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Sources of Indo-Greek history

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Sources of Indo-Greek history

Indo-Greek Kingdom
Ancient sources

The sources used to reconstruct the history of the Indo-Greeks are few and disparate, leading to much uncertainty about the precise state of the Indo-Greek kingdom and its chronology. Sources related to the Indo-Greeks can be classified into various categories: ancient literary sources from both the West and the Indian world, archaeological sources from the general area of present day Pakistan, Kashmir and North Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachel Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh & Bihar, and numismatical sources, which are abundant and well-preserved but often rather cryptic.

Literary sources

Western literary sources

Some narrative history has survived for most of the Hellenistic world, at least of the kings and the wars;[1] this is lacking for India. The main Greco-Roman source on the Indo-Greeks is Justin, who wrote an anthology drawn from the Roman historian Pompeius Trogus, who in turn wrote, from Greek sources, at the time of Augustus Caesar.[2] Justin tells the parts of Trogus' history he finds particularly interesting at some length; he connects them by short and simplified summaries of the rest of the material. In the process he has left 85% to 90% of Trogus out; and his summaries are held together by phrases like "meanwhile" (eodem tempore) and "thereafter" (deinde), which he uses very loosely. Where Justin covers periods for which there are other and better sources, he has occasionally made provable mistakes. As Tarn and Develin both point out, Justin is not trying to write history in our sense of the word; he is collecting instructive moral anecdotes.[3] Justin does find the customs and growth of the Parthians, which were covered in Trogus' 41st book, quite interesting, and discusses them at length; in the process, he mentions four of the kings of Bactria and one Greek king of India, getting the names of two of them wrong.[4]

Menander I (155-130 BCE) is one of the few Indo-Greek kings mentioned in both Graeco-Roman and Indian sources.

In addition to these dozen sentences, the geographer Strabo mentions India a few times in the course of his long dispute with Eratosthenes about the shape of Eurasia. Most of these are purely geographical claims, but he does mention that Eratosthenes' sources say that some of the Greek kings conquered further than Alexander; Strabo does not believe them on this, but modern historians do; nor does he believe that Menander and Demetrius son of Euthydemus conquered more tribes than Alexander[5] There is half a story about Bactria (only) in one of the books of Polybius which has not come down to us intact.[6]

In the 1st century BCE, the geographer Isidorus of Charax mentions Parthians ruling over Greek populations and cities in Arachosia: "Beyond is Arachosia. And the Parthians call this White India; there are the city of Biyt and the city of Pharsana and the city of Chorochoad and the city of Demetrias; then Alexandropolis, the metropolis of Arachosia; it is Greek, and by it flows the river Arachotus. As far as this place the land is under the rule of the Parthians."[7]

According to Strabo, Greek advances temporarily went as far as the Sunga capital Pataliputra (today Patna) in eastern India:

"Of the eastern parts of India, then, there have become known to us all those parts which lie this side of the Hypanis, and also any parts beyond the Hypanis of which an account has been added by those who, after Alexander, advanced beyond the Hypanis, to the Ganges and Pataliputra."
Strabo, 15-1-27[8]
The Hellenistic world view just before the Indo-Greek conquests. India appears fully formed, with the Ganges and Palibothra (Pataliputra) in the east. (19th-century reconstruction of an ancient world map of Eratosthenes (276-194 BCE).[9])

The 1st century BCE Greek historian Apollodorus, quoted by Strabo, affirms that the Bactrian Greeks, led by Demetrius I and Menander, conquered India and occupied a larger territory than the Macedonians under Alexander the Great, going beyond the Hypanis towards the Himalayas:[10]

"The Greeks became masters of India and more tribes were subdued by them than by Alexander — by Menander in particular, for some were subdued by him personally and others by Demetrius, the son of Euthydemus the king of the Bactrians."
—Apollodorus, quoted in Strabo 11.11.1[11]

