History - Class 6

Our Past - I

Chapter 10: New Empires and Kingdoms

Intext Questions:

Question 1. What does the description of Samudargupta tell you about the king? And also about how kings fought wars?

Answer: The description tells that Samudra gupta was a brave warrior, who had fought successful wars. His body was covered with wound marks. The rulers in those days fought with battle axes, arrows, spikes, spears, barbed darts, swords, javelins, long arrows, and many other weapons. The king could wield these weapons of war. Some of the weapons like swords were used in direct combats, while others like javelins and darts were thrown from a far distance. They had to be aimed accurately.

Question 2. What was the difference between the way in which Samudragupta treated the rulers of Aryavarta and Dakshina-Patha? Can you suggest any reasons for this difference?


  1. There were nine rulers in Aryavarta who were uprooted and their kingdom was made part of the Samudra gupta empire.
  2. There were twelve rulers in Dakshinapatha. They surrendered to Samundragupta after being defeated and he then allowed them to rule again.
  3. Samudra gupta adopted different policies because Dakshinapatha was far away from his capital. Since tire means of transport were primitive, it was difficult to keep them under control.

Question 3. Arrange these titles in order of importance: raja, maharaj-adhiraja, maha-raja

Answer: The following littles are written in ascending order :

  1. raja
  2. maha-raja
  3. maharaj-adhiraja

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Question 4. Look at political map of India and list the present-day states which Harshavardhana passed through when he went (a) to Bengal and (b) up to the Narmada.


  1. Harsha, started from his capital city Kanauj in present Uttar Pradesh and passed through Bihar to reach Bengal or it could be Jharkhand and then Bengal.
  2. To reach up to the Narmada he crossed Madhya Pradesh.

Question 5. Who were the other rulers who tried to control the coasts and why? (Hint: see Chapter 9).

Answer: The Choices, Cheras, and Pandyas- controlled the coasts. The chiefs who controlled the coasts became very rich and powerful. They collected the taxes from the merchants and they were powerful so that they control their empire. They had flourishing trade.

Question 6. What do you think may have been the advantages and disadvantages of having hereditary officers?

Answer: The advantages and disadvantages of having hereditary officers were :

Advantages :

  1. The father could train his son from an early age in the office that he held.
  2. There will be a continuity of policy.

Disadvantages :

  1. An incompetent son may come to hold the office.
  2. Other more competent persons will be deprived of the opportunity to run the office.

Question 7. Do you think that if a poor man finds something and reports this to the police he would be treated like this today? Name a famous man who taught in Prakrit and a king who issued inscriptions in Prakrit (hint: see Chapters 6 and 7)

Answer: The king gave a precious ring to Shakuntala, but it was accidentally swallowed by a fish. The fisherman found the ring and went to the palace. The gatemen accused him of theft and the police officer was rude. However, when the king rewarded the fisherman, they wanted to have a share in the reward. Today, the poor man would not be treated in this manner. He will be taken to the court to give his verdict.

Lord Buddha taught in the Prakrit language King Ashoka issued his inscriptions in the Prakrit language.

Question 8. Make a list of all the things that were carried with the army. What did the villagers bring for the king?

Answer: The king travelled with a large army and with an enormous amount of equipment. Apart from weapons, they were things of daily use such as pots, pans, furniture, food including animals such as goat, deer, rabbits, vegetables, spices, carried on carts or loaded on to pack animals such as camels and elephants. The army was accompanied by musicians beating drums and others playing horns and trumpets.

Villagers had to provide hospitality along the way. They came with gifts of curd, gur, flowers and provided for animals.-They also tried, to meet the king and place their complaints before hiring. The army left a trail of destruction behind them. The elephants trampled down the huts and fields and the oxen yoked to the carts often ran away.

Question 9. Trace the routes that would have been taken by these sailors and soldiers on Map 6.

Answer: The Arab merchants and sailors played a very important role in the sea trade between India and Europe. They explored several sea routes. There were others across the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal when sailors took advantage of the monsoon winds to cross the seas quickly. If they wanted to reach the western coast of the sub-continent from East Africa or Arabia they chose to sail with the south-west monsoon.


