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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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Central Asian Contact and Mutual Impact

Central Asian Contact and Mutual Impact

(p.190) 20 Central Asian Contact and Mutual Impact
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

The political aspects of Indo-Greeks, Shakas, Parthians, Kushans and Indo-Sassanians are described. The Shaka-Kushan phase saw a distinct advance in building activities. The Shakas and Kushans introduced better cavalry and the use of the riding horse on a large scale. They also popularized the use of reins and saddles. The Kushans were the first rulers in India to issue gold coins on a wide scale. They also encouraged agriculture. Several rulers adopted Vaishnavism and Buddhism. The origin of Mahayana Buddhism is also discussed. The effect of Gandhara art spread to Mathura, which was primarily a centre of indigenous art. Indian astronomy and astrology gained from contact with the Greeks. The Indians did not owe anything striking to the Greek medicine, botany, and chemistry. In the field of technology too, the Indians appear to have benefited from the contact with the Central Asians.

Keywords:   Shakas, Kushans, Indo-Greeks, cavalry, gold coins, Mahayana Buddhism, Gandhara art, Mathura, Central Asians

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