Nineteenth Gonda lecture by Harry Falk: Rome, Commagene and the cult of Mithras Underestimated factors in Kushan royal self-esteem.
Harry Falk is professor of Indology at the Freie Universität Berlin, working on South-Asian cultures "between the empires" of the Mauryas and the Guptas, from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. This was the period in which the mythology and iconography of the religions were beginning to take shape that we subsume today under the general title of Hinduism.
Among the sources explored in his research epigraphical texts play a major role, but also numismatic and sigillographic material is taken into account. Developments in the histories of religion, culture and economy of the subcontinent are, as far as possible, compared to contemporary cultures in the Western world.
Chronologies of ancient South Asia have been a special topic of his research, which has yielded new dates for the so-called eras of Azes and Kani’ka. Falk’s teaching in Berlin in recent years also focuses on birch-bark manuscripts from the first century AD, which provide early texts from Buddhist monasteries in North Pakistan and shed new light on the emergence of the so-called Mahāyāna form of Buddhism.
Registration for the lecture is closed.