Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı


Greco-Bactrian Kingdom




📹 A Probable Road to Oxus (VİDEO)



Greco-Bactrian Kingdom

Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (256-125 BC) (W)

Capital Bactra
Alexandria on the Oxus
Common languages Greek, Bactrian, Aramaic, Sogdian, Parthian
Religion Hellenism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism
Government Monarchy
• 256–240 BC Diodotus I
• 145–130 BC Heliocles I
Historical era Antiquity
Established 256 BC
• Disestablished 125 BC
Preceded by
Seleucid Empire
Succeeded by
Indo-Greek Kingdom
Parthian Empire

The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was – along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom – the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world, covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 to 125 BC. It was centered on the north of present-day Afghanistan. The expansion of the Greco-Bactrians into present-day eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan from 180 BC established the Indo-Greek Kingdom, which was to last until around 10 AD.


Graeco-Bactrian Kingdom

Graeco-Bactrian Kingdom (LINK)

The Graeco-Bactrian Kingdom — the easternmost region of the Hellenistic world covering Bactria (northern Afghanistan) and lands to the north (known in ancient times as Sogdiana, in present-day Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) — was one consequence of the sojourn through Afghanistan by Alexander the Great, whose army built fortresses and assigned Greek and Macedonian troops and all manner of support staff — from architects and doctors to administrators, artisans, tradesmen, even prostitutes — to remain behind in Bactria and begin to settle in that region during the late 4th century BC while Alexander continued his invasion east to India.

For at least two centuries prior to Alexander's arrival in 330 BC, Bactria had been a prized part of the Achaemenid Empire (559-330 BC) and, before that, the Median Empire (728-559 BC).

Since Greek prisoners captured in the many wars that took place between the Achaemenids and Greeks during the 5th and 4th centuries BC were often exiled to Bactria, the indigenous population of Bactria already included a high percentage of Greeks when Alexander's army arrived there in 329-328 BC.

These battle-hardened Bactrian Greeks, frequently employed by the Acheamenids in major battles and conscripted by Alexander for his own campaigns in the East, formed the backbone of a force that dominated Bactria from the mid-3rd to the second half of the 2nd century BC.

Under the leadership of Alexander's former soldiers and their descendents, the Bactrian Greeks created a Hellenic-inspired kingdom in the heart of Central Asia.

The Greeks' capitol at Bactra (present-day Balkh) included a huge Seleucid-era fortress and Hellenistic-style architecture. Corinthian capitals that once adorned large multi-columned palaces, discovered at Balkh, date from this early period.

Seizing an opportunity provided by the Seleucid dynasty, which asserted nominal dominion over Bactria but was too distracted by wars in Egypt to defend its territories in the East, the Bactrian Greeks achieved independence under Diodotus, the Seleucid satrap (regional governor) of Bactria.

Demetrius was the first Bactrian Greek king to breach the Hindu Kush, the traditional barrier that had long separated the Bactrians in the North and the Indian Maurya rulers to the South. The move across the Hindu Kush occurred around 185 BC, allowing Demetrius to march south through Kabul and Kandahar, battling the Mauryas into Pakistan (where he established a capital at Taxila, where many of Demetrius coins have been found) and onward into India. According to the seventeen-line Hathigumpha ("Elephant Cave") inscription, at Udayagiri, India, purportedly carved circa 157 BC, a Yavana (Greek) king named Demetrius marched his troops into eastern India, possibly as far as the city of Rajagriha before retreating back to the West. Undefeated in battle, Demetrius was given the posthumous title Aniketos ("Invincible") on coins minted by one of his Indo-Greek successors Agathokoles.

In the process, Demetrius carved out an Indo-Greek kingdom at the far eastern edge of the Hellenistic world, which later Greek kings would govern for the next two centuries. [The Indo Greek presence in NW India, N Pakistan and E Afghanistan continued until the last petty principality was absorbed by Scythian nomads around 20 BC.]



📹 Ancient Greek State in Afghanistan (VİDEO)

Ancient Greek State in Afghanistan (LINK)



  Indo-Greek Kingdom

Indo-Greek Kingdom

Indo-Greek Kingdom (180 BC-AD 10) (W)

Capital Alexandria in the Caucasus (Kapisi/Bagram)
Taxila (Sirkap)
Chiniotis (Chiniot)
Sagala (Sialkot)
Peukelaotis (Charsadda, Pushkalavati)
Common languages Greek (Greek alphabet)
Pali (Kharoshthi script)
(Brahmi script)
Religion Hinduism, Ancient Greek religion, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism
Government Monarchy
King • 180–160 BC
Apollodotus I • 25 BC – AD 10
Strato II & Strato III
Historical era Antiquity
• Established 180 BC
• Disestablished AD 10
Preceded by Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Succeeded by Indo-Scythians
Today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Turkmenistan

The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was an Hellenistic kingdom covering various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent (parts of modern Pakistan and northwestern India), during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another.

