Talk:Indo-Greeks/Archive 2

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Archive 1 | Archive 2 | Archive 3

Featured article candidates

What a fantastic article. Are the authors aiming to nominate it as a Featured article? -- ALoan (Talk) 11:16, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

That would certainly be an idea. PHGshould take most of the credit, I reckon.--Sponsianus 12:48, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely. Or as an alternative there is the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, also mainly by PHG, which could be considered as a candidate. The truth is PHG has really made a phantastic work in this historical and geographical area! Aldux 13:45, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for the comments! Actually several related articles are already FA, such as Greco-Buddhism and History of Buddhism, where the Indo-Greeks are mentionned. Indo-Greeks still needs a little more work (as far as I know most of the available data is pretty much in there, but I guess the flow of the article still has to be smoothened). It's also a lot of work to get an FA through! (usually one week of intense editing to answer all voter's comments and requests): I will try to see when my next window of opportunity is. Thanks! PHG 22:40, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Ye ole BC/AD

This article was originally given BC/AD dates. I was told (after previously editing the BCEs on a different page) that it causes alot of controverse on wikipedia and the best policy is to keep it with the dates given from it's creation. Well folks this is BC/AD...and I'll revert, and get every user I can think of to view this [1] page. Thank you, Chooserr

Hi Chooser. I am the original creator of this article, and have been developing it consistently beyond its original stub state along the BCE/CE format. This choice became all the more obvious as many linked subjects have nothing to do with "Anno Domini/ Year of the Lord" concepts (Buddhism, Indian kingdoms etc...). Within the BC/AD-BCE/CE debate I clearly have a preference for the progressiveness of the latter, especially where cultural sensitiveness is required. Best regards. PHG 22:40, 3 December 2005 (UTC)


The article appears well-written and would no doubt be a good FA bet. However, I was wondering if some text in the intro can talk of Alexander's exploits in India as an inspiration to the Indo-Greek kingdom. --Gurubrahma 07:07, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


The section on astronomy gives a misleading impression since the Yavanajataka is primarily a work of astrology, and incidentally contains the astronomy needed to calculate horoscopes. I would also refer to Pingree's introduction to this work for information on three periods of Greek emigration to India. Zeusnoos 15:05, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Alexander and Narain

I recently added a brief condensation of the history of Alexander's campaigns in India.

I'm also interested to know if it has been decided somewhere that Dr. AK Narain's treatise on the Indo-Greeks would be disregarded in favor Tarn's?

-Antialcidas, hehe - love the whimsical nomenclature (unsigned comment by Antalcidas)

I've removed your edits because they were in the wrong place: this article speaks of the Indo-Greek kingdom started much later than Alexander.--Aldux 23:49, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

As you wish; though you'll note that every major history of the Indo-Greeks opens with a history of Alexander's exploits there. As the Indo-Greeks are a major area of my personal study, I need no correction; it merely occured to me as an appropriate addition in light of Alexander's role in potentially establishing the local dynast "Sophytes" as a possible "Indo-Greek" ruler, it's simple pertinance to the subject of Greeks in India, and the traditional written precedant of it's mention in relation to the subject.

South Asia versus India

Regarding the following passage: "The kingdom was founded when the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded India in 180 BCE, ultimately creating an entity which seceded from the powerful Greco-Bactrian Kingdom centered in Bactria (today's northern Afghanistan)."

It is proper to refer to the invaded region as South Asia rather han India per se for a couple of reasons. The territory that Demetrius I controlled was primarily in the north west.

"However, the campaigns to Pataliputra are generally attested to the later king Menander I and Demetrius I probably only invaded areas in Punjab, Kashmir and Pakistan, the latter including areas taken from the Seleucid kings, who were weakened after their defeat to the Romans in 190. Other kings may have expanded the territory as well."

"At the same time the Milindapanha (1,2) describes the West Punjab as "the country of the Yonana," because in the time of Menander the Hellenized members of the local aristocracy and the descendants of the Graeco-Macedonian invaders constituted here the ruling substratum of slave owning society.

"The top of society harboured the Greek language: by the testimony of Philostratus Fraotes, King of Taxila (the latter half of the first century A.D.) spoke Greek fluently. It is in Greek, as Strabon states, that the message of the Indus King Por to the Roman Emperor Augustus (27 B.C. to A.D. 14) was composed. Some scholars hold that Greek was fostered as a living tongue at the court of the Saka rulers in North-West sub-continent." (The Peoples of Pakistan, By Yu. V. Gankovsky).

Also, India today refers to the Republic of India which is not synonymous with the use of the word in ancient times. India in ancient times refered to a particular area in the northwest of the subcontinent i:e river indus and the land associated with it or the "Indus country": Alexander recruited 10,000 peoples to inhabit a city he had founded in the Lower Indus. Seleucus Nicator carried on town construction too; he built many towns all over his vast kingdom, including "Alexandropolis in the land of the Indus" (The Peoples of Pakistan, By Yu. V. Gankovsky).

Greek maps would stop roughly at the Thar desert beyond which they thought was nothing else but ocean.

John Keay in "India: A History":

"Herodotus, of course, knew only of the Indus region, and that by hearsay. Hence he did not report that the land of Hindu was of sensational extent, nor did he deny the popular belief that beyond its furthest desert, where in reality the Gangetic plain interminably spreads, lay the great ocean which supposedly encircled the world; Hindu or `India' (but in fact Pakistan) was therefore believed to be the end of terra firma, a worthy culmination to any emperor's ambitions as well as a fabulous addition to his portfolio of conquests. "

"In Persian and Greek minds alike, the association of Hindu with elephants was thereafter almost as significant as its connection with the mighty Indus. To Alexander of Macedon, following in the Achaemanids' footsteps two centuries later, the river would be a geographical curiosity, but the elephants were a military obsession.

If Gandhara was already under Achaemenid rule, Darius' Hindu must have lain beyond it, and so to the south or east. Later Iranian records refer to Sindhu, presumably an adoption of the Sanskrit spelling, whence derives the word `Sind', now Pakistan's southernmost province. It seems unlikely though, that Sindhu was Sind in the late sixth century BC, since Darius subsequently found it necessary to send a naval expedition to explore the Indus. Flowing through the middle of Sind, the river would surely have been familiar to any suzerain of the region. More probably, then, Hindu lay east of Gandhara, perhaps as a wedge of territory between it, the jana-padas of eastern Panjab, and deserts of Rajasthan. It thus occupied much of what is now the Panjab province of Pakistan."

I suggest we use more historically and acaemically proper terms. omerlivesOmerlives 14:27, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi Omerlives. As explained in the article "Although "India" only meant the upper Indus for Alexander the Great, since the embassies of Megasthenes in the 3rd century BCE "India" meant to the Greeks most of the northern half of the Indian subcontinent, an area roughly corresponding to the extent of the Mauryan Empire at its largest." Indeed, the knowledge of India by the Greek changed drastically from the time of the embassies to the Mauryan court in Pataliputra, and by the 2nd century BCE already clearly meant most of current northern India (the geographical zone described in Megasthenes's Indica).
In my own opinion "Invaded South Asia" is too vague a descriptive. Indeed, to use a geographical term (rather than a political one), how about "Invaded the Indian subcontinent"? PHG 22:05, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Hi PHG. I said South Asia because it corresponds to the general geaographial realm like other geographically close term: central asia. However, I beleive Indian Subcontinent would be a better term to employ than India just like the map shows pictorially. Thanks PHG. omerlivesOmerlives 23:01, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

The Map

The map dosent seem to coincide much with the only other historical map of the kingom I have found here: Map of Post-Mauryan states

I think it is wildly out of proportion - it covers the entire northwest quarter of South Asia. It has been drawn from sources which no doubt simply mention campigns into certain areas - and thus these areas may not have ever been part of the Indo-Greek kingdom. The map should indicate something more like this:


Where red represents the Shungas, green the Indo-Greek kingdom, and blue the Satavahanas. This map is thus more approximate to the holdings of the Indo-Greek kingdom:

I will change the map for now - the old one for instance included Pataliputra within the borders of the Indo-Greek kingdom - this dosent make historical sence, as a dynasty which lost its capital would not later be able to negotiate a peace treaty along much larger borders, as indicated by the Heliodorus pillar. Vastu 15:08, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the quality of your contribution. It is clearly a more conservative (and consensual?) map, which doesn't show the temporary attacks/conquests farther east to Pataliputra. In view of the available historical material it fails to show the possession of the Greeks in the Gujarat as far as Surat according to Strabo:
"The Greeks... took possession, not only of Patalena, but also, on the rest of the coast, of what is called the kingdom of Saraostus and Sigerdis." (Strabo 11.11.1)
In the east, it cuts short the Kulindrene (Kuninda) territory described by Ptolemy. Also as far as I know, the Greeks were for a long period of time in Mathura (where they retreated from Pataliputra according to the Hathigumpta inscription), and where later the Indo-Scythians would rule after them (reign of Rajuvula for example).
I do not understand your point on Pataliputra: it is perfectly possible for the Sunga to lose their capital once, and then to re-take it once the Indo-Greeks have left. The conquest of Pataliputra by the Indo-Greeks is supported by the most recent analysis of the Yuga Purana (2002 translation), although it is not known for how long they held the city. Regards PHG 22:38, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. If the map includes only temporary conquests, is this conformative with other political maps of old dynasties and states? Afterall, if the Indo-Greek kingdom mearly ran through the lands near Pataliputra, they likely never administrated those land as part of their state. I am not sure what the wikipedia guidelines are for maps, if there are any, but my instinct would be to only show the non-fluctuating parts of a kingdom - i.e. the average holdings - which were mainly confined to Bactria and the regions around the Indus Valley. What I was trying to say about Pataliputra is that it is unlikely a dynasty could survive the loss of its capital and the lands between being administered by another state, which is what the previous map seemed to indicate, i.e. the Indo-Greeks may have reached Pataliputra but not held those lands - an unbroken border line implies the Indo-Greek state administered that territory - i.e. that those were the limits of the Indo-Greek state, where in reality they are approximate holdings. Your new map shows that the eastern territories were likely disputed, but perhaps the entire border should be a broken line to indicate that it is an approximate sphere of military influence? Or perhaps a solid blue area indicating the likely core state, surrounded by a broken line indicating sphere of influence or temporary conquest/raid? Great work on this article btw, it is one of my favorites, its just that the map currently implies to laymen viewing the article, that a Hellenic state ruled the entire north of South Asia for over a century, where the core state was probably more similar to the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, plus holdings in the Indus valley. Regards, Vastu 15:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Another opinion of the territory of the Indo-Greek states

"Map No3"
Hi Vastu. I tend to favour the dotted lines, because they allow for a doubt whether a given territory was "governed" or not, in the case the evidence is inconclusive. In the case of Pataliputra, some argue the city was taken and ruled for some time (... that the Indo-Greeks even followed in the steps, and ruled the territory, of the Mauryas), whereas others just speak about raids. For the other areas however, especially the southern area of Surastrene (Kathiawar peninsula) I do not think there is much doubt, as numerous author describe Greek rule there (Ptolemy, Strabo, and indirectly the Periplus: I have added some of the details in the article). Therefore, in view of the available evidence (primary sources), I would still prefer "Map No3". Curiously, the two maps you found on the Internet seem to disregard all the available sources regarding the southern possessions of the Indo-Greeks. Regards. PHG 13:11, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
PHG, I was recently contacted by another wikipedian who is concerned about the size of the map - the original map has been distributed across the internet by wikipedia-quoting websites, and I fear it may have given people a wrong impression of Indian history. This wikipedian pointed out that every history book on the subject he has seen has been far more conservative - some not even depicting borders, but simply campaigns. A think border line, dotted or not, really gives the impression of a long lasting permenant presence there - yet the Hellenic influence on modern India does not speak of any occupation by a Greek power - mearly trade. Today, the few Hellenic shrines left in the subcontinent are almost entirely in Afghanistan and Pakistan - and the ones in Pakistan are mostly small, not indicative of a kingdom covering an area the sizer of western Europe - the impression that the map currently gives. I urge you to re-draw it, or accept a new map proposal, as every source I have seen depicts either a kingdom more in line with the Greco-Bactrian one, or mearly a conservative collection of campaign arrows. I am not a cultural chauvenist, but I do think this map gives the wrong impression - especially when sources of this time period are not the most reliable - can we really trust every Greek account in this matter, let alone one indirectly reffered to by a Roman historian who likely never visited South Asia? Additionally, the map seems to liberally favour the Greco-Indian kingdom, whilst conservatively interpreting the Shunga kingdom - almost all historical maps project the stable boundries of a kingdom, and dont assume all campaigns were successfull - drawing borders gives exactly that impression. Vastu 00:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Based on the online online map I can find from a historical book,, I will change it for now:
Map four - arrow depicts campaigns towards Sungas.

