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Books > Greeks in Ancient Pakistan July 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life, Culture History Mythology.

Author: Rafi U Samad
Publisher: Indus Publications, 2003
ISBN: 969-529-001-9

The march of Alexander the Great to the territories, which now constitute Pakistan, was an event of great sagnificant not only because of the extraordinary nature of the military expenditure undertaken by one of the worlds greatest conquerors; but also because it was the first time that direct contacts were established between Europe and South Asia.

Alexanders’ march opend up a new era of mutually benificial trade and cultural exchanges between the two regions, more than 4000 kilometers apart.

The fairly intense interaction between ancient South Asia and Greece, which commenced with the marching of Alexander in fourth century BC, continued for almost seven centuries till the middle of 5th century AD. After Alexander it was the Seleucid and Bactrian Greeks settled in West and Central Asia, who continued to interact from across the borders, before the Bactrian/Indus Greeks conquered Gandhara and Punjab in the begining of 1st century BC. The Indus Greeks were succeeded by the philhellenic Scythian, Parthians and Kushans, who continued to rule Ancient Pakistan, till the middle of 5th century AD.

During this extensive period, the nature and extent of Greek involvement and the impact, which the interactions produced in Ancient South Asia and Greece, has been the subject of much controversy. This book incorporates the latest material, which has become available through the research of international scholars. This material has been critically evaluated and supplemented by the author’s own critical analysis of the Hellenistic influences on local art and the influence of eastren Philosophy and religions on the intellectual movments in Greece and elsewhere in Europe.

The book also seeks to identify places and regions mentioned by Alexander’s Generals in their accounts of his military campaigns in the territories, which now constitute Pakistan. It provides latest information on the Alexandrias and the cities founded by the Indus Greeks in this region and on the cantoments and military posts established by Alexander.

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