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 Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism. What is the same? What is different?
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:
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