The Foundation of the Colossal Buddha Statues

  • Kosaku Maeda
Part of the Natural Science in Archaeology book series (ARCHAEOLOGY)


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.


Fourth Century Royal Family Mural Painting Southeastern Area White Horse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Benveniste E (1969) Don et echange. Le Vocabulare des Institutions, Indo-Europeennes. ParisGoogle Scholar
  2. Dumezil G (1947) Tarpeia. Gallimard, ParisGoogle Scholar
  3. Gershevitch I (1967) The Avestan hymn to Mithra (translation). CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Grenet F (1994) Bamiyan and the Mihr Yasht. Bulletin of the Asia Institute, 7Google Scholar
  5. Rowland B Jr (1938) Buddha and the sun god, Zalmoxis. Paul Geuthner, ParisGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, National Research Institute for Cultural PropertiesTaito-ku, TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations