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Cosmopolitanism of the Kushan Regime


Xinru Liu
2005-03-24 06:15:44 阅读
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The Yuezhi People

 

 

The Kushans built one of the most intriguing political power in world history.  Contemporary to the Roman Empire and the Han Empire, across millenniums around the Common Era, this regime lasted more than three hundred years counting from its dominance at Bactria around the beginning of the first century BCE to the its submission to the Sassanian Empire in the third century CE.   At the apex of imperial expansion, the Kushan Empire encompassed a large territory from Central Asia to South Asia.   Yet the Kushan regime was probably among the least understood ancient empires in world history.  Scholars who study various aspects of the Kushan culture have encountered many insurmountable difficulties to set up a historical frame, chronologically and geographically, for the empire.  When arriving at Bactria from the steppe, the nomadic Yuezhi people who later established the Kushan regime had not developed a written language to record their history yet.  When ruling a large agricultural empire, the Kushans managed to hold many different peoples with different languages, religions, and cultures under its power for several centuries, but never established a unified official language to record its history.  Though the multiple cultures under the Kushan Empire make the study of Kushan history difficult, this very cosmopolitanism of the regime should invite more discussions and interpretations of the political experiment by a people from the steppe.

 

The Origin of the Kushans

          The Kushans who built the Kushan Empire were not indigenous to Afghanistan.  The Kushana was one branch of the Yuezhi people who migrated from Central Asia.  The Yuezhi people, like many other nomads lived in Central Asia, once formed a formidable steppe state but migrated westward after being defeated by a more powerful nomadic group, the Xiongnu.  According to Chinese historian Sima Qian, there were 100,000 to 200,000 horse-riding archers, or fighters, in the Yuezhi tribe during the second century BCE.[1] Yet they were overpowered by the Xiongnu confederacy, which boasted about more than 300,000 horse-riding archers.[2]  Though defeated, a branch of the Yuezhi, probably a major branch, invaded then sedentary agricultural society in Afghanistan and became rulers there. 

Nomadic peoples who resided on the border of agricultural China often maintained hostile relationship with China as they frequently made incursions to farm lands to loot agricultural products.  The Yuezhi people, on the contrary, were known to Chinese as skillful traders from antiquity. The Yuezhi was first known to Chinese as the supplier of jade in the first millennium BCE. Ancient economist Guan Zhong (c. d. 645 BCE) referred to the name of Yuzhi or Niuzhi as a people who sold jade to Chinese.[3]  Ancient Chinese rulers and nobles were very fond of  jade, but jade often had to come from faraway places. The jade artifacts, more than 750 pieces, excavated from the tomb of Fuhao of the Shang Dynasty were made from rough jade from Khotan in modern Xinjiang.[4]  The Shang kings did not have direct access to the jade of Khotan.  The Yuezhi people, during the time as early as the mid-first millennium BCE, probably did.  Wherever the source of the jade of that time, the Yuezhi people were agents of jade trade, and their consumers were rulers of agricultural China.

The Yuezhi was the major supplier of horses during the third century BCE, when Xiongnu became a real threat to the border of the Chinese empire.  In dealing with the incursion of the horse riding nomads from the north, mainly the Xiongnu, cavalry was most important.  Securing the supply of horses was a great concern of the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty.  Good horses, however, must have come from the steppe where the vast grassland provides the environment for breeding and training.  Chinese agricultural societies who needed horses and other draft animals had to obtain them from the pastoral peoples.  During the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE), the conflicts with the Xiongnu who caused the great endeavor of building the Great Wall created demand rather the supply for horses.  The Yuezhi tribe, which was still powerful on the steppe and kept a friendly trading relationship with Chinese rulers, was naturally the provider for horses.  According to Sima Qian, a chief named Lou of the “Wuzhi” was the major horse supplier of the First Emperor.  “Wuzhi” was another variation of Yuezhi in archaic Chinese.  The chief traded horses and cattle for silks then resold silks to other chiefs of the steppe.  It was said that Lou made ten times profit out of his principle in this trade and became very rich.  The First Emperor was so pleased with his services that granted him a very high status that he could join ministers in the court for the emperor’s audience.[5]

          If Sima Qian’s record is reliable, we may consider the Yuezhi as the very people who initiated the Silk Road trade.  While redistributing silks to tribes on the steppe, they stimulated the silk-horse transactions as well as the fame of silk products--yarn, floss and textiles--from China around the third century BCE.  Meanwhile, the Yuezhi sold so many horses to China for silk, the reputation of their horses spread to sedentary societies.