Hi Vastu. Thank you for your interest in this page. I do not know where your Internet map comes from, or what its references are, but it contradicts all available historical sources. First, I am not sure all Bactria should be included in the Indo-Greek realm, as only parts of the Indian subcontinent could qualify as Indo-Greek. Then, Sialkot, also called Euthymedia, was the capital of Menander, so the city itself, and to a large extent the territories around it (Menander ruled a huge realm) should be considered part of the Indo-Greek territory. For the south, all Greco-Roman sources point to Patalene as a part of the Indo-Greek territory. For the dotted lines, I understand they could be misleading, but history is indeed not clear whether the Greeks ruled, or just raided in these areas up to Pataliputra (even Indian sources say the Greeks ruled and toppled local governments there): maybe we could add a legend saying the dotted line means "raids or temporary conquest". By the way, as far as I know, the current map is generally consistent with Westermanns "Atlas der Welt Geschichte". Regards. PHG 15:25, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Isnt Bactria's geographical location outside of South Asia irrelevent to whether or not a certain kingdom occupied it? Bactria was at the time Buddhist, and likely part of the Indo-Greek kingdom, until central asian people moved into the area. As for Sialkot - my map isnt perticularily good - I was trying to emulate the one from the link - which does include Sialkot's area within the kingdom - one of multiple capitals of the kingdom. Same with Patalene - also note that ancient sources tend to say 'king X ruled province X' without stating how much of such an area was ruled (perhaps a fraction) - and Patalene covered areas of modern Balochistan - therefore the map may not even be wrong in this respect. I therefore still favour the general outline of my map, buy with modifications. Vastu 09:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
"but history is indeed not clear whether the Greeks ruled, or just raided in these areas up to Pataliputra (even Indian sources say the Greeks ruled and toppled local governments there)" - this in perticular is why a thick border is misleading, and in such circumstances, the conservative estimate is favoured - the map below in reality, is not that conservative, as it shows the Indo-Greek kingdom at possibly its furthest extent, gives it a well defined border, etc - and assumes several things, such as that those territories were ruled simultaniously - thus the Indo-Greek kingdom may not have even stretched this far:
Map five - arrow depicts campaigns towards Sungas - pourous borders indicate likely fluctuation given accounts of the Shungas and the Central Asian migrations into Bactria.
Or perhaps this map, which dosent include Bactria? Vastu 09:41, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
No Bactria map

Hi Vastu. Thank you for your cartographical efforts, but I am afraid your maps are unduly restrictive. Territories: cutting Indo-Greek tighly around Menander's capital of Sialkot goes against geopolitical common sense as Menander most probably had some territory, some buffer zone around his capital. You also miss two important territories which are documented in ancient sources: Kulindrene to the North, and Surastrene to the South (references in the text). Regarding the extension to the East, by just making it an arrow suggests that the Indo-Greeks never ruled up to Pataliputra: some sources support they did rule, and some don't, hence the meaning of the original dotted lines. I am afraid that just making it an arrow overly supports the view that these incursions were just raids, which is not a matter of consensus. Regards. PHG 03:06, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply PHG. My map drawing skills are not the best amongst wikipedians, although I do support the urgent need for the original map to be re-drawn, and believe my latest interpretation is acceptable. The person who contacted me to encourage further discussion on the issue mentioned that - "While there is a dearth of maps online, the maps that I have seen in books to-date have been more conservative in treatment (at best utilizing arrows to denote the campaigns of Menander--which were not lasting), and rightfully so. There is, after all, very little certainty that we can apply to this period, and thus, this warrants cautious treatment and not wishful thinking." The user also noted that in his opinion, you were attempting to maximise all possible Hellenic conquests and contributions to the subcontinent - i.e. engaging in Hellenic-centrism. I would not go this far, but do think you may be biased by either interest, or perhaps just historical sources which were notorious for attempting to 'aryan-ise' Indian history, but which formed the basis of modern scholarship on the topic. Indeed, in matters of ancient history, where ancient Greco-Roman or colonial-era British historical scholarship was not what it is today, I would argue that a maximal interpretation of the Indo-Greek kingdom is 'wishfull thinking', and the reality warrants more caution.
I think that the current interpretation liberally favours the Greco-Indians, and conservatively disfavours bordering dynasties - you mentioned "some sources support they did rule, and some don't, hence the meaning of the original dotted lines" - but dotted lines in this instance favours the interpretation that they did rule, and not the latter interpretion - "I am afraid that just making it an arrow overly supports the view that these incursions were just raids, which is not a matter of consensus" - campaign lines are a legitimate way of depicting the ambiguity of whether a certain power ruled a certain area - for example, when one source says that "kingdom X raided province Y and was driven away" and one sources says "kingdom X invaded province Y and ruled it shortly" - a campaign line supports both sources, which both mention a campaign - only one supports a border - thus the campaign mentioned by both is the legitimate depiction, the border line only supported by one is not.
I am most certain of this - I am 100% sure that this map should at the very least depict a campign line as opposed to the border line - in your comment above you cited common sense about one of the Indo-Greek capitals being further from a border (which I dont think is neccecarily true, but I will accept), I must also point then to the prior argument of common sense that a kingdom capable of annexing the major cities of the Shunga dynasty would likely not be forced to capituate in an unfavourable treaty not long after, which is similar logic. Even if you do not favour this point of argument, there is still a lot more reasons for a less liberal use of borders, i.e. as in the latest map that I have drawn. The map below shows a version of your original map, altered only in one way - the ambigious conquests, marked by border, have been replaced with a campaign line.
I strongly encourage you to accept this change - the article may have been peer reviewed, but can always be further enhanced through interesting debate like this - and I think this new version is still a liberal interpretation, that in my opinion still gives the Indo-Greeks 'benefit of the doubt' on almost every issue of ambiguity, so I hope that this new map is a good compromise, that we can both accept as a permenant solution to this issue. I dont believe this new map can be disproven by sources that are not either ambigious or contradictory, and so should remain the final map in absence of alternative that dosent make use of speculation. Regards, Vastu 10:16, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Latest map
I agree heartily with Vastu's request for campaign arrows rather than defined borders. To claim that temporarily holding a territory somehow makes it part of an "Indo-Greek Kingdom" gives the wrong impression of the scope of Indo-Greek contributions East of the Punjab. It would be analogous to drawing dotted lines all over Western Europe, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, South America, and the Middle East to encompass the United States of America simply because the USA had a military presence in those areas at some point in time. -- Pav

Where did the latest part of this discussion go - the edits no longer show in history either - there was some server trouble earlier, which I guess must be to blame... Anyway, just to re-iterate, the latest map has enlarged the thinkness of the campaign line, and drawn it towards Pataliputra, as you suggested in the vanished section of the discussion, I hope that you find this version acceptable - from what I understood, you were willing to accept the camapign line as opposed to border, as long as it was extended in this manner - we had reached a consensus on the western side of the Indo-Greek kingdom, and I hope that this will put the issue of the eastern border to rest. Again, thanks for the previous reply, and regards, Vastu 23:39, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Latest map
P.S. rather than start another topic, id just like to add that in the languages part of the info box, perhaps Old Persian or Avestan (im not too familiar with linguistic history of Persia (perhaps written in the Aramaic script)) should be included. It was the literlugical language of Zoroastrianism presumably, and presumably wouldnt have fallen out of use in an area which had been ruled by the Persian Empire. Regards, Vastu 00:14, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Hi Vastu. Indeed, I think the main issue is about how to show temporary conquests (dotted lines or arrows?), although I agree there is a lot of contentious debate about the extent and durability of these conquests to the east of India. I was reading again a summary by Mario Bussagli (The Art of Gandhara), who, for example says the Indo-Greeks probably ruled in Pataliputra from 175 to 168, which probably would justify putting the Pataliputra territory as part of the "maximum extent" of the Indo-Greek kingdom. However I agree your map is more in conformity with the usual cartography of the Indo-Greeks. Let's put it in the article and see for a while how it feels. Congratulations for your approach to the issue. On my side, be reassured I am not particularly Helleno-centric, but just trying to give these often forgotten kingdoms their fair share of History. Best regards. PHG 12:46, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks PHG, I must say ive also enjoyed the way this debate was conducted - I agree with your sentiments about giving these kingdoms their due coverage, and am interested in some of the cultures produced by Indic interaction with central asia, Persia and the Hellenic world in the northwest subcontienent, i.e. the Sakas, Bactrians, Hunas, Kushans, Indo-Pathians, Indo-Greeks, etc, (as part of a general interest in Indology) - having seen a number of your articles on Indian history on wikipedia, I think your contributions have been great, ive really enjoyed this article in perticular. Best regards, Vastu 13:49, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
P.S. I was doing some looking around, and think that maybe soem combination of Aramaic, Bactrian, Old Persian and Avestan may have been spoken or written in the Indo-Greek kingdom, in addition to Greek, Sanskrit and Prakrits - I dont own much material on that, so ill leave it to you to decide whether to add them to the infobox :) Regards, Vastu 15:08, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Hi I just read the debate on the map and I would like to make a point. That on the Roman Empire article, the maximum extent of the Empire includes Trajan's temporary holdings in the East including Mesopotamia. These territories were held for just a year before being returned to Parthia yet they are clearly shown in many good encyclopaedias and reference books hence the arguement that lines (which is in my opinion short because they occupied Pataliputra not just get stopped near it) are more than adequate doesn't hold much strength in the face of this considering the Greek hold on Pataliputra was about 8 years.
Map of the Achaemenid Empire.jpg
  • Thank you. Looking again at other historical empires, I must say that the map shown in the Achaemenid Empire also includes the Greek mainland, which, as far as I know, was occupied for just 1 year by the armies of Xerxes I.PHG 04:57, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

With the above in mind I think we should restore the old map without the dotted lines amd label the map as being the greatest extent circa 170 BC

In ref to the above paragraphs - we do not even know if the Indo-Greek kingdom ever ruled that far, so I fail to see how the fact that other maps have chosen to include temporary conquests makes a difference - or how the example of some other maps choosing that route means this article must. In addition, here is another map favoring the current one: Vastu 10:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
"the old one for instance included Pataliputra within the borders of the Indo-Greek kingdom - this dosent make historical sence, as a dynasty which lost its capital would not later be able to negotiate a peace treaty along much larger borders" why should a dynasty have to topple, you write it as though it is inevitable that the Sunga line should disappear if the capital was lost.
"we do not even know if the Indo-Greek kingdom ever ruled that far" than you have not read PHG's side of the debate, as the Yuga Purana mentions how the Greeks caused society to collapse by imposing their own social ways and how it seemed inevitable that Pataliputra would fall. Then there is Strabo who mentions them of temporarily holding lands upto the Ganges.
"how the example of some other maps choosing that route means this article must" I fail to see how this part of history is being treated differently from any other. Also you seem to brush aside the mentioned articles about the Roman Empire and Achaemenid Empire as though they are insignificant or of little value to learn from (editing wise). Considering those artciles are of high importance and would attract a lot of interest, it has been edited in such a way that has deemed fit and that wikipedia seems to follow such a policy where a political entity is shown by the greatest extent that it has encompassed geographically. So to stay in league with other high quality articles it would be in the articles best interest to follow suit.
"lost its capital would not later be able to negotiate a peace treaty along much larger borders, as indicated by the Heliodorus pillar" the Heliodorus pillar was erected 60 years after Pataliputra was taken by the Greeks and within the same time was taken back by the Sunga Empire.
All of what you have just quoted played no part in the final decision - and is thus completely irrelevent. The final decision was that, given the ambiguity of the Indo-Greek campaign, a map that depicted their definite conquests, including a camapign line to denote the attempt mentioned in Greek sources would be included. This decision was essentially reached by consensus - and is the logical one, given conflicting accounts - as a border of any kind implies one unverified scholary theory is more right than the other - see Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. It is also interesting to note that every single map I have ever found on the internet depicts an Indo-Greek border in the region of the Indus - so one has to ask, are you engaging in 'original research'? If so, see Wikipedia:No original research. The current state of the map is not only consistent with wikipedia rules, but also consistent with logic - it should be left as such until a new scholary work comprehensibly proving either viewpoint over the other is presented, and accepted by the vast majority of scholars. Until then, the map should remain. Vastu 15:06, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Hi I do not wish to argue however in the article itself, it implicitly mentions how the Greeks retreated to Mathura from Pataliputra many times in the article which is sourced therefore by logic Mathura should definately be within the border. I am not fabricating original research as it is all already in the article. It would be appropriate if you were to provide sources contradicting their occupation of such areas within those dates if the article is wrong. As for the lines drawn, as far as I've seen in books they are only used to show the movement of armies in detailed books of military campaigns and are never shown on a map depicting the extent of a kingdom. As mentioned before due to the other articles following such a rule the border should enclose Pataliputra as an occupation period of 8 years is enough I think especially if many other pages include territories that have been held for only a year and these articles (mentioned above) have been peer reviewed. Giani g 19:05, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Article Length

This article is really really long. Perhaps it's time parts of it get spun off into independant articles with short blurbs and links leading to them?

