What in the World was Going on During the Time of Buddha?

When the Buddha was young, Zarathustra was exhorting the Persians, and the Second Isaiah and Ezekiel the Jews; when he became a Buddha, Cyrus was establishing his vast empire, and Confucius was twenty-three; and when he was in his seventies, the Greeks defeated the Persians at Marathon and Greek tragedy was taking shape.

Aeschylus and Sophocles were Buddha’s younger contemporaries; Euripides was probably born a year before Buddha died; Herodotus, Thucydides, and Socrates a few years later. No other age in the history of our world has seen a comparable explosion of such originality in so many widely different regions.

Buddha (563 BC-483 BC) lived to age 80. He was born at the foot of the Himalayas, in what is now Nepal, and spent much of his life traveling in northern India. His birth name was Siddhartha Gautama.

Religions by Walter Kaufmann
Religions in Four Dimensions: Existential, Aesthetic, Historical, Comparative
Walter Kaufmann

Background on Walter Kaufmann



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