The Roman historian Justin also mentioned the Indo-Greek conquests, describing Demetrius as "King of the Indians" ("Regis Indorum"), and explaining that after vanquishing him Eucratides in turn "put India under his rule" ("Indiam in potestatem redegit")[12] (since the time of the embassies of Megasthenes in the 3rd century BCE "India" was understood as the entire subcontinent, and was cartographed by geographers such as Eratosthenes). Justin also mentions Apollodotus and Menander as kings of the Indians.[13]

Greek and Indian sources tend to indicate that the Greeks campaigned as far as Pataliputra until they were forced to retreat following the coup staged by Eucratides back in Bactria circa 170 BCE, suggesting an occupation period of about eight years.[14] Alternatively, Menander may merely have joined a raid led by Indian Kings down the Ganges (A.K. Narain and Keay 2000), as Indo-Greek territory has only been confirmed from the Kabul Valley to the Punjab.

An Indo-Greek stone palette showing Poseidon with attendants. He wears a chiton tunic, a chlamys cape, and boots. 2nd-1st century BCE, Gandhara, Ancient Orient Museum.

To the south, the Greeks occupied the areas of the Sindh and Gujarat down to the region of Surat (Greek: Saraostus) near Mumbai (Bombay), including the strategic harbour of Barygaza (Bharuch),[15] as attested by several writers (Strabo 11; Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Chap. 41/47) and as evidenced by coins dating from the Indo-Greek ruler Apollodotus I:

"The Greeks... took possession, not only of Patalene, but also, on the rest of the coast, of what is called the kingdom of Saraostus and Sigerdis."
—Strabo 11.11.1[16]

The 1st century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea describes numerous Greek buildings and fortifications in Barigaza, although mistakenly attributing them to Alexander, and testifies to the circulation of Indo-Greek coinage in the region:

"The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza. In these places there remain even to the present time signs of the expedition of Alexander, such as ancient shrines, walls of forts and great wells."
—Periplus, Chap. 41
"To the present day ancient drachmae are current in Barygaza, coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander, Apollodorus (sic) and Menander."
—Periplus Chap. 47[17]

From ancient authors (Pliny, Arrian, Ptolemy and Strabo), a list of provinces, satrapies, or simple regional designations, and Greek cities from within the Indo-Greek Kingdom can be discerned (though others have been lost), ranging from the Indus basin to the upper valley of the Ganges.[18]

Indian literary sources

There are Indian literary sources, ranging from the Milinda Panha, a dialogue between a Buddhist sage Nagasena and King Menander I, which includes some incidental information on Menander's biography and the geography and institutions of his kingdom, down to a sentence about Menander (presumably the same Menander) and his attack on Pataliputra which happens to have survived as a standard example in grammar texts; none is a narrative history. Names in these sources are consistently Indianized, and there is some dispute whether, for example, Dharmamitra represents "Demetrius" or is an Indian prince with that name. There was also a Chinese expedition to Bactria by Chang-k'ien under the Emperor Wu of Han, recorded in the Records of the Grand Historian and Book of the Former Han, additional evidence is in the Book of the Later Han; the identification of places and peoples behind transcriptions into Chinese is difficult, and several alternate interpretations have been proposed.[19]

Various Indian records describe Yavana attacks on Mathura, Panchala, Saketa, and Pataliputra. The term Yavana is thought to be a transliteration of "Ionians" and is known to have designated Hellenistic Greeks (starting with the Edicts of Ashoka, where Ashoka writes about "the Yavana king Antiochus"), but may have sometimes referred to other foreigners as well, especially in later centuries.

Patanjali, a grammarian and commentator on Pāṇini around 150 BCE, describes in the Mahābhāsya,[20] the invasion in two examples using the imperfect tense of Sanskrit, denoting a recent event:

  • "Arunad Yavanah Sāketam" ("The Yavanas (Greeks) were besieging Saketa")
  • "Arunad Yavano Madhyamikām" ("The Yavanas were besieging Madhyamika" (the "Middle country")).

