Greco-Buddhist Relations in the Hellenistic Far East Sources and Contexts
This book provides the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary view of the relationship between the Greeks and Buddhist communities in ancient Bactria and Northwest India, from the conquests of Alexander the Great to the fall of the Indo-Greek kingdom circa 10 AD.
The main thesis of this book is the assumption that, despite the presence of mutual relationships and interactions between the Greeks and Buddhist inhabitants of the Hellenistic Far East, the phenomenon known conventionally as "Greco-Buddhism" never truly occurred. The individual chapters of this book provide an analysis of the main sources for Greco-Buddhist relations, mainly textual, but also archaeological and numismatic. The methods of philological and historical research are used in combination with postcolonial approaches to the study of the Greeks in India drawing from sociological research on ethnicity and intercultural relations. It is a rich source of information for anyone interested in Greco-Buddhist relations and is a great starting point for further research in this area.
This volume is a valuable resource for students and scholars working on the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms, both classicists and those working on early Indian history, as well as those working on cultural exchange in the Hellenistic world.
Introduction; 1. Contexts for sources; 2. The Dhamma of Aśoka in the context of Greco-Mauryan contacts; 3. Between Aśoka and Menander: a few notes on the Greco-Bactrian kingdom; 4. Menander and the Indo-Greek kingdom; 5. Gandhāra; 6. Late Greek sources about Buddhism in India; Conclusion; Appendices.
"Olga Kubica provides a most authoritative survey of the interactions of the Greeks in India with their Buddhist contemporaries. Her work is an invaluable guide to the historical and philological problems and to the scholarly controversies surrounding this period of ferment in the history of ideas." Richard Stoneman, Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Exeter, UK