Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download

294
Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF
Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF
Share
  • 4
    Shares

Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download

Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download contains detailed study notes for this topic.

Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download also contains related Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) which will be beneficial for all Competitive Exams like WBCS (Preli & Mains), UPSC, SSC, Rail (Gr. D, ASM, TTE), Food Sub Inspector, WB Police, Gram Panchayat, Postal Assistant, Agriculture, Court, PSC, LIC, CMAT and all other State Level Public Service Commission exams.

Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download link is provided at the end of this post

Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download

  • Literary and Archaeological records are the two main categories that give pieces of evidence of Ancient Indian History.
  • The literary source includes literature of Vedic, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, and other literature along with other foreign accounts.
  • The archaeological source includes epigraphic, numismatic, and other architectural remains.
  • The archaeological explorations and excavations have opened the great landscapes of new information.

Indian Literary Sources


  • The ancient Indian literature is mostly religious in nature.
  • The Puranic and Epic literature are considered as history by Indians, but it contains no definite dates for events and kingdoms.
  • The effort of history writing was shown by a large number of inscriptions, coins, and local chronicles. The principles of history are preserved in the Puranas and Epics.
  • The Puranas and epics narrate the genealogies of kings and their achievements. But they are not arranged in chronological order.
  • The Vedic literature contains mainly the four Vedas i.e. Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda.
  • The Vedic literature is in a different language called the Vedic language. Its vocabulary contains a wide range of meaning and is different in grammatical usages. It has a definite mode of pronunciation in which emphasis changes the meaning entirely.
  • The Vedas give reliable information about the culture and civilization of the Vedic period, but do not reveal the political history.
  • Six Vedangas are the important limbs of Vedas. They were evolved for the proper understanding of the Vedas. The Vedangas are:
    • Siksha (Phonetics)
    • Kalpa (Rituals)
    • Vyakarna (Grammar)
    • Nirukta (Etymology)
    • Chhanda (Metrics) and
    • Jyotisha (Astronomy).
  • Vedanga has been written in the precepts (sutra) form. This is a very precise and exact form of expression in prose, which was developed by the scholars of ancient India.
  • Ashtadhyayi (eight chapters), written by Panini, is a book on grammar that gives excellent information on the art of writing in sutra (precepts).
  • The later Vedic literature includes the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads.
  • Aranyakas and Upanishads give speeches on different spiritual and philosophical
  • Puranas, which are 18 in numbers, give mainly historical accounts.
  • The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are epics of great historical importance.
  • The Jain and the Buddhist literature had been written in Prakrit and Pali
  • Early Jain literature is mostly written in Prakrit language.
  • Prakrit language was a form of Sanskrit language.
  • Pali language was a form of Prakrit language which was used in Magadha.
  • Most of the early Buddhist literature is written in Pali
  • Pali language reached to Sri Lanka through some of the Buddhist monks where it is a living language.
  • Ashokan edicts had been written in Pali
  • Mahavira and Buddha are considered as historical personalities (equivalent to God). They have created Jain and Buddhist religious ideology respectively.

