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The Buddhas of Bamiyan (Wonders of the World (Harvard University Press)) [Hardcover]

Llewelyn Morgan

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The Buddhas of Bamiyan The Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, carved in the sixth century AD, represented two aspects of the Buddha, universal and historical. In March 2001 the Taleban destroyed them. This title about the Buddhas is also about Bamiyan, a place that occupies one of the most strategic positions on earth and is also stunningly beautiful. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and readable 9 Oct 2012
By Verre - Published on Amazon.com
I've been waiting for years for a book like this to come out, so I was delighted to come across it. It definitely met my expectations. It was informative and well-researched, yet eminently readable. I'd recommend it for readers interested in Buddhist art, nineteenth-century Orientalism, or contemporary politics in Afghanistan.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful cultural/historical account 14 Nov 2013
By Prof. Christof Koch - Published on Amazon.com
Wonderful cultural/historical account of the
two colossal standing figures of Buddha in the Hindu Kush - along the
Silk Road - in Afghanistan. These monumental statues, 53 and 35 meters
high, were hewn directly from sandstone cliffs in the 6. century CE
and covered with stucco. Admired and written about by Chinese,
Indian, Islamist and European travelers throughout the centuries, both
statues were dynamites by the zelot Taliban in 2001. The author does
an outstanding job of analyzing the reception of travellers from many
distinct cultures to these statues - the biggest in the world -
spending a lot of time on the French and the British spies, soldiers
and classicists (often the same) around the time of the first
Anglo-Afghan war in 1840 and their misguided search for roots of
Alexander the Great ("Europe's favorite psychopath'' in the author's
memorable phrase). Ironically, the two empty shells left in the
cliffside following their wanton destruction are, in some sense, more
authentic Buddhist monuments than any physical statues.
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