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Administration of Satvahan Dynasty

Filed under: History Ancient History Satvahan Dynasty on 2021-06-23 19:58:55
The administration of the Satavahana dynasty was entirely based on the Shastras, and it had the following structure:

# Rajan or the king who was the ruler
# Princes or Rajas who had their names inscribed on coins
# Maharathis, who had the power of granting villages and also had the privilege of maintaining marital relations with the ruling family.
# Mahasenapati
# Mahatalavara

The inscription of the ruler Guatamipurna Satakarni throws some light on the bureaucratic structure of administration. However, clarity on the detailed structure is still awaited by historians.

Features of Satavahana Administration

# The king was represented as the upholder of dharma and he strove for the royal ideal set forth in the Dharmashastras. The Satavahana king is represented as possessing the divine qualities of ancient gods such as Rama, Bhima, Arjuna, etc.

# The Satavahanas retained some of the administrative units of Ashokan times. The kingdom was divided into districts called ahara. Their officials were known as amatyas and mahamatras (same as in Mauryan times). But unlike Mauryan times, certain military and feudal elements are found in the administration of the Satavahanas. For instance, the senapati  was appointed provincial governor. It was probably done to keep the tribal people in the Deccan who were not completely brahmanised under strong military control.

# The administration in the rural areas was placed in the hands of gaulmika (village headman) who was also the head of a military regiment consisting of 9 chariots, 9 elephants, 25 horses and 45 foot soldiers.
The military character of the Satavahana rule is also evident from the common use of terms like kataka and skandhavara in their inscriptions. These were military camps and settlements which served as administrative centres when the king was there. Thus, coercion played an important part in the Satavahana administration.

# The Satavahanas started the practice of granting tax-free villages to brahmanas and buddhist monks.

# The Satavahana kingdom had three grades of feudatories – Raja (who had the right to strike coins), Mahabhoja and Senapati.
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