Talk:Greco-Bactrian Kingdom

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Greek and Indo-Greek Empire extended eastward only to Afghanistan/Pakistan[edit]

According to most maps and Greek historical accounts, Greeks only conquered Afghanistan and the regions which now consitute modern day Pakistan. indo-greeks referred to the intermarriage of Greeks with the inhabitants of the Indus valley basin which is also exclusively located in Pakistan. To infer that the Greeks ruled over northern india is an innaccurate statement. Please correct this fact. Cheers —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:04, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

As I have advertised on the discussion page for the Indo-Greek Kingdom: here comes a major revision of the chronology of the kings after Demetrius I. Here are the reasons for my changes:

1. Pantaleon. He is definitely not a son of Demetrius I. The portraits on the pedigree coins of Agathocles show him as a middle-aged man. If he died in 185 BCE, he was in the very least born before 215 BCE. Demetrios I is described by Polybius (Histories 12.34) to be a young unmarried man in 206 BCE. Very possibly, Pantaleon was older than Demetrius!

2. Demetrius I. This brings us to the latters reign. Many Bactrian coins depict wrinkled, middle-aged men and obviously experience was seen as a valuable asset for a king, but none of all of the coins bearing the name Demetrius show an aged portrait. This points towards a rather short reign, not the 30 years between 200-170 BCE which was the previous suggestion!

3. The sub-king concept. With Demetrius I dead before the 170s, there is no need to consider all of the other kings his sub-kings and brothers. Euthydemus II, Agathocles and Antimachus might well have begun their reigns after the death of Demetrius I. The only king who might have been a "sub-king" IMHO is Apollodotus I, who reigned in India only and generally did not strike portraits (see discussion on message 1265 , I am egil4870) Otherwise sub-king concept yearns for support from all sides! The kings all use the title Basileos, which explicitly means "independent king" and was not used by neither the Diadochs, the Attalids or Diodotus I until long after they seized power

4. Agathocleia. To my knowledge, nobody knows who her father was, even though my default guess should be Agathocles rather than Demetrius, shouldn't it?

5. Demetrius II. I have redirected this king from "Demetrius II of Bactria" to "Demetrius II of India", for reasons stated in his article. I have also added a short clausul on the ambiguity of the coins of the two (or three) kings with that name. Numismatics is, after all, the main source for knowledge of these kings.

6. Menander. I have yet to see any proof that he was related to the Euthydemids. He might well have been a governor of Sialkot, appointed by Eucratides but rebelling during the chaos after his death in the 140s.

Best Regards Sponsianus

Upon looking closer at the coins of Pantaleon published here, I noticed that he did strike coins with portrait and Zeus in his lifetime! This coin is totally unknown to me, and I have browsed through all net collections for years. It seems that PHG has taken this rare finding from Bopearachi (whose books are only published in French, which I don't speak!) This revelation does of course change my view of Pantaleon. He is still not the son of Demetrius I, but he is very likely to have been a brother! My apologies are due. Sponsianus

Jun 10 I have now substituted the passage where Euthydemus is said to have conquered certain Parthian satraps. This is anachronistic: the Parthian empire and its satrapies simply did not exist yet! The Parthian satrapies were not created until after they were taken from the Bactrian during the reign of Eucratides! "In the beginning, Arsaces was weak, and so were his followers." (Justin) Sponsianus


There are several types of Yauna in the Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions:

(1) Yaunβ in general: the same as the Greeks known as "Ionians", i.e., those living in Asia Minor. They can already be found in the Behistun Inscription, when the Persian rule had not yet reached Europe. This identification is 100% certain.

(2) Yaunβ takabarβ, the 'Greeks with shield-shaped hats'. First mentioned in DNa ( ), where they are distinguished from the "normal" Yaunβ: an almost certain reference to the Macedonian sunhats.

(3 and 4) "The Yaunβ, near and across the sea": another division, for the first time found in DSe ( ) and in a slightly different form in the Daiva Inscription by Xerxes (XPh: ). The obvious reading is "the Asian Yauna and the European Yauna", i.e., -again- Asian Greeks and Macedonians.

On the other hand, Persian inscriptions are fairly stereotypical, and the fact that there is a small difference between the precise wording of DSe and XPh suggests that there is a difference. Perhaps, there is a difference between the "Yauna across the sea" and the sunhat-Yaunβ. If this is correct, the Yauna across the sea must be either Cypriot Greeks (but why didn't Darius, who seems to have subdued Cyprus, mention them?) or the Thessalians, Boeotians, and Athenians - nations that Xerxes could claim to have conquered.

