Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus, Strabos life was characterized by extensive travels. He journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome. Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, especially for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, and stayed there and writing, in 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae and it is not known precisely when Strabos Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around 17 or 18 AD, the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, who is said to have died just recently.
He probably worked on the Geography for many years and revised it steadily, on the presumption that recently means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died. The first of Strabos major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is completely lost. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels. His first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, Strabo was an admirer of Homers poetry, perhaps a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, despite Xenarchuss Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite.
Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items, his philosophy, his knowledge, and his contacts, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a history of people. Although the Geographica was rarely utilized in its antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire. It first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469, the first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice
Sogdiana was a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great. In the Avesta, Sogdiana is listed as the second best land that the supreme deity Ahura Mazda had created and it comes second, after Airyanem Vaejah, homeland of the Aryans, in the Zoroastrian book of Vendidad, indicating the importance of this region from ancient times. Sogdiana was conquered by the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 328 BC and formed part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, the Sogdian states, although never politically united, were centred on the main city of Samarkand. Sogdiana lay north of Bactria, east of Khwarezm, and southeast of Kangju between the Oxus and the Jaxartes, embracing the valley of the Zeravshan. Sogdian territory corresponds to the provinces of Samarkand and Bokhara in modern Uzbekistan as well as the Sughd province of modern Tajikistan. During the High Middle Ages, Sogdian cities included sites stretching towards Issyk Kul such as that at the site of Suyab.
Sogdian, an Eastern Iranian language, is no longer a spoken language and it was widely spoken in Central Asia as a lingua franca and even served as one of the Turkic Khaganates court languages for writing documents. Sogdians lived in Imperial China and rose to prominence in the military. Sogdian merchants and diplomats traveled as far west as the Byzantine Empire and they played an important part as middlemen in the trade route of the Silk Road. The Sogdian conversion to Islam was virtually complete by the end of the Samanid Empire in 999, coinciding with the decline of the Sogdian language, as it was largely supplanted by Persian. The restored Scythian name is *Skuda, which among the Pontic or Royal Scythians became *Skula, according to Szemerényi, Sogdiana was named from the Skuda form. This large-scale migration included Eastern Iranian speaking peoples such as the Sogdians, Achaemenid ruler Cyrus the Great conquered Sogdiana while campaigning in Central Asia in 546–539 BC, a fact mentioned by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories.
Darius I introduced the Aramaic writing system and coin currency to Central Asia, in addition to incorporating Sogdians into his army as regular soldiers. A contingent of Sogdian soldiers fought in the army of Xerxes I during his ultimately failed invasion of Greece in 480 BC. A Persian inscription from Susa claims that the palace there was adorned with lapis lazuli, given the absence of any named satraps for Sogdiana in historical records, modern scholarship has concluded that Sogdiana was governed from the satrapy of nearby Bactria. The satraps were often relatives of the ruling Persian kings, especially sons who were not designated as the heir apparent, Sogdiana likely remained under Persian control until roughly 400 BC, during the reign of Artaxerxes II. Rebellious states of the Persian Empire took advantage of the weak Artaxerxes II, persias massive loss of Central Asian territory is widely attributed to the rulers lack of control. However, unlike Egypt, which was recaptured by the Persian Empire
Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to the Buddha. Buddhism originated in India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars and Mahayana. Buddhism is the worlds fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. In Theravada the ultimate goal is the attainment of the state of Nirvana, achieved by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering. Theravada has a following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism, rather than Nirvana, Mahayana instead aspires to Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings reach awakening.
Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a branch or merely a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practiced in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Tibetan Buddhism aspires to Buddhahood or rainbow body. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of Buddha, the details of Buddhas life are mentioned in many early Buddhist texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother queen Maya, and he was born in Lumbini gardens. Some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, Buddha was moved by the innate suffering of humanity. He meditated on this alone for a period of time, in various ways including asceticism, on the nature of suffering. He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in Gangetic plains region of South Asia.
