Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas by Romila Thapar PDF

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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 guidelines are analysed opposed to the heritage of Mauryan civilization through the 3rd and fourth centuries BC. This was once the most very important sessions of Indian background which observed the emergence of a development that throws a lot gentle at the later advancements of Indian civilization. the writer deals an  Read more...

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V 85 • Sen. antsa states that Mahinda was twenty years old when he was ordained and that * MoAdwnw» V , f j o If Agnibrahm* w ii the son of Suntans the brother of Aioka, then the child would he named after its grandfather * W in en On Yuan Chicani? t Travth w IaJta voi u p 93 ' Aioka p jo EARLY LIFE, A CC E SS IO N . AND CH RO NO L O GY aj this e\ent took place m the sixth >ear o f Aioka’s reign * Thus Mahinda was fourteen when Aioka was crowned and ten when the struggle for succession among the pnnces began It follows from this that Aioka must have had.

A t this point we merely list the members of • v 85 X X * * tlaPureamta X X , 3 -6 * P i u l w l i , La Legend* de L Empereur Atoka p 185 * Sec the Queen ■ Ed ct * Corpus Intertptvmvm InJuarum vpl 1 (Cunningham ed ) p 38 and P L e X X II * I am indebted »0 Prof Baaham tor thia »vipgriTion f Y X \ I I p 40s * C U « TrartLt 0/ f a fuie* p *1 it 8-30 ta * S l> v i Lehtpûl vol I, pp 263 33t vol u pp 1-^ 344, u Preclusiti L a Legende de L Empereur A foka p 207 u Vtfyu Purivta X X I \ S rear Select hucTipiumi p 79 EARLY LIFE, A C C E S S IO N , AND C H R O N O L O G Y 31 his family known to us Their identification and significance will be discussed at greater length, where it is more appropriate to the narrative It is indeed unfortunate that Aiokan chronology still remains uncertain Here, as in some other periods o f ancient history, the historian is justified m wishing that the emperor had been more explicit 111 the matter of dating A preliminary question anses on the method adopted o f dating the inscriptions, and determining whether the years mentioned were current yean or expired ) ears T h e formula for dating the inscnptions is usually contained in the phrase, vasäbkmtena, ‘anointed jears’, which occurs in most of the edicts For example, wc have the complete phrase from the 3rd Rock Edict, dbädasa vässäbhinltena may a tdam anapUam ‘When I had been anointed twelve years, 1 commanded thus *» T h is may be taken, to mean twelve complete jears or the twelfth jear current, eleven anniversaries of the original consecration having passed T he first alternative would seem the most logical interpretation but doubt has been raised by the fact that in the 5th Pillar Edict there is a statement which runs thus, y àia saduvuatirassäbhinttena me etäye amlahkäye pamnavtsaU bamdhanamokkßiäm kafaat This passage has generally been translated as, 'Until I had been anointed twenty six years m this period the release of prisoners was ordered by me twenty five times *• On the basis of the above translation it would appear that the twenty five releases were spread over a period of twenty five years running into the twenty sixth year when the edict was issued T h e term vasìàbhtnttena therefore referred t o ‘the j ear after the year of my consecration* This led to the view held by some historians that the dating o f the inscriptions was in current years * It is argued that prisoners were released generally to commemorate some important event m the royal year such as the anniver­ sary of the king’s coronation or his birthday Thus it would be reasonable to assume that by the twenty sixth year o f Aioka’s reign there would have been twenty-five occasions when prisoners were released 1 III R E G u n a r Bloch L a Inscriptions d A toka p 95 * V P E Bloch L et In im p turns d A toka P 167 * Moofcerçi A toka p 184 n 6 Egger mont The Chronology o f the Reign o f A toka \Ionya p 64 j, EARLY LIFE ACCE SSION, AND CHRONOLOGY More recently, an alternative interpretation o f this passage from the 5th Pillar Edict has been suggested as follone *ln the penod [from my consecration] to [the anniversary on which] 1 had been consecrated twenty six years twenty five releases of prisoners have been made'* The above translation is self-explanatory It clarifies the point about the edict being issued after the twenty sixth anniversary of his coronation T h e number of releases being twenty five was an arbitrary number This problem of whether the edicts were issued in current years or expired y ears has been clarified and finally settled by the discovery o f the bilingual edict at Kandahar The Greek version of this edict begins with the sentence, T e n years being completed king Pnyadarftn showed piety to men '• T h e Aramaic v ersion of the same edict contains the identical sentence • It is dear from this edict that A4oka dated all his edicts m expired years In a detailed analysis of Aiokan chronology the first problem is that of the year of h a coronation T h u is naturally linked with the question o f the reputed interregnum of four years between the death of BinduaSra and the accession of Aioka.

