Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

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Virgo
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Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

Postby Virgo » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:27 am

Take a look at this video which has footage of the pillar in Kandahar (limited) as well of one in Mardan, Pakistan, and makes mention of others. Are these also Asokan? I've only found mention of one Asokan pillar written in Aramaic elsewhere...

Starts at around 16:30 minutes in. Enjoy.


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Virgo
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Re: Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

Postby Virgo » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:47 am

What is becoming clear to me here is that these descendants of Israelites (watch the whole video) inhabited this land during King Asoka's reign and were very possibly Buddhists, or at the very least, practiced Judaism - their traditional faith - in a Buddhist empire. The tribes fled Israel around 700 BC as far as I know (I am not a historian), when it was invaded by the Assyrian empire. These tribes travelled East. When exactly they arrived in Afghanistan, and when they settled where they did is hard to say. They were definitely there, however, during Asoka's reign, which didn't fall totally in Afghanistan until the 11'th century AD when it was taken by Islam, and the Asokan Pillar or Pillars (At least the one in Kandahar) are written in their tongue revealing that they likely had high regard for the Edicts. I'd really be amazed if Buddhist statues or other artifacts aside from the pillars were found in or near the traditional villages of these tribes (I know many artifacts come from Afghanastan generally speaking). It's interesting to think that descendants of Israel, speaking Aramaic, may have been Buddhists...

I'd really like to hear some imput here from those who are more familiar with the Asokan Pillars, or any of the subjects touched on here.

Thanks...

Kevin

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:19 am

Cool, the original JuBu's. (Jew-Boos -- for Jewish-Buddhists)

There were two major exiles of the Israelites, one after the destruction of the First Temple and then the big one after the Second Temple; so I suppose it is possible. King Ashoka's missions went as far as Eastern Europe and East Africa as well as Asia. The bilingual edict in Greek and Aramaic is from Kandahar, so could just be Ashoka's missionaries who were versed in various languages for the spreading of Dhamma?
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Virgo
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Re: Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

Postby Virgo » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:53 am


Sherlock
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Re: Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

Postby Sherlock » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:31 pm

Speculative source.

Aramaic was the common language of the Achaemenid Empire, who were defeated by Alexander not very long before Ashoka's time. Alexander and his successors left most of the administrative apparatus intact and the people probably didn't change very much, so it's logical that Ashoka would use their language to communicate with them. No need to postulate a "lost tribe" -- there were plenty of non-Jews in the Empire who used it. He used Greek with the Greeks living in his domains as well.

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Re: Just how many Asokan Pillars were written in Aramaic?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:25 am



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