He reached enlightenment, discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, as an enlightened being, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his teaching the Dharma he had discovered. Dukkha is a concept of Buddhism and part of its Four Noble Truths doctrine. It can be translated as incapable of satisfying, the unsatisfactory nature, the Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism, we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, which is dukkha, incapable of satisfying and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the cycle of repeated rebirth, dukkha
The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa in Sri Lanka, considered a marvel for its architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. It was built by King Dutugemunu c.140 B. C. who became lord of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, was defeated and it is known as Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya, Suvarnamali Mahaceti and Rathnamali Dagaba. This is one of the Solosmasthana and the Atamasthana, the stupa is one of the worlds tallest monuments, standing at 103 m and with a circumference of 290 m. The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda in Sagaing, Myanmar is modeled after this stupa, the stupa was an ancient ruin in the 19th century. After fundraising efforts by Sinhalese bhikkhu, the stupa was renovated in the early 20th century, the Ruwanveli Seya Restoration Society was founded in 1902 and the final crowning of the stupa took place on 17 June 1940. The largest Stupa after Ruwanwelisaya was build in was the Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya and this stupa took 33 years and 3 months to complete.
King Dutugemunu began the work of building the stupa during Vesak, on the day of the month of Vesakha. Then he had mercury, resin of the wood-apple, and fine clay mixed together, had spread over the slabs of stones. He had arsenic and sesame oil mixed together, had spread over the bronze sheets. When the king had built and completed the foundation of the Great Stupa. He had Anuradhapura decorated like a city along with the terrace of the Great Stupa. The Arahant Indagutta arranged that it should thus happen, when Arahant Siddhattha saw the minister walking thus around the relic-chamber and measuring too large dimensions, he ordered him to measure moderate ones. He had eight large water pots of gold and eight of silver placed in the midst of the Great Stupa and he had, eight bricks of gold placed in eight corners and a hundred and eight bricks of silver around each of the bricks of gold. Arahant Cittasena placed a lump of fragrant resin in the east side upon the line drawn around the Great Stūpa.
It is said that, the earth, all of two hundred seventy thousand yojanas and quaked at that time and he had through his sons, placed bricks of gold in the other seven sides of the Great Stupa. Having heard it, forty thousand people became Arahants, forty thousand were established in the fruit of stream-entry, a thousand became once-returners, eighteen thousand monks and fourteen thousand nuns became Arahants. After The Buddhas Parinibbāna, His relics were enshrined and worshipped in stupas by Princes of eight countries two quarts in each country. The two quarts of relics that were enshrined in the village Rāmagāma were, according to The Buddhas determination, destined to be enshrined in the Great Stūpa Ruvanveli
The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Abbasid dynasty descended from Muhammads youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib and they ruled as caliphs, for most of their period from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after assuming authority over the Muslim empire from the Umayyads in 750 CE. The Abbasid caliphate first centered its government in Kufa, but in 762 the caliph Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad, the political power of the caliphs largely ended with the rise of the Buyids and the Seljuq Turks. Although Abbasid leadership over the vast Islamic empire was reduced to a ceremonial religious function. The capital city of Baghdad became a center of science, culture and this period of cultural fruition ended in 1258 with the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan. The Abbasid line of rulers, and Muslim culture in general, though lacking in political power, the dynasty continued to claim authority in religious matters until after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt.
