system was a strong accent on danda, which figures prominently in Manu. ‘If
the king did not, without tiring, inflict punishment on those worthy to be
punished, the stronger would roast the weaker, like fish on a spit’. The idea of
the lawgiver that danda could be directed against the king did not perhaps
stem from the possibility of general redress against a tyrannical monarch, it
may instead have provided a safeguard for a balance in the power system.
Changes in the Administrative Structure The disintegration of the
empire also led to a change in the institutions which sustained it. While in
some cities of north India, the existence of autonomous urban governments is
revealed by the coins they struck, elsewhere, the slow formation of regional
bureaucracy instead of a centralised bureaucracy is indicated by the available
evidence. Officials of the rank of meridaskh and apracharaja are mentioned
in the epigraphs of the Indo-Greek period; in the Scytho-Parthian and
Kushana periods were introduced the kshatrapas and mahakshatrapas. The
maharathins and mahabhojas of the Satavahana kingdom or the
mahasenapatis and mahatalavars of the Ikshvaku kingdom of Andhra
similarly illustrate the administrative structure of the new kingdom, which
was to become much more elaborate in a later period.
State Formation in the Peninsula
Evolution of Administration The features of Mauryan administration and
the use of Prakrit as a means of communication with the officials and the
subjects were evidently inherited by the Satavahanas from the pre-Satavahana
chiefs who ruled independently for about 200 years. As many as 300
inscribed coins of such chiefs have been found so far, and some of them bear
names ending in bhadra and mitra. Naturally, some features of Mauryan
administration continued under the Satavahanas in the western Deccan. Like
Mauryas, the early Satavahana kings were called raja. Although Gautami
Balasri, the mother of Gautamiputra Satakarni, claims that her son and
grandson were maharajas, actually this title is adopted neither by
Gautamiputra nor by Vasishtiputra Pulamayi; these rulers did not assume
those pompous titles which distinguish the names of Kushana princes.
Further, the Satavahana kings conveyed their orders to subordinate officers
called amatyas – and not kumara,       aryaputra, or mahamatra as in Asoka’s