          The fame of Yuezhi horses was not limited in China but spread to the entire Central Asia.  A Sogdhian writer from the third century CE once said in his geographical book that while China was famous for its numerous people, and Rome was famous for its numerous treasures, the Yuezhi was famous for its numerous horses.[6]  This reputation of the Yuezhi probably prompted the Emperor of the Han Dynasty, Han Wudi, sent Zhang Qian to the west to seek the alliance with Yuezhi in the warfare against the Xiongnu.  When the Xiongnu made Chinese pay them silks, food grains and other products of agricultural societies, the Han court heard the news of the animosity between the Xiongnu and the Yuezhi.  Meanwhile, remembering the more friendly transactions between the Yuezhi and Chinese, the Han emperor naturally assumed that the Yuezhi should be his ally against the Xiongnu.  Zhang Qian could not convince the Yuezhi, who already settled at the fertile bank of the Oxus, to fight with the Xiongnu again.  But the Han China finally found the Yuezhi who lost from the sight for several decades and resumed the exchanges of goods.

          The Yuezhi and China continuously exchanged information and goods after the failed mission of Zhang Qian.  At a newly discovered site of a border fortress near Dunhuang, archaeologists found a document recording supply of food to the envoys of the Yuezhi. [7] The document (DQ. C:39) was dated around the later first century BCE, when China was under the Former Han empire, and the Kushan was already a powerful sedentary state around north Afghanistan.  A wood slip of Chinese inscriptions from the Niya site in Chinese Central Asia, dated to the Former Han, also reveal that the communications between the Yuezhi and the Han court continued.  The Chinese inscriptions on the wood slip state that the king of Dawan was helping an envoy from the Great Yuezhi to write this letter.  Some of the characters are illegible, but the remain characters inform us that the Great Yuezhi wanted to receive an ambassador from the Han court, and complained that they were harassed by (the Xiongnu?). [8]

          Those communications took place before the Yuezhi -Kushans invaded north India and established the vast empire, but already settled at north Afghanistan.  That they continued to correspond with the Han court, but refused to be involved in the military conflicts with the Xiongnu as requested by the Han, was to continue the trading relationship.  Meanwhile, the Han rulers had been watching the politics of Central Asia and the progress of settlement of the Yuezhi kingdom.  They knew that after the Yuezhi conquered Daxia, the region was controlled by five “Xihou,” or principals.  The Kushans, one of them, unified the five parts into a single kingdom, which developed into a powerful and affluent empire.  The rulers of this kingdom called themselves “Kushana” now.  But Chinese writers and travelers, according the History of the Later Han, continued to call them the “Yuezhi” in the traditional way.[9]  The place name Daxia probably was a Chinese transliteration of Tuharan, the name of an Indo-European language or the people who spoke the language.  The Yuezhi-Kushan people were Tuharan speakers, but might not be the only Tuharan speakers of the time.  This region, i.e., north Afghanistan and part of Uzebekistan, was called Bactria by Greeks, as one of the Hellenistic regimes after Alexander’s invasion.  That the Hellenistic Bactria changed to Daxia even before the Kushan crossed the Oxus River indicates the possibility that Tuharans were already there before the conquest of the Yuezhi. While the headquaters of the Yuezhi migrated to Daxia, many former subjects or members remained along the routes, living in various colonies.  Those who stayed in their homeland of the Tianshan foothills called themselves the Little Yuezhi.  The migrations of branching out of the Yuezhi tribes left many place names which echoed the sound of Tuharan along the Central Asian routes.  Meanwhile, encounters with other groups, whether friendly or hostile, might have recruited new members to the fold of the Yuezhi.  The encounters between the Yuezhi and the Xiongnu, the Yuezhi and the Wusun, another nomadic group, might have changed ethnic elements of the Yuezhi people.  Therefore when the Yuezhi people arrived at Daxia and created the Kushan regime, they were not necessarily a homogenous ethnic group but a people represented various cultures from the Central Asian steppe.

