But the point I wanted to make was that most people nowadays think of modern "Greece" when the term "Greek" is used. But that is simply not the case here. I find it very difficult to say "In the past Buddhism was a Western religion" on this basis.
It may be difficult identify what
is "buddhism"? What are it's chracteristic ideas by which you could identify it in history? I think it has been present in various forms in Western Asia and Europe for more than 2300 years. At the same time it has undergone a natural evolution in East Asian and South Asian countries, which causes that buddhism's traces in history are not at all like the asian developments of buddhism are at the present time. You have to consider that in European cultural area there have been powerfull forces whose purpose has been (and still is) to eradicate buddhism from the face of this planet.
If you look at the history of Afghanisthan http://www.afghan-web.com/history/chron/index.html
it is evident that the claim that european culture did not know buddhism 2000 years ago is a huge lie.
What are then its possible traces in European and West Asian history? This is a difficult question because there is a vast propaganda machine ready to wipe out everything one finds in this area of knowledge.
Writers such as Edward Conze, Alex Wayman and Herbert Guenther have therefore expressed themselves cryptically or indirectly, or sometimes quite clearly also. But then they are forgotten, or put on some black list, and thus various "respected" teachers warn people against these true and valuable researchers and authorities! Which is a cause of real sadness.
If you want to see it that way the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman history is still full of things that are recognisably similar to buddhism.
I would even go so far as to say that the Roman empire is the mythical kingdom of Shambhala, as it must have been when seen through indian tantrika's eyes ! Roman culture and technology were the most advanced on this planet, their calendar ( Kalacakra) is in use everywhere, they built a secular
society, they unified the four castes, as it says in the Kalachakra teachings, there is only one caste, i.e. the Juppiter Caste, ( Juppiter means Pasupatinath, or Father of the Creatures (which indicates Vajrapani)), they invented and developed the modern city, they built roads around the Mediterranean, built public bath houses and aquaducts in the countries of that area, and so on...
When I read the Malleus Maleficarum, or Witch Hammer, I felt that it is an instruction manual for destroying a buddhist movement that had developed in Spain (mainly, but was existent in other countries too).
It is very helpfull to study the Ancient Roman Calendar and its yearly festivals. It reads like a tantric calendar of pujas, in the beginning of June there is a day for a divinity that most likely is Shakyamuni Buddha, he is called Semo Sancus, Semo has a much longer name also. The day is obviously like the Wesak,...
It seems that the name Simeon is really Sakyamuni!!