Download e-book for iPad: Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas by Romila Thapar

By Romila Thapar

ISBN-10: 019564445X

ISBN-13: 9780195644456

"An authoritative paintings, Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas relies principally at the edicts of Asoka, whose regulations are analysed opposed to the historical past of Mauryan civilization through the 3rd and fourth centuries BC. This used to be the most vital classes of Indian heritage which observed the emergence of a trend that throws a lot mild at the later advancements of Indian civilization. the writer bargains an  Read more...

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Sample text

P W 1 «M l UVl l j r s f W l C ’S f n r v V i i m f t t ? fM K » IW M U kV » n f U« *B a T U B M *anrf HV ait T •l| tc ’ doubted by some historians * The Mahutamsa states that she was eighteen years old when she was ordained * Certainly the story about her going to Ceylon so that the Ceylonese queen could be ordained appears to be some­ thing of an exaggeration Samghamittä may ha\e been Mahmda's sister and she may have been given this unusual name (‘the friend of the Buddhist Order’) owing to her mother’s piety, but it is not necessary that she should also have become a Buddhist nun when her brother was ordained, and that 1 T h e Alahavmrua refer» to Arsndhi rotta u h u chief queen and not to Devi.

T X I I I , 6 -ç D ipararjua, E A R LY LIF E, A C C E S S IO N . J. \ »p W 1 «M l UVl l j r s f W l C ’S f n r v V i i m f t t ? fM K » IW M U kV » n f U« *B a T U B M *anrf HV ait T •l| tc ’ doubted by some historians * The Mahutamsa states that she was eighteen years old when she was ordained * Certainly the story about her going to Ceylon so that the Ceylonese queen could be ordained appears to be some­ thing of an exaggeration Samghamittä may ha\e been Mahmda's sister and she may have been given this unusual name (‘the friend of the Buddhist Order’) owing to her mother’s piety, but it is not necessary that she should also have become a Buddhist nun when her brother was ordained, and that 1 T h e Alahavmrua refer» to Arsndhi rotta u h u chief queen and not to Devi.

I . „ _ ^ M • È Vi EARLY LIFE A CC E SS IO N . AND CH RO NO L O GY u More definite indications as to the identity o f Aioka'a mother arc given in the other sources, the Aiokâtadâna, the Divyaiadana, and the Vamxatthapakasint T h e first of these sources mentions her as Subhadrûngl and describes her as the daughter o f a brahman o f Campa * It is said that she was kept away from the king by palace intrigue and that when at last she gained access to him and bore him a son, Ehe said o f the child, 41 am with­ out sorrow’, i e Aioka When she bore the king a second son she called him Vitaioka, ‘sorrow terminated’ In a Ceylonese source the Queen is called Dharmâ 1 T h e Dtvyàtadâna version agrees largely with that of Ûit Aiokâtadâna She is called Janapadakalyam, or in other versions o f the same source, Subhadrängl, and is again described as the daughter of a brahman of Campa • Legend has it that as a young man Aioka was ungainly m appearance and disliked by his father But obviously hts father v>as impressed by his other qualities, because he appointed him as a young prince to the important post o f viceroy at Ujjain Since most accounts speak of him going directly from Ujjain to Pätaliputra, it would appear that his stay at Taxi la was prior to his appointment as viceroy at Ujjain His period in Taxila has in some sources been described as a viceregal appointment T he Mahâvamsa describes him as the viceroy at Ujjain while two later Buddhist texts, the Aiokasutra and the Kunalarûlra gn e him the same position in Gandhâra, W e feel that he was sent to Taxila for a special purpose and after having Completed his work there, he was then appointed to the viceroyalty at Ujjain in recognition of his work T h e Aiokâvadana informs us that a revolt took place in Taxila during the reign o f Bindusara, when the citizens objected to the oppression of the higher officials * This is perfectly feasible in view of the fact that Taxila had been comparatively independent until the coming o f the Mauryas and therefore the control of Päjaliputra may have been irksome * Culturally there was a close link with areas to the west and citizens of Iranian descent probably still looked to Iran for deliverance Furthermore, in the process of centralization the Mauryas may well have been harsh m their treatment of outlying cities T h e story continues that Aioka was sent by his father to put an end to the revolt, which he did successfully and without arousing too great a resentment on the part of the citizens The only contributory evidence to the authenticity o f this tradition so far known is the Aramaic inscription found embedded in a house at '■ în yiu lu \ét ’L rserdu hé 'ilL m p ern a A toka p 310 * Varjuatthapokatml IV , p l i ; V, pp 189 193 ' X W l p 3bç ( P n ylu ski L a Légende d t L ’ Empereur A foka p 232 1 M trih ill T u n is tdL I p I I Xi E AR LY LIFE, AC CE SS IO N , AND C H R O N O L O G Y Sirkap at T a x ila 1 T h e text has been read and relates to a high official Rômêdôtê, who owed his advancement to Pnyadarii, the viceroy or governor.

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Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas by Romila Thapar


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