What are the differences and similarities between China's Han Dynasty and India's Mauryan Dynasty in terms of politics, society, culture, geography, and religion?
The Mauryan and Han dynasties are both responsible for the development of Buddhism within their regions. Asoka the Great of the Mauryan dynasty is credited with the dissemination of Buddhism from the Indian subcontinent. Asoka was a great warrior king who annihilated the state of Kalinga in 261 BCE. Asoka surveyed the territory and became distraught at the sight of the destruction he had inflicted. This moment allegedly spurred Asoka to convert to Buddhism and renounce violence. Asoka promoted the ideal of ahimsa (to do no harm) and vowed never to lead an army again. This conversion was not beneficial to all members of Mauryan society. Brahmin priests viewed many of Asoka’s new policies and edicts as intolerant, especially concerning the Brahmins’ religious rituals of animal sacrifice. Though many of his adversaries were suspicious of his conversion, his later years are considered peaceful.
As Buddhism spread through China during the Han dynasty, it was not readily accepted by the...
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