 

 

The Kushan Empire

          The Yuezhi-Kushan, proud, affluent horse riding people skillful in both fighting and trading, established a powerful regime in north Afghanistan.  There were 100,000 soldiers among the population of 400,000 in total.[10]  However, the land they just conquered had a much larger population with a high civilization.  Whether the Daxia before the conquest of the Yuezhi-Kushans was already ruled by other Tuharan speakers or still by Greeks, the country South of the Oxus was a sedentary agricultural country.  There were walled cities and houses.  Yet, similar to Greece, there was no one great sovereign for the entire country.  Instead cities often had their own chiefs.  The population of Daxia was very large, might be more than one million. [11] Therefore, the encounter of the Kushans and the Bactrian-Daxia was not an event of a handful warlike nomads descending on an agricultural society, but a meeting of two substantial populations of different high cultures.

          Before the arrival of the Tuharans, north Afghanistan kept frequent contacts with West Asia and the Mediterranean.  Though this region was once under the rule of Achaemenid Persia, when the Yuezhi-Kushan arrived in the second century BCE, the dominant cultural influence was probably Hellenistic.  Actually, Hellenistic influence stretched to a much larger area than Bactria-- south down to Gandharan region in modern Pakistan and east to Samarkand in modern Uzbekistan.  The beautiful city goddess[12] excavated from Charsada, the site of ancient Purushapura, one of the Kushan capitals near modern Peshawa in Pakistan, demonstrates that Hellenistic influence persisted even under the Kushan rule.  Not only the artistic style of the sculpture but also the city-wall crown of the goddess, the symbol of the patron deity of a city, provide evidences of Hellenistic nature of the city.  Excavations at Ai-Khanoum, the site on the southern side of the Amu Darya or the Oxus River in Greek, demonstrate a comprehensive picture of Greek life--a theater, a gymnasium, temples, and a palace.  The palace was not only the residence of the ruler, but also the administration center and treasuries.[13]  The very presence of a palace meant the city was the capital of a sovereign state.  According to the Chinese records of the political structure of the region, this should be one of the many city-states in Daxia.  

The entrance of Tuharan speaking people to the Hellenistic region created a special combination of urban life, viticulture and equestrian culture.  There is no record about the actual process of the conquests of Bactria by the Yuezhi or other Tuharans. In spite of the destruction caused by invasions, as in the case of Ai Khanoum, some Greek cities might have remained for quite a long time and Greek architecture might have continued to function under the Kushans, according to a Chinese sources:

 

The Great Yuezhi is located about seven thousand li north to India.  Their land is at a high altitude; the climate is dry; the region is remote.  The king of the state calls himself the “son of the heaven.” Riding horses in that country are always as numerous as some hundred thousands.  City layouts and Palaces are quite similar to those of the Romans (Da Qin).  Skin color of people there is reddish white.  People are skillful at horse archery.  Local products, rarities, treasures, clothing and upholstery are very good, even India cannot compare with it. [14]

 

          Although it is difficult to verify the sources of this record about the Kushans as the quoted book is perhaps lost,[15]  this picture looks very much like a former Hellenistic country ruled by horse riding Kushans.  The climate and location look like north Afghanistan; kings of the Kushans did call themselves “devaputra, meaning “son of heaven” or “son of god.” The Kushans owned numerous good horses and kept nomadic skills and cultures.  Yet they ruled a country with quite a population of Greeks and other immigrants from the Mediterranean that it is possible that architecture of the country kept the Greco-Roman style which looked similar to the Roman style in Chinese eyes, and that people looked fairer than Indians to the south and some other Central Asian population to the east. 

