Politics or Religion?
Buddha Tragedy of 2001
The Bamiyan Buddhas stood
in a valley that has seen great changes through the centuries.
its most vibrant periods was also one of its earliest. During the
ancient period, this region served as an important point along
the Silk Road
which created a place where cultures mixed and influences were
highly varied. These influences included China, ancient Rome, and
area was mostly home to the Buddhist religion though. The religion
was born in the approximate area and flourished in the Gandharan
region, which includes the Bamiyan valley. This area hit a peak
Chandragupta Maurya and even furthered its power and wealth during
the rule of Ashoka, who was not only a great ruler but also a practitioner
Buddhist monasteries were
not the most usual of structures in this era,
around the 5th Century CE. Monks would usually live in carved out
caves or grottoes that were connected to or near chaityas, which
were sanctuaries also carved out of the living rock. The Bamiyan
valley is full of these caves and inside them many pieces and works
can be found. Most frequently statues were created or paintings
done on the wall, almost all devotional in nature. The colossal
Buddhas were extraordinary examples of this artistry on a scale
that went unsurpassed in the history of Buddhist art.
style in which the Buddhas in the Bamiyan valley
were created was a mix of the prevailing styles of artistry
in the area. The main
influence was the Gandharan style of Buddha sculpture.
As the examples here show, emphasis was placed strongly
a garment takes on the human form. Other influences
that were incorporated into the creation of the Bamiyan
those of classical Greek and Roman sculpture. This
region is even known for a specific style of art called
art. These influences came from the Silk
Road and also the invasions of Alexander the Great
in the 4th
Century BCE. The Greco-Buddhist style grew over a
vast time period and during ever-changing political climates.
Buddhas were created at the end of this time period
during the Kushan empire, known for its further blending
Website created by Beth Hankes for World Politics 116 at Mount Holyoke College.