Governing the State and the Self: Political Philosophy and Practice in the Edicts of Aśoka

  title={Governing the State and the Self: Political Philosophy and Practice in the Edicts of Aśoka},
  author={Upinder Singh},
  journal={South Asian Studies},
  pages={131 - 145}
  • U. Singh
  • Published 1 September 2012
  • History
  • South Asian Studies
The edicts of the Maurya Emperor Aśoka (c. 268–232 BCE) constitute the first self-representations of imperial power in ancient South Asia. Questioning the usual presuppositions and methodology of historical interpretations of Aśoka's inscriptions, this essay attempts a fresh, detailed analysis of the political philosophy expressed in the edicts, with a special focus on their ideas and arguments regarding the relationship between political power, violence, happiness, and the good. The ideas of a… 
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