Buddhism in Central Asia

Buddhism in Central Asia began with the syncretism between Western Classical Greek philosophy and Indian Buddhism in the Hellenistic successor kingdoms to Alexander the Great's empire (Greco-Bactrian Kingdom 250 BC-125 BC and Indo-Greek Kingdom 180 BC - 10 CE), spanning modern Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The later Kushan empire would adopt the Greek alphabet (Bactrian language), Greco-Buddhist art forms and coinage, and Greco-Buddhist religion of these Hellenistic kingdoms. The first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha himself are often considered a result of the Greco-Buddhist interaction. Before this innovation, Buddhist art was "aniconic": the Buddha was only represented through his symbols (an empty throne, the Bodhi tree, the Buddha's footprints, the Dharma wheel)...


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