Kautilya Compiles a Treatise on Practical Statecraft (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Kautilya’s Treatise on the Good is the most famous treatise on statecraft and administration belonging to the Arthaśāstra (science of government) school of thought.
Summary of Event
Kautilya (the politician), also known as Visugupta (the astronomer) and Cānakya (the moralist), was a peripatetic pundit from Taxila in the northwestern border of India (now a part of Pakistan). According to Jain tradition, Kautilya was born in Chanaka, a village in the Golla district of Taxila, son of a poor Brahman called Chani and his wife, Chaneshwari. After his wife suffered the humiliation of being poor at her wedding, Kautilya determined to become wealthy. He studied metallurgy to learn how to mint coins. Then he traveled to Pataliputra, capital city of the prosperous and powerful kingdom of Magadha, to serve King Dhanananda, who was reputed to be wealthy and haughty but generous to Brahmans. At the Nanda court, Kautilya prospered for a time, becoming the head of the royal alms office. He lost his job when he fell out of royal favor because of his unattractive looks and insolent manners. He thereupon vowed to put an end to the Nanda rule and began his wanderings as an Ājīvika ascetic in search of ways and means to realize his objective.
During his sojourn, Kautilya chanced on a boy named Chandragupta of striking personality and disposition in a Magadhan village, bought him from his foster parents,...
(The entire section is 1665 words.)
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