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Greece, the final frontier?—The westward spread of buddhism

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Chapter Summary

In India and beyond, the spread of Buddhist monasteries supported by communities of lay-followers was to a great extent determined by political and socio-economic factors. Silence about Buddhism also reigns at the time of the invasion of the East by Alexander the Great (327-325 BC in India), with one possible exception. As early as the first century AD, Buddhism started expanding even further westwards to Bukhara and areas under Parthian rule in Margiana and Northern Khorsn, as is clear from the ndings of Soviet and Russian archaeologists, whose work is unfortunately still largely unknown in the West. The geographical overlap between Buddhism and Christianity was possibly even greater, involving communities in Sri Lanka, South and North-west India, Persia and Central Asia.

Keywords: Buddhist monasteries; Bukhara; Christianity; Margiana; Northern Khorsn; Parthian rule; Russian archaeologist



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