This volume explores on the material, social, and ideological aspects of Asoka's reign in light of advances made in archaeology, epigraphy, and numismatics. Thematically divided into three parts, the first to pillars and rocks, which bear his inscriptions. The second part examines the interconnectedness of the edicts, their monumentality, and the different concept of kingship they conveyed. The third part analyses the making of the cultural memory of Asoka and raises pertinent questions crucial for understanding the relationship between the past and the present. The essays outline the importance of Asoka not only for the Indian nation-state but also for the entire Buddhist world of South and South-east Asia. Moving away from conventional periodization of Indian history, it raises important questions on the beginning of history and archaeology in the modern period. The book examines the extent to which nineteenth century initiatives have affected the study of Asoka and his reign.
This book will be important for scholars and students of ancient Indian history, particularly those concerned with Asoka and the Mauryas. It will also interest archaeologists and scholars of Buddhist studies.