[KS] King Ashoka and Korea?

Donald Baker dbaker at interchange.ubc.ca
Wed Jun 4 12:46:30 EDT 2008

This question is impossible to answer, since there is no documentary  
or archaeological evidence that the Gojoseon kingdom actually existed,  
at least in the form of a state that had diplomatic relations with  
other states. If "Gojoseon" actually existed, it was most likely a  
tribe or a tribal federation and therefore would not have come to the  
attention of Ashoka.  We don't even have any evidence for diplomatic  
contact between "Gojoseon" and any of the states in China that existed  
before the Qin unified China.  (There is also no reliable evidence  
that King Ashoka knew anything about the various states in China in  
the 3rd century B.C.E., when he was on the throne. If he and his court  
didn't know about the existence of the various states of China, it is  
highly unlikely he would have heard of tribal federations farther  
east. )

Don Baker

On 4-Jun-08, at 6:40 AM, Kenneth G. Corwin wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> Would anyone happen to be aware of diplomatic or religious contacts  
> or exchanges between the Ashokan empire and the Gojoseon kingdom,  
> specifically, to what extent, if any, such contacts or exchanges  
> existed, and their nature?  Or know of a particular paper or text  
> that might describe or touch on such contacts?
> I would imagine that King Ashoka, or at least his foreign and trade  
> ministers, would have been well aware of Gojoseon, and it was  
> Ashokan policy to spread Buddhim throughout the known world.
> Respectfully,
> Kenneth G. Corwin

Donald Baker
Department of Asian Studies
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2  Canada
dbaker at interchange.ubc.ca

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