The "Evidence of invasion," "art," and "religion" sections could probably all benefit from being listed under their own articles.

Come to think of it, the discussion page is a bit of a mess too. Methinks it's time to archive everything prior to the discussion with Vastu. (The Map) But I really don't know how. 03:01, 10 August 2006 (UTC) Pav

I agree on the length issue. I'll try to find reasonnable way to outlink some of the material. Regards. PHG 10:58, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

New map


I took the liberty to make a new, more precise map. Several of the previous locations were imprecise, an issue which was solved by the addition of the main river systems. I also modified the way the eastern expansion of the Indo-Greek kings is represented, a central point of contention in the above debate. The main reason is that it has become clear to me that there are two main scholarly positions on this expansion: either it is said to have consisted in simple, short raids, possibly under the guidance of local rulers such as the Panchala (a view mainly held by local historians such as A.K. Narain); or it consisted in a massive occupation of the region up to Pataliputra that lasted for about eight years (a mainly Western view, most recently voiced by McEvilley or Mario Bussagli). Now, when we try to express this graphically, a simple arrow to Pataliputra clearly refers to the former view, and is therefore one-sided. Conversely, clearly marking the territory as Indo-Greek refers to the latter view, and therefore is also one-sided. The only solution I can find is to mark this territory with doted lines. I am afraid it is the only way to maintain the balance between both historical interpretations. Regards to all. PHG 07:12, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

 Although I am glad that the initiator of the new map has finally deigned to discuss the matter with the rest of us, I am afraid that this is yet again an attempt to aggrandize the Indo-Greek Kingdom. If anything, the previous map was a compromise as the first view (that of Narain's) mentions the greeks as only joining a raid led by Indian Kings--hardly meriting mention of Greek conquest or raid here since it was not led by them. Moreover, contributors on this end of the debate already compromised on the extending of greek holdings into Gujarat in spite of previous maps, as provided by contributor vastu, not demonstrating any such holdings and no archaeological evidence existing to demonstrate it thus. In fact, archaeological evidence provides only for holdings in what is now Pakistani Punjab. 
  In spite of this, compromise has already been made in an attempt to reconcile classical texts with a Western push for greek expansion. This stands in stark contrast to the Shunga dynasty map, which does not even indicate the greatest extent of that Empire's territory. Shunga claims extend well into the Punjab (as confirmed by inscriptions in that region), and there is textual evidence to indicate that it did extend as far as the Indus. Nevertheless, this was once again resolved in favor of the Indo-Greeks. The Satavahana Empire is credited with ending the Kanva dynasty of Magadha and ruling over Pataliputra (this point being uncontested by historians), yet the same corollary was not applied to them in the very map created by the above signed contributor.  And there we have it, territorial claims that are backed up by archaeology are sidelined and a shoddy construction supported by creative interpretation of scripture and classical propaganda are favored, hardly NPOV. In light of this, there is a clear basis to retain the old map.



Hi Devanampriya. The Sunga map is not mine, but belong to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Of course should you have a better referenced map, let's look at it. Regarding the most recent Indo-Greek map, the territorial extension of the Indo-Greeks in the north is fairly restrictive (up to Sagala), although many claim that they also ruled in Mathura until around 100 BCE. The southern extension is attested by rich numismatic finds (expansion of Appolodotus) and numerous sources, both Western and Indian. For the invasion of the Indian heartland, Narain's is but one point of view, and rather farfetched and imaginative (as you said, "the greeks only joining a raid led by Indian Kings--hardly meriting mention of Greek conquest or raid here since it was not led by them."). This is not everybody point of view, others saying occupation lasted for several year. Hence dotted lines. Regards. PHG 06:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


  Um yeah, but the Satavahana map was created by you, so why slide out of that point? Numismatic evidence? Ok, so then clearly the Romans had holdings in the deccan plateau because of the massive coin hoards of denarii found there... Narain is one of the preeminent scholars on this topic and his views are voiced by numerous other scholars, so please don't denigrate that. Also, what is the basis for positing an 8 year occupation here? Virtually nothing. All those indian texts were creatively interpreted (interpretations which are contested by longstanding scholars of that field) and the second basis, even your own description notes as not always accurate. Lastly, if you're going to construct arguments, please make sure they make sense (my quote is totally misused). Your map is biased and runs contrary to the numerous other kingdoms in northern and western India. 



Hi Devanampriya. There's a principle on Wikipedia: we just put together views which have been published by reputable authors. If Mario Bussagli, the foremost Italian authority on the subject, concludes that the Greeks occupied Pataliputra for 8 years (referenced in the article), his view deserved to be mentionned. Just as Narai does. It's really not your opinion against mine or endless debating. For the map, the maximum occupation at least to Taxila to the East, and to Patalene to the south is highly shared, because of all the textual evidence (Strabo, Peryplus of the Erythrean sea...), and yes, the coinage repartition of several of the kings, in comparison to which Roman coinage in India is minuscule. The only issue is the representation of Indo-Greek expansion to the east, and here again there are two opinions: raids (which should be illustrated by an arrow) and occupation (which should be illustrated as part of Indo-Greek territory). The dotted line is just a fair balance between the two. Regards. PHG 05:09, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Mario Bussagli is the foremost Italian authority on the subject? I'm sorry is there such a dearth of Indologists in Italy that art historians constitute the foremost authorities? Or did he just take time off from studying the art of the region to do some rigorous archaeological studies on the strategic climate of the era? I'm sorry, but he hardly seems like the kind of person one would go to as an "authority." Especially when you have a far more credible historian whose expertise is actually within the field in question (A.K. Narain) to compare to. McEvilley is, likewise, an unreliable source. The content of his work is not a study of the territorial holdings of the Indo-Greeks. It is an analysis of philosophical and artistic developments due to cultural exchange. He's not exactly a reliable authority on the more specific points of who was where.
The problem with your map is that you're trying to make the geopolitical layout of ancient India seem like it is analogous to modern conceptions of nation-states as territorially bound entities. There is no credible evidence of meaningful political connections between the area and the central administration that would merit any sort of encapsulation of the region. Especially considering that the Indo-Greeks likely did not even lead the raid! I fear you are cherry-picking sources to aggrandize the acheivements of your pet historical figures again.
The keys here are academic consensus and preponderance of evidence. There are, likewise, speculations that Parmenides and Pythagoras adopted Indian ideas, that the Christian monastic tradition developed out of Ashoka's Buddhist missionaries, and that Jesus actually visited India and appropriated aspects of Hindu thought. Yet nobody mentions these speculations in those articles because there is no preponderance of evidence. Encyclopedia articles are meant to give the reader a general overview of a subject. These are, at the very most, minor footnotes. Just like the vast majority of the speculations you are citing as to the impact of the Indo-Greeks are, to be charitable, minor footnotes.
We want an account of history that is objective, accurate, and representative of what was the most likely thing to have happened. Instead, what I have seen going on here strikes me as fanciful and imaginative at best. Propagandistic at worst. The arguments being presented to "teach every perspective" are, likewise, about as convincing as creationists trying to sneak intelligent design into science classes under the guise of "teaching all the perspectives."
Pavanapuram 19:55, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


  You might want to review your geography, because Patala (aka patalene) is in the modern sindh not gujarat. That is where the Indus delta is--in the region west of Gujarat and not gujarat itself. The region of Gujarat and Saurashtra was known as the Lat country in Ancient India ( just as a little history lesson for you, Gujarat comes from Gujjar-a late ancient and early medieval tribe in western india), so you're violating wikipedia principles by making your own painfully mistaken assertions instead of sourcing them. Also, no one is denying Taxila and Sindh, so stop prevaricating and actually read and respond to what is written. Accordingly, you're application of "respectable author" title is questionable at best considering your support for the numerous Jat scholars that proclaim ever Indian figure under the sun as a Jat (Chandragupta Maurya Origin Talk Page). Lastly, you've ignored my remark on the Satavahanas again, thereby demonstrating your dishonesty and your unwillingness to cooperate with other community members. Like the poor unnamed sap who reverted my edits, you too are attempting to cloud the judgement of others by calling me a xenophobe when that clearly is not the case. In fact, all you both are doing is demonstrating your eurocentric bias and your raging philhellenism in your quest to subvert history. I'm through discussing this with you; the consensus map ( a very generous one to the indo greeks by any measure) shall stay. 


Hi Devanampriya, and... Pavanapuram. You do not have to slander every Western source that speaks about extensive Indo-Greek territories in India. It is not only McEvilley or Bussagli, but for example also Bopearachchi (a renowmed archaelogist and numismat), Rosenfield (History of the Kushans) and numerous other authors. Among ancient authors Strabo actually speaks about Patalene and Saraostus (please look at the actual quote) which indeed includes parts of Gujarat. And ancient Indian sources actually describe Yavanas conquering and ruling Pataliputra. There's no reason why all views should be aligned with your Narain, especially as there is not a single evidence to back up his claim that Indo-Greek conquests were simply "raids". As a balance, the map clearly labels unconfirmed Indo-Greek territory as such (dotted lines), whereas the previous one (the arrow) privileges Narain's view (hypothetical raids). By the way, there is no need to remove huge parts of the article when you just wish to revert a map. PHG 23:25, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Slander implies untruth. There is nothing untrue about my statement that McEvilley and Bussagli's fields of expertise are not in the military or politicial histories, but in the study of art and culture, which does not make them credible authorities when stacked against someone whose expertise is actually in the field. The rest of your reply sounds a lot like independant research to me. I mean, you admitted yourself that Vastu's map was more in-line with the usual cartography of the Indo-Greeks. So why wouldn't we use it? Personally I don't even see the point in drawing a firm border at all since the idea of a territorially bound state is more of a modern convention than anything they operated on back then. In my eyes it would make more sense to just write "Indo-Greek Kingdom" around roughly the zone that they covered, just like you did with the Sunga Empire on that map. Perhaps color code the relevant cities. At most, a transparent splash of color around the confirmed central holdings would make sense.
Sorry about removing the other info. I didn't notice that there were other edits I just assumed he had reverted the map alone. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:55, 16 December 2006 (UTC).
Hi. I cannot agree with an interpretation that Bussagli is not a reputable source. His original field of expertise is indeed in art (he was professor of art for Indian and Central Asia in Rome), but he is acknowledged as the author of "the reconstitution, for the first time and under all its aspects, of the panorama of Gandharan civilization" (Encyclopedies d'aujourd'hui, 1996), more recently, and using much more archaeological research that someone like Narai. Should you need an historian, numismat and archaeologist as a source, there is for example Bopearachchi (of Sri Lankan origin, and one of the leading contemporary experts of the period) who quotes the "Yavana taking Saketa and reaching Pataliputra" and explains "the conquest of the Ganges valley" by Menander (Monnaies Greco-bactriennes et Indo-Grecques", 1991, p83-85). To me Narai is a little like the reverse of Tarn, less the sources: he clearly tries to diminish as much as possible any aspect of the Greek involvement in India, without much facts to back his claims, and he is quite dated now (1956?). I don't mind anyway, the point is just that these views have to be balanced, and I don't think we should have a map that privileges Narain's views. For the treatment of ancient maps, please look at Achaemenid Empire for example. There's no reason why we should have a different kind of approach. PHG 08:38, 17 December 2006 (UTC)


 You do not have to slander every indian author, and western as well, that raises valid questions about the theories devised by the philhellenic Tarn. Tarn's interpretations, especially his Alexander Unity of Mankind theory, have been question by numerous academics, including Frank Holt and A.K. Narain. The fact of the matter is that there is no serious evidence that demonstrates a Greek conquest of the Gangetic. The numismatic evidence regarding Barygaza is questionable especially considering it was a major trading port. And Narain and others accurately point out that the assertion of Gujarat (like Kulinda which you yourself note) is uncertain if not outright wrong.
 Regarding your points above:    I strongly suggest you do some real research. First and foremost, considering your overwhelming reliance on Tarn,an author who certainly predates Narain, I suggest you steer clear from charges of obsolescence. Second of all, Narain is not the only one to mention a theory regarding raids, see thapar, keay, jha, and majumdar. So stop trying to mischaracterize Narain. “Tarn less the sources”? Maybe you should actually read work by Narain before citing him without knowledge.  Your minute on Narain betrays your generally ignorance and bias on the topic.  Frankly, no one cares what you think of him, since he's a well-respected authority on the topic, and very much alive making him contemporary. You are hardly a voice for balance considering your reliance on "independent research" and selective intepretation of quotes, images, and texts. Your work on this article and others is blatantly couched in helleno-centrism. 
 As for the achaemenids, there is no debate on the extent of their western territories as well as the nature of their expansion, but there is on the indo-greek territory in the east. The achaemenid map is based on facts, yours is not, so I suggest you do a better job of drawing comparisons.  There is a reason why every map of the indo greeks both in books and online echo the current version. That is because theories about conquests in the gangetic are speculation. They are uncorroborated by hard evidence—the lifeblood of history. Your map is an abomination at best and a mockery of wikipedia's standards at worst. 