The kingdom was founded when the Graeco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded the subcontinent early in the 2nd century BC. The Greeks in the Indian Subcontinent were eventually divided from the Graeco-Bactrians centered in Bactria (now the border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan), and the Indo-Greeks in the present-day north-western Indian Subcontinent. The most famous Indo-Greek ruler was Menander (Milinda). 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. 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.

During the two centuries of their rule, the Indo-Greek kings combined the Greek and Indian languages and symbols, as seen on their coins, and blended Greek and Indian ideas, as seen in the archaeological remains. The diffusion of Indo-Greek culture had consequences which are still felt today, particularly through the influence of Greco-Buddhist art. The ethnicity of the Indo-Greek may also have been hybrid to some degree. Euthydemus I was, according to Polybius, a Magnesian Greek. His son, Demetrius I, founder of the Indo-Greek kingdom, was therefore of Greek ethnicity at least by his father. A marriage treaty was arranged for the same Demetrius with a daughter of the Seleucid ruler Antiochus III (who had some Persian descent). The ethnicity of later Indo-Greek rulers is sometimes less clear. For example, Artemidoros (80 BC) may have been of Indo-Scythian ascendency, although this is now disputed.

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 Ravi River began to mint new coinage depicting military victories. The most prominent entities to form were the Yaudheya Republic, Arjunayanas, and the Audumbaras. The Yaudheyas and Arjunayanas both are said to have won "victory by the sword". The Datta dynasty and Mitra dynasty soon followed in Mathura. The Indo-Greeks ultimately disappeared as a political entity around 10 AD following the invasions of the Indo-Scythians, although pockets of Greek populations probably remained for several centuries longer under the subsequent rule of the Indo-Parthians and Kushans.


Demetrius I of Bactria

Demetrius I of Bactria (c. 200-180 BC) (W)

Demetrius I (Δημήτριος Α΄) was a Greek king (reigned c. 200-180 BC) of Gandhara. He was the son of the Greco-Bactrian ruler Euthydemus I and succeeded him around 200 BC, after which he conquered extensive areas in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan, thus creating an Indo-Greek Kingdom far from Hellenistic Greece. He was never defeated in battle and was posthumously qualified as the Invincible (Aniketos) on the pedigree coins of his successor Agathocles. Demetrius I may have been the initiator of the Yavana era, starting in 186-185 BC, which was used for several centuries thereafter.

"Demetrius" was the name of at least two and probably three Greek kings of Bactria. The much debated Demetrius II was a possible relative, whereas Demetrius III (c. 100 BC), is known only from numismatic evidence.


  Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology (W)

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)[1]
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura[2]
326-325 BCE Campaigns of Alexander the Great in India Nanda Empire
312 BCE Creation of the Seleucid Empire Creation of the Maurya Empire
305 BCE Seleucid Empire after Mauryan war Maurya Empire
280 BCE Foundation of Ai-Khanoum
255–239 BCE Independence of the
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Diodotus I
Emperor Ashoka (268-232)
239–223 BCE Diodotus II
230–200 BCE Euthydemus I
200–190 BCE Demetrius I Sunga Empire
190-185 BCE Euthydemus II
190–180 BCE Agathocles Pantaleon
185–170 BCE Antimachus I
180–160 BCE Apollodotus I
175–170 BCE Demetrius II
160–155 BCE Antimachus II
170–145 BCE Eucratides I
155–130 BCE Yuezhi occupation,
loss of Ai-Khanoum
Eucratides II
Heliocles I
Menander I
130–120 BCE Yuezhi occupation Zoilos I Agathokleia Yavanarajya
120–110 BCE Lysias Strato I
110–100 BCE Antialcidas Heliokles II
100 BCE Polyxenos Demetrius III
100–95 BCE Philoxenus
95–90 BCE Diomedes Amyntas Epander
90 BCE Theophilos Peukolaos Thraso
90–85 BCE Nicias Menander II Artemidoros
90–70 BCE Hermaeus Archebius
Yuezhi occupation Maues (Indo-Scythian)
75–70 BCE Vonones Telephos Apollodotus II
65–55 BCE Spalirises Hippostratos Dionysios
55–35 BCE Azes I (Indo-Scythians) Zoilos II
55–35 BCE VijayamitraAzilises Apollophanes
25 BCE – 10 CE Gondophares Zeionises Kharahostes Strato II
Strato III
Gondophares (Indo-Parthian) Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)
Kujula Kadphises (Kushan Empire) Bhadayasa




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