The Anushasanaparava of the Mahabharata affirms that the country of Mathura, the heartland of India, was under the joint control of the Yavanas and the Kambojas.[21] The Vayupurana asserts that Mathura was ruled by seven Greek kings over a period of 82 years.[22]

Accounts of battles between the Greeks and the Sunga in Central India are also found in the Mālavikāgnimitram, a play by Kālidāsa which describes an encounter between Greek forces and Vasumitra, the grandson of Pushyamitra, during the latter's reign.[23]

Also the Brahmanical text of the Yuga Purana, which describes Indian historical events in the form of a prophecy,[24] relates the attack of the Indo-Greeks on the capital Pataliputra, a magnificent fortified city with 570 towers and 64 gates according to Megasthenes,[25] and describes the ultimate destruction of the city's walls:

"Then, after having approached Saketa together with the Panchalas and the Mathuras, the Yavanas, valiant in battle, will reach Kusumadhvaja ("The town of the flower-standard", Pataliputra). Then, once Puspapura (another name of Pataliputra) has been reached and its celebrated mud[-walls] cast down, all the realm will be in disorder."
Yuga Purana, Paragraph 47–48, 2002 edition.

According to the Yuga Purana a situation of complete social disorder follows, in which the Yavanas rule and mingle with the people, and the position of the Brahmins and the Sudras is inverted:

"Sudras will also be utterers of bho (a form of address used towards an equal or inferior), and Brahmins will be utterers of arya (a form of address used towards a superior), and the elders, most fearful of dharma, will fearlessly exploit the people. And in the city the Yavanas, the princes, will make this people acquainted with them: but the Yavanas, infatuated by war, will not remain in Madhyadesa."
Yuga Purana, Paragraph 55–56, 2002 edition.

Archaeological sources

There is also significant archaeological evidence, including some epigraphic evidence, for the Indo-Greek kings, such as the mention of the "Yavana" embassy of king Antialcidas on the Heliodorus pillar in Vidisha,[26] primarily in Indic languages, which has the same problems with names as the Indic literary evidence.

Urban remains

The city of Sirkap, today in northwestern Pakistan near Taxila, was built according to the "Hippodamian" grid-plan characteristic of Greek cities, and was a Hellenistic fortress of considerable proportions, with a 6,000 meter wall on the circumference, of a height of about 10 meters. The houses of the Indo-Greek level are "the best planned of all the six strata, and the rubble masonry of which its walls are built is also the most solid and compact".[27] It is thought that the city was built by Demetrius.


Main archaeological artifacts from the Indo-Greek strata at Taxila. Source: John Marshall "Taxila, Archaeological excavations".

Several Hellenistic artifacts have been found, in particular coins of Indo-Greek kings, stone palettes representing Greek mythological scenes, and small statuettes. Some of them are purely Hellenistic, others indicate an evolution of the Greco-Bactrian styles found at Ai-Khanoum towards more indianized styles. For example, accessories such as Indian ankle bracelets can be found on some representations of Greek mythological figures such as Artemis.

The excavations of the Greek levels at Sirkap were however very limited and made in peripheral areas, out of respect for the more recent archaeological strata (those of the Indo-Scythian and especially Indo-Parthian levels) and the remaining religious buildings, and due to the difficulty of excavating extensively to a depth of about 6 meters. The results, although interesting, are partial and cannot be considered as exhaustive.[28] Beyond this, no extensive archaeological excavation of an Indo-Greek city has ever really been done.

Quantities of Hellenistic artifacts and ceramics can also be found throughout Northern India.[29] Clay seals depicting Greek deities, and the depiction of an Indo-Greek king thought to be Demetrius, were found at Benares.[30]


Evolution of the Butkara stupa (Swat) during the Indo-Greek period.[31]
Stupa decorated with acanthus leaves, Level III, Sirkap, 1st century BCE. Diameter: 2.5 meters.[32]

