chapter  8
31 Pages

Streams from the “West” and their Aftermath

The Indian subcontinent, from its earliest millennia, has been something of a crossroads of cultures and religions. Ideas and peoples have migrated outward, influencing Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and, in the last two centuries especially, virtually every continent. That is a story we shall explore in the final chapter. It is also apparent that many peoples and ideas came into the subcontinent in various ways becoming part of the enormously diverse landscape. Prior to the coming of any European groups, for example, there were at least a score of influences with “foreign” origins. These included a number of dynasties in the late urban period, such as the Kus.a¯n.as, S´akas, and Bactrian Greeks. It included merchants, warriors, and saints of Persian, Arabic, or Afghan origin.