Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Greek BuddhaPyrrho's Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christopher I. Beckwith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176321

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176321.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

No Differentiations

No Differentiations

The Earliest Attested Forms of Buddhism

(p.61) Chapter 2 No Differentiations
Greek Buddha

Christopher I. Beckwith

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the earliest attested forms of Buddhism. The earliest attested philosophical-religious system, which is both historically datable and clearly recognizable as a form of Buddhism is Early Pyrrhonism. Its central features correspond exactly to some of the central features of the traditional putatively “early” form of Buddhism presented in Pali canonical texts. However, the latter tradition of Buddhism also contains many elements which developed at the earliest in the Saka-Kushan period, three centuries after Pyrrho. They spread throughout the ancestors of the attested forms of Buddhism, creating Normative Buddhism. “Genuinely Early” Buddhism (or Pre-Normative Buddhism) is also attested in the travel account of the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, a Seleucid envoy sent from Alexandria in Arachosia to the court of Candragupta Maurya to negotiate a treaty that was agreed on in 305–304 BC, twenty years after Pyrrho's departure from India.

Keywords:   Buddhism, Early Pyrrhonism, Pyrrho of Elis, Normative Buddhism, Megasthenes

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.