When the Indo-Greeks settled in the area of Taxila, large Buddhist structures were already present, such as the stupa of Dharmarajika built by Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. These structures were reinforced in the following centuries, by building rings of smaller stupas and constructions around the original ones. Numerous coins of the Indo-Greek king Zoilos II were found under the foundation of a 1st-century BCE rectangular chapel near the Dharmarajika stupa.[33]

Also, various Buddhist structures, such as the Butkara Stupa in the area of Swat were enlarged and decorated with Hellenistic architectural elements in the 2nd century BCE, especially during the rule of Menander.[34] Stupas were just round mounds when the Indo-Greeks settled in India, possibly with some top decorations, but soon they added various structural and decorative elements, such as reinforcement belts, niches, architectural decorations such as plinthes, toruses and cavettos, plaster painted with decorative scrolls. The niches were probably designed to place statues or friezes, an indication of early Buddhist descriptive art during the time of the Indo-Greeks.[35] Coins of Menander were found within these constructions dating them to around 150 BCE. By the end of Indo-Greek rule and during the Indo-Scythian period (1st century BCE), stupas were highly decorated with colonnated flights of stairs and Hellenistic scrolls of Acanthus leaves.

Numismatical sources

One of the key pieces of archaeological evidence about the Indo-Greeks is the coins. There are coin finds of several dozen Indo-Greek rulers in India; exactly how many is complicated to determine, because the Greeks did not number their kings, and the eastern Greeks did not date their coins. For example, there are a substantial number of coin finds for a King Demetrius, but authors have postulated one, two, or three Demetrii, and the same coins have been identified by different enquirers as describing Demetrius I, Demetrius II, or Demetrius III.[36] The following deductions have been made from coins, in addition to mere existence:

  • Kings who left many coins reigned long and prosperously.
  • Hoards which contain many coins of the same king come from his realm.
  • Kings who use the same iconography are friendly, and may well be from the same family,
  • If a king overstrikes another king's coins, this is an important evidence to show that the overstriker reigned after the overstruck. Overstrikes may indicate that the two kings were enemies.
  • Indo-Greek coins, like other Hellenistic coins, have monograms in addition to their inscriptions. These are generally held to indicate a mint official; therefore, if two kings issue coins with the same monogram, they reigned in the same area, and if not immediately following one another, have no long interval between them.

All of these arguments are arguments of probability, and have exceptions; one of Menander's coins was found in Wales.

Based on Bopearachchi (1991)
200–190 BCE
190–180 BCE
185–170 BCE
180–160 BCE
175–170 BCE
170–145 BCE
160–155 BCE
155–130 BCE
130–120 BCE
120–110 BCE
110–100 BCE
100 BCE
100–95 BCE
95–90 BCE
90 BCE Thraso
90–85 BCE
90–70 BCE
Yuezhi tribes Maues (Indo-Scythian)
75–70 BCE
65–55 BCE
55–35 BCE Azes I (Indo-Scythian)
55–35 BCE
25 BCE – 10 CE
Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)