The Abbasid caliphs were Arabs descended from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, one of the youngest uncles of Muhammad, the Abbasids claimed to be the true successors of Prophet Muhammad in replacing the Umayyad descendants of Banu Umayya by virtue of their closer bloodline to Muhammad. The Abbasids distinguished themselves from the Umayyads by attacking their moral character, according to Ira Lapidus, The Abbasid revolt was supported largely by Arabs, mainly the aggrieved settlers of Marw with the addition of the Yemeni faction and their Mawali. The Abbasids appealed to non-Arab Muslims, known as mawali, Muhammad ibn Ali, a great-grandson of Abbas, began to campaign for the return of power to the family of Prophet Muhammad, the Hashimites, in Persia during the reign of Umar II. During the reign of Marwan II, this culminated in the rebellion of Ibrahim the Imam. On 9 June 747, Abu Muslim successfully initiated a revolt against Umayyad rule. Close to 10,000 soldiers were under Abu Muslims command when the hostilities began in Merv.
General Qahtaba followed the fleeing governor Nasr ibn Sayyar west defeating the Umayyads at the Battle of Nishapur, the Battle of Gorgan, after this loss, Marwan fled to Egypt, where he was subsequently assassinated. The remainder of his family, barring one male, were eliminated, immediately after their victory, As-Saffah sent his forces to Central Asia, where his forces fought against Tang expansion during the Battle of Talas. Barmakids, who were instrumental in building Baghdad, introduced the worlds first recorded paper mill in Baghdad, As-Saffah focused on putting down numerous rebellions in Syria and Mesopotamia. The Byzantines conducted raids during these early distractions, the first change the Abbasids, under Al-Mansur, made was to move the empires capital from Damascus, in Syria, to Baghdad in Iraq. Baghdad was established on the Tigris River in 762, a new position, that of the vizier, was established to delegate central authority, and even greater authority was delegated to local emirs.
During Al-Mansurs time control of Al-Andalus was lost, and the Shiites revolted and were defeated a year at the Battle of Bakhamra, the Abbasids had depended heavily on the support of Persians in their overthrow of the Umayyads
Buddhism in Central Asia
Buddhism in Central Asia refers to the forms of Buddhism that existed in Central Asia, which were historically especially prevalent along the Silk Road. The history of Buddhism in Central Asia is closely related to the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism during the first millennium of the common era, a number of Early Buddhist schools were historically prevalent throughout Central Asia. Therefore, most countries which adopted Buddhism from China, adopted the Dharmaguptaka vinaya and ordination lineage for bhikṣus, warder, in some ways in those East Asian countries, the Dharmaguptaka sect can be considered to have survived to the present. Warder further writes, It was the Dharmaguptakas who were the first Buddhists to establish themselves in Central Asia and they appear to have carried out a vast circling movement along the trade routes from Aparānta north-west into Iran and at the same time into Oḍḍiyāna. D. The Mahīśāsakas and Kāśyapīyas appear to have followed them across Asia into China, for the earlier period of Chinese Buddhism it was the Dharmaguptakas who constituted the main and most influential school, and even their Vinaya remained the basis of the discipline there.
The Kushan empire would adopt the Greek alphabet, Greco-Buddhist art forms and coinage, the first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha himself are often considered a result of the Greco-Buddhist interaction. Before this innovation, Buddhist art was aniconic, the Buddha was only represented through his symbols, probably not feeling bound by these restrictions, and because of their cult of form, the Greeks were the first to attempt a sculptural representation of the Buddha. In India as well, it was natural for the Greeks to create a single common divinity by combining the image of a Greek God-King. When King Kanishka came to power in 78 AD in Central Asia a new system of chronology was adopted, during the Kushan period, various religious systems were widespread in Central Asia. These were the cult of Mitra and Anahit, Zoroastrian pantheon the Greek pantheon. The followers of Buddhism had been banished from Iran in the 2nd - 3rd centuries and found support in Central Asia, during the archeological excavations in Khorezm and Sogd it was found out that many settlements and castles dated back to the Kushan period.
