The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The temple of Xanadu

Via Saraceni in Archaeology News, the Fugan Temple has been found, in Shangdu. Buddhist, dating to the Eastern Jin, roughly corresponding to the fourth century AD.

My "exotic" maternal ancestors in M33c surely attended this temple. Those who hold to the "racial memory" trope might take that as one explanation for Jewish apostasy to Buddhism - these would be Ashkenazi women.

For everyone else, this opens the question of by which route Buddhism entered China. My ancestors probably came up around the Himalayas through Southeast Asia (up to now I haven't yet considered, how). But also heavily Buddhist was the Central Asian "Silk Road", arriving thereby alongside other religions by that point para-Buddhist like the Manichees and the Nestorian monks.

Anyway I looked this up and, yes, the Chinese are aware of the two roads. The mainline Han of northern China trace their Buddhism to the Silk Road.

My ancestors' ingress from foothill India to China is called the Chama. Or at least, it's called that as of the Nanzhao kingdom in Yunnan, which arose during the Tang decline in the eighth century AD - in fact, taking Shangdu and our temple for some decades in the ninth. I don't think my ancestors in Szechuan and Hunan had much to do with Nanzhao, on their way out. On the way in, the Fugan Temple interests me, because it predates the Nanzhao and the Tang. This implies that the Chama Road was already a well-traveled road for the Eastern Jin.

posted by Zimri on 11:35 | link | 0 comments

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