Early Greco-Dhamma

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1439
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm

Early Greco-Dhamma

Postby Coëmgenu » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:33 pm

The Bactrian Empire was famously Greek-influenced, and Buddhists had a heavy presence there (I've read a few times that Amidism began as a Bactrian movement).

Are there any manuscript traditions of Buddhist writings in the Greek language from this time period?

It is also possible that I am assuming Bactrian proliferation of Buddhism occurred much earlier than it did.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

User avatar
Dhamma_Basti
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:53 am

Re: Early Greco-Dhamma

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:34 pm

I do not believe that there ever was a translation of a buddhist text into greek made at that time that survived until the present time.
As far as my knowledge goes, the only ancient greek source that deals explicitely with india is the travel report of Megasthenes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megasthenes
You might had in mind the greco-baktrian kingdom after Alexander I. in what is today Afghanistan and Pakistan. This has been however not comparable to the ancient greek civilization on the european subcontinent. I think we have to understand this kingdom to be a very isolated one which didn't had much in common with the european greeks except for some greek blood in the ruling class. As far as I know they didn't produce any literature in greek, but one important indian source of this time has survived that deals explicitely with the greco-baktrians, the Milinda Panha: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milinda_Panha
And of course we have a _lot_ of buddhist sanskrit that was propably written already in the time of the greco-baktrians (or maybe even earlier), but that's a different story.
My blog on buddhism, languages and programming.

User avatar
Kare
Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Early Greco-Dhamma

Postby Kare » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:36 pm

Check the Greek philosopher Pyrrho. It seems he met Indian sages when he accompanied Alexander to the east, and these may well have been Buddhists. There are some books on the subject: Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia by Christopher I. Beckwith, and Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism (Studies in Comparative Philosophy and Religion) by Adrian Kuzminski. I have read the one by Beckwith, and although he may be a little controversial, it is interesting stuff.
Mettāya,
Kåre


Return to “Early Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine