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Notes on the Asokan Rock Edicts

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In a footnote to his very valuable study of the Asokan inscriptions, Professor Alsdorf writes “no systematic, comprehensive investigation of the different versions (apart from the purely linguistic aspect), of their true textual variants, their translation technique, and the mistakes committed in translating has so far been undertaken; it is urgently needed.” The following notes, which do not aim at completeness, represent the beginnings of an attempt to find patterns in the committing of mistakes, and in the methods of expression, and to employ the findings to explain certain difficulties. They are written in the hope that they may prove of some value to anyone undertaking the task Alsdorf outlines.


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