This is the first English translation of the Asokavadana text, the Sanskrit version of the legend of King Asoka, first written in the second century A.D. Emperor of India during the second century B.C. and one of the most rulers in the history of Buddhism. Asoka has hithero been studied in the West primarily from his edicts and rock inscriptions in many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Through an extensive critical essay and a fluid translation, John Strong examines the importance of the Asoka of the legends for our overall understanding of Buddhism. An appendix provides summaries of other stories about Asoka.
Author: John S. Strong is Professor of religion at Bates College. Among his books one is The Legend and Cult of Upagupta and another Guide to Buddhist Religion co-author with frank Reynolds and John Holt.