Buddhism

Home » Buddhism

Zoroastrianism – Iran – West Asian religion

By | 2018-06-11T18:34:59+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

An Iranian fire sacrifice Zoroaster/Zarathustra himself Around 1000 BC (probably), about the same time that people in India were writing the Rig Veda, a man named Zoroaster (also called Zarathustra) was a priest in a small temple in the eastern part of West Asia, in an area with a lot of small kingdoms and no major power. Zoroaster believed that [...]

Monotheism and polytheism – West Asian religion

By | 2018-04-15T12:06:29+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna The earliest people in West Asia were all polytheistic: they all worshipped many gods. From 3000 BC to 539 BC, the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians and the Babylonians all worshipped pretty much the same set of gods, despite their cultural differences. The most important of these gods was Ea. Ishtar was the most important goddess. Like the [...]

West Asian religion – Enuma Elish, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, etc.

By | 2018-04-19T15:51:07+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Sumerian clay worshippers from Tell Asmar West Asia has been the home of many of the world's most popular religions, and has always been a hotbed of new religious ideas. Religions may have gotten started in West Asia because empires got started there. Some historians think that centralized, organized religions form as a kind of [...]

Post-Mauryan art in India – 100 BC to 300 AD

By | 2017-09-14T17:16:08+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Art, India|

Relief from Saidu Sharif I, in the Swat Valley. 50 BC - 50 AD. Now in the Swat Museum, Pakistan. The Mauryan Empire collapsed about 150 BC, but India remained a rich place thanks to Silk Road trade. Indian artists kept right on carving new sculptures. Sometime around 50 BC - 50 AD, [...]

Mauryan art in India – 300 to 100 BC

By | 2017-09-14T17:17:58+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Art, India|

Buddha comes down from heaven. Butkara I, Swat Valley, Pakistan, 100s BC. (Now in Swat Museum.) The rise of Buddhism in India during the Mauryan Empire brought with it a new interest in carving the stories of the Buddha's life. And Indian artists were now seeing scenes from Greek mythology on the metopes [...]

Plotinus and the Neoplatonists – Roman philosophy

By | 2017-09-04T11:34:58+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Philosophy, Romans|

Bust of Plotinus (Ostia, ca. 250 AD) Around the time of Jesus, philosophers (and regular people) in West Asia and the Roman Empire started to think a lot about what happened to you after you died. The afterlife was very important to the Christians and the Gnostics. But a little later on, Roman philosophers developed a new idea. They suggested that when [...]

History of religion – sacrifice, holidays

By | 2018-04-21T12:09:37+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Religion|

Building at Gobekli Tepe (ca. 9000 BC) People have started a lot of different religions. Some of them are still practiced today; others are not. It is hard even to know what religion is. But let's say religion is any tendency to change your own behavior in accordance with supernatural forces. Most people [...]

The end of animal sacrifice – History of religion

By | 2018-04-21T12:09:34+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Religion|

Sacrificial procession (Pitsa, ca. 530 BC) People probably began to do animal sacrifice around the time they began farming and keeping domesticated animals, about 10,000 BC. They were certainly sacrificing animals to their gods all over Europe and Asia by 3000 BC. That's when we first have paintings and carvings and written stories about it. For seven thousand years or so, animal sacrifice [...]

St. Benedict – Christianity – History of Religion

By | 2017-08-21T17:33:57+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Egyptian caves where early monks and nuns lived In the 500s AD, Benedict was the founder of a new Christian movement toward monasticism: living as monks or nuns. Already in the 300s, especially in Egypt, men and women had been going off by themselves into the desert, away from people, to live a life of prayer, devoted entirely to [...]