---Today, the few Hellenic shrines left in the subcontinent are almost entirely in Afghanistan and Pakistan - and the ones in Pakistan are mostly small, not indicative of a kingdom covering an area the sizer of western Europe - the impression that the map currently gives. I urge you to re-draw it, or accept a new map proposal, as every source I have seen depicts either a kingdom more in line with the Greco-Bactrian one, or mearly a conservative collection of campaign arrows. I am not a cultural chauvenist, but I do think this map gives the wrong impression - especially when sources of this time period are not the most reliable - can we really trust every Greek account in this matter, let alone one indirectly reffered to by a Roman historian who likely never visited South Asia?------ Additionally, the map seems to liberally favour the Greco-Indian kingdom, whilst conservatively interpreting the Shunga kingdom - almost all historical maps project the stable boundries of a kingdom, and dont assume all campaigns were successfull - drawing borders gives exactly that impression. Vastu 00:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC) Based on the online online map I can find from a historical book,, I will change it for now.

Oh Please give me a break. Hieun Tsang describes 50 viharas in the vicinity of Jalandhar. I don't think there is even a trace of them left so, shall we conclude that Buddhism was never practiced there. This is why HISTORICAL accounts are so important. Most indo-greek sites that survive in Afghanistan or NWFP are in remote mountainous areas and were away from the marauding hordes of later centuries that destroyed everything in their path, because of religious zealotry or in the case of Huns and Monglos for the love of destruction. If you are going to go by present day Indo-Pak boundary on everything then you might as well not bother opening a history book. 'We are indigenous we never had anyone influence our culture, there was no religion or culture except our religion, everyone else was a foreigner who conquered and left i have heard these words too many times in the past decade mostly coming from India's right-wing, we are indigenous, no foreign blood/influence here except for the muslim conquerers(too recent to deny it huh??? and plus how else would you bash muslims never mind that 98% of them are indigenous converts to islam both in India and Pakistan). wow 21:30, 12 March 2007

In the Milindapanha, the city is described in the following terms:

"There is in the country of the Yonakas a great centre of trade, a city that is called Sâgala, situated in a delightful country well watered and hilly, abounding in parks and gardens and groves and lakes and tanks, a paradise of rivers and mountains and woods. Wise architects have laid it out, and its people know of no oppression, since all their enemies and adversaries have been put down. Brave is its defence, with many and various strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated. Well laid out are its streets, squares, cross roads, and market places. Well displayed are the innumerable sorts of costly merchandise with which its shops are filled. It is richly adorned with hundreds of alms-halls of various kinds; and splendid with hundreds of thousands of magnificent mansions, which rise aloft like the mountain peaks of the Himalayas.

The last mountainous area that river Ravi flows through is east of Madhopur between Pathankot(Punjab), Jammu(J&K) and Himachal border. So, Sagala must be somewhere on the Jammu-Punjab/himachal border in India. Sagala definitely wasn't Sialkot as it is neither mountains nor well watered, infact the entire stretch of well watered mountainous territory between Chenab and Ravi rivers lies well with in India, much further away from Sailkot or the current border that Sialkot sits on today. So, this raises another important point, if Sagala was the capital, the kingdom must have included territory to much further east and south of it i.e Eastern Punjab, Jammu region, Himachal or even the areas along the Yamuna, which is consistent with the hoards of coins discovered at Mathura. Also, in another such case, Kanishka's Statue was discovered at Mathura along with other Kushan artifacts, this is how the entire ancient Indian history has been reconstructed, archeological finds that corresponds with places mentioned in historical records, play a definitve role. Mathura has both in the case of indo-greeks, Mathura it appears was an important outpost for north-western empires trying to expand into the Ganges valley heartland and central India. The repeated mention of Mathura in this context during this period and the abscence of any other dynasty ruling Mathura at this time is a strong indication that Mathura at the least was the farthest indo-greek territory extented, also the importance of the mention of Menander/Milinda in indian historical records is not a matter of chance, he must have had an empire that stretched at least as far as the north-west half of India, a marginal frontier king would not be such an important factor in historical and religious records...... Anon.

Map Issues

Wow is this ever a detailed article. I can tell a lot of work has gone into it. I do agree about the length thing though. Is anyone working on that? Shall I? Additionally, from an aesthetic standpoint that map is. . . well it's atrocious. There is no beating around that bush. I took the liberty of making a new one and when I checked here I noticed there was already a huge discussion about it. A little too huge and involved for me to get involved in. Vastu's original map above, however, seems to most closely mirror the ones I have seen. So I worked off of that to make mine. I hope it goes over well. Windy City Dude 02:53, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, that was much less easy than I expected, but it's done. I expect this to elicit a bit of discussion so I anticipate having to alter the map eventually. When I do I intend to take the empire names off the map and put them on a legend off to the side where they don't take up so much space. As it is they look a little cluttered. Would it have killed the Satavahanas to drop a syllable or two? Great Scott! I am sure long-named empires occupying small parts of the map have been the bane of many a cartographer. But color-coded cities gets the idea of geographic influence across well enough. Especially considering that those are the only places where an imperial government really had any presence back then anyway. I'm not even sure how I feel about having that clearly defined black border for the Indo-Greeks either. Borders were fuzzy in those days. So I might just show the territory as a slightly transparent red to highlight it and dull the opacity as we go further out of their sphere of influence.

When I get the time I'll revise the map for the Sathavana dynasty page as well. And it seems the Sunga Empire page has lost its map (which was, as I recall, an actual professional one) which is a travesty. So I'll whip one up for it as well. Windy City Dude 03:42, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Windy City Dude and welcome to Wikipedia! Thanks for the great map. Artistically it is a clear improvement from the previous one. Some information was lost in the process though: we would need to show the expansion of the Indo-Greeks to Pataliputra (the area for the Sunga Empire you show would be before the Indo-Greek actually existed), their territories down to Barigaza, and I think it would still help to show Vidisa and Anuradhapura for the embassies. Also Kapisa is located around Kabul, not in Bactria. There are also two known Alexandrias (of the Arachosians/ in the Caucassus). Best regards. PHG 05:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I used a map I found online as a model for where the borders were and noticed it bore a close resemblance to Vastu's colored map up there. So I figured it was sensible enough. My big thing was that I think it's important to explain where the Indo-Greeks were in context with who they were around instead of just having a border around them and no reference as to who else they were interacting with. After all, you can't talk to someone about French history if they don't know where Spain, Britain, and Germany are. I'll do a little more research and get back to you.
And I just noticed what you mean about Kapisa. I think what happenned was that I put down the dot for Alexandria and mislabelled it as Kapisa. I'll work on another revision this weekend and have it done around Monday or so. Until then.

Windy City Dude 17:40, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Windy City Dude. May I suggest you put your map in this featured-article only once it's free of errors and does not contitute a loss of information compared to the previous maps? (eastern conquests, embassies etc...) In the meantime, I will revert to the former map (I added Satavahana Empire following your suggestion and adopted your color scheme). Regards PHG 19:17, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Nice improvement, but I still like mine better. :-p
And I am going to have to take umbrage at that "errors" remark. I knew I my reference wasn't wrong with where I had Kapisa. It turns out that your very own article on Alexandria_of_the_Caucasus says that it and Kapisa are one and the same! You sly dog. You even had me doubting myself.
But I think I might have to take issue with some things you said. The main map for an article is just supposed to show the empire itself. All information about military campaigns and embassies ought to be detailed in the article.
If you really really really want a graphical representation of military expeditions, I can make a map for you with spiffy campaign arrows and upload it to the relevant section of the article. (Although I would be leery of adding even more images to an already bloated article.) Campaign arrows, by the way, are the preferred way to represent that sort of thing. Dotted lined borders like that are used to represent the steady growth of an empire over time. So you would have one border for XXX BCE. Then a dotted line border for XX BCE. Then a striped border or something for X BCE.
Since I drew the Eastern and Southern borders based on maps I saw of the Sunga and Satavahana empires, mine seems pretty accurate to me. In fact, the maps I have seen have the Indo-Greek and Indo-Parthian civilizations stopping pretty much at modern-day Pakistan. I was actually concerned that I was coloring in too much of Rajastan and the Punjab. Every map I have ever seen of the Sunga empire has their border stop right outside Mathura. So the dotted-lined border you drew looks more like the Kushan empire.
As for Gujarat, I have never heard of the Indo-Greeks getting past the Rann of Kutch and Barigaza is right on the banks of the Narmada river! What are you basing this on? Every map of the Satavahanas I have ever seen has them in complete control of the Narmada delta by the time of the Kushans. The only reason I didn't color Barigaza green right here was because I wasn't certain whether it was under Satavahana control by this period or not so I chose to err on the side of caution and leave it unaffiliated. :Embassies, meanwhile, are such a small thing that they're not really worth taking up screen-space to show. You could just as easily write a sentence and as long as the city itself is on the map the point gets across.
By the way, arrows on maps are only used to represent routes, either for an explorer or a military campaign. If you want to show an embassy you would just put a star next to the city and indicate it in a corner somewhere.
Windy City Dude 03:15, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Windy City Dude.

  • Kapisa is Alexandria in the Caucasus, and it is not in Bactria but in the Hindu Kush (Paropamisadae). The problem is with your coordinates, which are quite wrong. I would suggest you check your geography references.
  • You fail to show the eastern conquests of the Indo-Greeks to Pataliputra, which is thought to have lasted for up to about eight years: it is normal for maps to show conquests (even temporary), as in Image:Achaemenid Empire.jpg. This is fully referenced in the article.
  • I do not know of any rule against showing embassies on such maps, especially as these embassies as so significant to understand the involvement of the Indo-Greeks.
  • For territory as far as Barigaza, please check Strabon, the Periplus of the Erythrean sea, Tarn, Bussagli (all the sources are in the article).

You seem very involved (and proficient) for someone's first contributions ever to wikipedia. Might you be someone we already know who is just using a different name? Regards PHG 04:48, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I placed that Alexandria as close to the edge of the mountain range as I could while trying to keep it somewhere close to the Indus. I can move it, but you're making a mountain out of a molehill. Especially considering the far out claims you are making here that I, honestly, have never heard before and cannot for the life of me corroborate from any online source. As for the Achaemenid thing. Firstly, that map isn't making as much of a stretch. I can find plenty of other maps that show the Achaemenids stretching up to Bactria and Gandhara. I would say the one you linked actually does stretch a little farther North than would be geographically logical, but it's not that big of a deal.
Your map, on the other hand, is making a claim that I cannot corroborate with anything I have on hand. The Iranian government's tourism site (more or less) corroborates that Achaemenid map. The Indian government's tourism site, likewise, more closely resembles mine.
Secondly, I'll have to go ahead and say that one example doesn't really establish "normalness."
Your map doesn't adhere to the format of any professional map I have ever seen. Cartographic standards are, well, standards. If you're going to talk about conquests you need to establish a time frame for your map. You can't just shade an area because they were there at some point in time. It needs to be time-sensitive. You need to put an approxomate year for them being there.

Image:OttomanEmpireIn1683.png <-That, right there, is how you represent conquests.