(5) There is a seal from the age of Xerxes ( ) in which the great king defeats someone looking like a Yauna. It is unique, because a second man appears to have a hand in the killing, and this man looks like a Yauna. Is this the Macedonian king Alexander who helps killing a Thessalian/Boeotian/Athenian??

Such instances are extremely rare since only a handful of original Persian texts have survived.There are of references by Darius I in the Behistun Inscription to Sardis (OP Sparda), Ionia (OP Yauna) and Cappadocia (OP Katpatuka). There are also a couple of statements concerning the Greeks and their tribes in the Babylonian tablets.

Great stuff![edit]

I want to say I love this article, its really interesting! I always wondered what happened in that part of the world after Alexander...who knew that the Greek settlers were setting up their own little kingdom, and contacting China!?

Once again a fascinating article. Well done! PJB 13:58, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

As I see the portrets of all coins are not greeks - see profiles - noses. Or greeks have to be in all history everywhere. For what reason. Firdt time I read something connected greeks and baktrians( in greece) or balgharas (in hindu). It is simmple to understand from where the name cames. You can check into the ancient armenians manuskripts for that, also in iranians, indians.

Parthia vs Bactria[edit]

I recall to have read passages suggesting that Bactria was much stronger than the Parthian kingdom, is this acceptable or is that pov? Mallerd 11:54, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

You're right about that. Justin, Epitome of Pompeius Trogus book 41 wrote just so. In the beginning, Parthia was undeniably a weaker state than Bactria, but Justin's works are generally considered rather confused (he lived centuries after the events) and should IMHO not be presented without thorough commentary. --Sponsianus (talk) 10:03, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

BC/AD usage versus BCE/CE usage in dates[edit]

I created this topic because I am personally concerned that more and more people are using the BCE/CE abbreviations to denote dates rather than the time-honored BC/AD abbreviations. I am concerned because I believe that it is a POV bias against Christians. One could argue that perhaps I am biased against non-Christians or secularists because I wish to continue using abbreviations which have a specific religious connotation to them. In my defense, that is not the reason why I am bringing this to light. Rather, I am doing it for two reasons, they are:

1) To continue what history has given us for posterity's sake, and
2) To keep a uniform system of referencing in Wikipedia for article tidiness

For now, I will not edit any articles with BCE/CE in them until or if I get a general feel of consensus by Wikipedia users.

Discuss - USMarinesTanker 1055, 20071221 (MST)

If more people are using BCE/CE, like you yourself just said, then whats the big deal? Most people aren't going to be comfortable with "Before Christ" & "In the Year of (Our) Lord", the same way you wouldn't be comfortable with the Islamic calendar or the Buddhist calendar. ʄ!¿talk? 19:18, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

This article originally used BC/AD notation. Then about four years ago we had this edit [1] where User:PHG took it upon himself to change to CE/BCE. Note his edit summary "some more info". Recently I've been looking into this issue and it seems that there's a concerted effort to sneak in BC --> BCE changes right across the project. Wikipedia policy is to defer to the choice of the editor making the first major edit, and not to change the format without broad consensus. I see no broad consensus here, and even though the edit was made a long time ago, given the issue has been raised here again, I believe the original usage should now be restored. If it is not, then it gives carte blanche to those who wish to eliminate BC/AD usage from Wikipedia. See also the discussion at Talk:Kabul for a similar instance. (talk) 12:05, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Ha good luck... the BCE/CE way is just neutral. Really it's not a big deal if people innocently use the old BC/AD style —people will know what they are talking about— but why get hung up on it? And aggressively promote its use? Take it from me, you will only encourage people who prefer the other way to kick back twice as hard, thus making it futile. ʄ!¿talk? 12:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, the reality is that I am the one who created this article in July 2004, and that as I was un-stubbing it I introduced BCE/CE in most of the text (with one or two cases when BC/AD remained). A few months later, there was some discussion with a user called Jguk who asked for consistency, and we implemented BCE/CE systematically. Thereofore, it is the very creator of this article (me) who corrected himself to BCE/CE, as a more consistent and neutral dating method. Now, the policy on Wikipedia:Manual of style is first to give priority to the most stable form, and indeed BCE/CE in this article has been stable for nearly four years now. We should therefore continue with it. It is only when there is not an established usage in the article that the initial non-stub format can be invoked. Even in this case, the article was quite arguably BCE/CE from its initial non-stub stage. Regards to all PHG (talk) 13:01, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi PHG, Yes I noticed you created the article, but I don't see the relevance of that fact. Here's the article immediately prior to the BC --> BCE changes [2]. It's not a stub, and it looks pretty stable to me. I won't change this article, but I would ask you, and others of a similar persuasion, not to make BC --> BCE (or indeed BCE --> BC) changes, just to satisfy your personal POV. Incidentally, half of this problem can easily be solved. Years from 1 don't need any annotation, AD or CE. Would you support the removal of CE notation from this article on that basis? (talk) 15:40, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Map of Greco-Bactria in 150 BC[edit]

