Notes from a fascinating world.
The world is like a bazaar, full of interesting odds and ends, and I've been exiled into it. This is my all-over-the-map (literally and metaphorically) attempt at capturing some of the world's many wonders.
And consider this: The Gandharan school gave rise to all Buddhist sculptural art throughout Asia as the religion spread outside of India. So from Bangkok to Beijing, from Colombo to Kyoto, all Buddhist sculptures ultimately owe their origins to Alexander and his Macedonians. Check out, for example, how the Greek Herakles/Hercules morphed into a Japanese Vajrapani or Guardian of the Buddha, or how the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas, metamorphosed via China’s Xinjiang (Turkestan) into the Japanese wind god Fujin.
Iconographical evolution from the Greek god Herakles to the Japanese god Shukongōshin. From left to right: 1) Herakles (Louvre Museum). 2) Herakles on coin of Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius I. 3) Vajrapani, the protector of the Buddha, depicted as Herakles in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara. 4) Shukongōshin, manifestation of Vajrapani, as protector deity of Buddhist temples in Japan. Wikimedia Commons.
Writer, traveler, lawyer, dilettante. Failed student of physics. Not altogether distinguished graduate of two Ivy League institutions. Immigrant twice over. "The grand tour is just the inspired man's way of getting home."