But the largest number of traces of Buddhist culture during the Kushan period was found in Tolharistan, architectural fragments dating back to the Kushan period have been found in Old Termez. Some Buddhist monuments date back to the period of the Great Kushans and they promoted both Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna scriptures. The ancient Kingdom of Khotan was one of the earliest Buddhist states in the world and its capital was located to the west of the modern city of Hotan. The inhabitants of the Kingdom of Khotan, like those of early Kashgar and Yarkand, available evidence indicates that the first Buddhist missions to Khotan were carried out by the Dharmaguptaka sect. Now all other manuscripts from Khotan, and especially all manuscripts written in Khotanese, belong to the Mahāyāna, are written in the Brāhmī script, in Khotan, there were numerous Hīnayānists who attempted to prevent it because they regarded the text as heterodox. Eventually, Zhu Shixing stayed in Khotan, but sent the manuscript to Luoyang where it was translated by a Khotanese monk named Mokṣala, in 296, the Khotanese monk Gītamitra came to Changan with another copy of the same text.
When the Chinese monk Faxian traveled through Khotan, he recorded that there was Buddhist
Bactria or Bactriana was the name of a historical region in Central Asia. Bactria was located between the Hindu Kush mountain range and the Amu Darya river, covering the region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The English name Bactria is derived from the Ancient Greek, Βακτριανή, analogous names include the Pashto and Persian, باختر, translit. Bākhtar, Uzbek, Балх, Tajik, Бохтар, Chinese, 大夏, pinyin, Dàxià and this region played a major role in Central Asian history. At certain times the political limits of Bactria stretched far beyond the frame of the Bactrian plain. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex is the modern designation for a Bronze Age culture of Central Asia. 2200–1700 BC, located in present-day eastern Turkmenistan, northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centred on the upper Amu Darya and its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi. The early Greek historian Ctesias, c.400 BC, alleged that the legendary Assyrian king Ninus had defeated a Bactrian king named Oxyartes in ca.2140 BC, or some 1000 years before the Trojan War.
Since the decipherment of cuneiform in the 19th century, according to some writers, Bactria was the homeland of Indo-Iranian tribes who moved south-west into Iran and into north-western India around 2500–2000 BC. Later, it became the province of the Persian Empire in Central Asia. It was in these regions, where the soil of the mountainous country is surrounded by the Turanian desert. After Darius III had been defeated by Alexander the Great, the satrap of Bactria, Bessus attempted to organise a resistance but was captured by other warlords. He was tortured and killed, however, in the south, beyond the Oxus, he met strong resistance. After two years of war and an insurgency campaign, Alexander managed to establish little control over Bactria. After Alexanders death, Diodorus Siculus tells us that Philip received dominion over Bactria, at the Treaty of Triparadisus, both Diodorus Siculus and Arrian agree that the satrap Stasanor gained control over Bactria. Eventually, Alexanders empire was divided up among the generals in Alexanders army, Bactria became a part of the Seleucid Empire, named after its founder, Seleucus I.
The Macedonians, especially Seleucus I and his son Antiochus I, established the Seleucid Empire, the Greek language became dominant for some time there. The paradox that Greek presence was more prominent in Bactria than in areas far closer to Greece can possibly be explained by past deportations of Greeks to Bactria
Mahayana is one of two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. The Buddhist tradition of Vajrayana is sometimes classified as a part of Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva who has accomplished this goal is called a samyaksaṃbuddha, or fully enlightened Buddha. A samyaksaṃbuddha can establish the Dharma and lead disciples to enlightenment, Mahayana Buddhists teach that enlightenment can be attained in a single lifetime, and this can be accomplished even by a layperson. The Mahāyāna tradition is the largest major tradition of Buddhism existing today, with 53. 2% of practitioners, major traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhism today include Chan Buddhism, Korean Seon, Japanese Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, and Nichiren Buddhism. It may include the Vajrayana traditions of Tiantai, Shingon Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism, according to Jan Nattier, the term Mahāyāna was originally an honorary synonym for Bodhisattvayāna — the vehicle of a bodhisattva seeking buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The term Mahāyāna was therefore formed independently at a date as a synonym for the path. The earliest Mahāyāna texts often use the term Mahāyāna as a synonym for Bodhisattvayāna, the presumed dichotomy between Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna can be deceptive, as the two terms were not actually formed in relation to one another in the same era. Among the earliest and most important references to the term Mahāyāna are those that occur in the Lotus Sūtra dating between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE. Seishi Karashima has suggested that the term first used in an earlier Gandhāri Prakrit version of the Lotus Sūtra was not the term mahāyāna, the origins of Mahāyāna are still not completely understood. The earliest Western views of Mahāyāna assumed that it existed as a school in competition with the so-called Hīnayāna schools. The earliest textual evidence of Mahāyāna comes from sūtras originating around the beginning of the common era. There is no evidence that Mahāyāna ever referred to a formal school or sect of Buddhism, but rather that it existed as a certain set of ideals.
