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The rarity of the appearance of Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms in ancient literature is one of the reasons why those states are so little-known today. Indo-Greek literature did exist, but none has been found that speaks about the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek states. Classical authors tell us very little about Indo-Greek kingdoms, as they were... [continue reading]
Article
Warning: See the definitions of Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek Kingdoms before reading this article, otherwise the following lines could give you serious headaches! A lack of information is a common problem for historians of the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms, due to the almost-inexistence of written accounts about them. The fact that the modern... [continue reading]
Article
Ai Khanum (also spelled Ai-Khanoum or Ay-Khanum, lit. “Lady Moon” in Uzbek), was founded in the 4th century BC, following the conquests of Alexander the Great and was one of the primary cities of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. The site is located in the northern part of modern Afghanistan, in a little plain between the Amou-Darya and the Kokcha... [continue reading]
Article

The Cyrus Cylinder

by Antoine Simonin
published on 18 January 2012
The Cyrus Cylinder is a document issued by Cyrus the Great, consisting of a cylinder of clay inscribed in Akkadian cuneiform script. The cylinder was created in 539 BC, surely by order of Cyrus the Great, when he took Babylon from Nabonidus, ending the Neo-Babylonian empire. This document is clearly propaganda, praising the Achemenid ruler Cyrus and treating... [continue reading]
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Cybele Plate

by Personal photograph of Guimet Musee
published on 26 April 2012
Plate found at Ai Khanum, in a temple, depicting Cybele, a votive sacrifice and the sun God.
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Hermaios Silver Tetradrachm

by CoinArchives.com
published on 26 April 2012
BAKTRIA, Indo-Greek Kingdom. Hermaios. Circa 105-90 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26mm, 9.61 g, 12h). Obverse:Diademed and draped bust right, wearing helmet adorned with bull's horn and ear Reverse: Zeus enthroned facing slightly left, holding scepter; monogram to left. Ref: Bopearachchi 4D; Bopearachchi & Rahman -; SNG ANS 1344-5. This kind of coin is often... [continue reading]
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Plan of Ai Khanum

by Claude Rapin
published on 26 April 2012
Plan of Ai Khanum as it was excavated by the D.A.F.A until 1978
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Commemorative coin of Euthydemos from Agathokles of Bactria

by Wildwinds.com, courtesy of cngcoins.com. Republished with permission
published on 26 April 2012
Agathokles of Bactria. Circa 185-170 BC. AR Tetradrachm. Commemorative issue struck for Euthydemos I. Obverse: diademed head of Euthydemos I right. EYΘYΔEMOY ΘEOY (= "of Euthydemos the God") Reverse: Herakles seated left on rock, holding in his right hand a club set on rocks beside his knee; monogram to right of rock. BAΣIΛEYONTOΣ ΔIKAIOY AΓAΘOKΛEOYΣ... [continue reading]
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Coin of both Hermaios and Kujula Kadphises

by CoinIndia.com
published on 26 April 2012
AE tetradrachm c. first half of 1st. Century Weight:7.29 gm., Diam:22 mm., Die axis: 10h Obverse: Hermaios-style diademed bust right Greek legend around: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣTHPOΣΣV EPMAIOV (= of the King Hermaios the Saviour) Reverse: Hercules standing facing, holding club and lion skin Kharoshti legend around: "Kujula Kasasa Kushana Yavugasa Dhramathidasa"... [continue reading]
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Cyrus Cylinder

by kourosh e kabir
published on 26 April 2012
The Cyrus Cylinder, dating from 539 BC. This document is a propaganda one of Cyrus II in order to show his legitimacy to rule in Babylonia.
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Greco-Bactrian kingdom circa 230-200 BC

by Atilin
published on 26 April 2012
Approximate borders of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom under Euthydemos' reign (c.230BC - c.200BC). The kingdom included Bactria, Oxeiana, Sogdiana and Ferghana.
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Coin of king Menander

by PHGCOM
published on 26 April 2012
Silver coin of Euthydemid king Menander. On the obverse: Basileus Soteros Menandros (King Savior Menander) Same thing on the reverse, in kharosti, with the Goddess Athena Alkidemos
Encyclopedia Definition

