Emperor Ashoka of India: What Makes a Ruler Legitimate?
A document-based teaching unit
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The Emperor Ashoka, who ruled in India in the 3rd century B.C.E., is one of the most intriguing figures in world history. In an era of autocratic monarchies, he attempted to use moral persuasion, rather than sheer force, to command his subjects’ respect and obedience. This five-lesson unit centers on Ashoka’s fascinating career, but it also has a unifying theme: What makes a political leader legitimate?
Lesson One: What Makes People Obey Rulers: The Question of Legitimacy
Lesson Two: The Early Mauyran Empire's Basis of Rule and Legitimacy
Lesson Three: Emperor Ashoka: Rule by Dhamma
Lesson Four: The Legendary Ashoka
Lesson Five: Ashoka's Influence Spreads to East and Southeast Asia
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