Membership in these nikāyas, or monastic sects, continues today with the Dharmaguptaka nikāya in East Asia, Mahāyāna was never a separate rival sect of the early schools. Paul Harrison clarifies that while monastic Mahāyānists belonged to a nikāya, from Chinese monks visiting India, we now know that both Mahāyāna and non-Mahāyāna monks in India often lived in the same monasteries side by side. Those who venerate the bodhisattvas and read the Mahayana sūtras are called the Mahāyānists, much of the early extant evidence for the origins of Mahāyāna comes from early Chinese translations of Mahāyāna texts. These Mahāyāna teachings were first propagated into China by Lokakṣema, the first translator of Mahāyāna sūtras into Chinese during the 2nd century CE. Guang Xing states, Several scholars have suggested that the Prajñāpāramitā probably developed among the Mahāsāṃghikas in southern India, in the Āndhra country, warder believes that the Mahāyāna originated in the south of India and almost certainly in the Āndhra country.
They note that the ancient Buddhist sites in the lower Kṛṣṇa Valley, including Amaravati, Nāgārjunakoṇḍā and Jaggayyapeṭa can be traced to at least the third century BCE, akira Hirakawa notes the evidence suggests that many Early Mahayana scriptures originated in South India
Kingdom of Khotan
The Kingdom of Khotan was an ancient Iranic Saka Buddhist kingdom located on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. The ancient capital was originally sited to the west of modern-day Hotan at Yotkan, from the Han dynasty until at least the Tang dynasty it was known in Chinese as Yutian. This largely Buddhist kingdom existed for over a thousand years until it was conquered by the Muslim Kara-Khanid Khanate in 1006, much of the archaeological evidence of the ancient city of Khotan however had been obliterated due to centuries of treasure hunting by local people. The inhabitants of Khotan used Khotanese, an Eastern Iranian language, and Gandhari Prakrit, from the 3rd century onwards they had a visible linguistic influence on the Gāndhārī language spoken at the royal court of Khotan. The Khotanese Saka language was recognized as an official court language by the 10th century. The kingdom of Khotan was given names and transcriptions.
The ancient Chinese called Khotan Yutian written as 于窴 and other similar-sounding names such as Yudun, sometimes they used Jusadanna, derived from Indo-Iranian Gostan and Gostana, the names of the town and region around it, respectively. To the Tibetans in the seventh and eight centuries, the kingdom was called Li and the capital city Hu-ten, Hu-den, Hu-then and Yvu-then. The name as written by the locals changed over time, in about the third century AD, the people wrote Khotana in Kharoṣṭhī script. From this came Hvamna and Hvam in their latest texts, where Hvam kṣīra or the land of Khotan was the name given, Khotan became known to the west while the –t- was still unchanged, as is frequent in early New Persian. The local people used Gaustana under the influence of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, and Yūttina in the ninth century, the geographical position of the oasis was the main factor in its success and wealth. To its north is one of the most arid and desolate desert climates on the earth, the Taklamakan Desert, to the east there were few oasis beyond Niya making travel difficult, and access is only relatively easy from the west.
