Ashoka And The Roman Empire Essay

1425 Words 6 Pages
Throughout the Roman, and Indian world, the religions of Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism became the predominant faith for each civilization. Each ruler chose to convert to their new religion out of genuine belief that it was what was best for their people. Constantine, The Emperor of Rome, converted to the Christian faith after having a vision on the battlefield; accompanied that night by a dream that instructed him to fight in the name of the Christian god. This vision had such a profound effect on the Emperor that he converted to Christianity and it eventually becomes the dominant faith of the Roman Empire. Ashoka, ruler of the Mauryan dynasty in India, converted religions while already in power much like emperor Constantine, but unlike …show more content…
In Christianity, Constantine kept the older Roman tradition of likening himself with a divine entity. Although he did not claim to be of divine lineage, he did, however, have a coin stamped with his portrait of himself that included a halo perhaps to show his piety and the strong connection between himself, Rome, and the Christian god. Ashoka also used his new found beliefs in his governing. He wanted to show his that even though he was a man of peace, that there would still be punishments for dishonorable actions. “He (Ashoka) exercises the power to punish, despite his repentance, in order to induce them to desist from their crimes and escape execution.” (Wiesner 116) Ashoka was trying to let his people know that even though the new outlook of the government was a peaceful one, there would still be punishments for any crimes committed. Both emperors chose to allow people to observe other faiths. But while Ashoka encouraged people to learn and understand different faiths, Constantine on the other hand did not encourage the learning of other religions, calling any religion outside of Christianity a “temple of lies.” (Wiesner

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