You don't need a rule against showing embassies. Not having random arrows running all over the place, however, is just plain common sense. Not cluttering up what is supposed to be a simple geographical representation of where the Indo-Greeks were with extraneous and unnecessary information that adds little utility to the article, likewise, is also just plain common sense. I told you before that arrows are used to denote routes. Either for an explorer or a military expedition. It makes no sense whatsoever to use them as indicators of an embassy. Moreover, look at every other map of every other empire ever. Do you see any of them showing embassies? Let alone using campaign arrows to point to them?
Those are all mighty obscure sources. Think logically for a minute here. There are plenty of accounts of perpetual conflict between the Sakas and the Satavahanas. How many accounts do you see of conflict between the Indo-Greeks and the Satavahanas? What is the actual arcaeological evidence those sources used to arrive at this conclusion anyway? Because like I said, none of my sources corroborate it. Not even good old Britannica.
Do people need to edit wikipedia to have proficiency with computers?

Hi Windy City Dude,

  • Kapisa=Alexandria in the Caucasus, and it is not at the edge of the Hindu Kush (Paropamisadae), but in the middle of it.
  • Strabo, the Periplus of the Erythrean sea, Tarn or Bussagli are certainly not "mighty obscure sources", and in any case probably have more historical weight than the "Indian government's tourism site".
  • Your map fails to show conquests to Pataliputra and supposed territory down to Barigaza.
  • I have adopted your comments on the arrows, and shown disputed conquests as such.
  • I was refering to your Wikipedia editing proficiency which is not consistent with a newcomer PHG 19:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • For the next revision I put Kapisa at about the same spot you did. So I guess that's settled.
  • I have heard of Tarn. The rest, not so much. And Tarn doesn't have the status of a priviledged source over everyone else IMHO. I am inclined to treat him as somewhat questionable in light of more contemporary research.
  • My map doesn't show it because I don't think it should be in the main map. I am currently working on one with campaign arrows that I intend to upload to the "Eastern expansion" section of the article. It will have an arrow with a point of origin and a destination point for each attack and, most importantly, a time-stamp on each one. I need to do more research on when each attack took place. You can probably help by giving me an easily referenceable list of attacks and their outcomes for me to put in if you don't mind. The final outcome, I think, will be more rich in information than what you're proposing.
  • The starred cities implies a capital of some sort. I still think an asterisk or a highlight around the city makes more sense.
  • Well keep in mind it took me something like 2 and a half hours to upload that map. That's and hour longer than it took me to make it in the first place. By the way, I looked and can't seem to find a way to modify an image once I upload it. I don't want to fill up the wikimedia server with a bunch of minor revisions on the same thing.
Windy City Dude 04:36, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Windy City Dude,

  • If you never heard of Strabo or the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, I suggest you have a look, since these are primary sources regarding the presence and expansion of the Indo-Greeks in India. Bussagli is one of the leading Italian authorities on the subject as well. May I suggest you read the article in depth and look at the references before making major changes.
  • I cannot agree with you point of view that eastern expansion should not be shown on the main map. For several historians, we are talking about an occupation of about 8 years as far as Pataliputra (from circa 175 BCE to 170 BCE), and 90 years as far as Mathura (from circa 175 BCE to 70 BCE). This is important, and has to be shown in an article on the Indo-Greeks, even if it is labelled "disputed" and uses dotted lines as I suggested. Others claim these were just short military campaigns, but there is no reason to favour that version to the exclusion of others.
  • When uploading, choose "upload a new version of this file" in the description file of the map you wish to overwrite. After some time, the old versions are automatically discarded.

PHG 07:10, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Windy City Dude,
I think most of the issues you raised have been solved by now: the map is now aestetically great, long "campaign arrows" for embassies were dropped for short pointer arrows, and expansion campaigns are shaded and dated the same way the map you suggested. Overall, this discussion led to a much better map, in which the global dynamic of the Indo-Greek kingdom can be perceived at a glance in a pleasing way. Regards. PHG 22:19, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

In all honesty, many of your references for claims strike me as being stretched at best. And I don't see why we need to priviledge the view of Bussagli and Tarn at the expense of more well known/current authorities like Frank Holt or A.K. Narain. You seem to be glossing over these fellows in favor of sources that are either less trustworthy or outdated. That and I am not sure how true it is to call Bussagli the "leading Italian authority on the subject." Let alone how much being the "leading Italian authority" is worth.
You mean to tell me that they took over the capital of the Sunga empire for 8 years and the Sungas somehow managed to not only keep on ticking for another 50 to 90 years, but to reconquer their way all the way back to Mathura and start engaging Greek forces in the Northwest? The only other place they ever ruled from was Vidisa, and even that was only because Bhagabradha held court there occasionally (since it was such an important hub of trade and culture and all.) That is patently absurd, what is this based on?
You say that calling them mere raids favours their view over yours, but I don't see how that is an argument for your map favouring your view? It would make a great deal more sense for a map to show confirmed and accepted information and move the discussion of disputes and inaccuracies to the relevant section of the article. Even according to your source, the Yuga Purana, the attack on Pataliputra was a joint raid by Maturas and Panchalas that frequently quarrelled amongst themselves. I don't see where this mentions anything about actually ruling the city. A map that shows the time and location of attacks and details the outcomes in the article would be perfectly acceptable. I think history would be best served if the speculations and editorializing were kept to a minimum though.
I still think my edition of the map is better from an aesthetic perspective. And I still don't understand why you're so wedded to the idea of making such a hooplah over the embassies. They are a relatively minor point and don't add much to the article. It is best left to the article. Cramming too much into the map just makes it look cluttered. The eye is not sure what it is supposed to focus on. I come from the minimalist school of design and adhere strictly to the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. A graphical representation, be it a map, a chart, or a graph, needs to have a clearly defined purpose. There should be no doubt as to what it is showing you and it is best if it does not try to do too many things at once. If you need to put a caption on your graphic to explain what it is, you have already failed. If the map is meant to show a military history, it can do that. I explained how. If it's meant to give a rough understanding of who these people were and where they lived (as the headlining map on an article ought to) that's what it should do. If you want to detail their diplomatic relations to their neighbors, you can do that seperately. But it is best not to try to do it all at once. The article would be better served if we could break all this information up into its constituent parts and put each where they belong. The problem when you try to cram all of these perspectives into one map is that it does not do anything particularly well. You look at it and you have no idea what frame of mind you are supposed to read it as. Am I looking at a general information thing or am I looking at a detail on military campaigning? I can't really tell.
Windy City Dude 01:28, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi I've been reading the debate and I'd like to know which books have been used to contribute to your map PHG that is causing much controversy. Also I don't see why the Western scholars are seen as "Eurocentric" or "philhenic". Just because they are European doesn't mean they are Greek, Tarn is British (hence of Germanic or Celtic origin) and Busagali would only go back to Rome if he was trying to stretch that far back. I really can't imagine how these two could get any satisfaction from publishing how one unrelated culture had once conquered (partially if even that) another unrelated culture. I think some people on this article really believe this is a smear campaign against Indians which is quite unfortunate as this all seems like a rather childish tug of war.

Also I think the genetics section should be removed as it basically says how there is 'no evidence that ancient Greeks have made a genetic contribution, though more tests are needed' which I think you don't need an encyclopedia to tell you. [[User:Giani g|Giani g]] 00:40, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I looked at A.K. Narain's book, a short paper by Dr. Nagendra Rao about post-Mauryan India, a World history textbook co-written by Holt, and the only online map of the Indo-Greeks I could find that was not created by PHG himself. [[2]]
Also, I don't recall ever levelling that charge, so I would kindly ask that you not try to erect strawmen.
Windy City Dude 01:45, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Windy City Dude,

  • I have again redrawn a map with embassies shown less compicuously (circles), hope you like it (it seems I am really the only one making adjustments and compromise here). Putting conquests with dates on a map is standard practice, as you yourself mentionned before (Image:OttomanEmpireIn1683.png), and I modified the map accordingly, so your insistence to take them away now seems rather unfair.
  • It seems your real point from the beginning is to avoid showing Indo-Greek conquests in India proper. There are only a few maps doing so, but an example is Westermanns "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" (referred to me by Sponsanius). In an argument nearly identical to someone like User:Devanampriya, you rely on A.K. Narain whose main work on the subject dates to 1956, which insists on interpreting Indo-Greek expansion in India as "just raids". Since then, I think most researchers agree that presence as far as Patiliputra probably lasted several years (based on available scriptural evidence, quoted in the text), and to Mathura several decades (confimed by the Maghera inscription). Regards. PHG 06:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
The "Eurocentric" and "philhenic" charge wasn't aimed at you Windy City Dude, read the debate earlier and you will see some users accusing the old map of bias and aggrandizing the Indo-Greeks. [[User:Giani g|Giani g]] 09:08, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Then why bring it up? Besides, Tarn is pretty widely acknowledged as being very interested in aggrandizing Alexander and his impact on history. One doesn't have to be a nationalist of a country to have an affinity for it or certain characters in its history.
Windy City Dude 01:13, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Hello to all.
I am reverting to the former map of the Indo-Greeks, because I do not feel it is fair to eliminate the representation of the Indo-Greek expansion into India. This expansion is referenced in detail throughout the article (about 20 works, from Classical to very recent, from Europe to Asia), whether we talk about rule in Saurastra (Strabo), or the occupation of territory towards Pataliputra (Boppearachchi, Bussagli, etc...). As far as I know, as a matter of modern interpretation, everybody agrees that the Indo-Greeks expanded into India, with interpretations ranging from "raids" in collaboration with Indian tribes (typically Narain), to actual rule about 8 years in Pataliputra and a hundred years rule in Mathura (Boppearachchi, Bussagli etc...) Since interpretations vary on the exact nature and duration of these invasion, I used dotted line, and mention that the subject is disputed. On the contrary, I am afraid suppressing any representation of these expansion does not make justice to the state of knowledge on the subject. Regards to all. PHG 19:06, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry I have been gone for so long. I have been terribly busy and it seems the article has been locked in my absence.
I have to say that I am afraid you are using a strawman when you say it is eliminating representation of Indo-Greek expansion. I have said, time and time again, that the article's headlining map is supposed to show the settled borders of the empire. Information on conquests and the like belong in the relevant section of the article that talks about expansion and conquests.
So I'd like it if you stopped talking as if I'm on some "book burning" crusade, assumed good faith, and addressed my point honestly.
Windy City Dude 01:13, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Showing territorial conquests on a map is such a standard practice (Persian Empire map, Turkish Empire, Roman Empire etc...) that your insistence here to take them off is quite hard to understand. I also do not know of a Wikpipedia policy against that practice either, and your "the article's headlining map is supposed to show the settled borders of the empire" is just your opinion. On the contrary, as long as the map is not overly clutered, showing conquests enriches the map's informational content. Conquests are also central to the existence of the Indo-Greek kingdom: wasn't all Indo-Greek territory conquered to start with? PHG 07:04, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Flawed but not refuted sources

Hi PHG & everybody!

A very interesting discussion, though some of the ”contestants” should have voiced their criticisms of PHG’s work in a little less vitriolic fashion and check out the ancient sources before they try to change things around.

However, there is a point: many of the works which are referred to here are indeed dubious. Because, with Indo-Greek scholarship, we have had a very paradoxal situation: a sort of inverted development where “knowledge” (i.e. speculations) disappears. The older the source, the more cock-sure the author is about what happened. Take for instance Tarn, who fantasises about Eukratides being the agent of Antiochos Epiphanes upon dubious premises, and produces an entire stemma of the Bactrian dynasties. Much of what he writes are clearly vague speculations.

Modern scholars, on the contrary, concentrate on more minute details such as coin studies, and often refrain from speculating on these questions. They sometimes accept that we don’t know enough to put together a trustworthy picture.

This situation actually befits Wikipedia’s original research policy extremely badly. Because fact is, you can often find an older source explaining details which later authors avoid altogether. Consequently, the older scholars are not properly “refuted” and after a manner still meet Wikipedia’s standards, even though their opinions are clearly outdated.

Take for instance the seven years of rule in Pataliputra suggested by Bussagli. I haven’t read his work, but since there are no sources dealing with the time of Indo-Greek rule there, the background for this statement could only be one: Bussagli is trying to correlate the conquest with the civil wars among the Greeks. Namely: Bussagli assumes that Demetrios I conquered Pataliputra c. 175 BCE, and in c. 168 BCE Demetrios I was defeated by Eucratides I (the “terrible war” mentioned in the Yuga Puranha).

It’s only that this view is utterly obsolete. The modern view is that Demetrios I died before 175 BCE, and anyway the war between Eucratides and a king named Demetrios (i.e. Demetrios II or III) mentioned by Justin took place during the latter part of Eucratides’ reign, perhaps in the 150s BCE if Justin is correct. So what Bussagli is saying is certainly totally irrelevant. The question is: is it original research to point this out?