Ancient Books

  • The Buddhist books are called as Jataka They have been given some historical importance because they are related with the previous births of the Buddha. There are more than 550 such stories.
  • The historic information mentioned in Jaina literature also help us in reconstructing the history of different regions of India.
  • The Dharmasutras and the Smritis were the rules and regulations for the general public and the rulers. It can be equated with the constitution and the law books of the modern concept of polity and society. For example, Manusmriti.
  • Dharmashastras were compiled between 600 and 200 B.C.
  • Arthashastra is a book on statecraft written by Kautilya during the Maurya The book is divided into 15 parts dealing with different subject matters related to polity, economy, and society.
  • The final version of Arthashastra was written in the 4th century B.C.
  • Kautilya acknowledges his debt to his predecessors in his book, which shows that there was a tradition of writing on and teaching of statecrafts.
  • Mudrarakshasha is a play written by Visakha datta. It describes the society and culture of that period.
  • Malavikagnimitram written by Kalidasa gives information of the reign of Pusyamitra Sunga dynasty.
  • Bhasa and Sudraka are other poets who have written plays based on historical events.
  • Harshacharita, written by Banabhatta, throws light on many historical facts about which we could not have known otherwise.
  • Vakpati wrote Gaudavaho, based on the exploits of Yasovarman of Kanauj.
  • Vikramankadevacharita, written by Bilhana, describes the victories of the later Chalukya king Vikramaditya.
  • Some of the prominent biographical works, which are based on the lives of the kings are:
    • Kumarapalacharita of Jayasimha,
    • Kumarapalacharita or Dvayashraya Mahakavya of Hemachandra,
    • Hammirakavya of Nayachandra
    • Navasahasankacharita of Padmagupta
    • Bhojaprabandha of Billal
    • Priihvirajacharit of Chandbardai
  • Rajatarangini, written by Kalhana, is the best form of history writing valued by modern historians. His critical method of historical research and impartial treatment of the historical facts have earned him great respect among modern historians.
  • The Sangam literature is in the form of short and long poems consisting of 30,000 lines of poetry, which arranged in two main groups i.e. Patinenkilkanakku and the Pattupattu. It describes many kings and dynasties of South India.
  • The Sangam was the poetic compilation by a group of poets of different times mainly supported by chiefs and kings.
  • The Sangam literature was composed of a large number of poets in praise of their kings. Some kings and events mentioned are also supported by the inscriptions.
  • The Sangam literature generally describes events up to the 4th century A.D.

Foreign Accounts

  • Herodotus was dependent upon the Persian sources for his information about India.
  • Herodotus in his book Histories (written in many volumes) describes the Indo-Persian relations.
  • A detailed account of the invasion of India by Alexander was written by Arrian.
  • The Greek kings send their ambassadors to Pataliputra. Megasthenes, Deimachus, and Dionysius were some of them.
  • Megasthenes came in the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He had written about the Indian society and culture in his book called as ‘Indica’. Though the original work has been lost, it had been frequently quoted in the works of later writers.
  • A book ‘Periplus of the Erythrean Sea’ written by an anonymous Greek author who settled in Egypt on the basis of his personal voyage of Indian coast in about A. D. 80 gives valuable information about the Indian coasts.
  • In the second century A. D., Ptolemy had written a geographical treatise on India.
  • The Greek writing about India, however, is based on secondary sources. They were ignorant of the language and the customs of the country and hence their information is full of errors and contradictions.
  • Many Chinese travelers visited India as Buddhist pilgrims from time to time; three important pilgrims were:
  • Fa-Hien (Faxian) – visited India in 5th century A.D.
  • Hiuen-Tsang (Xuanzang) – visited India in the 7th century and
  • I-Tsing (Yijing) – visited India in the 7th century.
  • Hiuen-Tsang had given a valuable account about Harshavardhana and some other contemporary kings of Northern India.
  • Fa-Hien and Hiuen-Tsang traveled many parts of the country and they have given an exaggerated account of Buddhism during the period of their visit.
  • Hiuen-Tsang mentioned Harsha as a follower of Buddhism while in his epigraphic records, Harsha mentions himself as a devotee of Siva. Such contradictions may be considered due to the fact of the multi-religious nature of Indian rulers, which might confuse a foreigner.
  • AI-Biruni gave important information about India. He was an Arab scholar and contemporary of Mahmud of Ghazni.
  • AI-Biruni studied Sanskrit and acquired knowledge of Indian society and culture through literature. Therefore, his observations are based on his knowledge about Indian society and culture, but he did not give any political information of his times.

