The Military Might of the Mauryan Empire
Being a great power militarily is essential in order for an empire to be able to expand and remain sound internally. One
have a strong army to increase the size of his borders; most peoples are not willing to give up their land without some sort of struggle or resistance. Internally, having a military is essential for keeping the peace. It is especially important once the empire continues to expand, as its people become more diverse culturally. The more cultures that become conquered, the less of a sense of allegience there is to the conquering empire. The military enables a ruler to prevent and stop rebellions, and enforce his laws and allegiance. Having a strong military is also important for defense. There is always a threat of invasion, as outside groups try to gain territory and power. Therefore, having an exceptually strong military is the core for the expansion and upkeep of a large empire.
The Mauryans seemed to have no problem with this requirement of large empires. They certainly had one of the greatest military powers their time. Estimates differ from one source to the next but the army of Chandragupta Maurya is estimated to have had:
~600,000 to 700,000
With such a large army, it is not terribly difficult to understand exactly how the empire was able to amass such a large territory. The first three emperors of the Mauryan Empire: Chandragupta Maurya, Bindusara Maurya, and Ashoka Maurya, were all able to add substantial amounts of land to the empire.
The Military Conquests of
Chandragupta , Bindusara, and Ashoka