


Weapon found only in the New World.


Handheld weapons

"There was no significant change in the weaponry of the Indian army from ancient to classical times; in fact, according to Kosambi, there was a decline in the standard of arms. Indian soldiers were mostly very poorly equipped, noted Marco Polo." [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 169) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


"There was no significant change in the weaponry of the Indian army from ancient to classical times; in fact, according to Kosambi, there was a decline in the standard of arms. Indian soldiers were mostly very poorly equipped, noted Marco Polo." [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 169) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


"There was no significant change in the weaponry of the Indian army from ancient to classical times; in fact, according to Kosambi, there was a decline in the standard of arms. Indian soldiers were mostly very poorly equipped, noted Marco Polo." [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 169) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.




Battle Axe:
present

"There was no significant change in the weaponry of the Indian army from ancient to classical times; in fact, according to Kosambi, there was a decline in the standard of arms. Indian soldiers were mostly very poorly equipped, noted Marco Polo." [1]

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 169) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


Animals used in warfare

The Kadamba army included cavalry. [1] "In the classical age, Indian armies were still organized, as they had been a thousand years earlier, into four divisions: infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants." [2]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 39

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 163) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


[1] "In the classical age, Indian armies were still organized, as they had been a thousand years earlier, into four divisions: infantry, cavalry, chariots and elephants." [2]

[1]: Suryanatha Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka (1980), p. 39

[2]: (Eraly 2011, 163) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


In ancient India the buffalo, bullock, yak, goat, camel, elephant, horse, ass and the mule were all used for transport [1] [2] in different regions according to local conditions. [2]

[1]: (Mishra 1987, 83) Kamal Kishore Mishra. 1987. Police Administration in Ancient India. Mittal Publications. Delhi.

[2]: Prakash Charan Prasad. 1977. Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India. Abhinav Publications. New Delhi.



In ancient India the buffalo, bullock, yak, goat, camel, elephant, horse, ass and the mule were all used for transport [1] [2] in different regions according to local conditions. [2]

[1]: (Mishra 1987, 83) Kamal Kishore Mishra. 1987. Police Administration in Ancient India. Mittal Publications. Delhi.

[2]: Prakash Charan Prasad. 1977. Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India. Abhinav Publications. New Delhi.


Armor

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a leather shield. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Scaled Armor:
unknown

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions metal fabric, metal plate, cuirass, and corselet. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Plate Armor:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions metal fabric, metal plate, cuirass, corselet, and breast plate. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Limb Protection:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a thigh guard. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Leather Cloth:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions "dense structures made of the skin, hooves, and horns/tusks of the river dolphin, rhinocerous, Dhenuka, and cattle" used as armor. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Laminar Armor:
unknown

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions metal fabric, metal plate, cuirass, and corselet. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a helmet. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Chainmail:
present

Gupta period soldiers who could afford to do so and were willing to bear the heat (or for night operations?) wore chain mail. [1] Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions s metal coat of mail. [2]

[1]: (Rowell 2015 89) Rebecca Rowell. 2015. Ancient India. Abdo Publishing. Minneapolis.

[2]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Breastplate:
present

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written after 200 BCE, mentions a breastplate. [1]

[1]: (Olivelle 2016, 142-143) Patrick Olivelle trans. 2016. King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra. Oxford University Press. Oxford.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

’Chalukyas, Pallavas and the Cholas are noted for their naval forces." [1] It can be inferred that no other state had a significant naval force although some of them may have had a smaller navy. The Kadamba kingdom appears to have been landlocked so very likely to be one of the kingdoms that did not have a navy.

[1]: (Eraly 2011, 163) Abraham Eraly. 2011. The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.