Kushan History Kushan History

Women and Religion


The subject of women is poorly represented in Kushan literature. Some material is available in the social history written by Indian and French scholars. Puri (1968), Mookerji & Majumdar (1990) have all written short articles based mostly on Gupta sources. The French scholar Auboyer (1994) has been translated into English but his original research is quite dated. More recently Tissot (1985) has published a book on the same subject, the social history of Ancient India.

The role of women in religion is not covered, either for Buddhism or Jainism. However there are useful introductions to both by Dutt (1990) and Ghatage (1990) on the development of both sects and there is no shortage of more specialised work on Buddhism in the Kushan Empire. On the Fourth Council of Kanishka the best summary is by Eliot (1921), though there are a number of dissenting views, such as Harmatta's (1994).

The evidence for Buddhamitra comes completely from inscriptions. Puri (1968/1977) has provided two lists detailing inscriptions of the Kushan period. A more complete set of inscriptions have been collected by Shrava (1993) in which there are seven inscriptions making reference to Buddhamitra and Bala (insc. no. 5,10,13,14,19,28,76).



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