The Indian Emperor Asoka (c. 270 - 237 BCE) erected polished pillars throughout his kingdom. They were topped with regal lions that watched the four corners of Asoka's realm. The lions stand on a Buddhist wheel of life.

Points to Ponder:

-- What do you think these lions represented?
-- Why would the lions be looking in four separate directions?
-- How do these lions compare to the Winged-Lion that you saw earlier in the course?
-- Why do you think the Emperor Asoka erected these pillars?

Source: Sarnath Museum, Varansai, India in Empires Ascendant (Time Life Books, 1987): 40.

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