Religion and Art in the Hellenistic Far East
This resource will introduce you to the world of Bactria and Gandhara, two incredibly diverse and fascinating territories which have always been home to myriads of peoples. Situated in modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, these regions have had many peoples walk on their soil. We will talk about the Indo-Greeks, Greco-Bactrians, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians and Kushans, their kings and their wars, as well as all the religions that existed and how they affected each other.
Along the journey, we will look at the history of Bactria and Gandhara from Alexander the Great in 327 BCE, to the end of the Kushan Empire in the 4th Century CE. We will talk about the religious makeup of these regions, as well as the famous Gandhara school of Art which blends Greek, Indian and Iranian artistic elements in the service of Buddhism. I hope that this resource will get you excited about Archaeology and how beautiful the past is.
- What are the kingdoms and religions that we discussed in this video?
- Why did different kingdoms sponsor different religions? How did this influence art?
- Have a look at an online catalogue of coinage from the regions discussed. Which deities would you choose as your sponsors and why?
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