Yongbin Dai

Contact Details

Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Ghent University
Blandijnberg 2
5th floor, office 150.015
B-9000 Gent


Academic career


  • Master in history, Fudan University, 1999
  • Bachelor in economics, Shanghai University, 1996


  • Doctoral student in Oriental Languages and Cultures, Ghent University (August 2010 -)
  •  Doctoral student in South Asian and Indoeuropean Studies, University of Helsinki (August 2008 - )
  • Graduate student in history, Fudan University (September 1996-July 1999)
  • Undergraduate student in economics, Shanghai University (September 1992-July 1996)


  • Senior consultant & analyst, librarian, Shanghai Library (June 2006 – August 2010)
  • Research supervisor, librarian, Shanghai Library (June 2003- May 2006)
  • Research assistant, assistant Librarian, Shanghai Library (June 2001 - May 2003)
  • Assistant Librarian, Shanghai Library (July 1999 - May 2001)

Grants awarded

  • 2010 LISUM doctoral scholarship by EU
  • 2004 Iran Heritage scholarship
  • 1998 Guanghua scholarship by the Fudan University

Research area

Indology, Buddhology, and Central Asian studies.

Research project

Legends of Aśoka and Kunāla: Spreading from India to China and the Hellenistic World

Abstract: My doctoral project deals with the legend of Aśoka, with special emphasis on Kunāla. Since the versions of this legend in different languages have hitherto only been  studied individually and partially, a comprehensive research on all versions is called for. My principle goal is to study the historical memories on Aśoka and Kunāla in Indian, Chinese, Greek, and Central Asian literature. I will compare the Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Khotanese, Tocharian, as well as Greek sources in order to investigate the issue of how Aśoka and Kunāla were adapted in Central and East Asia as well as the Hellenistic world.