Khotan was irrigated from the Yurung-kàsh and Kara-kàsh rivers, which water the Tarim Basin and these two rivers produce vast quantities of water which made habitation possible in an otherwise arid climate. This therefore increased the productivity of the industry which has made Khotan famous for its cereal crops. Therefore, Khotan’s lifeline was its vicinity to the Kunlun mountain range, the kingdom of Khotan was one of the many small states found in the Tarim Basin that included Yarkand, Turfan, Kashgar and Kucha. To the west were Central Asian kingdoms of Sogdiana and Bactria. It was surrounded by neighbours, such as the Kushan Empire, Tibet. From an early period, the Tarim Basin had been inhabited by different groups of Indo-European speakers such as the Tocharians and Saka people
Buddhism was adopted in Central and Northeastern Asia from the 1st century AD, ultimately spreading to China, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Alexander founded several cities in his new territories in the areas of the Amu Darya and Bactria, and Greek settlements further extended to the Khyber Pass and the Punjab region. Following Alexanders death on June 10,323 BC, the Diadochi or Successors founded their own kingdoms in Anatolia, general Seleucus set up the Seleucid Empire, which extended as far as India. Later, the part of the Seleucid Kingdom broke away to form the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, followed by the Indo-Greek Kingdom. The interaction of Greek and Buddhist cultures operated over several centuries until it ended in the 5th century AD with the invasions of the Hephthalite Empire and the expansion of Islam. The length of the Greek presence in Central Asia and northern India provided opportunities for interaction, not only on the artistic, when Alexander invaded Bactria and Gandhara, these areas may already have been under śramanic influence, likely specifically Buddhist and Jain.
According to a legend preserved in the Pāli Canon, two merchant brothers from Kamsabhoga in Bactria and Bhallika, visited Gautama Buddha and became his disciples, the legend states that they returned home and spread the Buddhas teaching. In 326 BC, Alexander conquered the Northern region of India, King Ambhi of Taxila, known as Taxiles, surrendered his city, a notable Buddhist center, to Alexander. Alexander fought a battle against King Porus of Pauravas in the Punjab. Several philosophers, such as Pyrrho and Onesicritus, are said to have been selected by Alexander to accompany him in his eastern campaigns, during the 18 months they were in India, they were able to interact with Indian ascetics, generally described as Gymnosophists. Pyrrho returned to Greece and became the first Skeptic and the founder of the school named Pyrrhonism, the Greek biographer Diogenes Laërtius explained that Pyrrhos equanimity and detachment from the world were acquired in India. Few of his sayings are known, but they are clearly reminiscent of śramanic, possibly Buddhist, Nothing really exists.
That the best philosophy that which liberates the mind from pleasure, the Indian emperor Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya Empire, re-conquered around 322 BC the northwest Indian territory that had been lost to Alexander the Great. However, contacts were kept with his Greco-Iranian neighbours in the Seleucid Empire, emperor Seleucus I Nicator came to a marital agreement as part of a peace treaty, and several Greeks, such as the historian Megasthenes, resided at the Mauryan court. 58-60 The Greco-Bactrians maintained a strong Hellenistic culture at the door of India during the rule of the Maurya Empire in India, the Greco-Bactrians conquered parts of North India from 180 BC, whence they are known as the Indo-Greeks. They controlled various areas of the northern Indian territory until AD10, zarmanochegas was a śramana who, according to ancient historians such as Strabo, Cassius Dio and Nicolaus of Damascus traveled to Antioch and Athens while Augustus was ruling the Roman Empire. The coins of the Indo-Greek king Menander I, found from Afghanistan to central India, according to the Milinda Pañha, at the end of his reign Menander I became a Buddhist arhat, a fact echoed by Plutarch, who explains that his relics were shared and enshrined.
According to Ptolemy, Greek cities were founded by the Greco-Bactrians in northern India, Menander established his capital in Sagala one of the centers of the blossoming Buddhist culture