Indo-Scythians in Indian literature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Indo-Scythians were named "Shaka" in India, an extension on the name Saka used by the Persians to designate Scythians. From the time of the Mahabharata wars (1500-500 BCE) Shakas receive numerous mentions in texts like the Puranas, the Manusmriti, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Mahabhasiya of Patanjali, the Brhat Samhita of Vraha Mihira, the Kavyamimamsa, the Brihat-Katha-Manjari, the Katha-Sarit-Sagara and several other old texts. They are described as part of an amalgam of other war-like tribes from the northwest.

Coin of Zeionises (c. 10 BCE - 10 CE).
Obv: King on horseback holding whip, with bow behind and Buddhist Triratna symbol.
King Spalirises standing in armour. From his coins [1] and [2]. He holds the ankus in the right hand.

Atri Smriti reference[edit]

In his Book of Law (Atri-Smriti or Atri-Samhita), Rsi Atri regards the Sakas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Khasas, Parasikas, Natas, Svapakas etc. as Mlechchas and forbids receiving any gifts from or eating the food of or having any kinds of contacts or connections with them.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Atri-Samhita, VII.2; History of Dharmaśāstra: (ancient and Mediæval Religious and Civil Law), 1930, p 384, P. V. Kane, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, India.(Bombay); A Corpus of Indian Studies, Eassays in honour of Prof Gaurinath Sastri, 1980, p 396, Gauri Natha Bhattacharya, A. L. Bhasham, Gaurinath Sastria.