East of the Kushan kingdom, the powerful state of Dawan in modern Ferghana was also a land of cities, agriculture and good horses.  There were seventy cities populated by several hundred thousands people in the second century BCE.[16]  According to the History of the Former Han, people in Dawan shared similar custom and style with the Yuezhi.  Furthermore, Dawan was famous for its grape wine and horses.  “Rich households stored more than ten thousands shi (barrel?) of grape wine which would not deteriorate for several decades.”[17]  It seems that viticulture was well developed there.  Grape wine was a symbol of Hellenistic influence.  Ferghana might have experienced Hellenization before Tuharan speakers took over.  The name Dawan was also a variation of Tuharan.  The horses of Dawan were so famous that Wudi sent two major military expeditions to defeat the king and obtained the horses. 

Now the Yuezhi lived in Daxia, further from China than Dawan.  Their major trading item with the Han probably was no longer horses as used to be.  They controlled resources not only of Central Asia, but also those from South Asia and even the Mediterranean. Excavations at Tillya-tepe, a site in modern Afghanistan dated around the first century BCE to the first century CE, revealed tombs of Kushan royal members fabulously rich with burial goods.[18]  The excavated six tombs probably buried princes and princesses of the Yuezhi-Kushan. Most of the buried items are in gold.  The more than 20,000 gold pieces include vessels, plates, buckles, and small decorative pieces of clothing.  Artistic expressions of the tomb items show that the new rulers of Bactria quickly accepted art works and styles of neighboring sedentary peoples while maintaining customs from the steppe.  While a bronze mirror was obviously Chinese[19] and some ivory carvings were obvious Indian, [20] most golden art works show either steppe animal design or the Bactrian Hellenistic influence.

          The rule in Afghanistan and later on in South Asia facilitated further transformation of the Kushans.  After the Kushan army crossed the Hindu Kush and occupied north Indian plain, their territory included parts of both Central Asia and South Asia, thus controlled the crucial sector of the Silk Road, and benefited tremendously from the trade traffic.  The excavation at Begram, the site of the ancient city Kapisa, revealed an even more divers variety of wealth.  Begram, not far from modern Kabul city, was probably a summer palace of the Kushan Empire after the court moved into India.  The palace treasury with 150 years occupation from the first century CE held artistic works from the Mediterranean, South Asia and East Asia.[21]  The trading skill of Yuezhi-Kushan people since the days of their wandering on the steppe had now been well paid.

          In addition to horses, wine was a symbol of high culture under the early Kushan regime. When selling Chinese silk, Indian precious stones, Himalaya fragrances and other rarities to Roman traders, Kushans imported wine from the Mediterranean.  Shards of amphora with residue of wine have been found at sites associated with Roman trade.  Supply to the Kushan territory mostly came through Red Sea trade of the Roman Empire. The manual of navigation on the Red Sea by Periplus recorded Roman marketing wine to the port of Baryagaza, a port on the mouth of the Indus River, and Barbaricum, a port in the Gulf of Cambay.[22]  Amphora shards have been found at the Saka-Parthian level of Sirkap, the second site of Taxila, and under the level of the Red Polished Ware, and Ksatrapa coins at Elephanta, an island of shore of Bambay.[23]  The Mediterranean Grape wine, used to be the major export of Greek states, now in the hands of Roman traders.  But it was the Greeks who brought viticulture and the taste for grape wine to all their colonies a few centuries ago created the market in India, at least in the northwest region.

          While Tuharans or Yuezhi-Kushans accepted wine drinking as a high culture, the Bactrians and Indians accepted horse riding as a high culture.  There are numerous bacchanalian scenes appearing on Gandharan Buddhist artworks.  It is difficult to understand why that Buddhism as a religion denouncing desires for material things could tolerate, or admire, the joy of  intoxication.  Leaving aside the theological interpretations of the drinking scenes, the background of a prosperous viticulture and prestige associated with wine drinking may be helpful in understanding this topic of Buddhist art.  That the nomadic Yuezhi who transformed into the Kushans happened to choose the routes passing Hellenistic countries to enter South Asia did enriched their cultures from that direction.

