Asoka vs. Shi Huangdi:
- Should a country be lead with an iron fist or a gentle hand?
Who was Asoka?
- Asoka was an Indian emperor.
- He ruled from c. 273- c. 232 B.C.E.
- Circa 261 B.C. he led a bloody conquest to gain control over India.
- After the conquest he suffered from remorse and accepted Buddhism as his religion.
- Asoka was a devout Buddhist after he converted.
- He tried to convert everyone in his empire.
- He ruled in the name of Dharma or Righteousness.
- And believed in love rather than the sword
- 'Of all victories, the victory of Dharma is the noblest. One may win a piece of land by fighting a war. But by kindness, love and pity one can win the hearts of people.
Asoka’s Law Cont…
- The sharp point of the sword spills blood; but from Dharma springs the fountain of love. The victory won by arms brings fleeting joy but the victory of Dharma brings lasting joy'
Asoka’s love or bane?
- Ashoka’s love for Dharma made him try to stretch to the far reaches of the world.
- He wrote about the wonders of Dharma on stones all over Asia and as far as Greece.
The death of Asoka
- It is uncertain on how Asoka died.
- The most logical explanation is that he was fed up with his wife and children quarreling that he went on a pilgrimage and died at the age of 72.
Who was Shi Huangdi?
- At the age of 13 he took the throne as a Chinese emperor.
- He started the Qin dynasty and led with an iron fist.
- He was very superstitious and was almost assassinated three times!!!
- Shi Huangdi believed that to get peace you had to force it upon your subjects.
- He burned books and buried scholars alive. He tortured those who oppressed him and it was all in the name of peace.
- Despite the terrible side of Shi Huangdi, he did have many accomplishments.
The Accomplishments of Shi Huangdi
- His Greatest was the great wall of China and the Canals
- Thousands died to make these spectacular pieces of architecture.
A Tomb Fit For A King!
- Another one of his great accomplishments was his own personal tomb.
Shi Huangdi’s Tomb
- The tomb was filled with life size clay soldiers. These soldiers were part of every aspect of the Chinese army.
- The soldiers also showed how Shi Huangdi ended the burial of live people in the tombs of emperors.
Technique # 1 - Gentle Hand
- Empire does as is ordered because of love of emperor
- Strong steady expansion because of expanding love of emperor.
Technique #2 - Iron Fist
- Empire does as is ordered because of fear
- Quick, unsteady expansion of empire because of brutality to neighbors to gain land.
- Many people would argue that the Gentle Hand is better because it is a guide to the empire rather than the law. It also creates a long steady empire.
- Others would say that an iron fist is more noteworthy because it crushes nations and brings up an empire to a glorious peak. Even if it is short lived.
Who is better? You decide!