See also


  1. ^ See Polybius, Arrian, Livy, Cassius Dio, and Diodorus. Justin, who will be discussed shortly, provides a summary of the histories of Hellenistic Macedonia, Egypt, Asia, and Parthia.
  2. ^ For the date of Trogus, see the OCD on "Trogus" and Yardley/Develin, p. 2; since Trogus' father was in charge of Julius Caesar's diplomatic missions before the history was written (Justin 43.5.11), Senior's date in the following quotation is a terminus post quem: "The Western sources for accounts of Bactrian and Indo-Greek history are: Polybius, a Greek born c.200 BC; Strabo, a Roman who drew on the lost history of Apollodoros of Artemita (c.130-87 BC), and Justin, who drew on Trogus, a post 87 BC writer", Senior, Indo-Scythian coins IV, p.x; the extent to which Strabo is citing Apollodorus is disputed, beyond the three places he names Apollodorus (and he may have those through Eratosthenes). Polybius speaks of Bactria, not of India.
  3. ^ Justin, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus translated by J. C. Yardley, notes and introduction by Robert Develin. (Atlanta 1994). The source for these paragraphs, and the next insofar as it is not Justin, is the Introduction pp. 1-11. See also Tarn (1951) p.50.
  4. ^ Justin, 41.4.5, 41.4.8-9, 41.6.1-5, ed. cit.; Diodotus I and II, whom Justin calls Theodotus; Eucratides and his unnamed parricidal son; and "Demetrius, king of the Indians" (so Yardley: Indorum rex, Develin's note implies this is Demetrius II, but suggests that Demetrius I and II may be the same person.) Theodotus, while unquestionably Justin's text, is an error; no coins support his existence, and Trogus' tables of contents (the so-called prologues) survive (Develin and Yardley, p.284) saying Diodotus; they also include Indicae quoque res additae, gestae per Apollodotum et Menandrum, reges eorum "some Indian matters, namely the achievements of the Indian kings, Apollodotus and Menander.", although Justin does not mention Apollodotus. Tarn, Narain, and Bopearchchi all correct to Diodotus.
  5. ^ Strabo, Geographia 11.11.1 p.516 Casaubon. 15.1.2, p. 686 Casaubon, "tribes" is Jones' version of ethne (Loeb)
  6. ^ For a list of classical testimonia, see Tarn's Index II; but this covers India, Bactria, and several sources for the Hellenstic East as a whole.
  7. ^ "Parthians stations", 1st century BCE. Mentioned in Bopearachchi, "Monnaies Greco-Bactriennes et Indo-Grecques", p52. Original text in paragraph 19 of Parthian stations
  8. ^ The word for "advance" is προελθοντες, literally "go forward", which can mean a military expedition. Strabo 15-1-27; see LSJ, προερχομαι. This has also been explained as the reports of emissaries, such as Megasthenes.
  9. ^ Source
  10. ^ Strabo quoting Apollodorus on the extent of Greek conquests:
    • "Apollodorus, for instance, author of the Parthian History, when he mentions the Greeks who occasioned the revolt of Bactriana from the Syrian kings, who were the successors of Seleucus Nicator, says, that when they became powerful they invaded India. He adds no discoveries to what was previously known, and even asserts, in contradiction to others, that the Bactrians had subjected to their dominion a larger portion of India than the Macedonians; for Eucratides (one of these kings) had a thousand cities subject to his authority." Strabo 15-1-3 Full text
    • "The Greeks who caused Bactria to revolt grew so powerful on account of the fertility of the country that they became masters, not only of Ariana, but also of India, as Apollodorus of Artemita says: and more tribes were subdued by them than by Alexander — by Menander in particular (at least if he actually crossed the Hypanis towards the east and advanced as far as the Imaüs), for some were subdued by him personally and others by Demetrius, the son of Euthydemus the king of the Bactrians." (Strabo 11.11.1 Full text)
  11. ^ Strabo 11.11.1
  12. ^ Justin on Demetrius "King of the Indians": "Multa tamen Eucratides bella magna uirtute gessit, quibus adtritus cum obsidionem Demetrii, regis Indorum, pateretur, cum CCC militibus LX milia hostium adsiduis eruptionibus uicit. Quinto itaque mense liberatus Indiam in potestatem redegit." ("Eucratides led many wars with great courage, and, while weakened by them, was put under siege by Demetrius, king of the Indians. He made numerous sorties, and managed to vanquish 60,000 enemies with 300 soldiers, and thus liberated after four months, he put India under his rule") Justin XLI,6
