The Foundation of the Colossal Buddha Statues
It is not clear when Buddhism started in Bamiyan. Around 305 B.C., Seleucus, who had succeeded the eastern area of the Empire of Alexander the Great ceded Afghanistan, the southeastern area of the Hindu Kush to the rising Maurya Dynasty of Chandraguputa and it was about 50 years later that his grandson, King Ashoka, sent a high Buddhist priest there to propagate Buddhism. That was just before the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom became independent (circa 250 B.C.) cutting the political bond with the Seleucid Dynasty. It is assumed that the people who accepted Buddhism were those who had been familiar with Persian culture since Achaemenian times and also had been deeply affected by Hellenistic culture. That is backed up by the bilingual rock edicts of King Priyadarsin (Ashoka) inscribed in Greek and Aramaic, which were discovered in Kandahar.
KeywordsFourth Century Royal Family Mural Painting Southeastern Area White Horse
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