Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale
54 | 2018

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale
54 | 2018

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chevron_rightLingue e culture del Medio ed Estremo Oriente

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en

ISSN
chevron_right1125-3789

e-ISSN
chevron_right2385-3042

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Vol. 54 | Num. 1 | Giugno 2018

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Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale | 54 | 2018

A New Interpretation of the Edicts of Aśoka from Kandahar

Francesco Maniscalco
Sapienza Università di Roma, Italia
fr.maniscalco@gmail.com

DOI 10.30687/AnnOr/2385-3042/2018/01/011

Submitted 16 Gen 2018
Accepted 22 Feb 2018

Abstract

From Alexandria of Arachosia, present-day Kandahar, we have two edicts in Greek, issued by the sovereign Maurya Aśoka (c. 270-230 BC). Arachosia, the ancient Eastern satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire – corresponding to present-day southeastern Afghanistan – had long seen the meeting of the Iranian world to the west and the Indian world to the east. As from the end of the fourth century BC, after the conquest by Alexander the Great and the occupation of the eastern dominions of the Empire by Seleucus Nicator, it was to see a conspicuous Greek presence, strikingly attested by the epigraphs of Aśoka. The first edict – discovered in 1957 – is in two languages, Greek and Aramaic, while the second – discovered in 1963 – is in Greek alone. On the basis of texts from the court of Maurya of Pāṭaliputra, both of them constitute summaries of and propaganda for the conversion and moral principles inspiring Aśoka, subsequent to his bloody conquest of Kaliṅga. Our aim here is to take stock of certain issues, proposing a new completion for the opening lacuna in the Greek section of the bilingual epigraph, and casting doubt anew on the originality of the Greek texts, considering the attribution of the region to Indian, rather than Seleucid rule after the pact between Seleucus Nicator and Candragupta Maurya, Aśoka’s grandfather (c. 305 BC).

Keywords
Arachosia. Aśoka. Greek-Aramaic edict. Kandahar.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Maniscalco Francesco

dc.title

A New Interpretation of the Edicts of Aśoka from Kandahar

dc.type

Journal Article

dc.language.iso

en

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/2385-3042/2018/001/11

dc.description.abstract

From Alexandria of Arachosia, present-day Kandahar, we have two edicts in Greek, issued by the sovereign Maurya Aśoka (c. 270-230 BC). Arachosia, the ancient Eastern satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire – corresponding to present-day southeastern Afghanistan – had long seen the meeting of the Iranian world to the west and the Indian world to the east. As from the end of the fourth century BC, after the conquest by Alexander the Great and the occupation of the eastern dominions of the Empire by Seleucus Nicator, it was to see a conspicuous Greek presence, strikingly attested by the epigraphs of Aśoka. The first edict – discovered in 1957 – is in two languages, Greek and Aramaic, while the second – discovered in 1963 – is in Greek alone. On the basis of texts from the court of Maurya of Pāṭaliputra, both of them constitute summaries of and propaganda for the conversion and moral principles inspiring Aśoka, subsequent to his bloody conquest of Kaliṅga. Our aim here is to take stock of certain issues, proposing a new completion for the opening lacuna in the Greek section of the bilingual epigraph, and casting doubt anew on the originality of the Greek texts, considering the attribution of the region to Indian, rather than Seleucid rule after the pact between Seleucus Nicator and Candragupta Maurya, Aśoka’s grandfather (c. 305 BC).

dc.relation.ispartof

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale

dc.relation.ispartof

Vol. 54 | Num. 1 | Giugno 2018

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

2018-06-25

dc.dateAccepted

2018-01-16

dc.dateSubmitted

2018-02-22

dc.identifier.issn

1125-3789

dc.identifier.eissn

2385-3042

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

dc.subject

Arachosia

dc.subject

Aśoka

dc.subject

Greek-Aramaic edict

dc.subject

Kandahar

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54 | 2018

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