I've recently finished a draft map of "Greco-Bactria & the Indo-Greeks in 150 BC", which can be viewed (for now) at It shows Greco-Bactria near the end of Eucratides' reign, and shows the Indo-Greeks in the early years of Menander's reign.

I think the only real "down-side" of the map is that it doesn't quite show either Empire at its actual greatest extent. For example, this was about 17 years after Mithridates I of Parthia took Herat and Merv from Greco-Bactria. Also, Menander was only a few years into his reign and hadn't yet begun his campaigns against the Sungas. Nevertheless, I believe the map will serve this article well because it depicts both the Greco-Bactrians and the Indo Greeks at a key point in their existence - shortly before Bactria was overrun by the Tochari (Yuezhi).

Anyway, please review the map of "Greco-Bactria & the Indo-Greeks in 150 BC", and let me know if it's acceptable for this article, etc. Thank you in advance, Thomas Lessman (talk) 00:30, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

As usual, a fine map. This is however hardly a map over Eucratides' kingdom; he probably did not rule in Sogdiana (at least not all of it), and his Indian dominions are somewhat uncertain as well. There is no known greatest extent, as Sogdiana was probably lost in the 3rd century, while the "Indian" territories were added sometimes after 200 BCE, but soon become independent, and partially reconquered once more by Eucratides. Sponsianus (talk) 21:50, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Greater Iran tag[edit]

this kingdom not only covered modern-day Afghanistan but other countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, eastern parts of modern-day Iran. The only logical thing to do is to remove the current Afghanistan tag and to replace it with the Greater Iran tag.--Inuit18 (talk) 02:55, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

First read Talk:History_of_Afghanistan#History_Template. Second, the Kingdom's capital was Balkh which is part of current Afghanistan. In other words, the kingdom was based in what is now Afghanistan and it covered Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, eastern parts of modern-day Iran and maybe other regions as well. Greater Iran tag is irrelevant. (Ketabtoon (talk) 03:13, 27 October 2009 (UTC))

Afghanistan did not exist back then and it was part of Greater Iran. Afghanistan's template is irrelevant because it only covers modern Afghanistan not all of Bactria.--Inuit18 (talk) 03:20, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I have added "History of Afghanistan" template and I will quote User:Bejnar to explain why?
It has been determined by a consensus of neutral editors and administrators that the articles under the various countries listed on the Template:History of Greater Iran should receive templates specific to those countries, and NOT the History of Greater Iran template. Please do not impugn the valid use of that template by insisting on placing it on these articles. The more specific history template prevails. In this case, that means the use of the History of Afghanistan template.
It is not relevant when the use of the word Afghanistan started, that is not how the history articles of current countries are done. Editors shorting the Template:History of Afghanistan do not do so in accordance with the way that country history articles are written in the Wikipedia. We have already covered this extensively, the History of Iran is not just about the time periods where Persia was called Iran; it is not just since the invasion of the Aryans. It is about the land area that now is covered by Persia. The History of India is not just since the British arrived, it is the history of the land area that now is covered by India. Similarly, the History of Afghanistan has little to do with the use of the name, it is the history of the land area that now is covered by Afghanistan. Why is that so hard to grasp? Why do you think that so many of the history articles start out with Pre-historic sections? That is before writing, and in most cases the people who gave the land its current English name had not yet invaded. Look at the History of Iran article, and accept that the same general principles apply here.
How would you feel if the hypothetical template "History of Greater Macedonia" replaced the template "History of Greater Iran". Under Alexander it was all Macedonian, and the Greek influence persists, in some things, to this day. Think about it.
I hope every one understands why. (Ketabtoon (talk) 16:34, 27 October 2009 (UTC))

File:PantaleonLion.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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This article should be entitled "Graeco-Bactrian Kingdom", for consistency with "Achaemenid", "Plataea" &c in the text. Deipnosophista (talk) 09:23, 15 February 2015 (UTC)