(And Demetrios I certainly never ruled eastern Punjab. His coins are never found there, and another reading of the Hathigumpa inscription is that the name of the Greek king in Mathura should not read DEMETRIOS but AMYNTAS, a much later king whose coins have been found as far east as New Delhi. This new interpretation indicates that the Indo-Greeks held Mathura for a considerable time: the kingdom collapsed soon after Amyntas’ death. Certainly Pataliputra was taken by Menander, for the blunt reason that if it was done before his reign, there were no territories left for him to conquer, and Menander is described as a great conqueror by both Greek and Indian sources.)

There are several other references which could be more or less refuted as well by a competent layman: the state of Indo-Greek research is as mentioned not matching a dictionary of Wikipedia’s type. This is not to say that anyone has done wrong to publish them: for what is the alternative, especially if original research is prohibited?

As for the map: why don’t we scan the map from “Atlas der Welt Geschichte”? I can do that. It is a very well respected work, but we should know that it is incorrect in its exactness: the attack on Pataliputra is scheduled (again) to 168 BCE. Anyway, the Welt Geschichte map is neither better nor worse than many other maps here, which are either aged or drawn by amateurs.

For instance: The Persian map is not good. It is a century old, and the purpose of it is to show the empire at its apogee – which is now an outdated approach. The same goes for the map of the Roman empire: this one is relevant only under the article of Trajan. The Ottoman map is a mess: it doesn’t separate the vasall kingdoms from the provinces. To give a comparison: Gothic Italy and Spain were vasall kingdoms of Eastern Rome. Yet nobody would dream of creating a map of Eastern Rome in 500 AD which marks Italy and Spain as imperial territories!

It seems as though older works give more exact maps: modern scholars are not interested in comparing how much territory an empire held at its absolute peak. The amateurs building Wikipedia (including myself) on the contrary find such maps very interesting.

Anyway, on the whole this page is a brilliant resource. Sponsianus 09:21, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Nice. I agree with most of what you say. The Indo-Greeks didn't leave much but statues and coins so there isn't much to go on for any historians. And since this article is mainly sourced by Tarn, I'm a little leery of how "high-falootin" a lot of those claims are. My issue wasn't so much with sources and stuff though. My concern was with the layout of how an article ought to look. I don't think cluttering up the article's main map communicates an accurate picture of how things went down. The main map ought to cover the settled, established borders. The other stuff is details and should be where details go.
I am not sure how I would feel about the map you talked about. I would need to see it myself first. This is the map I based mine on. The biblio entry says
An Historical Atlas of the Indian Peninsula, C. Collin Davis, Oxford University Press, May 1949
All I did was pretty-it up. In fact, according to this map I stretched them a little too far. When I drew it I traced my lines based on logical geographical boundaries (e.g. rivers) although I probably should have paid more attention to the Thar desert.
As an aside, there is a good reason "modern scholars are not interested in comparing how much territory an empire held at its absolute peak." It is because the question is pretty meaningless in context. "Holding territory" in those days didn't mean much. Most "conquered" lands were loosly affiliated with the imperial government. The only territory they actually cared about were the ones that offerred a valuable strategic resource like fertile soil, precious metals, or access to trade. All the other places were "wild-and-wooly" and their participation with the empire was little more than a loyalty oath and regular tribute payments. Think Texas before "the West was won" and you'll have a good idea of how central, heavily administrated sections of an ancient empire would look. That should, in turn, give you an idea of how ancillary areas probably were.
They didn't have these clear-cut borders we draw on maps and the further out you go the less these things make sense. In SouthEast Asia you'd have several kings all laying claim to the same chunk of land at once and nobody would bat an eyelash. They wouldn't even fight over it as long as the people who lived there paid their tribute.
Windy City Dude 02:40, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi Sponsianus. Nice to see you back and thanks for the great comments! The state of knowledge on the Indo-Greeks being what it is, I guess the best we can do is mention known facts and primary sources and epigraphical evidence, and then mention the various historical interpretations on the subject. To me there was a very partisan and bi-polar debate between Tarn and Narain during the 1950s (one tending to agrandize, the other to diminish Indo-Greek influence), and since then more subtle contributions by various archaeologist and historians. Bussagli is actually fairly recent (his original book in Italian was published in 1984, and the French edition is 1996), as are Boppearachchi or McEvilley, so fairly clearcut opinions on the subject are not only a thing of the past (although clearly not to the extent of Tarn or Narain). I think Bussagli's interpretation of Demetrius is that he himself may have remained in the northwest, but his armies, led by Menander as general, went as far as Pataliputra and occupied the city. I would be greatly interested if you could further document the source for the alternate reading of the Hathigumpta inscription to Amyntas. For the “Atlas der Welt Geschichte”map, since we are not supposed to upload copyrighted material on Wikipedia, could you e-mail it to me? Best regards. PHG 19:51, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you're really being unfair to Narain here. Have you read his book? He isn't nearly as partisan as you make him seem and there isn't much in the way of an agenda. He spends most of his time pointing out flaws in Tarn's methodology (of which there are many) and refuting those claims. He doesn't make too many affirmative claims on his own though. He focuses mainly on describing the Indo-Greeks and framing their contributions. It's not like he has some irrational hate-on for the Greeks. Just because he insists on being more modest that Tarn's overly zealous claims does not mean he is out to diminish the Indo-Greek role in history.
Windy City Dude 02:40, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi again PHG!

Thanks for your quick answer. As I've said, I have not read Bussagli, but what you refer to sounds very much like he is based on Tarn's ideas of subkings. I think Bopearachchi's, Senior's and a few other numismaticians have modernised the topic considerably and shifted focus to coin studies to an extent where many previous authors who are not numismaticians should be regarded with some scepsis.

It seems to me that Tarn, as well as earlier scholars still, tried to reconstruct history from the sources, which meant they emphasised on those kings mentioned there. This paradigm lead them to believe Demetrios I fought Eucratides, and that the Buddhist symbols on the coins of Menander II were connected with the conversion of Menander I etc. Other kings were neglected and seen as sub-rulers - why else were they omitted from the sources? But this paradigm is not realistic: the sources being far too scarce for such generalisations.

Bussagli's view would require that Pantaleon, Apollodotos I, Menander I, Agathocles, Euthydemos II, and Antimachos I all acted as subordinate kings of Demetrius I in different part of the empire, which is a highly dubious speculation, especially since at least the latter three all ruled in Bactria.

Further, the nickel alloy coins appear after Demetrios I and disappear before Menander and Eucratides, so clearly Demetrius disappeared before they were introduced, and Agathocles' commemorative coins also indicate that he was posterior to Demetrios I. All in all, we certainly agree that the coin evidence show us that Demetrius I was not a contemporary of Menander.

So I think Bussagli's view is outdated, even though it is quite recent. This is not to say that the Greeks could not have held Pataliputra for several years, only that the circumstances were different from how Bussagli imagined them.

This may be beside the scope of Wikipedia, but this "old paradigm" has other consequences as well. For instance, the coins said to have been Eucratides', commemorating Heliocles and Laodice are probably misinterpreted, since the grammatic forms on the legend clearly indicate that Heliocles and Laodice issued the coins, commemorating Eucratides! (Heliocles was possibly stewart of Bactria under the formal suzerainity Mithradates of Parthia, until he rebelled and became king. That partis my own theory and not suitable for Wikipedia, of course :) The irony is that when we actually may have a sub-ruler, he went undetected.)

This interpretation also explains why these coins were not found in Ai Khanoum: they are later than Eucratides. But source-centered early scholars interpreted the legend as containing the "understood" phrase "son of", keen as they were to attribute the coins to a known ruler. With that gone, the connection between Eucratides and the Seleucids vanishes as well.

I posted what Mark Passehl had to say about the Hathigumpta inscription on your page, which is all I know. "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" is from the fifties IIRC. Is it still copyrighted? I'll scan the map and mail it - but what is your email? I think your map is good, and the embassies deserve their place as unique historical documents, but perhaps the critics would object less to a published map. Best regards 15:07, 25 January 2007 (UTC) PS You had the Hellenistica Yahoo group among your links - are you a member? DS

Hi Sponsianus. Thank you for the insights. Hopefully there will be a definite history of the Indo-Greeks one day! For the map, please e-mail me through the "E-mail this user" on my page, to what I will answer with my e-mail address. You can then send me the map. If it was done in the 50s, it is still copyrighted (it would have to have about 100 years to be free). I am not an active participant of the Hellenistica Yahoo group, I just look around sometimes. Best regards. PHG 20:28, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
AFAIK maps are okay as long as they were published before 1956.
Any source for that assertion? I doubt this is true in light of the usual dispositions of copyrights. PHG 06:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, it was 1959. Works published between 1923 and 1963 have a standard copyright period of 28 years before they pass into public domain. It can be renewed for up to 47 years thus making it 1959 (for some reason I thought it was 44 years before.) It can be renewed for another 20 years as well, but I doubt such a little-known work published in a foreign country would have bothered with that. It's questionable whether or not they bothered with the 47 year renewal for the second term. It's at —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Windy City Dude (talkcontribs) 19:12, 27 January 2007 (UTC).
As far as I know, this is not compliant with Wikipedia copyright policy (Wikipedia:Copyright FAQ). Typically, a work only becomes Public Domain 70 years after the death of the creator. PHG 20:12, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello Sponsianus,

It is a pleasure to see you again on the indo greek talk pages, especially since you were the early contributor to it. Many of your points, as always, are helpful in furthering our aim of an accurate and verifiable article. Regarding your note about vitriol, it is indeed unfortunate that the discussion devolved into an argument; however, it was definitely a multi-sided affair on account of lack of cooperation.

You will note that a consensus map had been previously agreed to by myself, phg, and an individual named vastu (who designed this map). However, phg unilaterally changed the map several months later.

As you all too well know, there are many, many holes in the historical record from this period. Accordingly, previous maps, indeed the vast majority, have restricted the indo greeks to the punjab on account of lack of evidence otherwise. PHG seems far too liberal with his interpretations. When the wikipedia standard, i.e. parthian and roman empires, is typical borders and verified adminstative regions, why are we making a special exception for the Indo Greeks? We are even going so far as to attribute a raid (Keay notes that menander joined a raid of indian kings) or Kushan conquests, to the Indo Greeks. As you noted in your post from hellenistica, Dimita could very well be Vima or Vimaka. The fact of the matter is, nothing is verifiable beyond the punjab.

PHG's current revision, apparently based on the german map you recommended, essentially continues this tradition, with some minor changes, and in some cases, exacerbating the issues. I have not seen the map you recommended; however, I must strongly contest this interpretation, and others, by PHG. It extends indo greek domains well into maharashtra, even though we have no real evidence of any extension into gujarat, and perhaps not even into sindh (according to Narain).

I urge you to consider these points, and those raised by other contributors, so that you may join us in calling for a restoration to the consensus map. I am only seeking accuracy and npov. Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve it in this article to date. The map provided by Windy City Dude provides the best referenced and most verifiable version we have. Please join us in calling for this so that we may put an end to the article lockup.

Let me know if you have any questions and concerns.

Best Regards,

Devanampriya 06:07, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

  • What are "the vast majority" of Indo-Greek maps you are refering to? I personally know only two published ones: one by the Indian Ministry of Tourism on Internet (minimalist), and now one by the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte", which visibly takes into account all available sources, and is probably more respectable as a historical reference. Any reference for this claim on "the vast majority" of Indo-Greek maps?
  • About "only verified administrative regions" for a map: a map is not only based on "verified archaeological data" as you seem to claim. Literary sources also play a major role. There is almost no archaeological evidence of Alexander's campaings in India, only litterary evidence, which are nevertheless the source for all the maps of Alexander in India. In the case of the Indo-Greeks, we have a combination of archaeological and very varied literary evidence (both Greek and Indian) relating their conquests, which is visibly the base of the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" as well as my previous maps.
  • "Dimita could very well be Vima or Vimaka." You failed to read the rest, which states that Vima or Vimaka is not considered as a proper hypothesis since the king is qualified as a "Yavana", an unknown occurence for Kushans, and the paleography indicate a 2nd century BCE date. PHG 19:04, 7 February 2007 (UTC)


If you have not read widely enough on the topic to encounter more maps, I'm afraid I can't account for that. Windy City Dude has already provided us with a published map and sufficient references, unlike the previous incarnations of your maps. Vastu provided us with another. And I have seen numerous others in published works, which I unfortunately do not have access to for our purposes.

