King Asok Not More Than A Myth Essay

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For a long time, King Asoka was thought to be nothing more than a myth. With several writings concerning him, they all relayed too fantastical an image to be convincing as truthful, keeping him in a legendary status. This all changed in 1837, well over a thousand years after his death, when a scholar James Prinsep managed to translate writings on a stone pillar in Delhi. After several other scholars raced to translate similar writings all over the Indian landscape, it was revealed that this King Piyadasi was the same as King Asoka. Even with his history pieced together, Asoka’s history is still legendary. He started as a lowly person shunned by his own father and grew to be a ruler of a kingdom that had never seen complete unity. But indeed, despite the face of caring compassion he attempted to convey to the Indian people, and despite the reforms he made to various sectors of his kingdom, it is clear Asoka was only using Buddhism as a way to unite the people and, more importantly, keep them under his control. It is rumored that Asoka’s grandmother was a Greek princess, with his lineage being traced back to the Seleucus kingship, and that his Asoka’s grandmother would have told him stories of Alexander the Great and other Greek warriors, inspiring Asoka and gearing him towards being the warrior he would become in the Kalinga Wars. Asoka’s mother is supposed to be the daughter of a Brahman, a Hindu priest. She eventually married the King of India, one of the first of the

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