The Buddha in Viking Sweden

Viking Buddha

Experts have now come to a consensus that the statue was made in the sixth century in North-western India, probably in the Swat Valley.

In some way or other then, and over two or perhaps three hundred years, this little Buddha made its way half way across Euro-Asia to end up on the mantelpiece of a Swedish burgher. Doubtless he sometimes called his wife over and they looked together, shaking their heads at the ‘caste-mark of gold’ on this strange doll’s forehead. […]

Presumably the object was traded down the Silk Road to the Black Sea and from there up the Baltic or just possibly from India to the Caspian and up the Volga to Moscow and from there to the ‘Viking Sea’? That it was found with objects from Egypt, Ireland and the Eastern Mediterranean is, any case, a reminder of just how far Scandinavian ‘traders’ – again Beachcombing is trying to be polite – travelled in the early Middle Ages.

Beach Comber: The Buddha in Viking Sweden

(Thanks Paul!)

5 Comments

  1. Also of note: Greek hero Hercules adopted into Buddhism as Vajrapani and Nio.

  2. Hercules as Buddha. Huh. That’s one BIG stick of awakening he’s got there.

  3. Some Vikings were marauders. Some weren’t. There. I said it.

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