His name "aśoka" means "without sorrow" in Sanskrit (a= no/without, soka= sorrow or worry). In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya (Devanāgarī) or "The Beloved Of The Gods", and Priyadarśin (Devanāgarī) or "He who regards everyone amiably". Another title of his is Dhamma (prakrit), "Lawful, Religious, Righteous".
Renowned British author and social critic H. G. Wells in his bestselling two-volume work, The Outline of History (1920), wrote of emperor Ashoka:
In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings and emperors who called themselves 'their highnesses,' 'their majesties,' and 'their exalted majesties' and so on. They shone for a brief moment, and as quickly disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star, even unto this day.
Along with the Edicts of Ashoka, his legend is related in the later 2nd century Aśokāvadāna ("Narrative of Asoka") and Divyāvadāna ("Divine narrative"), and in the Sinhalese text Mahavamsa ("Great Chronicle").
After two thousand years, the influence of Ashoka is seen in