Compare And Contrast Cyrus And King Ashoka

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Compare and contrast the factors that made Cyrus the Great and King Ashoka successful rulers. While most rulers of large empires would keep hold of their political control through the use of military force, both the Indian emperor King Ashoka and the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty maintained their power by setting a strong example of moral uprightness, and promoting tolerance to all cultures. This brought peace to their respective kingdoms, and made the kings well loved by their subjects. These policies of tolerance generated a sense of unity within their empires, and dissuaded rebellions. Both rulers gained the loyalty of their subjects through the toleration of all religions in their kingdom. Not only did King Cyrus allow the Jewish people to return to their native homeland and rebuild their temple, but according to Jewish historian Josephus, funded the reconstruction of the temple out of his own salary (Document 2). In Cyrus’ eyes, allowing a conquered people to worship freely in their native homeland was more important than assimilating them into his own culture. This in turn appeased both the Jews and most other people's under Cyrus’s rule, and prevented any major rebellions from occurring. Cyrus also…show more content…
Cyrus knew that if he attempted to directly control his entire empire, which spanned from the Indus Valley to the Aegean Sea, the empire would collapse from spreading itself too thin. To solve this problem, Cyrus divides his kingdom into provinces known as satrapies, whose governors (satraps) reported directly to himself (Document 5). King Ashoka, whose kingdom was not as far-reaching as the Persians’, took a more hands-on approach to ruling. In his sixth edict, Ashoka decreed that no matter what he was doing, he would always be available to receive any matters of state business (Document 7)
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