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LAW CODE

    The Mauryan code of law was originally layed down by Chandragupta Maurya, who created a very bureaucratic government and a vast secret service system.  His code of laws remained prominent until his grandson, Ashoka, assumed power.  Following a series of intensely bloody wars, King Ashoka embraced Buddhism and pacifism.  While Ashoka did not ban other faiths, he encouraged Buddhism by making laws that correlated with Buddhist customs.  Some of his laws and beliefs were carved into rock in his Rock Edicts and Minor Rock Edicts shown below, while others, aptly named the Pillar Edicts, were carved onto the now-famous Ashokan Pillars, some of which are topped with the symbol he selected at the Mauryan emblem, four lions standing back to back.  A full translation of the Ashokan Edicts can be found at http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html.




Ashoka also formed a "moral inspection committee" to ensure that the Mauryan people were behaving morally.  These moral restrictions, eerily reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984, probably did not make Ashoka very popular within his kingdom.  However, the benefits he brought the Mauryan Empire outweigh the control he exerted over his subjects.

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