Indo-Greek Kingdom

Indo-GreekIndo-GreeksIndo-Greek KingdomsGraeco-IndianGreeksIndiaNorthwest IndiaGreekIndo-Greek kingcultural contact
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan, into the classical circumscriptions of the Punjab of the Indian subcontinent (northern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.wikipedia
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Pakistan

Islamic Republic of PakistanPAKPakistani
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan, into the classical circumscriptions of the Punjab of the Indian subcontinent (northern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.
The ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans and Sikhs.

Demetrius I of Bactria

DemetriusDemetrius IDemetrius of Bactria
The kingdom was founded when the Graeco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded the subcontinent early in the 2nd century BC.
Demetrius I (Greek: Δημήτριος Α΄), also called Dharmamita, was a Greco-Bactrian/Indo-Greek (Yona in Pali language, "Yavana" in Sanskrit) king (reigned c. 200–180 BC), who ruled areas from Bactria to ancient northwestern India.

Sialkot

SealkoteSialkot citySialkot Sector
He had his capital at Sakala in the Punjab (present-day Sialkot).
Sialkot is believed to be site of ancient Sagala, a city razed by Alexander the Great in 326 BCE, and then made capital of the Indo-Greek kingdom by Menander I in the 2nd century BCE – a time during which the city greatly prospered as a major centre for trade and Buddhist thought.

Greco-Buddhist art

Gandhara artGandharan artGreco-Buddhist
The diffusion of Indo-Greek culture had consequences which are still felt today, particularly through the influence of Greco-Buddhist art.
The origins of Greco-Buddhist art are to be found in the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian kingdom (250–130 BC), located in today’s Afghanistan, from which Hellenistic culture radiated into the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of the Indo-Greek kingdom (180–10 BC).

Taxila

Takshashilaancient TaxilaTakshasila
The expression "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, traditionally associated with a number of regional capitals like Taxila, (modern Punjab (Pakistan)), Pushkalavati and Sagala.
Some ruins at Taxila date to the time of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, followed successively by Mauryan Empire, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, and Kushan Empire periods.

Afghanistan

AfghanIslamic Republic of AfghanistanAfghans
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan, into the classical circumscriptions of the Punjab of the Indian subcontinent (northern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.
Much of it soon broke away from them and became part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom.

Sagala

SakalaSangalaSāgala
He had his capital at Sakala in the Punjab (present-day Sialkot). The expression "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, traditionally associated with a number of regional capitals like Taxila, (modern Punjab (Pakistan)), Pushkalavati and Sagala.
In the 2nd century BC, Sagala was made capital of the Indo-Greek kingdom by Menander I.

Theophilos (king)

TheophilosTheophilusTheophila
Other potential centers are only hinted at; for instance, Ptolemy's Geographia and the nomenclature of later kings suggest that a certain Theophila in the south of the Indo-Greek sphere of influence may also have been a satrapal or royal seat at one time.
Theophilos (Greek: Θεόφιλος) was a minor Indo-Greek king who ruled for a short time in the Paropamisadae.

Punjab, Pakistan

PunjabPunjab ProvincePunjab (Pakistan)
The expression "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, traditionally associated with a number of regional capitals like Taxila, (modern Punjab (Pakistan)), Pushkalavati and Sagala.
Punjab was part of both classical Western Eurasian empires including the Achaemenid, Macedonian, Kushan, Greco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek and Hindu Shahi empires, as well as Indo-Gangetic (North Indian) empires such as that of the Maurya and Gupta.

Greeks

GreekHellenesGreek people
Euthydemus I was, according to Polybius, a Magnesian Greek.
In the Indo-Greek and Greco-Bactrian kingdoms, Greco-Buddhism was spreading and Greek missionaries would play an important role in propagating it to China.

Ai-Khanoum

Alexandria on the OxusAi KhanoumAi Khanum
Alexander had also established several colonies in neighbouring Bactria, such as Alexandria on the Oxus (modern Ai-Khanoum) and Alexandria of the Caucasus (medieval Kapisa, modern Bagram).
Ai-Khanoum (Aï Khānum, also Ay Khanum, lit. “Lady Moon” in Uzbek), possibly the historical Alexandria on the Oxus, possibly later named Eucratidia, Εὐκρατίδεια) was one of the primary cities of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom from circa 280 BCE, and of the Indo-Greek kings when they ruled both in Bactria and northwestern India, from the time of Demetrius I (200-190 BCE) to the time of Eucratides (170–145 BCE).

Gujarat

Gujarat StateGujarat, IndiaGujrat
Some Greeks (Yavanas) may have played an administrative role in the territories ruled by Ashoka: the Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman records that during the rule of Ashoka, a Yavana King/ Governor named Tushaspha was in charge in the area of Girnar, Gujarat, mentioning his role in the construction of a water reservoir.
Between the decline of Mauryan power and Saurashtra coming under the sway of the Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was an Indo-Greek defeat in Gujarat of Demetrius.

Kapisi (city)

KapisaKāpiśacity of Kapisa
Alexander had also established several colonies in neighbouring Bactria, such as Alexandria on the Oxus (modern Ai-Khanoum) and Alexandria of the Caucasus (medieval Kapisa, modern Bagram).
The city of Kapiśi also appeared as Kaviśiye on Indo-Greek coins of Apollodotus/Eucratides, as well as the Nezak Huns.

