The paper places the history of the Dunhuang caves and the Buddhist material found in them in the broader context of Asian history. It deals with the role of the Yuezhi (Yueh-chih) in the introduction of Buddhism, further with the role of Khotan in the spread of the Buddhist literature. After the conquest of Khotan by the Muslims the Buddhist monks fled to the region of Dunhuang. The paper ends with discussing the threat by the Tanguts and the walling up of the famous library of Dunhuang.
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