Also, please do not make assumptions that do not help your case. I absolutely did read the rest, and I know that the author was making a case for Amyntas; however, he did not close the door on Vimaka, but simple said that there were cases against it. I will point out, that the Kushans have a greater case of being that far east than the Indo greeks, regardless of your heuristics.

Regarding Alexander: there is no serious case at this time contesting the extent of his campaigns in India. However, there is for the indo greeks; hence, literary evidence must absolutely be weighed against the archaeological evidence.

I believe you've failed to recognize the application of the word Yavana. It has been used for a number of various foreign tribes, including the arabs and turks. This of course leaves open the possibility for use for the Kushanas. After all, Gautamiputra Satakarni surely encountered the Kushanas during his rule, but mention was made only of the Yavanas ( always indo greeks in your interpretation) (who had since faded away). So please, don't be so close-minded.

Lastly, please do not let your love of the indo greeks color your understanding of history. You referred to the Indo Greek Map from the tourism site as minimalist. But considering other scholarly works, such as the one provided by The Dude, are in line with that, have you considered the fact that your version is aggrandized? Regardless, I hope we can reach a reasonable understanding and end this debate on civil terms.

Best Regards,

Devanampriya 20:32, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

  • The whole point of Wikipedia is to rely on published material from respectable sources. Non-referenced material, including personal opinions, such as yours or mine, is irrelevant. If you cannot provide sources for your claim about the "the vast majority" of Indo-Greek maps, which you "do not have access to for our purposes", then your claim does not deserve representation on Wikipedia until you provide more information. The data I have been providing on the Indo-Greeks is based on about 20 books I own personally, which are properly referenced throughout the article.
  • The variety of sources has to be respected, specifically you cannot use one source do deny all others. Generally, P.L.Gupta's "Vimaka" interpretation of the "Hathigumpha inscription" is rejected. His interpretation is interesting in its own right though and worth mentionning, which by the way I did two days ago in the Kharavela article. Likewise, just because Narain says one thing about the Indo-Greeks does not mean other interpretations should not be represented.
  • The great majority of historical sources, as well as Indian sources of the period (cf "The Yavana king Antiochos", "The Yona king Antialcidas"), do identfy the Yavanas with the Indo-Greeks. Your reference to Arabs or Turks is a much later development (5th-10th century), in which Yavana came to designate many other foreigners. Your rejection of the identification of Yavanas as Indo-greeks is therefore an anachronism, which is not supported by the scientific community, although, again, it deserves mention if some scholar has published this opinion at one point (references please). Also, it is generally considered Gautamiputra Satakarni did encounter the Yavana, Saka and Pallava remnants he claims to have defeated, at the end of the 1st century CE, whereas the Kushans were on the contrary just beginning to establish themselves as an Empire and Satakarni could hardly have claimed to have erased them from the face of the earth.
  • At this point, the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map is the only detailed referenced map published by a respectable source which we have, and I must say it quite nicely illustrates the various sources in the article. This fully authorizes its use as a reference map on Wikipedia, even if you are personally not in accordance with what it shows. PHG 05:53, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


Please do not ignore information that has already been presented. The "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map is not the only referenced map, as we have the Oxford map provided by Windy City Dude. Accordingly, the only other map that was found online, the multicolored version submitted by vastu, was also presented.

Your personal library is apparently obsolete, and its expanse frankly irrelevant, as Tarn's interpretations have lost credibility. Tarn, as evidenced by our earlier debates, proved to be your basis for much of the article. This calls into question the accuracy of much that has been incorporated here, not in the least your maps. Oh, and if you want references, Holt and Narain.

As for anachronisms, we do not even have a date on the Gargi Samahita, the astrological work to which the Yuga Purana is appended. Moreover, given that the statement of this being history written in the form of prophecy is subject to interpretation, this hardly proves this to be anachronism considering that it may well have simply been prophecy. Accordingly, as previous historians have noted, there is a tendency for westerners to interpret Yavanas as only meaning greeks. You have demonstrated just such a tendency, although I wouldn't call either of us historians.

"P.L. Gupta's interpretation is rejected"--in what work? Where is your reference? Since you just mentioned that our opinions are irrelevant and that we need verifiable and credible works, you've just contradicted yourself. The author of that post mentioned that this may very likely have been amita, but where is your certifiable, published reference? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Here's the bottom line: I am not saying I believe any theory one way or the other (regarding hathigumpha, since there's plenty of room for doubt). I am merely saying that there are enough questions out there to invalidate Tarn's constructs (cartographical and theoretical), be it supported by newer and lesser known sources such as bussagli or not(P.L. Gupta, btw, was published within the last decade). The goal here is to accurately demonstrate as much as we can and not latch on to antiquated notions and poorly constructed theories. Even Sponsianus has noted the questionable nature of south-eastern part of the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map--calling its credibility into serious question (what evidence is offered by this work or any other to so such a preposterous extension?). You are now showing regions well past prime satavahana territory and unsupported by any archaeological evidence. Tarn looked at the Indo-Greek through the lens of british colonialism. I would hope that your approach to this topic is not the same...


Devanampriya 19:16, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

  • The "Oxford map" has not been actually shown to any of the contributors here, it is older (1946?), and is very limited in its details on the Indo-Greeks (see Sponsianus's comments above). The multicolored online map is not referenced.
  • My personal library covers about 20 books ranging between the 1920's to the early 2000's. Not especially obsolete, thank you, especially when compared to Narain's work (1950s). All claims in the article are referenced, and only a small portion of them related to Tarn.
  • For details on the Yuga Purana and interpretations by historians, please refer to that article.
  • P.L Gupta hypotheses is contrary to general opinion on the subject (Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XX. Delhi: Manager of Publications et al.). The Amyntas hypothesis is not mine, but was relayed by Sponsianus from the Hellenistica forum as a suggestion.
  • I would suppose the Westermann's "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map relies for its southeastern part on the existence of sculptures of 2nd century BCE Greek soldiers in Sanchi (where they are shown paying their respects to the Sanchi stupa) and Bharhut.
  • Devanampriya, please keep in mind that on Wikipedia articles are not based on personal opinions but only on material by published sources, so your continued obstruction against Westermann's "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map basically goes against Wikipedia editing rules and is therefore invalid. Deleting referenced material is even considered as vandalism. On the other hand, contrary opinions on the extent of Indo-Greek rule can of course be included in the article, and are very welcome, as long as they are properly referenced (author, book, page number, quote if possible) and do not involve deletion of other sources. PHG 20:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


-You provided no quote for your line on P.L. Gupta as evidence. -Narain is a living contributor who still writes on the topic (most recently in 2002); hardly obsolete -Mitchiner's interpretation of the Yuga Purana (which you use copiously) has been questioned by Indian Academic such as Kak -PHG, please bear in mind that original research is contrary to wikipedia's policies, but you rely on it openly as you did with your post below on Ujjain. Moroever, you have an unfortunate track record of relying on questionable websites without a firm rooting in history to develop unsustainable theses (A madhya pradesh tourist site? Really PHG... Also, it mentions the sakas as the reason for any spread of greek culture, hence the extinguishment during the Gupta period). You will also note that the incorporation of weasel words, something you are notorious for, is considered to be vandalism. -Wikipedia doesn't subscribe to all sources, but all reliable sources. Unfortunately, you have rarely furnished any to date. -Lastly, please refrain from obfuscation. I criticized Atlas der Welt Geschichte, one published work, but favored the Oxford map, which comes from another published work. You on the other hand have continually put your own spin on things and injected personal opinion and weasel words wherever you desire. Please refrain from attempting to mischaracterize me. Perhaps you should reflect on your own practices. I trust that we can reach an acceptable conclusion to this on going debate. Moreover, I hope that we can continue our discussion in a civil manner and with understanding.

Best Regards,

Devanampriya 06:19, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry about that, it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular, I've already posted Vastu's map in my last response to demonstrate his lack of credibility i.e. he revealed his minimalist agenda. Another thing to note "...for its southeastern part on the existence of sculptures of 2nd century BCE Greek soldiers in Sanchi (where they are shown paying their respects to the Sanchi stupa) and Bharhut."

Well that doesn't necessarily mean conquest as they may have been mercenaries or allies of some sort. Post the quotation and explain the context of that text please PHG. ([[User:Giani g|Giani g]] 12:59, 16 February 2007 (UTC))

Hi Giani, as I wrote, it is just my supposition that they may have relied on such sculptures among other sources. Otherwise, the spread of the Indo-Greeks to Ujjain is commonly refered to as in this Indian site, or deducted from numismatic evidence: "A series of Indo-Greek coins have been found at Dewas near Ujjain, supporting the Yavana presence in Malwa." here PHG 17:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

New referenced map

Map of the Indo-Greeks, according to the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte".

Following on the suggestion to use a published map, Sponsianus kindly sent me a scan of the Indo-Greek map of the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte", which I just finished transcribing with its precise territorial limits, campaigns and dates, into a copyright-free map (shown here). We now have a clear and quite complete map referenced by a proper source, which I suggest we use as our new standard map for the Indo-Greek page. Of course there will still be a lot of discussions about what the Indo-Greeks did or did not occupy territorially, and what the exact dates are, but this is a characteristic of the subject: we will just have to go on describing and balancing the various sources and scholarly opinions available. PHG 21:10, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Good work on the map! A minor suggestion: perhaps the date references to Pataliputra etc. could be removed, since these are very likely obsolete. Your version of the map is already modified: I see you have transferred Arachosia from the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom to the Indo-Greek. This is of course consequent, since you aim to portray the empire at the apogee of Menander's conquests, and he held Arachosia, but then the arrows become somewhat contradictory. The one describing conquests in Pakistan should for instance not start from within the Indo-Greek empire - surely the cartographer meant this to represent a campaign of Demetrios I starting from within Bactrian territory?
Sponsianus 14:33, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

To Windy City Dude: What you say about precise maps certainly makes sense - that is indeed why the focus has shifted to more important issues. The outer regions of the Indo-Greek kingdom were probably loosely attached and some of them held only briefly. The map you suggested is however problematic, for it tries to compress several centuries into one picture. For instance, it merges the Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms into one entity. This may be a justified simplification for an overview of a map, but this article goes into much more detail.
And on one occasion, "your" map is incorrect. The Indo-Greeks certainly held eastern Punjab for a considerable period - this was suggested by the ancient sources, and is confirmed by numismatic evidence. There are hoards found around Mathura which exclusively contain coins of Menander or Straton (whose rule probably was far later than Menander's). Tarn knew about these and his account of Greek rule there still stands - even though Narain was certainly right to criticise many of Tarn's more vainglorious statements.
A flaw committed by Tarn and other older sources was instead to minimise the impact of the later kings, those unknown in the sources. However, if the coins count, late kings like Lysias, Antialkidas and Apollodotos II were among the most important. Demetrios I himself, around whom most of the early reconstructions are centered, actually struck fewer coins than each of these three kings, who ruled after the decline and isolation of the Indo-Greeks had begun.
The doubts about the new map which PHG suggested might be placed around the south-eastern prong of the Indo-Greek conquests. Here, we have to rely on ancient sources, and if these territories belonged to the empire it was probably as client-states. Still, there is no absolute rule against this, and the article clearly reflects that the center of the kingdom was in the north-west. For lack of better original (or nearly so) maps, I support the new one.
Best regards Sponsianus 15:08, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I had not checked in on this article in some time and I think it is a travesty that all the attempts made at a consensus were ignored by PHG. He treats this page like his own personal article. Whenever Devanampriya or I had managed to beat him at an argument he would simply say "Nobody is stopping you from editing it yourself" only to revert any edits he does not agree with. It is not in the spirit of fair discussion. I thought Vastu had finally managed to hammer out a fair and reasonable compromise only to have PHG unilaterally alter the map to its most extreme iteration of Indo-Graecophilia yet when it became clear that the other parties had stopped paying attention.
After getting fully caught up on the discussion so far I do believe the map in orange was the best one. The idea of fluid and flexible borders is what I have been saying all along and I appreciate that the unverifiable claims of "conquest" of Pataliputra were ultimately put to rest. I would make some alterations to the western part as well as how far into the Punjab they managed to go, but overall it was good.
The map we have now is not as good but better than the travesty we had before. The extensions into Bharhut and Ujjain are, however, completely ridiculous. Coin-hoards in a trading post aren't especially convincing and it is absurd to say the Indo-Greeks managed to make their way to the edge of Pratishtana without any references to conflicts with the Satavahana Empire being mentioned. The Satavahana dynasty outlasted the Indo-Greeks after all. Dynasties often do not survive long after having other powers gobble up their territory. Especially territory as valuable as their entire Western coast.
Pavanapuram 16:48, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi Pavanapuram,
  • The "compromise" I had reached with Vastu on the previous map was clearly conditional, non-binding and temporary since I specifically wrote "Let's put it in the article and see for a while how it feels" (see above). It indeed stayed for 3 months, but as the content of the article further evolved (mentions of Bussagli etc...), it was only normal to bring new graphical solutions to reflect them (explained above). It is not my fault if Vastu has vaporized since then.
  • I don't think I ever "blocked" you from edits (you only edited the Indo-Greek article once, an edit which involved major deletions to the article here, and was actually a revert to a previous deliterious version by Devanampriya. This is by the way usually rather suspect of sock-pupetting, as is your mono-subject contribution record here).
  • Since we now have a fully referenced map by a respectable source (the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map), I think the discussion on the maps is basically over. We are not going to spend our lives discussing each contributor's theories about Indo-Greek territory. Let's go with the published map and get over with it. Discussions about actual extent can go into the article, with proper references of course. PHG 18:15, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I do not think you get to call when discussions are over. This goes back to you treating this article like your personal playground.
You did not check or seek consensus for the new map. You opted, instead, to change it unilaterally. You only modified it when someone else came along with a better one. Had he checked with you first there is no doubt you would have stonewalled him on that too.
I was referring to the many revisions made by Devanampriya that you subsequently reverted without consensus or good cause, not just that one. I made that reversion looking at just one part. I was not aware that there was other information that had been removed. I believe I have already explained this to you once. So levelling the accusation of vandalism again along with this claim of sock-puppetry just sounds like you are trying to smear me. My contributions have mostly centered on this article because your map seems to have proliferated throughout the web (use google image search) from the myriad sources that reference Wikipedia with absolutely nothing else to counter it.
And of course we are not going to spend our lives discussing anything since it seems only your opinions get the final say here. It is incredibly frustrating to see this kind of bias go unchecked. Vastu also put up a well referenced map and, as far as I can see, the only reason your's gets put up is because you like it better. Never mind what anyone else thinks.
Pavanapuram 23:28, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi Pavanapuram,
  • None of the above, and please remain civil. As also agreed by some other users, the "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" map is the only detailed referenced map published by a respectable source which we have, and it does illustrate quite properly the various sources in the article. The other maps we have seen so far are either personal creations, older material, or unprecise approximations. We now have a great published map, and it is therefore the obvious choice to go ahead with. Regards. PHG 05:45, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Vastu blatantly threw away his credibility when he revealed this map:


