The current volume, which contains the presentations at a symposium sponsored by the South Asia Institute and the Department of Asian Studies of the University of Texts at Austin (February 4, 2006) is intended to advance the study of Asoka both as history and historical memory.
The authors of these papers take as historically significant not only the "historical truth" of Asoka but also the ways in which Asoka presents himself and his political, nationalistic, and religious purposes by succeeding generations both in India and in other parts of Asia, especially within the expanding Buddhist communities and nations.
About the Author:
Patrick Olivelle served as the Chair of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin from 1994 to 2007, where he is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions. Prior to coming to Texas, Olivelle taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, from 1974 to 1991, where he was the Department Chair 1984-90. Olivelle's current research focuses on the ancient Indian legal tradition of Dharmaśāstra. He has edited and translated the four early Dharmasūtras. He has also prepared a critical edition of the Law Code of Manu (Mānava Dharmaśāstra). A new translation based on the critically edited text was published in Spring 2004 in the Oxford World's Classics series and the critical edition was published in 2005.
In the mid-1990's Olivelle worked on the late Vedic literature, producing an award-winning translation of the early Upaniṣads, as well as a scholar's edition of them. His early work was focused on the ascetic and monastic traditions of India. He published several editions, translations, and studies of ascetic texts and institutions. His award-winning book on the āśrama system was published in 1993. Olivelle has won several prestigious fellowships, including Guggenheim, NEH, and ACLS. He was elected Vice President of the American Oriental Society in 2004 and President in 2005.