Persian cultural influence also presented in Bactria.  Though the Achaemenid rule in Daxia finished by the invasion of Alexander, Persian religious traditions survived or even flourished under the Hellenistic period.  In the typical Hellenistic site of Ai Khanoum, while the official deities on coins were Greek, all three temples in the vicinity were not for Greek gods but perhaps altars for fire worship. [24] Greek religion was not monotheist thus Hellenistic cities might have tolerated other deities in their pantheon while maintaining Greek art style.  Therefore, when the Yuezhi-Kushan or other nomadic people came in, Zoroastrian cult did not disappear in Hellenistic Bactria.  The Kushans were very willing to embrace cults and religious practices of the conquered peoples.  Religious tolerance and diversity of the region itself also made the Kushans adopt various cults available to them.

 

Religions under the Kushans

          The Kushan Empire is famous for the abundant religious art works, especially sculptures.  Even sculptures of kings and princes were found in religious settings.  Thus one may say that the dynastic art was a part of religious art.  Meanwhile, religious cults appeared on the coins—the dynastic symbol—to indicate religious devotion of a particular king.  A variety of gods and cults were documented on Kushan coins - the Sumerian goddess Nana on her lion, Persian gods Oado and Atash, Indian cults of Buddha and Shiva.  Zoroastrian fire worship left many remains.  When the Kushans entered South Asia, they encountered both Brahmanism and Buddhism, and cults of both religions appeared on Kushan coins. 

Among the various religious art works, Buddhist art, both Gandharan school and Mathuran school, achieved highest level under the Kushans.  Hellenistic impact of the Gandharan Buddhist art is well known.[25]  However, the art works, and the Buddhist institutions that managed the execution of the works, developed mostly under the patronage of the Kushans who came from the steppe.

          It seems the rulers from the steppe did not hold any particular religion as their state religion.  Various rulers favored different cults as shown on the coins of the patron rulers.  Yet religious institutions performed a crucial function under the Kushan rule.  The Kushan rulers patronized religious cults to claim their legitimacy of ruling the conquered sedentary societies - the Central Asian territory influenced by Persian religions, the Hellenistic Bactria, and Brahmanical and Buddhist South Asia. The foremost source of their legitimacy was no doubt the claim of divinity of their kingship.  Rulers of Kushans called themselves the “Son of the God” or the “Son the Heaven.”  Its translation in Chinese was the same as the appellation of a Chinese emperor, which caused speculations about Yuezhi-Kushan’s relationship with Chinese.  However, worship of the heaven has prevailed in many tribes on the steppe.  Kushans probably, just like other tribes, claim the legitimacy of the chief from the divinity of the heaven.  While the faith of the divine origin of their kingship was never shaking, the Kushan rulers might have changed the name of their divine father.  The family temple ( devakula in Sanskrit) of the Kushan royal family was where patron deity or deities of the Kushans should be worshipped. 

