Monday, October 27, 2014

Shakyans were Scythians (Greco-Buddhist art)

Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Wiki edit
Earliest representations of the Buddha, half Eastern, half Western (Buddhist Triad/wiki)
The Buddha's family, the Shakyans, were Scythians from west of ancient "India"

The Buddha, Gandhara/Afghan (Boonlieng flickr)
Greco-Buddhist art is the artistic manifestation of Greco-Buddhism, a cultural syncretism between the Classical Greek culture and Buddhism.

It developed over a period of close to 1,000 years in Central Asia, between the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE and the Islamic conquests of the 7th century ACE.

Greco-Buddhist art is characterized by the strong idealistic realism and sensuous description of Hellenistic art.

It is of primary importance for providing the world with the very first representations of the historical Buddha Gautama, known as Shakyamuni (the "Sage of the Shakyans or Scythians") in human form.
It helped define the artistic (and particularly, sculptural) canon for Buddhist art throughout the Asian continent up to the present.

Buddhism arrived in ancient Greece before arriving in China, and Greco-Buddhist art is a strong example of cultural syncretism between eastern and western traditions.
The origins of Greco-Buddhist art are to be found in the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian kingdom (250 BC-130 BC), located in today’s Afghanistan, what Buddhists must have referred to as the "Middle Country" (Majjhima-desa, where the Buddha was from, dividing East and West).

Indo-Greco Buddhist art (wiki)
From Afghanistan Hellenistic culture radiated into the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of the Indo-Greek kingdom (180 BC-10 BC). Under the Indo-Greeks and then the Kushans, the interaction of Greek and Buddhist culture flourished in the area of ancient Gandhara, formerly part of British colonial India but in northern Muslim-majority Pakistan as of 1947.

Buddhism then spread further into India from Central Asia and northern kingdoms like Magadha, influencing the art of Mathura, and then the Hindu art of the Gupta empire, which was to extend to the rest of Southeast Asia.

The influence of Greco-Buddhist art also spread farther northward towards Central Asia (the Stans and Russia), strongly affecting the art of the Tarim Basin, and ultimately the arts of China, Korea, and Japan. More

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