Edicts of Ashoka

edictsAshokan edictsedicts of Aśoka
Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka, who had converted to the Buddhist faith declared in the Edicts of Ashoka, set in stone, some of them written in Greek, that Greek populations within his realm also had converted to Buddhism:
The first successful attempts at deciphering the ancient Brahmi script were made in 1836 by Norwegian scholar Christian Lassen, who used the bilingual Greek-Brahmi coins of Indo-Greek king Agathocles to correctly and securely identify several Brahmi letters.

Agathocles of Bactria

AgathoclesAgathokles
Kings Euthydemus, Euthydemus II, Agathocles and Pantaleon made these coin issues around 170 BC and it has alternatively been suggested that a nickeliferous copper ore was the source from mines at Anarak.
Agathocles Dikaios (epithet meaning: "the Just") was a Greco-Bactrian/ Indo-Greek king, who reigned between around 190 and 180 BC.

Mahadharmaraksita

MahadhammarakkhitaMahādhammarakkhita
The Greeks in India even seem to have played an active role in the propagation of Buddhism, as some of the emissaries of Ashoka such as Dharmaraksita, or the teacher Mahadharmaraksita, are described in Pali sources as leading Greek ("Yona", i.e., Ionian) Buddhist monks, active in Buddhist proselytism (the Mahavamsa, XII).
Mahadhammarakkhita (Sanskrit: Mahadharmaraksita, literally "Great protector of the Dharma") was a Greek (in Pali:"Yona", lit. "Ionian") Buddhist master, who lived during the 2nd century BCE during the reign of the Indo-Greek king Menander.

Hellenistic period

HellenisticHellenistic eraHellenistic Age
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan, into the classical circumscriptions of the Punjab of the Indian subcontinent (northern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.
After Alexander the Great's invasion of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC and its disintegration shortly after, the Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia (Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon), north-east Africa (Ptolemaic Kingdom) and South Asia (Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Indo-Greek Kingdom).

Audumbaras

Audumbara
The most prominent entities to form were the Yaudheya Republic, Arjunayanas, and the Audumbaras.
They issued coinage from the 1st century BCE, when they seemingly gained independence from the Indo-Greeks.

Yona

YavanaYavanasGreeks
Some Greeks (Yavanas) may have played an administrative role in the territories ruled by Ashoka: the Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman records that during the rule of Ashoka, a Yavana King/ Governor named Tushaspha was in charge in the area of Girnar, Gujarat, mentioning his role in the construction of a water reservoir. The Greeks in India even seem to have played an active role in the propagation of Buddhism, as some of the emissaries of Ashoka such as Dharmaraksita, or the teacher Mahadharmaraksita, are described in Pali sources as leading Greek ("Yona", i.e., Ionian) Buddhist monks, active in Buddhist proselytism (the Mahavamsa, XII). Around 322 BC, the Greeks (described as Yona or Yavana in Indian sources) may then have participated, together with other groups, in the armed uprising of Chandragupta Maurya against the Nanda Dynasty, and gone as far as Pataliputra for the capture of the city from the Nandas.
In general, the words "Yoṇa" or "Yoṇaka" were the current Greek Hellenistic forms, while the term "Yavana" was the Indian word to designate the Greeks or the Indo-Greeks.

Mitra dynasty

Mitras of MathuraMitraMitra dynasties
The Datta dynasty and Mitra dynasty soon followed in Mathura.
From numismatic, literary and epigraphic evidence, it seems that the Indo-Greeks had control over Mathura at some time, especially during the rule of Menander I (165–135 BCE).

Milinda Panha

MilindapanhaMilinda PañhaMilindapañha
There are Indian literary sources, ranging from the Milinda Panha, a dialogue between a Buddhist sage Nagasena and Indianized names that may be related to Indo-Greek kings such as Menander I.
It purports to record a dialogue between the Buddhist sage Nāgasena, and the Indo-Greek king Menander I (Pali: Milinda) of Bactria, who reigned from Sagala (modern Sialkot, Pakistan).

Silk Road

Silk Routesilk tradesilk
A number of Chinese envoys were then sent to Central Asia, triggering the development of the Silk Road from the end of the 2nd century BC.
The Greeks remained in Central Asia for the next three centuries, first through the administration of the Seleucid Empire, and then with the establishment of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (250–125 BCE) in Bactria (modern Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan) and the later Indo-Greek Kingdom (180 BCE – 10 CE) in modern Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Gandhara

GandhāraGandharanGandahara
Demetrius I seems to have conquered the Kabul valley, Arachosia and perhaps Gandhara; he struck no Indian coins, so either his conquests did not penetrate that far into India or he died before he could consolidate them.
Conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC, it subsequently became part of the Maurya Empire and then the Indo-Greek Kingdom.

Yavana era

Greek eraIndo-Greek era
Finally, Demetrius may have been the founder of a newly discovered Yavana era, starting in 186/5 BC.
It was initially thought that the era started around 186 BCE, and corresponded to accession to the Greco-Bactrian throne of Demetrius, who is said to have initiated the Indo-Greek conquest of parts of Northwestern South Asia.

Antiochus II Theos

Antiochus IIAntiochusAntiochos
The high chronology has the advantage of explaining why the Seleucid king Antiochus II issued very few coins in Bactria, as Diodotos would have become independent there early in Antiochus' reign.
According to Justin's epitome of Pompeius Trogus, in Bactria, his satrap Diodotus also revolted in 255 BC, and founded the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, which would further expand in India in 180 BC to form the Indo-Greek Kingdom (180–1 BC).