The Major Spread Of The Classical Era Essay

The Major Spread Of The Classical Era Essay

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Political leaders always have played an important part in the lives of the people that they lead, even when it comes to religion. Three religions that experienced major spreading and development during the classical era are Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam – each by means of the leaders Ashoka, Constantine, and Muhammad respectively. The role these three played in spreading each religion were obviously quite large because of how influential they are among their people; Ashoka using Buddhism to reshape the government and social structure for the better, Constantine slowly accepting Christianity and crediting success to it, and Muhammad by direct influence of the people through conversions. Without the work of each leader, these three religions may have never become as prevalent as they became or as they are today.
Ashoka played a large role in the spread and development of Buddhism by fashioning his governmental and social methods around the religion as well as mixing it with the previous moral code, the Dharma. It began when he visited the Buddhist orders of monks and nuns and learned some of the ways of Buddhism. He then said in the Rock and Pillar Edicts that “state officials shall make a tour of their districts every five years to proclaim precepts of Dharma,” and then lists pieces of morality such as obedience to one’s parents and abstaining from killing any living creature, all of which originate from Buddhist practices. Even before Ashoka completely devoted himself to Buddhism, he had adopted ideals from it and made them law, making it only natural that people across the empire would then follow and accept as a standard in moral code, or Dharma. Later, once Ashoka became a complete convert to the Buddhist way, “he started...


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... of their resources into spreading Islam to other lands, and therefore spreading its practices greatly. Considering what Muhammad made for codes and practices, it becomes quickly evident that his influence on the spread of Islam was exceptionally direct.
In conclusion, each of the three leaders – Ashoka, Constantine, and Muhammad – had their own roles in each of their respective religions. Ashoka adapted his governmental policies and social structure to represent the beliefs of Buddhism, Constantine slowly took up Christianity while he began protecting Christians and eventually accounted the belief for success in campaigns and wars, and Muhammad took a more direct approach to the spread of Islam through attempts at converting people in his home town and later ruled that all expeditions made by the Muslims will be in the name of conversion to Islam and not conquest.

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