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35102Pftsr7b The Vibrancy Of The Cultural Exchange

EVEN THÈN
AS EUROPE & Asia collided was astonishing!
Statues of the Buddha {SEE ALSO BAMIYAN NOW!} started to appear
only after the cult of Apollo became established in the Gundhara valley & western India.
Buddhists felt threatened by the success of new religious practices and began to create their own
visual images. Indeed, there is a correlation not only in the date of the earliest statues of the Buddha,
but also in their appearance & design: it seems that it was Apollo that provided the template, sùch was
the impact of Greek influences. Hitherto, Buddhists had actively refrained from any visual representations;
but competition now fòrced them to réàct, to borrow ànd to innovate! Stone altars adorned with Greek
inscriptions, the images of Apollo and exquisite miniature ivories depicting Alexander from what is
now southern Tajikistan reveal just hòw fàr influences from the west penetrated. So too did the
impressions of the cultural superiority brought from the Mediterranean. The Greeks in Asia
were widely credited in India, for example, for their skill in the sciences: 'THE ARE BAR-
BARIANS', says the text known as the GARGI SAMHITA, 'YET THE SCIENCE OF ASTRO-
NOMY ORIGINATED WITH THEM AND FOR THIS THEY MUST BE REVERENCED LIKE
GODS'! According to Plutarch, Alexander made sure that Greek theology was as
far as India also taught, with the result that the gods of OLYMPUS were across
Asia revered: young men in Persia & beyond were brought up reading HOMER
& 'CHANTING THE TRAGEDIES OF SOPHOCLES & EURIPIDES', while their
Greek language was studied in the INDUS VALLEY.
'Wéreldcultuur' dus.