[INDOLOGY] Hindus and Buddhists in Central Asia

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Mon Nov 22 17:06:54 UTC 2021

Hi Dean,

This recent publication contains many relevant references:

Richard Salomon's indian Epigraphy includes discussion of pertinent epigraphical evidence from Central Asia.

Viking artifacts of Asian provenance pose problems for interpretation. The Vikings were very active in the slave trade with Byzantium, which moved along the Volga river and Caspian sea, but the presence of a given artifact at a Viking site may not always imply that it arrived through Viking raiders moving upstream. There were also slave traders, and other merchants, based in Byzantine lands who moved downstream.


Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études, émérite
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago



From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of Dean Michael Anderson via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2021 9:57 AM
To: Indology List <indology at list.indology.info>
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Hindus and Buddhists in Central Asia

I've been working on the Indo-Europeans and some of their interactions.

It started with the discovery that Vikings penetrated into Central Asia. Their hoards in Scandinavia contain silver coins from Afghanistan. While they might not have gone all the way there, it seems certain that they did penetrate well into Central Asia -- probably at least as far as the Caspian Sea.

That led me to the second question which I asked here. Thanks again for all of the fascinating answers in another thread here that discussed Indo-Aryan influences as far as the Philippines and beyond.

Now I'm looking back in the other direction again and wondering if anyone can provide more sources on evidence for Hindus and Buddhists in Central Asia. The Buddhists are better attested and there were probably more of them, but I was wondering what evidence we have for both groups in Central Asia.



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