  13. ^ "Indicae quoque res additae, gestae per Apollodotum et Menandrum, reges eorum": "Also included are the exploits in India by Apollodotus and Menander, their kings" Justin, quoted in E.Seldeslachts, p284
  14. ^ "Pataliputra fut occupée par les forces coalisées Grecques pendant presque huit ans" ("Pataliputra was occupied by the Greek coalition for about eight years"), Mario Bussagli, "L'Art du Gandhara", p100
  15. ^ "Menander became the ruler of a kingdom extending along the coast of western India, including the whole of Saurashtra and the harbour Barukaccha. His territory also included Mathura, the Punjab, Gandhara and the Kabul Valley", Bussagli p101)
  16. ^ Strabo on the extent of the conquests of the Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks: "They took possession, not only of Patalena, but also, on the rest of the coast, of what is called the kingdom of Saraostus and Sigerdis. In short, Apollodorus says that Bactriana is the ornament of Ariana as a whole; and, more than that, they extended their empire even as far as the Seres and the Phryni." Strabo 11.11.1 (Strabo 11.11.1)
  17. ^ Periplus
  18. ^ Greek provinces in India according to Classical sources:
    • Patalene - the whole Indus delta region, with an apparent capital in "Demetrias-in-Patalene;" presumably founded by Demetrius (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 55/ Strabo 11.11.1)
    • Abiria - North of the Indus delta and apparently named for the Ahbira peoples, presumably in residence of the region. (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 55).
    • Prasiane - North of Abiria and East of the main Indus channel. (Pliny, Natural history, VI 71)
    • Surastrene - Southeast of Patalene, comprising the Kathiawar peninsula and parts of Gujerat to Bharuch (modern Saurashtra and Surat), with the city of "Theophila". (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 55/ Strabo 11.11.1/ Periplus, Chap.41–47).
    • Sigerdis - a coastal region beyond Patalene and Surastrene, thought to correspond to Sindh. (Strabo 11.11.1)
    • Souastene - subdivision of Gandhara, comprising the Swat Valley (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 42).
    • Goryaea - smaller district located between the lower Swat river and the Kunar (Bajaur), with the city of "Nagara, also called Dionysopolis". (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 42).
    • Peucelaitas - denotes the immediate district around Pushkalavati (Greek: Peucela). (Arrian, On India, IV 11)
    • Kaspeiria - comprising the upper valleys of the Chenab, Ravi, and Jhelum (ie, southern Kashmir). (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 42).
    • Pandouorum - Region of the Punjab along the Hydaspes river, with the "city of Sagala, also called Euthydemia" and another city named "Bucephala" (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1), or "Bucephalus Alexandria" (Periplus, 47).
    • Kulindrene - as related by Ptolemy, a region comprising the upper valleys of the Sutlej, Jumna, Beas, and Ganges. This report may be inaccurate, and the contents of the region somewhat smaller. (Ptolemy, Geographia, VII 1, 42).
  19. ^ Tarn, App. 20; Narain (1957) pp. 136, 156 et alii.
  20. ^ "Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian and Indo-Parthian coins in the Smithsonian institution", Bopearachchi, p16.
  21. ^ "tatha Yavana Kamboja Mathuram.abhitash cha ye./ ete ashava.yuddha.kushaladasinatyasi charminah."//5 — (MBH 12/105/5, Kumbhakonam Ed)
  22. ^ "Asui dve ca varsani bhoktaro Yavana mahim/ Mathuram ca purim ramyam Yauna bhoksyanti sapta vai" Vayupurana 99.362 and 383, quoted by Morton Smith 1973: 370. Morton Smith thinks occupation lasted from 175 to 93 BCE.
  23. ^ "Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian and Indo-Parthian coins in the Smithsonian institution", Bopearachchi, p16. Also: "Kalidasa recounts in his Mālavikāgnimitra (5.15.14–24) that Puspamitra appointed his grandson Vasumitra to guard his sacrificial horse, which wandered on the right bank of the Sindhu river and was seized by Yavana cavalrymen- the later being thereafter defeated by Vasumitra. The "Sindhu" referred to in this context may refer the river Indus: but such an extension of Sunga power seems unlikely, and it is more probable that it denotes one of two rivers in central India -either the Sindhu river which is a tributary of the Yamuna, or the Kali-Sindhu river which is a tributary of the Chambal." The Yuga Purana, Mitchener, 2002.
