Chapter 4: Political thought of the first empires (250 bc–200 AD)
There are three major empires that appear at a very similar time in world history: Mauryan dynasty, Han dynasty and Roman Empire. A focus on both strict law and amoral approaches to rule are characteristic of thinkers of the period, such as Kautilya and Han Fei Tzu. However, the mainstream political philosophies develop from a synthesis of existing forms of more ethically oriented political thought that is stretched to the limit in far-flung empires as shown by the ideas and influence of Ashoka, Dong Zhongshu and Cicero The weaknesses of these philosophies demonstrate the need for more sophisticated metaphysics and deeper belief systems.
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