Buddhist History


The history of Buddhism spans over 2,500 years and is full of interesting stories.


  • The Buddhahttp://www.religionfacts.com/people/buddha

    The details of the Buddha's life are not known for certain, but most scholars are in agreement that he was an actual historical figure who lived in northern India around the 5th century BCE...

  • Buddhism in the Hellenistic Worldhttp://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/hellenistic

    The interaction between Hellenistic Greece and Buddhism started when Alexander the Great conquered Asia Minor and Central Asia in 334 BCE, going as far as the Indus, thus establishing direct contact with India, the birthplace of Buddhism...

  • Conversion of the Emperor Asokahttp://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/asoka

    In Buddhism, around 270 BC, a warrior named Asoka (sometimes spelled Ashoka) became emperor of the powerful Mauryan dynasty in India. Emperor Asoka began his reign by working to expand the empire his grandfather had established...

  • Spread of Buddhism to SE Asiahttp://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/se-asia

    In the 2nd century BCE, Asoka's emissaries (perhaps including Asoka's son Mahinda) went to Sri Lanka, an island southeast of the Indian subcontinent...

  • Spread of the Sanghahttp://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/sangha

    In the earliest days of Buddhism, there was no organized monastic community, only the followers of the Buddha, and women were among those ordained...

  • The First Buddhist Councilhttp://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/first-council

    After the Buddha's death, his disciple Mahakasyapa took over leadership of the Sangha. One of Mahakasyapa's first acts as the new Buddhist leader was to convene a council of 500 arhats to collect and preserve the teachings of Buddha...

  • The Second Buddhist Councilhttp://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/history/second-council

    As so often happens, along with the increasing numbers of Buddhism came increasing disagreements. Within 100 years of the Buddha's death, significant disputes arose, primarily in the areas of monastic discipline...