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Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas$
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Romila Thapar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077244

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077244.001.0001

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The Background and the Source

The Background and the Source

(p.1) Chapter I The Background and the Source
Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas

Romila Thapar

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the sources of information for the study Aśoka Maurya's reign in ancient India from 274 to 232 BC. It suggests that the most important religious source about the Mauryas is Buddhist literature; while secular literature on them include the Arthaśāstra of Kauţalya. Aside from literature and other unintentional sources, the edicts of Aśoka himself inscribed on rocks and pillars throughout the country also are available. These consist of fourteen major rock edicts and a number of minor rock edicts and inscriptions.

Keywords:   ancient India, Buddhist literature, Arthaśāstra of Kauţalya, rock edicts, rock inscriptions

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