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The Dating of the Historical Buddha: A Review Article



3 The chronological systems in use in Buddhist countries

Space obviously would not permit a full review of the wide range of papers included in these volumes. Let us then simply note that the Tibeto-Mongolian data is thoroughly reviewed in articles by Günter Grönbold, Claus Vogel, Per Kvaerne, Klaus Sagaster, Eckart Zabel, Champa Thupten Zongtse (in Tibetan) and a rather fully annotated paper by Seyfort Ruegg. Central Asian and Iranian data is looked at by Klaus Röhrborn, Werner Sundermann (two papers) and Klaus Schmidt. In addition to the papers already mentioned, Eastern Buddhist matters are covered by Herbert Franke, Lewis Lancaster and Bhikkhu Pasadika (Vietnam).

There are also two papers concerned with the ``Axial Age Theory'' derived from the ideas of Karl Jaspers and a comparative paper concerned with parallel issues in early Greek history. Most of the above contributions represent a high standard of scholarship. I have more doubt in the case of some others. Let us simply note the over fifty pages devoted to the rather improbable, if erudite, speculations of P. H. L. Eggermont and the doubtful attempt of A. K. Narain to revive the old theory that there is a date in one of the inscriptions of Asoka (MRE1).

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