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Elephants and KingsAn Environmental History$
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Thomas R. Trautmann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226264226

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226264530.001.0001

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North India, South India, Sri Lanka

North India, South India, Sri Lanka

(p.183) 5 North India, South India, Sri Lanka
Elephants and Kings

Thomas R. Trautmann

University of Chicago Press

The institution of the war elephant, and the ideal of the fourfold army containing them, spread across North India and was normative by 500 BCE. Soon after it spread to South India and Sri Lanka. The success of the first unifiers of India, the Mauryas, had to do with their access to abundant wild elephants, and their monopoly of elephants, horses and arms. The Mauryas were the main agents of the spread of the institution to the southern regions.

Keywords:   Mauryas, Candragupta, Alexander the Great

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