An Shigao or An Shih-kao (?-~168) was a prince of Parthia, nicknamed the "Parthian Marquis", who renounced his prospect as a contender for the royal throne of Parthia in order to serve as a Buddhist missionary Monk.
The prefix An in An Shih-kao's name is an abbreviation of Anxi, meaning Parthia in ancient Chinese:
Anxi is a transcription of "Arsaces", the founder of the Arsacid Dynasty of Parthia.
Most Parthian visitors who took a Chinese name received the An prefix to indicate their Parthian origin.
In 148, An Shih-kao arrived in China at the Han Dynasty capital of Luoyang, where he set up a centre for the translation of Buddhist texts.
He translated thirty-five texts from the Theravada and Mahayana Schools of Buddhism, including works on Meditation, psychology, and techniques of Breath control.
An Shih-kao is the first Buddhist missionary to China to be named in Chinese sources.
Another Parthian Monk named An Xuan is also said to have followed An Shih-kao to Loyang around 181 CE, where he took charge of translating Mahayana texts.
An Shigao (安世高, 2nd century) was a prince of the kingdom of Anxi, the Arsacid Empire, in present-day northeastern Iran.
He was famed for honoring his parents and having broad Knowledge in Astrology, medicine, and Sacred Texts. After his father’s Death, he gave up his throne and became a Buddhist monk.
An Shigao arrived in Luoyang (洛陽), China’s capital, in 148, the second year of the Janho (建和) years of Emperor Huan (漢桓帝) of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220). He was given the surname An in Chinese to indicate his Anxi origin.
Between 148 and 170, he translated many Sanskrit texts into Chinese, and fifty-five texts in the Chinese Canon are attributed to him, including the Repentance Sūtra (T24n1492).
These texts cover Basic Buddhist Doctrine according to the Hīnayāna (Small Vehicle).
An Shigao was the first to bring to China the Buddhist Meditation technique of noting one’s ānāpāna (inhalation and exhalation).
During the turmoil near the end of Emperor Ling’s reign (漢靈帝, 168–89), An Shigao traveled to southern China. He is said to have died in Huiji (會稽), present-day Suzhou (蘇州), Jiangsu Province.