The Spread and Emergence of Buddhism

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During the 600 BCE to 600 CE period, religions started to become more well known. New religions started to emerge and spread throughout Eurasia. In Southeastern and Western Eurasia, new religions such as Buddhism and Confucianism started to spread and become more common within this time period.

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Throughout 600 BCE to 600 CE, the spread Buddhism was caused by trade routes, emperors, while the emergence of Buddhism was caused by social inequalities. One cause for the spread of Buddhism was trade routes. One specific trade route was the Silk Road. This trade route ran all across Eurasia and became a key part for merchants and missionaries. By the time Silk Road was established, Buddhism had already spread into modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1st century. Buddhist merchants from these lands started to build temples and shrines along the Silk Road. Monks and priests supervised these temples and shrines, they preached the Buddhist teachings to other travelers. Due to the Silk Road, the spread of Buddhism was able to spread more rapidly.

Another cause for the spread of Buddhism was emperors, more specifically, Emperor Wu from the Han Dynasty and Ashoka from the Mauryan Empire. For a selective time, the Han dynasty was run by Emperor Wu. Emperor Wu was some-what influential in spreading Buddhism. Wu made a law claiming that Buddhism was a much more superior religion than other religions. During this time, China also was able to spread Buddhism to Korea and Japan which dominated other religions establish there. Ashoka, on the other hand converted to Buddhism after being impacted by a bloody war with Kalinga.

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