SOURCES OF ANCIENT INDIAN HISTORY MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (MCQ)

Read/ Download 60+ MCQ from Sources of Ancient Indian History

  1. The oldest Brahmanic literature is-
    (A) Aranyak
    (B) Upanishad

    (C) Smriti
    (D) Veda

    Correct Answer
    (D) Veda
  2. Which Veda has 10 Mandal, 1028 Sukta, and 10580 Richas?
    (A) Rigveda
    (B) Yajurveda

    (C) Samveda
    (D) Atharveda
    Correct Answer
    (A) Rigveda
  3. Which work provides detail information about political social and family life in later Vedic period?
    (A) Upanishads
    (B) Brahman

    (C) Atharveda
    (D) All of the above
    Correct Answer
    (C) Atharveda
  4. Which Veda is lyrical composition?
    (A) Rigveda
    (B) Yajurveda

    (C) Samveda
    (D) Atharvaveda
    Correct Answer
    (C) Samveda
  5. Kathak, Kapisthak, Maitrayani, Taittriya, and Vajsaneyi are the branches of –
    (A) Rigveda
    (B) Yajurveda

    (C) Samveda
    (D) Atharvaveda
    Correct Answer
    (B) Yajurveda
  6. Aitreya Brahman is attached to-
    (A) Rigveda
    (B) Yajurveda

    (C) Samveda
    (D) Atharvaveda
  7. Atharvaveda has as its Brahman book-
    (A) Aitereya
    (B) Satpath

    (C) Panchvimsh
    (D) Gopath
    Correct Answer
    (A) Aitereya
  8. Which is the matching pair?
    (A) Rigveda-Tandav Brahman
    (B) Yajurveda-Satpath Brahman
    (C) Samveda-Gopath Brahman
    (D) Atharvaveda-Panch Vimsha Brahman
    Correct Answer
    (B) Yajurveda-Satpath Brahman
  9. When the Tripitakas were written?
    (A) Before Gautam Buddha
    (B) During Buddha’s lifetime
    (C) After Buddha’s death
    (D) B and C
    Correct Answer
    (C) After Buddha’s death
  10. Suttabibhang, Ravandhaka, Parivar are three parts of –
    (A) Vinay Pitaka
    (B) Sutta Pitaka

    (C) Abhidhamma Pitaka
    (D) None of the above
    Correct Answer
    (A) Vinay Pitaka
  11. To which of the following Pitaka does Khuddak Nikay belong?
    (A) Vinay Pitaka
    (B) Sutta Pitaka

    (C) Abhidhamma Pitaka
    (D) Jatak
    Correct Answer
    (C) Abhidhamma Pitaka
  12. Manu Smriti is a standard work written during which of the following age?
    (A) Sunga age
    (B) Mauryan age

    (C) Gupta age
    (D) Later Vedic period
    Correct Answer
    (A) Sunga age
  13. Pushyamitra Sunga performed “Asvamedha yagya” is a fact known through-
    (A) Ashtadhyayi
    (B) Mahabhasya

    (C) Kalika Puran
    (D) Indika
    Correct Answer
    (B) Mahabhasya
  14. Which is the rich source of information about Gupta age?
    (A) Devalsmriti
    (B) Manusmriti

    (C) Naradsmriti
    (D) Arthashastra
    Correct Answer
    (C) Naradsmriti
  15. An account of Gupta emperors from Buddhist angle is given in-
    (A) Nandi Sutra
    (B) Mool Sutra

    (C) Chhed Sutra
    (D) Arya Moolkalpa
    Correct Answer
    (A) Nandi Sutra
  16. The Sixteen Mahajanapadas are referred to in-
    (A) Anguttar Nikay
    (B) Khuddak Nikay

    (C) Sanyukta Nikay
    (D) Deegh Nikay
    Correct Answer
    (A) Anguttar Nikay
  17. ‘Acharang Sutra’ describes-
    (A) Sermons of Gautam Buddha
    (B) Code of conduct for Buddhist monks
    (C) Sermons of Lord Mahavir
    (D) Code of conduct for Jain monks
    Correct Answer
    (D) Code of conduct for Jain monks
  18. The book ‘Bhadrabahucharit’ described the events of which of the following regime?
    (A) Bimbisaar
    (B) Chandragupta Maurya

