HIS 008 take home final

HIS 008 take home final - 1 of 6 Darren Pinder HIS 008 Take...

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Darren Pinder HIS 008 Take Home Final March 15, 2010 1. How did this remorseful conqueror refashion his empire? How different was he from earlier rulers of his dynasty? Asoka, at first, was a violent king. During the first eight years of his reign, Asoka waged constant war, campaigning throughout the Indian subcontinent. An abrupt change in his ideals is evident after his bloody campaign in Kalinga. It is believed at this time, he converted to Buddhism and put an end to his violent ambitions away. Asoka was the first king of the Mauryan dynasty who accepted Buddhism not only as his personal religion but also attempted to establish it as his state’s official religion. After converting into Buddhism, Asoka spread the teachings and knowledge of the Buddhist scriptures throughout his empire and beyond it by using national landmarks called edicts. He sought to refashion his empire through peace; something no other Maurya emperor had done before him. The word "dhamma" is the Prakrit version of the Sanskrit word "dharma" (Keay, pg. 96). Asoka’s dhamma was a philosophical entity that highlighted high ideals and spiritual enlightenment as a key to successful life. Asoka aspired for a harmonious empire where everyone could co-exist peacefully regardless of his or her caste creed or religion. Some of his ideals were to ban war and spread peace, stop animal sacrifices, respect elders, masters treating slaves like humans, promoting vegetarianism, and other Buddhist influenced ideas. He sought to spread “dhamma” through the use of edicts and pillars, which he scattered throughout his entire empire. The Rock Edicts of Asoka, which are present allover India, are inscriptions containing 1 of 6
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his ideals and philosophy. The Rock Edicts are a collection of 33 inscriptions that are carved on the Pillars of Asoka or on big boulders or cave walls. The inscriptions not only focuses on religious aspects but also on social and moral concepts, such as the fair treatment of neighbors and adhering to the basic concepts of Buddhism. Although the construction and proclamation of these edicts is important, the choice of placement for each edict is by far the most significant part of his plan, which is to spread dhamma and Buddhism. A trend is evident in the placement of each edict and pillar in the map on page 93 of Keay’s text. The majority of the pillars are located on or near the Himalayan Mountain range from Lauriya-Araraj to Buner and centering around major cities such as Pataliputra, the capital of the Mauryan Empire. The Minor Rock Edicts are spread mostly from north to south also centering around major cities like Delhi and major rivers in the south such as the Krishna, which is considered a holy river. The Major Rock Edicts are fairly evenly spread
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HIS 008 take home final - 1 of 6 Darren Pinder HIS 008 Take...

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