Two devakulas so far discovered, one at Surkh Kotal in South Bactria (Afghanistan) and another one at Mat near Mathura in north India.  The devakulas contained sculptures of Kushan rulers Kanishka and others.  The statues of Kanishka from Mat and Surkh Kotal are very similar. The temple at Surkh Kotal was built by Kanishka, as testified by an inscription (sk 4).  Two other statues have not been identified, but one inscription (sk2) refers to an earlier king Vima Kadphises.[26] Among the statues from Mat, there were probably a statue of Vima Kadphises and one of Huvishka, a king later than Kanishka, so that the two devakulas might have existed in the same time frame.  No detail of architecture is available from the excavations of Mat. The temple at Surkh Kotal is Bactrian Hellenistic in style.[27] Six of the seven inscriptions are written with Greek letters but a local Prakrit dialogue.[28] The inscriptions from Mat were in Karoshthi script and Prakrit language of Mathura region. With the statues of Kushan rulers in the temples, the question is whether they were objects of worship or rather represented the patrons of the temple, which was a common religious practice in Central Asia and South Asia.  Based on the excavations, Fussman argued that the deities were worshiped in the Surkh Kotal temple were not the Kushan rulers themselves.  The temples were called devakula because they serve the Kushan royal family.[29] A more recently discovered inscription of the Kushan ruler Kanishka may shed lights on the function of devakula.  The inscription was found at Rabatak, not far from Surkh Kotal.  It was about building a temple, housing both deities and kings. The deities in this case were two Zoroastrian gods, Sroshard and Narasa, and the kings were the three ancestors and Kanishka himself. [30] The presence of statues of Kushan rulers in the temple stresses the close relationship between the deities, whoever they were, and the ruling clan.

Though there was not an official state religion, Buddhism was no doubt the dominant one and received greatest patronage from the Kushan rulers.  Several Buddhist monasteries were named after Kushan rulers, such as “Kanishka’s monastery”, “Huvishka’s Monastery” etc. [31] Kushan rulers were famous for their patronage of Buddhism not only India.  Buddhist literature eulogized Kanishka as a royal patron second to the Mauryan king Ashoka. Though the legend of Kanishka sponsored the fourth conference of the Buddhist sangha could not be verified by royal inscriptions, Buddhism and Buddhist art flourished under the Kushan regime demonstrates the popularity of the religion.  The Gandharan Buddhist art is heavily Hellenistic and Roman in style, but one should not neglect the impact of nomadic culture. Statues of the Buddha in Kushan times often stand with two feet pointing outside, a typical posture of horse-riding people.  The well-known Kushan coin of Kanishka from the reliquary deposit of the stupa of Ahin-Posh near Jalalabad is an example. The image of Buddha on the obverse face is a typical nomadic Buddha.  Numerous votive inscriptions under the Kushan regime often name Kushan rulers as beneficiaries of the merits from the donation.  Under the Kushan rule the center of Buddhist activities moved from the mid and lower Ganges plain to the northwest region of South Asian subcontinent.  The legend of the begging bowl of the Buddha and numerous other objects attracting pilgrims appeared in the northwest during the Kushan period.  The Kushans brought fortune to northwest region of South Asia, not only through trade, but also by promoting religious activities.

The Kushan Empire was also responsible for the spread of Buddhism to China.  It was also under the Kushan period Buddhist preachers with the surname “Zhi” appeared in Luoyang and other major cities of China.  The images of the Buddha and Buddhist patrons, with strong Bactrian-nomadic Kushan flavor, were executed on boulders at Kongwangshan on the east coast of China around the end of the second century CE. [32]  The connections to the steppe people, and the tolerance and patronage of multiple religions made the Kushan Empire the most efficient agent of propagating Buddhism.

 

Cosmopolitanism of the Kushan Regime

          While the modern world of sedentary societies often look down upon nomads as inferior, a nomadic people some two thousand years ago not only indulged themselves in the high cultures of silk, wine, fragrances and other exotics from the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Persians and Indians, but also imposed the equestrian culture, the high culture from the steppe, to the sedentary societies under their rule.  It is worthwhile to ponder how the Kushans could reach the political cohesion that made the cultural achievements under their regime possible. The Kushan period left little records of the administration of the empire but numerous religious inscriptions.  Those inscriptions recorded donations and patronage of religious institutions -Buddhism, Brahmanism, Jainism etc. - by the Kushan rulers and nobles, and more often, by their subjects.  Whether voluntarily or obligatory, the donors and patrons of the ruled society referred the dates of the reigns and offered to share the religious merits gained from the donations with the rulers.  As little as we know, there is no evidence of religious conflicts or rebellions against the rulers. In stead, there are abundant evidences of religious prosperity and expansion, of flourishing commerce and urban life.  One may speculate that Kushan subjects did attribute some of their fortune to the rulers who ruled with a cosmopolitan vision.



