- Aug 2018
Because it actually did. The famous Mittanni inscription with Vedic gods is an attestation to that, so is the fact that the Vedic god Mithra was worshipped by the Romans as far as Britain. Buddha also became a Christian saint whose cult spread all over Europe. The Pachantantra was translated into Latin and even Spanish in the Middle Ages. Chess, backgammon and dice games of course also spread west, so did Indian numerals. Zoroastrianism is basically a culturally Indian religion even if one that broke away with Hinduism even more strongly than Buddhism did, and we all know that the Zoroastrian Persians conquered a part of Eastern Europe. Other elements include sugar and rice, whose etymologies are even Sanskrit in origin. Alexander's conquest of India's borders influenced European literature from the Hellenistic to late medieval periods. Sure, Europe and the Middle East ultimately did not adopt an Indian religion or an Indian language, nor did any major Indian polity came to conquer Europe or the Middle East after the fall of the Sassanians (again, if we understand Zoroastrianism as an Indian religion, as I am wont to do), but that is still not the same as saying that Indian civilisation didn't spread west when in fact it did.