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Lecture 5

GASB67H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Brahmi Script, Lotus Position, Mandora


Department
Global Asia Studies
Course Code
GASB67H3
Professor
Sudharshan Duraiyappah
Lecture
5

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Week 5- Gandharan Art Feb 7 2013
Diplomacy
- Straddling a wide range of ethnic and cultural boundaries
- Two distinct type of coins issued in the western and eastern parts of the empire
- Shows significant ruler, Kanishka. Human figure of Buddha created under his reign
Western part of the empire
- Summer capital at Begram in the hills of Afghanistan
- Coins featuring Iranian deities, Greek goddess and the Buddha
- Coins used local Kharosti script derived from Aramaic and also occasionally used Greek
- Buddhist Empire
Eastern Part
- Winter Capital Mathura located in the plains of Northern India
- Coins featured Hindu Gods and Buddha
- Used local indian Brahmi script
- The Kushan rulers could indeed
King Kanishka
- Creation of Human form for the image of the Buddha in his reign
- 78- 108 AD
Buddha in Human Form
- Anthropomorphic image of the Buddha became popular
- The earlier preference for the symbolic representation was abandoned in favor of
embodiment
Reason for the Change
- Religion itself was changing and no longer visualized the Buddha as an inspired mortal sho
had found a path to salvation
- Now been deified, and the followers required a personal focus to pin their devotion
- Two distinct types of images were produced in the western and eastern parts of the Kushan
empire
- Doctrines are changing
- Everybody else has human figure for their deities, peer pressure
Gold of Kanishka
- Made in Kanishka’s reign, gold, shows one of the earliest artifact that shows Buddha’s human
form
- In lotus position, covered by robs, geese below, disciples also have mandora around them
Stupa of Kanishka
- Recordings of Chinese pilgrims indicated that the stupa rose over 90m, numerous stories
were built of wood, had a gilded copper mast and a set of 13 copper umbrellas
- Silk routes,
North Western Image
- Fashioned with local grey schist stone, local stone, artists used local material
- Using Greco- Roman Apollo type as the model with Persian influence, it was Persian Empire
before it became Roman cities
- Buddha shown with youthful features, wavy hair with the robe in classical folds
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