Question: Harshavardhana’s army will visit your village next week. Your parents are preparing for the visit. Describe what they say and do.

Answer: (1) Parents: Carrying offerings of curd, Gur, and fodder for animals, come before the king. (They humbly greet the king). Sir, we request you to accept this offering from us.

(2) King: Accepts the offerings and asked his men to keep them at appropriate places. Are you happy in my kingdom?

(3) Parents: We are very happy. Sometimes (with fear in their eyes) the officers are very cruel and forcibly take our animals and farm product.

(4) King : (Hears the complaints) and promises to look into the matter. Parent take leave. The king sent his spies, later on, to find the details. They found that the complaints were genuine and the officers were severely punished.

Let's recall

Question 1. State whether true or false:

  1. Harishena composed a prashasti in praise of Gautamiputra Shri Satakarni.
  2. The rulers of Aryavarta brought tribute for Samudragupta.
  3. There were twelve rulers in Dakshinapatha.
  4. Taxila and Madurai were important centres under the control of the Gupta rulers.
  5. Aihole was the capital of the Pallavas.
  6. Local assemblies functioned for several centuries in south India.


  1. False
  2. False
  3. True
  4. False
  5. False
  6. True

Question 2. Mention three authors who wrote about Harshavardhana.

Answer: The following three authors wrote about Harshavardhana:

  1. Banabhatta
  2. Xuan Zang (Hien T-Sanga)
  3. Ravikirti
  4. It is claimed by some historians that Harshavardhana, himself also wrote some books about himself and the people of his kingdom. (Any three)

Question 3. What changes do you find in the army at this time?

Answer: The changes made in the army at this time were:

  1. Like earlier rulers, the king maintained a well-organized army, with elephants, chariots, cavalry, and foot soldiers.
  2. There were military leaders who provided the king with troops whenever the king asked for them. They were not given regular salaries but got grants of land. They collected the revenue and used it to maintain soldiers and horses and provide equipment for warfare. These men were known as Samanthas.

Question 4. What were the new administrative arrangements during this period?

Answer: The following new administrative arrangements were noticed during this period:

  1. Kings adopted a number of steps to win the support of men who were powerful, either economically, or socially, or because of political and military strength.
  2. Some important administrative posts were now hereditary. This means that sons succeeded fathers to these posts. For example, the poet Harishena was a maha- danda-nayaka, or chief judicial officer, like his father.
  3. Sometimes, one person held many offices. For example, besides being a Maha- danda-Nayak Harishena was a Kumar-amatya, meaning an important minister, and a Sandhi-Vigrahika meaning a minister of war and peace.
  4. Besides, important men probably had a say 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-Kulika or the chief craftsman, and the head of the Kayasthas or scribes.

Let’s discuss

Question 5. What do you think Arvind would have to do if he was acting as Samudragupta?

Answer: If Arvind was acting as Samundragupta he would have to :

  1. Lead the army and successfully plan his campaigns in almost all. parts of India.
  2. Establish an efficient administration and a strong government.
  3. Look after entire welfare of the people.
  4. Hear complaints and decide cases.

Question 6. Do you think ordinary people would have read and understood the prashastis? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: I think ordinary people would have not read and understood the prashastis because they were illiterate and did not know Sanskrit in which the prashastis were written.

Let’s do

Question 7. If you had to make a genealogy for yourself, who are the people you would include in it? How many generations would you like to show? Make a chart and fill it.

Answer: If I have to make a genealogy of myself. I will include 4 generations (counting myself also) The names are given in Alphabets.

  • I am (G) I am a small boy/girl.
  • My father is (E) and my mother (El).
  • My grandfather (B) and grandmother (Bl).
  • My great grandfather is (A) and my great grandmother is (Al).

Question 8. How do you think wars affect the lives of ordinary people today?

Answer: Today wars affect the lives of ordinary people today in the following ways:

  1. They are killed in a large number.
  2. Their property-houses, shops, etc. are destroyed.
  3. Wars create violence and disturbances in society.
  4. Development projects and welfare works undertaken by the government for the welfare and benefit of the people are disturbed and postponed.
  5. Wars waste economic and other resources.
  6. The government generally imposed more taxes on the people.