[1]Sima Qian, Shiji [the History], Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1959, 123/3161.

[2] Sima Qian 1959, 110/2890.

[3] Guan Zhong, Guanzi, eds Wu Wentao & Zhang Shanliang, (Beijing 1995), 476, 503, 507, 512, 531.

[4]  Lin Meicun, The Serindian Civilization—New studies on archaeology, ethnology, languages and religions. (Beijing 1995), 6.

[5] Sima Qian 1959, “Chapter on Trade and Traders,” 129/3260.

[6] This saying was quoted by a Tang Chinese scholar in annotating the History by Sima Qian. Sima Qian 1959, 123/3162.

[7] Lin Meicun, The Western Regions of the Han-Tang Dynasties and the Chinese Civilization, Beijing, Wenwu Chubanshe, 1998, 256.

[8] Lin Meicun 1998, 258.

[9]  Fan Ye, Hou Hanshu [History of the Later Han], Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju, 1965, 88/2921.

[10] Ban Gu 1962,  96a/3890.

[11] ,Sima Qian 1959, 123/3164.

[12]  See plate XXXII, Basham, The Wonder that Was India, New York: Grove Press, 1954.

[13] Paul Bernard, “An Ancient Greek City in Central Asia,” Scientific American, vol. 246, no. 1, 1982.

[14] Sima Qian 1959, 123/3162. This is a later source from the Tang scholar who annotated the History by Sima Qian.  He quoted an earlier text when editing the book to add more information about the country.

[15]  The book entitled Nanzhouzhi, literally the history of southern states, authored by Wan Zhen, was available to Zhang Shoujie, the Tang scholar who annotated the History by Sima Qian.   It was listed in the bibliographies of the Tang History with the title of Nanzhou Yiwuzhi , meaning “history of exotic things in the south states.” However, it did not appeared in bibliographies of later official histories.

[16] Sima Qian 1959, 123/3160.

[17]Ban Gu 1962, 96a/3894.

[18] V. I.  Sarianidi,”The Treasure of Golden Hill,”  American Journal of Archaeology, 84, no. 2 ,1980,125-132, plates 17-21.

[19] Victor Sarianidi, The Golden Hoard of Bactria, New York  and Leningrad 1985, plate 203, catalog no. 2.34.

[20] Sarianidi 1985, plate 200, catalog no.3.56.

[21] Motimer R.E. Wheeler, Rome Beyond the Imperial Frontiers, London 1954, 163.

[22] Schoff, Wilfred ed. Trans. The Peripuls of the Erythraean Sea, reprint New Delhi 1974, 39, 49.

[23] A.Ghosh, An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology, New Delhi, 1989, vol. 1, 258, 297.

[24] Paul Bernard “An Ancient Greek City in Central Asia,” 158-159.

[25] There had been, however, a debate of the iconographic origin of the Gandharan Buddhist art.  A summary of the discussion is provided by W. Zwalf, A Catalogue of Gandhara Sculptures in the British Museum, British Museum Press, 1996, vol. 1, 41.

[26] Gerard Fussman “The Mat devakula: A New Approach to its Understanding,” in Doris Meth Srinivasan ed. Mathura: The Cultural Heritage, New Delhi, 1989, 196.

[27]ibid.

[28] ibid.

[29] Gerard Fussman “The Mat devakula: A New Approach to its Understanding,”  199.

[30] M. Nicholas Sims-Williams, “Nouveaux documents sur L’histoire et la langue de la Bactriane,” 635-37, Academie des Inscriptions & Belles-Lettres, Comptes Rendus, 1996, Avril- Juin, pp.633-49.

[31] Xinru Liu Ancient India and Ancient China, Trade and Religious Exchanges, CE 1-600, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1988, 110.

[32] Wenwu Correspondent, “A Symposium on Stone Statues in Mt. Kongwangshan Held in Beijing,” Wenwu, 1981, vii, 20.

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