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Greek style Buddha from about 100 AD

Greek style Buddha from about 100 AD

When Alexander the Great brought his army to India, Greek people learned a lot of new things from the people they met in India. We don’t know whether Hellenistic philosophers talked to Buddhists, but their ideas are not so different. Try comparing Buddhism and the Greek philosophical ideas of StoicismEpicureanism, and Skepticism. What is the same? What is different?

Caryatid from the Erechtheion in Athens, about 440 BC

Caryatid from the Erechtheion in Athens, about 440 BC

Next, compare this statue of Buddha from Pakistan to this slightly earlier Greek statue of a woman. What’s the same? What’s different?

(Notice that, like the Iranians before them and the Islamic artists after them, these Buddhists preferred for statues of men to be fully covered in clothing – not like the Greeks!).

(Notice also the use of the halo to show how holy the Buddha is – you might be more familiar with Christian haloes!)

Alexander in India

Bibliography and further reading about Alexander the Great:


Mauryan Empire
Ancient India home

By |2017-07-20T11:28:39+00:00July 20th, 2017|Art, India|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Indians and Greeks project. Study Guides, July 20, 2017. Web. January 24, 2019.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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