    (C) Bindusaar
    (D) Ashoka
    Correct Answer
    (B) Chandragupta Maurya
  19. Which of the following book described The Greek invasion of North India?
    (A) Milindapanho
    (B) Gargisamhita

    (C) Gaudvaho
    (D) Harshacharit
    Correct Answer
    (B) Gargisamhita
  20. Who is the author of ‘History of the War’?
    (A) Niarchus
    (B) Arrian

    (C) Plutarch
    (D) Aristobulus
    Correct Answer
    (D) Aristobulus
  21. Who has written the famous work ‘Historica’?
    (A) Herodotus
    (B) Arrian

    (C) Skyla
    (D) Justin
    Correct Answer
    (A) Herodotus
  22. Who is the Author of ‘Natural History’?
    (A) Herodotus
    (B) Aristobulus

    (C) Arrian
    (D) Pliny the Elder
    Correct Answer
    (D) Pliny the Elder
  23. Which author has written about Alexander’s invasion of India?
    (A) Arrian
    (B) Pliny

    (C) Strabo
    (D) Nearchus
    Correct Answer
    (A) Arrian
  24. Indica is a reliable source for the history of Chandragupta Maurya. It was written by?
    (A) Skylax
    (B) Selyukes

    (C) Megasthenes
    (D) Plutarch
    Correct Answer
    (C) Megasthenes
  25. Who compiled and published Extracts from Indica in 1846 as ‘Megasthenese Indica’?
    (A) Cunningham
    (B) Prinsep

    (C) Swanbeck
    (D) Plutarch
    Correct Answer
    (C) Swanbeck
  26. Of the following Chinese travelers who did not visit India in the 7th century A.D.?
    (A) Fa-Hien
    (B) Yuan-Chwang

    (C) Itsing
    (D) None of the above
    Correct Answer
    (A) Fa-Hien
  27. Which is not a work on the history of Ceylon?
    (A) Deepvansh
    (B) Mahavansh

    (C) Raghuvansh
    (D) None of above
    Correct Answer
    (C) Raghuvansh
  28. Which of the following works of Kalidas gives information about the history of Sunga dynasty?
    (A) Abhigyanshakuntalam
    (B) Meghdoot

    (C) Kumarsambhav
    (D) Malvikagnimitram
    Correct Answer
    (D) Malvikagnimitram
  29. Who has written about India at the time of Mahmud’s invasion?
    (A) Taranath
    (B) Sulaiman

    (C) Alberuni
    (D) Ibnbatuta
    Correct Answer
    (C) Alberuni
  30. Which of the following pair is matching one?
    (A) Taranath-Mahavamsh
    (B) Fa-Hien-Rehla
    (C) Alberuni-Kitab-ul-Hind
    (D) Bilhan-Rajtarangini
    Correct Answer
    (C) Alberuni-Kitab-ul-Hind
  31. Who is the author of ‘Rajtarangini’ the famous history of Kashmir?
    (A) Bilhan
    (B) Kalhan

    (C) Kalhan
    (D) Jaganik
    Correct Answer
    (C) Kalhan
  32. Which Chinese traveler has wrote his travelogue which tells us about Harsha?
    (A) Fa-Hien
    (B) Yuan Chwang

    (C) Itsing
    (D) None of the above
    Correct Answer
    (B) Yuan Chwang
  33. When was Manusmriti written?
    (A) Sunga age
    (B) Huns Age

    (C) Mauryan Age
    (D) Gupta Age
    Correct Answer
    (A) Sunga age
  34. The last 11 hymns, which are considered as the oldest part of Rig Veda are known as-
    (A) Purusha Sukta
    (B) Trayee

    (C) Aryankas
    (D) Balakhilya
    Correct Answer
    (D) Balakhilya
  35. Who was the greatest author on Chhanda Shastra
    (A) Panini
    (B) Valmiki

    (C) Pingal
    (D) Yaska
    Correct Answer
    (C) Pingal
  36. Which is known as Sat Saharsi Samhita?
    (A) Manu Smriti
    (B) Yajnalkya Smriti

    (C) Parashar Smriti
    (D) Mahabharat
    Correct Answer
    (D) Mahabharat
  37. Which is the earliest Smriti?
    (A) Yajnovalkya Smriti
    (B) Manu Smriti

    (C) Narad Smriti
    (D) Parashar Smriti
    Correct Answer
    (B) Manu Smriti
  38. Which Smriti describes the classes of Brahmanas who were against accepting alms.
    (A) Narad Smriti
    (B) Yajnalkya Smriti

    (C) Parashar Smriti
    (D) Manu Smriti
  39. Who wrote Asva Chikitsa?
    (A) Palkappya
    (B) Charka

    (C) Dhanvantri
    (D) Salihanna
    Correct Answer
    (C) Dhanvantri
  40. Which of the following is correct.
    (i) Rig means Hymns.
    (ii) The third Mandal of Rigveda is composed by Viswamitra.
    (iii) The tenth Mandal is dedicated to Soma.
    (iv) Philosophy about the unity of Atma & Parmatma has been described in Upanishads.
    (A) All of the above
    (B) iii only

    (C) i, ii & iv
    (D) None of the above
    Correct Answer
    (B) iii only
  41. Which of the following statement (s) is/are associated with archaeological sources?
    It includes structures and objects found in excavation, inscriptions and numismatic sources.
    II. Our knowledge of pre-historic times and the Harappan culture is exclusively based on the sources obtained from excavation.
    Select the correct option
    A. Only I
    B. Only II

    C. Both I & II
    D. Neither I nor II
    Correct Answer
    C. Both I & II
  42. Who among the following was the first Surveyor General of the Archaeological Survey of India?
    A. James Burgess
    B. Alexander Cunningham
    C. James Prinsep
    D. James Fergusson
    Correct Answer
    B. Alexander Cunningham
  43. Which is/are types of inscriptions?
    A.Cave Inscription
    B. Pillars Inscription
    C.Rocks Inscriptions
    D. All of the above
    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
  44. Which is the oldest Brahmanic literature?
    A.Aranyak
    B. Upanishad
    C.Smiriti
    D. Veda
    Correct Answer
    D. Veda
  45. When was Manusmriti written down?
    A.Sunga age
    B. Huns Age
    C.Mauryan Age
    D. Gupta Age
    Correct Answer
    A.Sunga age
  46. Which of the following history book deals with the history of Kashmir?
    A. Rajtrangini
    B. Devalsmriti

    C. Jataka
    D. Yajurveda
    Correct Answer
    A. Rajtrangini
  47. When was Tripitakas were written down?
    A. Before Gautam Buddha

    B. During Buddha’s life
    C. After Buddha’s death

    D. Both B & C
    Correct Answer
    C. After Buddha’s death
  48. Which of the following Sutra deals with the code of conduct for Jain monks?
    A. Acharang Sutra
    B. Panch Pratikraman Sutra

    C. Tattvartha Sutra
    D. Samayik sutra
    Correct Answer
    A. Acharang Sutra
  49. The oldest book in the world?
    (A) Iliyad
    (B) Odici

    (C) Rig Vedas
    (D) Zend Avesta
    Correct Answer
    (C) Rig Vedas
  50. Tripitaka was the religious text of Buddhist. It was written in?
    (A) Prakritik
    (B) Sanskrit

    (C) Pali
    (D) Ardh-Magadhi
    Correct Answer
    (C) Pali

Sources of Ancient Indian History (Notes+MCQ) PDF Download Link below

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here