About the Book
Written by one of the eminent historians this book brings out substantially the chief features of King Asoka’s glorious rule. It represents Asoka as a great humanitarian, wise statesman, good administrator, social reformer and upholder of truth, law and order. Nowhere else can we get such an immense wealth of information on the social and cultural milieu in the reign of this monarch. The book is divided into eight chapters. Of these the first six deal with the early life and family of the Emperor, the details of his career as king, his administration, religion, monuments, and the social conditions of the country during the period. The last two chapters contain the text of the inscriptions, their translation and annotation. Chapters II and VII are followed by appendices on the Asokan chronology from the legends and Rock Edicts. Chapter VIII has an appendix on the Script, Dialect and Grammar of the inscriptions. The value of the book is enhanced by the insertion of an index and addenda on some valuable inscriptions and Rock Edicts, fifteen plates and a map of Asoka’s Empire.
About the Author
Noted historian and politician, Dr. Radhakumud mookerji, started life as Professor of History in the Bengal National College under the Principalship of the late Sri Aurobindo. Subsequently, he joined the Mysore University where he was Professor of History from 1917 to 1921. Thereafter he became Professor and Head of the Department of History in the Lucknow University and remained there for an unbroken period of twenty-five years. After retirement he continued to be Emeritus Professor of History of the-same University where his friends had endowed a Lectureship in his name. He was a prolific author and had to his credit 15 books on different aspects of ancient India.
Preface to the Third Edition
The progress of Asokan scholarship and of the growing popularity of the study of Asokan history at the Universities has called for a new edition of the work incorporating in it some of the inscriptions of Asoka discovered since the second edition and figuring in this edition as Addenda for convenience of printing. The most important of these inscriptions is that found at Shar-i-kuna off Kandahar of which the most singular feature is its two versions given in Greek and Aramaic for the benefit of the particular subjects of Asoka’s empire speaking the two different languages. Other important points of the new inscriptions are brought out in their proper places in the Addenda.
I owe my grateful acknowledgements to the kind help given to me by Dr. D. C. Sircar, Carmichael Professor of the Culcutta University and by Adhir Chakravarti M. A. of Government Sanskrit College, Calcutta, for correcting the proofs and helping me materially in other ways. The design of the jacket I owe to the renowned artist Sri Asit Kumar Haldar, showing the original form of the Asokan Pillar at Sarnath.
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