Indo-Greek contribution to Indian Social and Culture – 2

Art and Architecture

8.         Structural Development:

Building activities were started, several layers of constructions were found in excavations.

Use of burnt bricks for flooring and roofing was found.

Construction of brick walls were also found in the excavations.

9.         Pottery:

Characteristic of pottery was red ware both plain and polished.

Red pottery tecnic was found in Central Asia in the Kushan culture zones.

10.  Gandhara and Mathura Schools of Art

Greek and Shakas, Kushans were enthusiastic patrons of Indian art and literature.

They brought together masons and other artisans trained in different schools and countries.

It gave rise to many School of Art. The most important were Gandhara and Mathura.

Indian craftsmen came into contact with Central Asia, Greeks, Romans.

It have rise to new form of art in which Buddha image was made in Graeco-Roman style and the hair was also styled in Graeco-Roman style.

Gandhara art spread in Mathura which was the centre of indigenous art.

Mathura produced beautiful images of Buddha headless erect statue of Kanisha and of Vardhamana Mahavira flourished in Christian (early) era.

The products made of red sand stone found even outside Mathura

The Mathura Museum possess the largest collection of Kushan sculpture in India.

Buddhist caves were constructed out of rock in Maharastra.

In Andhra Pradesh, Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati are great centers of Buddhist art and stories associated with Buddha.

Some art forms were found in Bodh-Gaya, Sanchi, Bharhut of 2 century B.C.

11.  Language:

Kushans used various scripts and languages in coins, inscriptions in Greek, Kharoshti, Brahmi script also used Prakrit, Sanskrit influenced Prakrit. 

Officially recognized 3 scripts and 4 languages.

They patronized and cultivated Sanskrit.

The Junagadh inscription of Rudradaman in Kathiawar in A.D. 150 was the earliest specimen in Kavya style.

12.  Literature:

Ashvaghosha wrote Buddhacharitha – the biography of Buddha and also composed Saundarananda an example of Sanskrit kavya

Mahayana Buddhism led to composition of many avadaras (Life history and teaching) in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit which aimed to teach Mahayana Buddhism to people. Eg:  Mahavasta and Divyavadana.

13.  Theatre:

Indian theatre had Greek influence – Plan of theatre is Greek origin especially the curtain – hence known as Yavanika (Greek) Yavana.  Outdoor and indoor theatre appears in the causes of Ramgarh hill, 160 miles south of Banaras.

In 150 B.C. Patanjali refers to the presentation of certain scenes as Bali or killing of Kansa.

Bharata’s Natyasastra is an important work on dramaturgy.

Example for secular literature is Kamasutra of Vatsayana of 3 century A.D. the earliest work dealing with sex and love making.

14.  Science and Technology:

Indian astronomy and astrology profited from Greek contacts.

Terms on movement of planets appear in Sanskrit texts.

Greek term horoscope derived the horashastra means astrology in Sanskrit.

Proper shaped Greek coins replaced the punch marked coins.

Greek term drachama came to be known as drama.

Greek rulers used Brahmi script and made Indian motifs in their coins

Dogs, cattle, spices and ivory pieces exported the Greek.

15.  Medicine:

Medicine, Botany and Chemistry were dealt by Charaka and Sushruta (Indians)

Charaka samhita contains names of numerous plants, herbs from which drug was made

The process of pounding and mixing plants shows the knowledge of Indians in Chemistry.

Indian physician relied on plants, the Sanskrit term is Oshadhi as a result medicine came to be known as Aushadhi.

16.  Technology:

In the technology also Indians benefited from Central Asia.

Kanishka is seen long boots and trousers.

Introduction of stirrup by Kushans.

Making leather shoes began in their period.

Kushan Copper coins were imitations of Rome.

Kushan Gold coins were imitations of Rome.

Embassies were sent from India to the court of Roman Emperor Augustus 27-28 A.D. and to Trajan of Roman Emperor in 110-20 A.D. Working in glass also was progressing in this period.