T H E S P R E AD O F I N DIA N R E LI G IO U S B E LI E F S : A F IR S T C E N T U R Y B U R M E S E S T E L E Pamela Gutman – TAASA Review June 2013


This article was originally found in the June 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 2, Page 21).

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I ndia and Southeast Asia were connected by trade and exchange networks from the middle of the first millennium BCE through routes which either hugged the coast of the Bay of Bengal or crossed the ocean from ports in what are now Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

Important entrepĂ´ts along the Thai peninsula would, in the early centuries of our era, link with routes through the Straits of Malacca and thence to southern Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China.

Along the routes travelled not only traders but also monks, brahmans, artisans and even circuses. Of course India was not a unified country but home to a number of mature states and chiefdoms which would develop into states...