The Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, carved in the sixth century AD, represented the historical Buddha as a universal saviour. In March 2001 the Taliban destroyed them. They were massive, hewn out of the solid rock face, and it took weeks to bring them down. The Buddhas have a remarkable story to tell, from their creation in a melting pot of Indian, Chinese and Greek influences to their role in the lead up to the destruction of two other colossi from a different era in New York in that same year. Llewelyn Morgan, author of The Buddhas of Bamiyan, provides an historical account of an extraordinary monument that is also of urgent contemporary relevance.
Llewelyn Morgan teaches Classics at Oxford where he is a Fellow of Brasenose College. He has been to Afghanistan several times and has written a number of pieces on the country, ancient and modern.
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