Indo-Greek Kingdom

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Indo-Greek Kingdom
200 BC–AD 10
Indo-Greek Kingdom is located in South Asia
Territory of the Indo-Greeks circa 150 BC.[1]
CapitalAlexandria in the Caucasus (modern Bagram) [2]


Brahmi script)
• 200 – 180 BC
Demetrius I (first)
• 25 BC – 10 AD
Strato III (last)
Historical eraAntiquity
• Established
200 BC
• Disestablished
AD 10
150 BC[3]1,100,000 km2 (420,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Maurya Empire
Today part ofAfghanistan

The Indo-Greek Kingdom, or Graeco-Indian Kingdom, also known historically as the Yavana Kingdom (Yavanarajya),[4] was a Hellenistic-era Greek kingdom covering various parts of modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India.[5][6][7][8][9][10] This kingdom was in existence from c. 200 BC to the beginning of the common era.

During its existence the kingdom was ruled over by 30 successive kings.

Punjab (present-day Sialkot).[11]

The kingdom was founded when the

Indian Subcontinent were eventually divided from the Graeco-Bactrians centered on Bactria (now the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan), and the Indo-Greeks in the present-day northern Indian Subcontinent.[13]

The expression "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, traditionally associated with a number of regional capitals like

Theophila in the south of the Indo-Greek sphere of influence may also have been a satrapal
or royal seat at one time.

During the two centuries of their rule, the Indo-Greek kings

Indo-Scythian descent, although he is now seen as a regular Indo-Greek king.[21]

Following the death of Menander, most of his empire splintered and Indo-Greek influence was considerably reduced. Many new kingdoms and republics east of the


Initial Greek presence in the Indian subcontinent

Mauryan Empire
period, 3rd century BC.

Greeks first began to settle the Northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent during the time of the

Anatolian peninsula
. When Greek villages rebelled under the Persian yoke, they were sometimes ethnically cleansed, by relocation to the far side of the empire. Thus there came to be many Greek communities in the Indian parts of the Persian empire.

In the Fourth Century BC,

Peithon, son of Agenor,[25] until his departure for Babylon
in 316 BC.

Around 322 BC, the Greeks (described as

Parasikas (Persians) and Bahlikas (Bactrians) who took Pataliputra.[27][28][29]

In 305 BC,

Indus, where he encountered Chandragupta. The confrontation ended with a peace treaty, and "an intermarriage agreement" (Epigamia, Greek: Ἐπιγαμία), meaning either a dynastic marriage or an agreement for intermarriage between Indians and Greeks. Accordingly, Seleucus ceded to Chandragupta his northwestern territories, possibly as far as Arachosia and received 500 war elephants (which played a key role in the victory of Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus):[30]

The Indians occupy in part some of the countries situated along the Indus, which formerly belonged to the Persians: Alexander deprived the Ariani of them, and established there settlements of his own. But

Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, and received in return five hundred elephants.

— Strabo 15.2.1(9)[31]

The details of the marriage agreement are not known,

Yavana") princess, daughter of Seleucus,[33]
before accurately detailing early Mauryan genealogy:


Pausasa. Thus, he mixed the Buddhists and the Yavanas. He ruled for 60 years. From him, Vindusara was born and ruled for the same number of years as his father. His son was Ashoka."

— Pratisarga Parva[34][33]

Seleucus Nicator, Berenice (Suvarnnaksi), and thus, he mixed the Indians and the Greeks. His grandson Ashoka, as Woodcock and other scholars have suggested, "may in fact have been half or at least a quarter Greek."[36]

Also several Greeks, such as the historian

Hellenistic pottery that can be found throughout northern India.[41]

On these occasions, Greek populations apparently remained in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent under Mauryan rule. 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,[42][43] that Greek populations within his realm also had converted to Buddhism:[44]

Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dharma.

— Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika).

In his edicts, Ashoka mentions that he had sent Buddhist emissaries to Greek rulers as far as the Mediterranean (Edict No. 13),[45][46] and that he developed herbal medicine in their territories, for the welfare of humans and animals (Edict No. 2).[47]

" around 130 BC.

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

Yavana King/ Governor named Tushaspha was in charge in the area of Girnar, Gujarat, mentioning his role in the construction of a water reservoir.[53][54]

Again in 206 BC, the Seleucid emperor Antiochus led an army to the Kabul valley, where he received war elephants and presents from the local king Sophagasenus:[55]

He (Antiochus) crossed the Caucasus (the Caucasus Indicus or Paropamisus: mod. Hindú Kúsh) and descended into India; renewed his friendship with Sophagasenus the king of the Indians; received more elephants, until he had a hundred and fifty altogether; and having once more provisioned his troops, set out again personally with his army: leaving Androsthenes of Cyzicus the duty of taking home the treasure which this king had agreed to hand over to him.

Greek rule in Bactria

Alexander had also established several colonies in neighbouring

Third Syrian War
, a catastrophic conflict for the Seleucid Empire.

Diodotus, the governor of the thousand cities of Bactria (

Justin, XLI,4[60]