Exploring the interactions of the Buddhist world with the dominant cultures of Iran in pre- and post-Islamic times, this book demonstrates that the traces and cross-influences of Buddhism have brought the material and spiritual culture of Iran to its present state. Even after the term 'Buddhism' was eradicated from the literary and popular languages of the region, it has continued to have a significant impact on the culture as a whole. In the course of its history, Iranian culture adopted and assimilated a system of Buddhist art, iconography, religious symbolism, literature, and asceticism due to the open border of eastern Iran with the Buddhist regions, and the resultant intermingling of the two worlds.
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