Qualities of kingship in the edicts of ashoka

Buddhism in India The Edicts of King Asoka King Asoka, the third monarch of the Indian Mauryan dynasty, has come to be regarded as one of the most exemplary rulers in world history. The British historian H. Then in the nineteenth century there came to light a large number of edicts, in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Qualities of kingship in the edicts of ashoka

Decipherment[ edit ] Brahmi script consonants, and their evolution down to modern Devanagariaccording to James Prinsepas published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengalin March All the letters are correctly deciphered, except for two missing on the right: Chronologically, the minor inscriptions tend to precede the larger ones, while rock inscriptions generally seem to have been started earlier than the pillar inscriptions: Chronologically, the first known edict, usually classified as a Minor Rock Edict, is the Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscriptionin Greek and in Aramaic, written in the 10th year of his reign BCE at the border of his empire with the Hellenistic worldin the city of Old Kandahar in modern Afghanistan.

It specifically mentions the name "Asoka"center of the top line in conjonction with the title "Devanampriya" Beloved-of-the-gods. Ashoka then made the first edicts in the Indian language, written in the Brahmi script, from the 11th year of his reign according to his own inscription, "two and a half years after becoming a secular Buddhist", ie two and a half years at least after returning from the Kalinga conquest of the eighth year of his reign, which is the starting point for his remorse towards the horrors of the war, and his gradual conversion to Buddhism.

Devanampiya Piyadasi Asoka raja. The dedicatory inscriptions of the Barabar caves are also sometimes classified among the Minor Rock Edicts of Ashoka. The Minor Rock Edicts can be found throughout the territory of Ashoka, including in the frontier area near the Hindu Kushand are especially numerous in the southern, newly conquered, frontier areas of Karnataka and southern Andhra Pradesh.

The inscription technique is generally very poor compared for example to the later Major Pillar Edictshowever the Minor Pillar Edicts are often associated with some of the artistically most sophisticated pillar capitals of Ashoka, such as the renowned Lion Capital of Ashoka which crowned the Sarnath Minor Pillar Edict, or the very similar, but less well preserved Sanchi lion capital which crowned the very clumsily inscribed Schism Edict of Sanchi.

The Rummindei and Nigali Sagar edicts, inscribed on pillars erected by Ashoka later in his reign 19th and 20th year display a high level of inscriptional technique with a good regularity in the lettering.

The Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka refer to 14 separate major Edicts, which are significantly detailed and extensive. They contain little personal detail about his life.

Three languages were used, PrakritGreek and Aramaic.

KING ASHOKA: His Edicts and His Times

The edicts are composed in non-standardized and archaic forms of Prakrit. Prakrit inscriptions were written in Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts, which even a commoner could read and understand.

Qualities of kingship in the edicts of ashoka

The inscriptions found in the area of Pakistan are in the Kharoshthi script. Other Edicts are written in Greek or Aramaic. The Major Edicts are not located in the heartland of Mauryan territory, traditionally centered on Biharbut on the frontiers of the territory controlled by Ashoka.


The Major Pillar Edicts of Ashoka refer to seven separate major Edicts inscribed on columns, the Pillars of Ashokawhich are significantly detailed and extensive. They were made at the end of his reign, from the years 26 and 27 of his reign, that is, from BCE.

This led some authors to suggest that the artistic level under Ashoka tended to fall towards the end of his reign. The Prakrit displayed local variations, from early Gandhari in the northwest, to Old Ardhamagadhi in the east, where it was the "Chancelly language" of the court.

Brahmi top leftKharoshthi top rightGreek bottom left and Aramaic bottom right. Four scripts were used. Prakrit inscriptions were written in the Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts, the latter for the area of modern Pakistan.

While most Edicts were in Prakrit, a few were written in Greek or Aramaic.

Qualities of kingship in the edicts of ashoka

The Greek language used in the inscription is of a very high level and displays philosophical refinement. It also displays an in-depth understanding of the political language of the Hellenic world in the 3rd century BCE.

This suggests the presence of a highly cultured Greek presence in Kandahar at that time.Terms Edicts of Ashoka. A collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire .

To advance this principle, Ashoka had edicts based on the dharma carved on rocks, pillars, and caves throughout his kingdom and sent emissaries abroad to disseminate his views. After Ashoka's death, the empire declined and lost territory under a series of weak rulers about whom little is known.

Asoka’s Edicts & Inscriptions The Edicts of Ashoka are in total 33 inscriptions written on the Pillars, boulders and cave walls of Mauryan Period, during the reign of the Emperor Ashok that are dispersed throughout [ ].

The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of more than thirty inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka as well as boulders and cave walls, made by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire during his reign, from BCE to BCE. Ashoka began to issue one of the most famous edicts in the history of government and instructed his officials to carve them on rocks and pillars, in line with the local dialects and in a very simple fashion.

Edicts of Ashoka-The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls, made by Ashoka during his reign. These inscriptions are dispersed throughout modern-day Pakistan and India, and represent the first tangible evidence of Buddhism.

Edicts of Ashoka - WikiVividly