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Georgios Paraskevopoulos

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KALEIDOSCOPE #9: INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA
1/11/2009 2:05:48 PM
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INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA

Dedicated to my dear friend

Pauline Raina,



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and Nirmala Devaprasad, Rahul Majumdar, Rajaram S.K.,

and all members from India.

 

PROLOGUE

 

In school they teach us history but I would rather say stories to make the western culture more attractive. How many of you knew that Greece (Hellas) conquered India three times? I presume you don't know that but you know that the scientists say there is an Indo-European language is the language from which all the other languages are developed. I have never heard that the conquerors bow their head, kneed and accept culture and language of countries under their conquest.


From mythology we know Dionysus and Heracles Expedition to India and from historical ages we know that Alexander The Great conquered India, but India did never in mythology or history conquer Greece.


Could reality be different from what is told to us? Yes, I think it could be the opposite. Hellenic language was the official language in India for more than 200 years. It is enough to plant in words and meanings in another language.



EVIDENCE OF THE INTITIAL INVASION

 

Greco-Roman sources

 

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

 

“Those who, after Alexander, advanced beyond the Hypanis, to the Ganges and Pataliputra.” (Strabo, 15-1-27)

 

The 1st century BC 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.

 

The Roman historian Justin also mentioned the Indo-Greek conquests, describing Demetrius as Regis Indorum “King of the Indians”, and explaining that after vanquishing him Eucratides in turn “put India under his rule” (Indiam in potestatem redegit).[3] Although “India” only meant the upper Indus for Alexander the Great, since the embassies of Megasthenes in the 3rd century BC “India” meant to the Greeks most of the northern half of the Indian subcontinent, an area roughly corresponding to the extent of the Mauryan Empire at its largest.

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 Barigaza (Bharuch), 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 Patalena, but also, on the rest of the coast, of what is called the kingdom of Saraostus and Sigerdis”. (Strabo 11.11.1)

 

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

“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 and Menander”. Periplus Chap. 47

 

Indian sources

 

Various Indian records describe Greek (called Yavana) attacks on Mathura, Panchala, Saketa, and Pataliputra. Patanjali, a grammarian and commentator on Panini around 150 BC, describes in the Mahabhasya, the invasion in two examples using the imperfect tense of Sanskrit, denoting a recent event:

 

“Arunad Yavanah Saketam” (“The Yavana were besieging Saketa”)

 

“Arunad Yavano Madhyamikam” (The Yavana 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.[7] Accounts of battles between the Greeks and the Sunga in Central India are also found in the Malavikagnimitra, a play by Kalidasa which describes a battle between Greek forces and Vasumitra, the grandson of Pushyamitra, during the latter's reign.


Also the Brahmanical text of the Yuga Purana, which describes Indian historical events in the form of a prophecy, relates the attack of the Indo-Greeks on the capital Pataliputra, a magnificent fortified city with 570 towers and 64 gates according to Megasthenes, 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).  

 

Yavan, Yunan, Yunanistan, Yona are other names for Ionia a name which was used for ancient Greece (Hellas).


Kindly Regards

Georgios


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Patricia Bartch

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Re: KALEIDOSCOPE #9: INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA
1/11/2009 2:12:26 PM

Hello Georgios.  A very interesting comment and information about India.  The Greek Culture & India.  Also very nice of you to dedicate this topic to our dear friend Pauline.  Thank you!!

Pat

 

 


INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA

Dedicated to my dear friend

Pauline Raina,



ACTIVITIES

BFA Admin (Forum)
KALEIDOSCOPE founder and member

FORUM Admin Paulines Pot Pourrie
FORUM Admin Focus Biz
FORUM Admin A Poets Portal

POTY candidate (Cast your Vote)

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Georgios Paraskevopoulos

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Re: KALEIDOSCOPE #9: INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA
1/11/2009 2:29:10 PM
Welcome In Patricia!

I am back after a marvelous night and birthday party. I had not much in mind so I decided to bring in some secondary knowledge.

Yes Pauline is a Great friend and a valuable member and founder of this forum and also in our community. Thanks to her we can share some information from other countries and cultures.

She don't know anythiong about this and may be surprised. I will let her find in by herself. She is sleeping now.

Lets start with some India sounds

Bansuri - The Indian flute
Music from a concert in Chennai - Pauline home town

Kindly Regards
Georgios.
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Dimitra Bravou

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Re: KALEIDOSCOPE #9: INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA
1/11/2009 2:39:36 PM

Hello Georgios,

I'm very glad you're back with one more interesting topic. Thank you for sharing all this information about Indo Greek Kingdom in India. It's amazing that we don't learn all these details of the Greek History in school.




   

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Dimitra

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Georgios Paraskevopoulos

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Re: KALEIDOSCOPE #9: INDO-GREEK KINGDOM OF INDIA
1/11/2009 3:11:17 PM
Hi Dimitra!

The Greek school today is like the other Euro-American schools. They teach us what they are told from above to teach. I am sure you red abouth Pallas Athena being Black and negroid. I have never seen a blue eyed negroid because there aren't any. Homer calls here "glaucomatta" meaning blue eyed and from glaus you have the English word glad. meaning grey-blue glancing eye colour.

But let's stay in India-Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Greek Asiatic Kingsoms.

We should be very happy that Alexander went to India. This was the best culture marriage ever. Greece, Egypt, Balylonia and India all under one umbrella for more than 300 years. The exchange of culture was good for all of us.

Now lets have some more sounds from India.


BEATLES IN INDIA   


Click above - Video and India music

Kindly Regards,
Georgios

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