Who was Xuanzang? A Buddhist scholar of medieval China

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Map of the Travels of Xuanzang from China through Central Asia to India

Travels of the Buddhist traveller Xuanzang (T’ang Dynasty, 630 AD)

Xuanzang was a great Chinese scholar who lived in the 600s AD, under the T’ang dynasty. He was a Buddhist, and he wanted to see India, where the Buddha had lived. So he traveled from the Chinese capital at Changan to India and spent years living at the Guptan court, collecting information and books about the Buddha.

Many people were traveling more between China and the rest of Asia at this time, because the strong countries of Central Asia – the Tibetans and the Gokturks and the Sogdians – were making sure it was safe to travel along the Silk Road.

When Xuanzang got back to China, he wrote down an account of what Sogdiana and India were like. His story helps us to understand the Silk Road of his time, and Guptan India.

Learn by doing – Buddhism Project

Bibliography and further reading about Chinese Buddhism:

Chinese gods
Main Chinese religion page
Main India page
Ancient China
Quatr.us home

By |2018-04-18T09:54:15+00:00June 7th, 2017|Central Asia, China, India, Religion|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Who was Xuanzang? A Buddhist scholar of medieval China. Quatr.us Study Guides, June 7, 2017. Web. January 22, 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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