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Approximate area of ​​influence of the Shatavahana

The Shatavahana ruled for four centuries, from about 230 BC. BC to around 220 AD, across the central Indian highlands of the Deccan , their center was the upper reaches of the Godavari around Nasik and Pratishthana (alias Paithan ) in Maharashtra . They are also known as Andhras after their tribal affiliation , which means that they probably came from the lower reaches of the river, from Andhra Pradesh .

The most powerful neighbors were the Maurya empire and their successors, the Shunga kings (185–73 BC) in northern India; Kalinga in Orissa , which was regained under Kharavela , and the Shaka (from 139 BC) in the border areas of the northwest. The south was shared by the kings assigned to the Tamils . B. Chola and Pandya .


The Shatavahana had apparently already withdrawn from Ashoka's rule, for their area has few or none of his column and rock edicts . Shortly after his death, they spread over the Deccan under the kings Simuka (ruled approx. 230–207 BC) and Kanha / Krishna (ruled approx. 207–189 BC), although they were of greater importance at the time is now also doubted.

Around 180 BC King Satakarni (ruled approx. 189–178 BC) fought back the army of the first Shunga king Pushyamitra (ruled approx. 185–151 BC) and apparently also conquered Ujjain (in Malwa ). On the other hand, Satakarni had to deal with Kalinga's King Kharavela (ruled from 183 BC), who apparently penetrated his kingdom unhindered.

At 28 BC The Shatavahana eliminated the short-lived Kanva dynasty that followed the Shunga dynasty and thus reduced Magadha to a marginal area.

In the 2nd century AD the territory of the Shatavahanas in the starting area of Maharashtra melted together, the importance of Andhra Pradesh increased. The Shatavahanas came into conflict with the Shaka (so-called Kshatrapa kings), who, as vassals of the Kushana , had occupied some parts of north-west India. The Shatavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni (ruled approx. 106–130) defeated the Shaka around 120/25, but a little later the Shaka king in Ujjain, Rudradaman I (ruled approx. 130–150), established the prestige of his dynasty again.

After the reign of King Sri Yajna Satakarni (r. Ca. 170-199), the empire collapsed in the early to mid 3rd century into several feudal principalities, of which the Vakataka to Guptazeit end of the 4th century were the strongest successor dynasty. The early Pallava should also be mentioned.

The Pandavleni Cave no. 3 at Nashik contains an inscription from the time Gautamiputra Sātakarnis.

Culture and administration

The Shatavahanas were possibly matrilineal and thus Pre- Aryan , at least that is deduced from their royal names such as Gautamiputra - d. H. "Son of Gautami". But they promoted Sanskrit and with it the North Indian culture as well as Buddhists and Brahmins with generous foundations. They minted coins, including the first in South India with the ruler of Gautamiputra Sātakarni (ruled 106–130). Their empire was divided into districts similar to the Maurya empire , which were administered by high-ranking officials and protected by small garrisons in the open country. The Shatavahanas, however, left the local princes as well as the cities and their trading guilds a high degree of self-government. There were banks that gave interest-bearing loans.

economy and trade

South India was in the 1st and. 2nd century a center of world trade. Spices, perfume, precious stones, ivory, silk, precious woods, sugar and wild animals went all the way to Imperial Rome , followed by slaves, musical instruments, glass, wine, copper and, above all, gold coins . The trade balance was negative for Rome and one reason for the economic crisis that was developing there.

List of rulers

The list of rulers can only serve as a rough guide.

  • Simuka (Sindhuka) (230–207 BC)
  • Krishna (Kanha) (207-189 BC)
  • Sātakarnī I. (Srimallakarna) (180–170 BC)
  • (?) Satisiri (Sakhkumara)
  • Purnotsanga (Paurnamasa)
  • Skandhasvati I.
  • Satakarni II. (152–96 BC)
  • Lambodara
  • Apilaka (Apitaka, Chivilaka)
  • Meghasvati (Sangha, Saudasa)
  • Svati (Satasvati)
  • Skandhasvati II
  • Mrigendra Svatikarna
  • Kuntala Svatikarna
  • Svatisena Svatikarna
  • Pulomavi I. (Pulamayi, Patumat and others)
  • Arishtakarna (Arishtakarman, Gaurakrishna etc.)
  • Hāla (20–24 AD)
  • Mandalaka (Pattalaka)
  • Purindra Sena (Pravilasena)
  • Sundara Svatikarna
  • Chakora Svatikarna
  • Sivasvhati
  • Gautamiputra Sātakarni (106-130)
  • Vashishtiputra Pulumāyi II (130-158)
  • Sivasri Pulumayi III.
  • Sivaskandha Satakarni
  • Sri Yajna Sātakarni III. (170-199)
  • Vijaya
  • Chandasri Satakarni
  • Pulomavi IV.


Web links

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Coordinates: 17 °  N , 80 °  E