Emperor Asoka

by: Lindsey Stanley

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WHAT:

As the third emperor of the Maurya dynasty, Asoka first followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and fought a long bloody war to add new regions to the empire. When he saw the effects of the war, he admitted his guilt and turned his back on violence. He adopted Buddhism and sent missionaries out to spread it, giving up hunting and eating meat. While he supported Buddhist principles, he preached tolerance of all religions. His reign brought an era of peace and nonviolence to the empire.


WHEN:

Asoka was born 300 B.C. and is thought to have died around 238 B.C.; his reign was from 273 B.C. to 232 B.C.


WHERE:

Indus Civilization (India)


WHY:

Asoka established hospitals, planted trees to provide fruit and shade, and had rest houses built along paths of empire. His pilgrimages to holy places of India allowed him to preach about principles of Buddhism such as nonviolence. He was not prejudiced against others and spoke that we should have tolerance for all religions. His reign brought in a time of peace and nonviolence to the empire.


WORKS CITED:


  • "Asoka." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
  • "Asoka." Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Biography in Context. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.