EDICTS OF KING PIYADASSI (AŚOKA) IN THE CONTEXT OF ETHNICITY

Olga Kubica

Abstract


We live in a post-colonial era, when many theories and approaches to historiography have lost their validity because of the negative connotations of recent experiences, which left their mark on our perception of reality. Even if we are not aware of it, ideology quietly steals into our narrations of antiquity. For this reason writing history became extremely difficult. Many historians in the face of such threats may adopt the attitude of an archivist busily collecting and describing the sources available to us. The problem is that most of the available sources from antiquity, such as literary sources, inscriptions, artifacts, etc., have already been thoroughly described. Therefore, the only possible direction of development of research on antiquity seems to be the development of new directions of interpretation, and in this way, giving new narratives to the history. It is important to be more self-critical in our studies, to understand the ideas which affect our view on antiquity. That is why in my essay on the inscriptions of king Piyadassi (Aśoka) and his policy of dhamma which it expresses, in the context of the relations between the Mauryan Empire and the Greeks, I adopted an interdisciplinary approach by making use of contemporary theories on ethnicity, and especially two trends: research on hybridity and transculturalism (Kraidy) and the theory of the so-called middle ground (White).

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European Scientific Journal (ESJ)

 

ISSN: 1857 - 7881 (Print)
ISSN: 1857 - 7431 (Online)

 

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