  24. ^ "For any scholar engaged in the study of the presence of the Indo-Greeks or Indo-Scythians before the Christian Era, the Yuga Purana is an important source material" Dilip Coomer Ghose, General Secretary, The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2002
  25. ^ "The greatest city in India is that which is called Palimbothra, in the dominions of the Prasians [...] Megasthenes informs us that this city stretched in the inhabited quarters to an extreme length on each side of eighty stadia, and that its breadth was fifteen stadia, and that a ditch encompassed it all round, which was six hundred feet in breadth and thirty cubits in depth, and that the wall was crowned with 570 towers and had four-and-sixty gates." Arr. Ind. 10. "Of Pataliputra and the Manners of the Indians.", quoting Megasthenes Text
  26. ^ "The Besnagar Garuda pillar inscription witnesses to the presence of the Yavana Heliodorus son of Dion in Vidisa as an envoy from Taxila of king Antialkidas around 140 BC", Mitchener, The Yuga Purana, p.64
  27. ^ Marshall, "Sirkap Archeological Report", p 15–16
  28. ^ The excavations by John Marshall at Taxila are the only significant excavations ever done, but only a small and peripheral portion of the city of Sirkap has been excavated to the Greek level ("The chief area in which digging has been carried down to the Greek strata is a little to the West of the main street near the northern gateway (...) Had it been practicable, I should have preferred to choose an area nearer to the city's center, where more interesting structures may be expected than in the outlying quarters near the city wall" ("Taxila", p 120). Overall, the Greek excavations only represented a small part of the excavations: "And let me say that seven-eighths of the digging in this area has been devoted to Saka-Parthian structures of the second stratum; one-eight only to the earlier Saka and Greek remains below" ("Taxila", p 119)
  29. ^ Narain "The Indo-Greeks"
  30. ^ "An ancient reference to Menander's invasion", The Indian Historical Quarterly XXIX/1 Agrawala 1953, p 180–182.
  31. ^ Reference: Domenico Faccenna, "Butkara I, Swat Pakistan, 1956–1962), Part I, IsMEO, ROME 1980.
  32. ^ Marshall, "Taxila", p.120
  33. ^ Chapel H, about 50 meters near the Dharmarajika stupa, in Marshall, "Excavations at Taxila", "The only minor antiquities of interest found in this building were twenty-five debased silver coins of the Greek king Zoilus II, which were brought to light beneath the foundations of the earliest chapel", p248
  34. ^ "From Butkara I we know that building activities never ceased. The stupa was enlarged in a second phase under Menander, and again when the coins of Azes II were in circulation." Harry Falk "Afghanistan, ancien carrefour entre l'Est et l'Ouest", p.347. "The diffusion, from the second century BCE, of Hellenistic influences in the architecture of Swat is also attested by the archaeological searches at the sanctuary of Butkara I, which saw its stupa "monumentalized" at that exact time by basal elements and decorative alcoves derived from Hellenistic architecture", in "De l'Indus a l'Oxus: archaeologie de l'Asie Centrale" 2003, Pierfrancesco Callieri, p212
  35. ^ "They were intended to hold a figured panel, relief-work, or something of the kind" Domenico Facenna, "Butkara I"
  36. ^ Tarn and Narain postulate two Demetrii; the former thinks the Demetrius Anicetus coins describe Demetrius I, although actually made by Demetrius II; the latter that they are entirely by Demetrius II, and have nothing to do with Demetrius I. Bopearachchi ascribes one more recent find to Agathocles, but depicting Demetrius I; he postulates a much later Demetrius III for the previously known coins; this result is now fairly widely accepted by numismatists. The possibility of one Demetrius is attested by Develin and Brill's New Pauly, "Demetrius [4]"


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External links

  • News story of the latest archaeological discovery of artefacts dated back to Indo-Greek period
  • Indo-Greek history and coins
  • Ancient coinage of the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms
  • Text of Prof. Nicholas Sims-Williams (University of London) mentioning the arrival of the Kushans and the replacement of Greek Language.
  • Wargame reconstitution of Indo-Greek armies
  • Files dealing with Indo-Greeks & a genealogy of the Bactrian kings
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