A n( (iiP CVvîmft r'VktrimrU ♦kn»* n^ »'»« *v l u n g cui t o u ÿ IC1W14CU a iiu u u i v i --------------------j ----------------------------------— mu was Carumati who is said to hare married Derapala the ksatnya " O f the grandsons of Aioka, the two most frequently mentioned are Samprati the son of kunala,* and Daiaratha. 'A t this point we merely list the members of • v 85 X X * * tlaPureamta X X , 3 -6 * P i u l w l i , La Legend* de L Empereur Atoka p 185 * Sec the Queen ■ Ed ct * Corpus Intertptvmvm InJuarum vpl 1 (Cunningham ed ) p 38 and P L e X X II * I am indebted »0 Prof Baaham tor thia »vipgriTion f Y X \ I I p 40s * C U « TrartLt 0/ f a fuie* p *1 it 8-30 ta * S l> v i Lehtpûl vol I, pp 263 33t vol u pp 1-^ 344, u Preclusiti L a Legende de L Empereur A foka p 207 u Vtfyu Purivta X X I \ S rear Select hucTipiumi p 79 EARLY LIFE, A C C E S S IO N , AND C H R O N O L O G Y 31 his family known to us Their identification and significance will be discussed at greater length, where it is more appropriate to the narrative It is indeed unfortunate that Aiokan chronology still remains uncertain Here, as in some other periods o f ancient history, the historian is justified m wishing that the emperor had been more explicit 111 the matter of dating A preliminary question anses on the method adopted o f dating the inscriptions, and determining whether the years mentioned were current yean or expired ) ears T h e formula for dating the inscnptions is usually contained in the phrase, vasäbkmtena, ‘anointed jears’, which occurs in most of the edicts For example, wc have the complete phrase from the 3rd Rock Edict, dbädasa vässäbhinltena may a tdam anapUam ‘When I had been anointed twelve years, 1 commanded thus *» T h is may be taken, to mean twelve complete jears or the twelfth jear current, eleven anniversaries of the original consecration having passed T he first alternative would seem the most logical interpretation but doubt has been raised by the fact that in the 5th Pillar Edict there is a statement which runs thus, y àia saduvuatirassäbhinttena me etäye amlahkäye pamnavtsaU bamdhanamokkßiäm kafaat This passage has generally been translated as, 'Until I had been anointed twenty six years m this period the release of prisoners was ordered by me twenty five times *• On the basis of the above translation it would appear that the twenty five releases were spread over a period of twenty five years running into the twenty sixth year when the edict was issued T h e term vasìàbhtnttena therefore referred t o ‘the j ear after the year of my consecration* This led to the view held by some historians that the dating o f the inscriptions was in current years * It is argued that prisoners were released generally to commemorate some important event m the royal year such as the anniver­ sary of the king’s coronation or his birthday Thus it would be reasonable to assume that by the twenty sixth year o f Aioka’s reign there would have been twenty-five occasions when prisoners were released 1 III R E G u n a r Bloch L a Inscriptions d A toka p 95 * V P E Bloch L et In im p turns d A toka P 167 * Moofcerçi A toka p 184 n 6 Egger mont The Chronology o f the Reign o f A toka \Ionya p 64 j, EARLY LIFE ACCE SSION, AND CHRONOLOGY More recently, an alternative interpretation o f this passage from the 5th Pillar Edict has been suggested as follone *ln the penod [from my consecration] to [the anniversary on which] 1 had been consecrated twenty six years twenty five releases of prisoners have been made'* The above translation is self-explanatory It clarifies the point about the edict being issued after the twenty sixth anniversary of his coronation T h e number of releases being twenty five was an arbitrary number This problem of whether the edicts were issued in current years or expired y ears has been clarified and finally settled by the discovery o f the bilingual edict at Kandahar The Greek version of this edict begins with the sentence, T e n years being completed king Pnyadarftn showed piety to men '• T h e Aramaic v ersion of the same edict contains the identical sentence • It is dear from this edict that A4oka dated all his edicts m expired years In a detailed analysis of Aiokan chronology the first problem is that of the year of h a coronation T h u is naturally linked with the question o f the reputed interregnum of four years between the death of BinduaSra and the accession of Aioka.

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Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas by Romila Thapar


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