So I don't think we have to go over wether Vastu was right or not. I must say I prefer PHG's map to any other seen here so far. As for the unjust and pedantic criticism aimed at the article, well the article was peer reviewed and made featured status. I really don't see the bias or the POV in the article because it just doesn't exist, "aggrandize" my arse! I seriously would like quotes from the critics to be lifted out of the article if it's that bad. ([[User:Giani g|Giani g]] 16:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC))

Giani G,
The usage of crude language really does not ameliorate the situation. If you would like to contribute, please make valid points that are supported. How did vastu throw away his credibility? It seems as if you are driven by your emotion in support of PHG rather than on the basis of fact. PHG's latest proposal, I'm afraid, is barren of fact. There is absolutely nothing to support an extension into the Deccan and Madhya Pradesh. He is using, and these are Sponsianus' words "obsolete sources" to make his maps. This is our concern. In Tarn's construct he had Demetrius take over all of Northern India with Apollodotus going south; however, this has been disproved since Tarn had nothing to base it on except his own fancy. Please assist us in a logical fashion so that we can end this map debate in a fair and civil manner.
Devanampriya 18:29, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Devanampriya, discussion is not possible if you keep distorting the truth. The latest map is based on Westermann's "Atlas der Welt Geschichte" (here), it has nothing to do with Tarn, and Sponsianus certainly does not consider it as an "obsolete source" (only the campaign dates may be obsolete). PHG 19:59, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Responsible and productive discussion is not possible if you continue to prevaricate. Read Sponsianus' post, and you will find that this inaccurate map has everything to do with Tarn. Moreover, there is nothing to support an expansion into the deccan. Your embrace of this map, which dilutes eastern territory in order to provide for a southern grab (even less defensible) only demonstrates your motives to aggrandize indo greek territory and influence on the subcontinent, whatever the means.
Look, I do not know why you want to color as much indian territory as possible, and frankly, I don't care. But we have a responsibility to generate a map that is reflective of reliable sources and accepted facts from published authors. Not generate original maps, based on original research, and outlandish speculation. This map has been referenced by users around the world. We have a responsibility to make it as accurate as possible. The German map is not reflective of that and neither is your rendition of it.

Devanampriya 06:02, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi everybody,
I have posted a message on Devanampriya's homepage, which explains in some detail my view on the "Welt Geschichte" map. I embrace it to a certain extent - that is why I recommended it in the first place. My criticism, which Devanampriya refers to, mainly concerns the dates of campaigns, which PHG has already removed. However I agree that the south-eastern extensions beyond Barigaza is perhaps exaggerated. The paradox is that PHG:s earlier map, the one featured right now, actually meets this criticism better.
It would be nice if PHG or anybody else could look up what Tarn has to say about Ozene / Ujjain, the disputed territory.Sponsianus 20:08, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi Sponsianus,
  • Of course, on principle I would be quite reluctant to alter a published map such as the "Welt Geschichte" based on the complaints of one contributor (namely Devanampriya), or even several contributors. The map would in effect become "original research", and that's a no-go on Wikipedia. I agree that my previous map (the one currently on the page) was overall more conservative than the "Welt Geschichte" though. So much for all the critiscism back then.
  • I just checked Tarn, but he does not say anything about Bharhut or Sanchi as part of the Indo-Greek territory. I think it may come from Marshall, who I think claimed Greek engineering for Sanchi (I would have a hard time to find again the reference for that, but it's somewhere out there).
  • Regarding Ujjain, Tarn extrapolates from the occupation of Barigaza south-west of Ujjain, and of Madhyamika 80 miles north of it, that they probably held Ujjain as well. He also explains that the Indo-Scythians occupied Ujjain, and that in general the Indo-Scythians occupied territory previously held by the Greeks (p150-151). Online, Pradip Bhattacharya, an Indian authority, quotes Indo-Greek coins hoards in Ujjain as indicators of their rule there (source). PHG 20:39, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks for the links and info. Yes, ironically enough a modified map would be rather similar to your current version, which you said was based on the Welt Geschichte IIRC. So the "original sin" :) has already been committed. Still, Wikipedia policies should be respected.
On the whole, I think your more restrictive map was better, for Devanampriya certainly has a point that we cannot equal the farthest coin findings with the actual borders - and Tarn is a bit extravagant there. As you know, I suggested the Welt Geschichte mostly for formal reasons. If your map is kept, this entire discussion will have arrived at nothing - but in the very least I think the old arguments have been aired and new ones brought forth.
BTW, I wrote to Senior to get a picture of Thrason for this page. It does however seem that there is none available - the numismatic who owns the coin is a bit of an eccentric.
Mark Passehl has also suggested that Strato Soter/Dikaios and Strato Soter Epiphanes are two different kings - and he certainly has a point. Portraits, monograms and bronzes are wholly different, and Strato S/D uses at least two unique reverses. Have you got any closer info on the overstrikes regarding these kings? All my references treat them as the same ruler.
Yet another problem is the case of the Bactrian tetradrachms, totally non-related to any Indian coinage, of kings Theophilos and Apollodotos. If there was any available article, I would gladly include the alternative view that these may have been separate kings during the later period of Bactria. Perhaps you have seen Mark's suggestion that the phrase "and Apollodotos" fits in perfectly in the tax-receipt, where there is a lacuna after the names Eumenes and Antimachos, the sons of Antimachos Theos. Fascinating subject, really.Sponsianus 22:36, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The map currently displayed in the article doesnot show Ambala and Sonepat two places where the strongest evidence of indo-greek presence has been unerathed, as territory surely held by indo-greeks rather its shown in the gray area, also Mathura appears to have beeen a frontier town, if this article is to have any authenticity as a historical article it should at least include areas north and west of Mathura in the indo-greek kingdom, which is an established historical fact now, after several sources have pointed to it coupled with irrefutable archeological evidence discovered at above mentioned places, that conforms with the chronology of the kingdoms as well. March 23, 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Could you describe your sources and references for Ambala and Sonepat, and maybe give some more details that could possibly be integrated in the article? Thank you. PHG 10:36, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
The Hathigumpha inscription, written by the king of Kalinga, Kharavela, also describes the presence of the Yavana king "Demetrius" with his army in eastern India, apparently as far as the city of Rajagriha about 70 km southeast of Pataliputra and one of the foremost Buddhist sacred cities, but claims that Demetrius ultimately retreated to Mathura on hearing of Kharavela's military successes further south:
"Then in the eighth year, (Kharavela) with a large army having sacked Goradhagiri causes pressure on Rajagaha (Rajagriha). On account of the loud report of this act of valour, the Yavana (Greek) King Dimi[ta] retreated to Mathura having extricated his demoralized army and transport." Hathigumpha inscription, in Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XX.[34]
This is from an Inscrption from an eastern Indian king. Why did he retreat to Mathura if it was not in safe indo-greek territory??? The map shows Mathura as a possible conquest, who is playing politics with history here??? raising doubts about something is one thing but trying to erase historical facts based on sound archeological evidence is totally unprecendented. March 29, 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Revision of later chronology

I have now started in all modesty to update the chronology after Menander I. I begun with the last kings, and have not distorted any of the structure. However, I would eventually prefer to remove the division of Bopearachchi, especially the dating of Straton I which is clearly outdated, and replace it with Senior's more modern schedule. I suggest the following categories:

  • 1A The successors of Menander: Zoilus, (Thrason), Lysias, Antialkidas, Philoxenus
  • 1B "The Kabul valley kingdom": Theophilus, Nicias (their chronology is disputed, either before or after Philoxenus)

Final division after death of Philoxenus

  • 2A "Western" kings with Attic coinage: Diomedes (very likely the son of Philoxenus), Hermaios (perhaps a Saka), Amyntas and Archebius. The term is problematic, for coins of kings like Amyntas and Hermaios have been found in Punjab as well, but they must have held territory adjacent to Bactria.
  • 2B "Eastern" kings without Attic coinage: Agathocleia & Straton I, Polyxenios, Peucolaos, Epander, Heliocles II (who perhaps struck some Attic coins). Peucolaos may in fact be a Western king: his reign was so insignificant that the absence of Attic coins may not mean anything.

(Maues in Taxila, Attic coinage ends)

  • 3A Central kings after Maues: Artemidorus the son of Maues, Menander II, Telephus
  • 3B & A Eastern kings after Maues: Apollodotus II

(Apollodotus II reconquers Taxila)

4 Late kings A Hippostratus (western territories) B Dionysius, Zoilus II, Apollophanes, Strato II & III.

If anybody wants a closer description of Senior's work, please contact me. I won't destroy the current division without some consensus. The Menander I article should however be rewritten: all the references to Menander II Dikaios can be removed, since not even Boperachchi supports this. Best regards Sponsianus 22:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus,
Thank you for all the work in including research results by Senior into the various articles. I don't know how you would like to reflect Senior's proposal of the overall structure of later Indo-Greek kings, but an idea could be to add a template reflecting his views. Until something really final on the chronology appears oneday, I suppose we could live with one template reflecting Bopearachchi, and another reflecting Senior. What do you think? PHG 19:58, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi again! My new attempted approach of how the later kings are presented includes: "Time of reign" followed by double dates from Bopearachchi and Senior "Coin types" - a more standardised presentation, including the issue of Attic coins. I have not uploaded any coin images yet. As for general references (except overstrikes etc), I hope it's enough to place these on the History of the Indo-Greeks page and not repeat them for every king.

No changes have been made to the general structure. I have however rewritten the Menander I page: Menander II is now presented as definitely a separate king, but I have tried to salvage as much as I could of the old version: the beautiful quote from Milinda panha about Menander being cornered remains, with a somewhat different angle. Info about the development of Straton's epithets has also been removed: this is well presented on his own page where it belongs and now his double epithet Soter Dikaios is no longer as relevant to prove his relationship with Menander I. There are two versions of what happened after Menander's death presented side by side. Sponsianus 20:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Just missed your post, PHG. We are probably thinking along the same lines here.Sponsianus 20:17, 22 February 2007 (UTC)