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Chandragupta Maurya

Indian emperor
Born: c. 321 B.C.

Chandragupta was the founder of the Maurya dynasty, which ruled ancient India for about 140 years. His troops conquered one northern Indian kingdom after another and claimed lands that stretched as far as west as Afghanistan. In this way, Chandragupta united northern India under one ruler for the first time in history. Others, most famously Alexander the Great, had tried and failed to unite this region; legend has it that Chandragupta and Alexander met each other, though the Macedonian king probably died before Chandragupta was born.

Mauryan rule continued under Chandragupta’s son, Bindusara, and grandson, Asoka, who succeeded in uniting almost all of ancient India. Although few facts exist about Chandragupta’s last years, Jains believe that he ultimately converted to Jainism and fasted to death in southern India.

See also Encyclopedia: Maurya.

Died: c. 298 B.C.

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