Prelims Spotlight: Key/Important Terms related to Ancient/ Medieval History

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This Spotlight is a part of our Mission Nikaalo Prelims-2022.

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Morning 12 PM  – Prelims Spotlight Session

Evening 06:30  PM  – TIKDAM/MCQs Session

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28th March 2022
Important officers and their role in the Maurya Empire
  1. Sannidhata – Treasurer and keeper of the stores in Maurya PeriodHe was in charge of the collection of revenue from various parts of the kingdom and looked after the income and expenditure by supervising the works of akshapataladhyaksha (Accountant-General)
  2. Samharta– His function was to collect Revenue both in cash and kind.
  3. AmatyasThey were some sort of administrative personnel or civil servants who filled the highest administrative and judicial appointments.
  4. RajukasAshoka appointed a class of officers known as the Rajukas, who were vested with the authority of rewarding as well we punishing people.
  5. Adhyaksas-­ The officers who looked after the various departments.
  6. Yuktas- They appear to have been the subordinate official whose duties were largely secretarial works and accounting.
  7. Gopa and Sthanika- There was an intermediate level of administration between the district level and village level, which was administered by the Gopa and Sthanikas.
  8. Gramika- Head of the village. He was not a paid servant and was chosen among village elders.
  9. Grambhojaka- Gramika was helped by Grambhojaka.
  10. Pramukha- Eighteen chief handicrafts of the time were organised in guilds called as Shrenis, the president of Shrenis was known as Pramukha.

Important officers of the Gupta empire

  1. Uparika- He was directly appointed by the king as a provincial governor.
  2. Kumaramatyas- A link between the central and the provincial administration under the Guptas was provided by the officers called Kumaramatyas and Ayuktas. Kumaramatyas was a body of top-ranking officials attached not only to the king but also to the crown-prince and sometimes placed in charge of district.
  3. Gopasramin- In Samudraguptas period an officer working as akshapataladhikrita. Their function was to enter numerous matters in the accounts register, recover royal dues and to check embezzlement and recover fines.
  4. Sandhivigrahika-The foreign minister, minister of war and peace. First appeared under the rule of Samudragupta.
  5. Mahabaldikarta-Commander-in-Chief.
  6. Mahadandanayaka-
  7. Mahapratihara- Chief of palace guards.
  8. Pustapala- Record-keeper. Maintained record of land transactions in a district. They were also known as Karanika.
  9. Vishaya- Vishayas were divided into smaller parts called Vithis which were the villages and consisted of the lowest unit of administration.
  10. Mahattama,Mahattaka and Mahattara- Elder who assisted the Gramika in the village administration.
  11. Agharikas- During the reign of Harsha, Agharikas looked after the land given in charity.
  12. Samantas- Feudal chiefs.

Important officers of Satvahana Period

  1. Uparakshita- In Satvahanas kingdom, their function was building caves for monks.
  2. Gaulamika- Administration of the villages was placed under them in the Satvahana period.
  3. Valaikkarars- Troops in the royal service and were the bodyguard of the monarch.


Medieval India

Amils Revenue officers

Arz-i-mamalik Minister in-charge of the army of the whole country.

Ahl-i-qalam– Reporter

Baqqal– Trader, grain-dealer

Batai– Division of crop between the cultivator and landlord or the government, payments may be in

kind or cash

Barid- An intelligence officer appointed by the state to collect information

Chachar– Land out of cultivation for 3-4 years.

Chaauth or Chauthaai– One-fourth of the land revenue, originally a Zamindari charge in Gujrat demanded by Shivaji as a war expense.

Charai– A tax on cattle.

Dagh System– A system of branding of horses and animal.

Dam- A copper coin considered as 1/40* the silver rupee for the official purposes.

Dastur-al-amal- Rule book

Dhimmi-  A non-Muslim client or subject

Darul Mulk- Capital

Gumashta- An agent or representative

Hamam– A room for the bath of hot and cold water

Hundi- A bill of exchange

Jamabandi– Settlement of the amount of revenue assessed upon an estate or district

Jarib– A measurement, land measurement or survey

Jihat– Extra cesses

Jizya– (a) In the literature of Delhi sultanate, any tax which is not kharaj or land tax

(b) In the Shariat, a personal and yearly tax on non-Muslims.

Kankut– Estimation of land revenue

Karori– A revenue officer.

Khiraj– Land revenue

Mahal- A group of land regarded as a unit for land revenue purposes.

Mansab– A military rank conferred by the Mughal emperor.

Mauza- Revenue term for village

Mokasa- Grant of land for military service, rent-free land.

Nabud– Remission of land revenue on account of natural disasters.

Paibaqi- Land reserved for allotment in jagir

Polaj- Land continuously in cultivation

Sarrafs– Money Chargers, bankers

Saurghal-Rent-free land

Taqavi- Advance of money for sowing or extending cultivation

Upari- Temporary occupant; tenant at will.

Usar- Barren land

Zawabit- Secular laws

Read More keywords here

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