The later Vedic period witnessed certain significant changes in the political structure which were closely related to the growing importance of settled agriculture and the consequent social differentiation. Later Vedic literature contains, probably for the first time, discussions on the origins of kingship which is quaintly stated in the Aitareya Brahmana.Various possibilities are explored. These include a suggestion that kingship originated out of the need for a leader in warfare. Other theories emphasised the divine origin of kingship. Certain other theories emphasised contractual elements, suggesting that the raja was chosen by his people who hoped for specific material gains in return.With the decreasing importance of pastoralism, raids became insignificant. The raja’s function now was to protect the fields or crops of the agriculturists rather than cattle wealth. Bali (tribute) though voluntary in the Rig Vedic period, became compulsory.There are also indications to suggest that such exactions could often be oppressive. Thus, the Kshatriya or the raja is described as the Visha matta or the eater of the vish in the Satapatha Brahmana. In later Vedic times popular assemblies lost importance, and royal power increased at their cost. The Vidatha completely disappeared. The Sabha and Samiti continued to hold the ground, but their character changed.They came to be dominated by chiefs and rich nobles. Women were no longer permitted to sit on the Sabha. The Sabha was gradually converted into the King’s court, becoming an even more exclusive body than earlier.Another significant development associated with this period was the emergence of the janapada, literally the area where they’re placed its foot or settled down. Some of these newjanapadas seem to have been formed through the amalgamation of separate Janas. The term rashtra, which indicates territory, first appears in this period.The emergence of the janapada was also associated with the beginning of a rudimentary administrative system. The later Vedic texts refer to the ministers of the king called ‘ratnins’i.e. receivers of the jewels which were offered by the king-elect to each of them at his house at the ceremony called ratnahavimsi.The Atharva Veda mentions these king makers to be Suta (bard), the Ratha-Kara, Karmara (artisan), Gramaniand the Rajas (nobles). These ‘kingmakers’ grew in number in the later texts. Taittiriya Brahmana mentions twelve ratnins.They are:(i) Brahmana (Purohita)(2) Rajanya(3) Mahishi (Chief queen)(4) Vavata (favourite wife)(5) Parivrikti (discarded wife)(6) Suta (Charioteer)(7) Senani(8) Gramani,(9) Kshata (Chamberlain)(10) Samgrahitri (treasurer)(11) Bhagadugha (Collector of taxes)(12) Akshavapa (superintendent of dicing).During this period, collection of taxes and tribute seems to have been common. It was collected by Bhagadugha and was deposited with an officer called Sangrihitri. As the raja became less of a popular ruler and more coercive, elaborate means were devised to legitimise his position. These included sacrifices such as the rajasuya, the vajapeya and ashvamedha.These rituals were virtually unknown in the early Vedic period and seem to have been devised to enhance the importance of both the new rulers and the priestly category who provided them with support. The rajasuya sacrifice was supposed to confer supreme power on him. He performed the Ashvamedha, which meant unquestioned control over an area in which the royal horse ran uninterrupted.He also performed the Vajapeya or the chariot race in which the royal chariot was made to win the race against his kinsmen. Rad-Yajna was a special ceremony by which a deposed king could get back his kingdom or a reigning king the lost royalty of his subject.Coronation was followed by striking the king on the back by the rod (dandairghanti) by the Adhvaryu priest and his assistant thereby rendering the king adandya (above punishment). Even in later Vedic times the king did not possess a standing army. The later Vedic period witnessed the beginning of territorial kingdoms. War was fought for territory. The famous Mahabharata battle fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, is attributed to this period.