India has been home to many great empires, but one of the greatest was one of the first. The Mauryans ruled India more than 2,000 years ago. They left few physical traces, however, and their remarkable achievements were largely forgotten. One name survived: Emperor Ashoka was celebrated for spreading the Buddhist faith in South Asia. This book reveals the full story of Ashoka, and the dynasty who ruled India for barely 130 years yet had an enduring influence on its history. A part of the Great Empires series which covers a particular empire or regional series of empires. Each title charts its history from its rise to its eventual fall. Concise text and supporting boxes explore the reasons for the empire's success-and its failure-and explain the mechanics of governing the empire and the experience of living under it.