Seleucid Empire

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Seleucid Empire was the Persian kingdom of the Macedonian dynasty of the Seleucids, whose rule began with the collapse of Alexander's empire and faded away between Roman and Parthian growth of power in the 1st century BCE. The Seleucid Empire began when Seleucos I, one of Alexander the Great's former favorite companions, was given... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Sogdiana

by Antoine Simonin
published on 08 January 2012
Sogdiana (or Sogdia) is a region in Central Asia between the mighty rivers Iaxartes in the north and Oxus in the south. Its eastern and western limits are more difficult to determine, especially since the toponym Sogdiana covered different areas at different times. At times it kept the Oxus as its southern border until the Pamir Mountains; in other times... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Greco-Bactria

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Greco-Bactrian kingdom refers to several dynasties and probably kingdoms of Greco-Macedonian monarchs who ruled over Bactria from 250 to 130 BC. The Greco-Bactrian kingdom appeared in 250 BC, when the satrap Diodotos (or Theodotus in Latin) rebelled against his Seleucid ruler, Antiochos II, knowing that Antiochus was occupied struggling against... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Euthydemid

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Euthydemids were a Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek dynasty of approximately 25 kings, named after its founder Euthydemos. The dynasty lasted between circa 230 BC and 10 BC, according to numismatic evidence. The numismatic emblems which characterize most this dynasty are Athena Alkidemos [Defender of the peoples] and Herakles. Euthydemos, became king... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Eucratid

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Eucratids were a Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek dynasty of approximately 12 kings, lasting between c.171 BC and 80-70 BC, according to numismatic evidence. The numismatic emblem which characterized it were the palm and the Dioscuri (Castor & Pollux by horse). The dynasty began when its founder Eucratides overthrew an Euthydemid king in Bactria, probably... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Indo-Greek

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The first Indo-Greek kingdom appeared circa 190 BC may when the Greco-Bactrian king or (general for his father) Demetrios was busy in India, when his Indian possessions were divided between several kings, probably firstly in order to better govern them but then due to civil war. The term “Indo-Greek” is generally used because these kingdoms... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Iaxartes

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Iaxartes is a river, today-called Syr-Daria, which springs west of the Pamir Mountains in Fergana (in modern Kyrgyzstan), and flows through modern Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to Lake Aral, covering a distance of 2212 km. In ancient times this river flowed through Fergana and Sogdiana, marking the border of the Central Asian Steppes. It was... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Oxus

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Oxus is a river, today called Amou-darya in its western part and Wakhsh in its eastern parts, which flows for a length of 2400 km across modern Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan into Lake Aral. In Ancient times it crossed the regions Fergana, Bactria, Oxeiana, Sogdiana and Khiva. The Oxus and the Iaxartes are called twin rivers, because... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Diodotid

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Diodotids were a Greco-Bactrian dynasty of kings, composed of the two rulers Diodotos I and his son Diodotos II. The dynasty lasted between c. 250 BCE and c. 230 BCE, which was very short but significant because Diodotos I was the first Greco-Bactrian king. The numismatic emblem of this dynasty is the Thundering Zeus. Diodotos was first the Seleucid... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Ochus

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Ochus is a river, today-called Darya-i Pandj, which flows in modern Tajikistan and joins the Amou-Darya at the level of Takht-i Sangin. In Ancient Times it flew in the northern part of Bactria and joined the Oxus at the lvel of the town called Oxeiana (which was not Alexandreia Oxeiana). The famous site of Aï Khanoum is located on the Ochus; until 2002... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Hellenistic Period

by Antoine Simonin
published on 28 April 2011
The Hellenistic Period is a part of the Ancient Period for the European and Near Asian space. The use of this period is justified by the extent of the Hellenic culture in most of these areas, due to the Greek political presence especially in Asia after Alexander's conquests, but also to a new wave of Greek colonization. In consequence, the Hellenistic... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Eucratidia

by Antoine Simonin
published on 08 March 2012
Eucratidia was a Greek town in Bactria, one of the easternmost area ever controlled by the Greeks, located at the modern site of Aï Khanum in North-Eastern Afghanistan. The history of this city is still rather unknown, but it seems that, it was first built by Alexander the Great or one of his early Seleucid successors in the last decades of... [continue reading]
Encyclopedia Definition

Aria

by Antoine Simonin
published on 19 January 2013
Aria was always understood to be the area around the Areios River, today Hari Rud in Afghanistan (Arrian, 'Anabasis' IV.6.6). It was bounded to the north by Margiana and Baktria, where the area of the Margos River begins; to the west by the big Carmanian desert; to the south by Drangiana; and to the east by the mighty Paropamisadai mountains. The Areios... [continue reading]
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