The Mauryas

Inscriptions of Ashoka

Kandhar Greek Inscription

In November, 1963, Dr. D W Seyring noticed this inscription on a rectangular block of porous limestone lying in front of a shrine at Old Kandhar, also known as Shar-i-Kuna. The stone was later moved to the Afghan National Museum in Kabul. The stone has twenty-two lines written in correct and fluent Greek.

The text of this inscription is partly from the ending of Rock Edict (RE) XII and starting text of Rock Edict (RE) XIII.

English translation by Dr. Schlumberger

1…… piety and self-control in all schools [of thoughts].
2. Now he is most master of himself who controls his tongue. And may they neither praise themselves, nor blame other [schools] about anything; for this is in vain,
3. and it is better to praise other [schools] and to abstain from blaming them in any respect.
4. In so doing they will extol themselves and gain the favor of the other [schools]; in transgressing this they will harm their reputation and estrange other [schools].
5-7. They who praise themselves and blame other [schools] behave in a rather conceited way; in striving to outshine others they rather do harm to themselves.
8. It is fit that people respect each other and accept each other’s teachings.
9-10. In so doing they will grow in knowledge’ transmitting to each other whatever each of them knows.
11. And there should be no hesitation in saying so to those who act accordingly; so they will ever keep on living piously.
12. In the eighth year of his reign Piodasses overwhelmed Kalinga.
13. One hundred and fifty thousand persons were captured and deported’ a hundred thousand others were killed and about as many died.
14. From that time on he was overcome by piety and compassion, and it weighed on his mind.
15. Just as he has given orders to abstain from [consuming] living beings, he has been zealous in organizing piety.
16. And this took with him more grief; the brahmanas and sramanas and all others who lived there [in Kalinga] practicing piety, –
17. those who lived there had to mind the king’s interests,
18. to revere and respect master[s], fathers and mothers, to love and refrain from deceiving friends and companions,
19. to treat as gently as possible slaves and servants, –
20. if, of all those who thus behaved someone died or was deported,
21. this too others felt as a personal sorrow, and the king was deeply afflicted thereby.
22. And, as amongst all other nations there are ……

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