User talk:Sponsianus

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User:Sam Spade

I dont know who you are or what you .About "definitely not in good taste" maybe its doesnt taste good for you and about the copyright I had contacted them before writting the article , so I have their permission.I dont see any points explaining to people like you ,but will accept an apology . Amir85 3:35 ,29 June 2005 (UTC)

Best Amir85!

I - as in me, Jens Jakobsson - wrote that article on the Seleucids in Persia only some months ago, and no person has contacted me from to check if I wanted it published on Wikipedia. If you have actually asked Iranchamber for copyright, the aforementioned "not good taste" also refers to them and not you because I could not possibly imagine them doing such a thing without asking me. If you can give me confirmation on this I will indeed withdraw my accusation of stealing my article.

But if that much is true, it is still in bad taste of you not to give any reference to the author - neither to Iranchamber nor me. It is very simple, Amir85. If you use other people's material, the very least you could do is to give them credit. And you certainly know this - I can't believe you think it's OK to post my article anonymously!

By doing as you did, you either make people believe you wrote it and give you undeserved credit - or very logically suspect you of stealing it, if they have seen the material before. So I am still awaiting your apology.

User:Sponsianus 21:20 03 Jul 2005

Hi Sponsianus. I am glad you got the Bopearachchi book! Unfortunately I am away from my home for a little more than weeks, so I won't be able to give you any help on the French text (but I will gladly do so on my return). Regards, PHG 05:01, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Reported Seleucid dynasty as copyvio[edit]

Dear Sponsianus,

Amir85, I've discovered, is prone to copyright violation. I am somewhat doubtful that he got "permission" from Iranchamber for his copvio, and even if he HAD, it is not the policy of Wikipedia to just cut-n-paste from other sites. Any information here has to be either public domain, or written by people who intend to donate their words and images to the world. That is because we have no limitations on commercial re-use. Anyone could publish a book consisting solely of articles cockaroached from Wikipedia, and it would be legally OK -- even though morally disgusting.

I have reported the article as a copyvio. It will either be rewritten completely, or expunged. It will probably be expunged, since there is already a Seleucid empire article.

The problematic parts of Wikipedia are the parts where there is no community of seasoned editors keeping on eye on developments. In the central areas, so to speak, any change is scrutinized ruthlessly. In the outliers, kooks and copyviolators run amok, because no one notices what they're doing. Unfortunately, a lot of the humanities/social science articles are outliers. Wikipedia was started by a bunch of computer geeks, and it has always been strongest in the computers/math/science area. I'm one of the people trying to change that, but it's slow. Zora 09:13, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Dear unknown[edit]

This is what u've written for Zora about me "....There is no denying that the influx of people grown up in dictatures and taught only nationalistic and biased views of history and religion often is a severe problem..." "...A user like Amir85 (he's Iranian) probably believes in the propaganda he writes, because he's never learnt to think critically about it!..."

I dont know who you are but let me tell you something as one of the rules of wisdom if u dont know about somebody u cant make a conclusion for him/her.

1.I know and respect Greek and hellenic cultures as much as or even more than Persian culture. 2.I've never been to Iran. 3.I not a nationalist extremist , you know it.

I will accept your apology for your injudicious comments about me

By the way from your comment "... I am writing articles on hellenism and the like, which often concern Middle East topics, and I am like you driven to despair over much of what is written..."Be specific about biased propagandas in history of Persia , I want to know.

Final reply to Amir85[edit]

Since your discussion page seems to be emptied, Amir85, I reply here. You have indeed stated that Iran (Persia) is your beloved country and so I naturally thought you were an Iranian. As for specifics of biased propaganda, I once again refer to the article you posted about the Persian general Rostam Farokhzad and the following very typical example.

"This soil (pointing at the Persian Soil on the ground) is my blood & veins, I cannot give it away, I need it to live." Great words of wisdom from a great Nationalist. Later on, Arabs used all kinds of treachery in this war & finally Rostam ended up fighting Arabs until the last drop of blood in his body."

This is biased propaganda - the author describes Persians as heroes and Arabs as villains in a subjective style. It is not a proper description of how the Sassanid empire was overtaken by the Arabian Caliphate which is what Wikipedia readers should be given.

This propaganda, which you submitted, is unsuitable for a dictionary - period. If you don't realise this by yourself, there is little I can do to explain myself further.

The same goes for your copying of my Seleucid article. If you don't understand - you are obviously a grown up man - that it is not acceptable to post other people's work without mentioning the author's name (and instead take the credit yourself) then I cannot see how I can make you realise it. Unfortunately. --Sponsianus 18:10, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

The answer[edit]

You didnt answer my questions first of all my friend you are also a grown up so how can you accuse somebody to something when you dont know him/her thoroughly , secondly where are the "biased propagandas" in history of Persia that I asked you putting Rostam Farokhzad aside? --Amir85 8:20, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Examples - you got them![edit]

Best Amir85, I did not accuse you when I assumed you had not been educated in objective history writing. I was trying to excuse your behaviour. Even if "your" article on Rostam (though I guess you copied it from somewhere else - as the complaints on the discussion page imply) was by far the worst example, all your contributions are written in a subjective nationalistic tone. I can take tons of examples, but frankly I have little hope you will get my points. Rest assured though, others who read it will. But I will do as you ask:

"This great man of Persian (Iranian) history, with his immense and powerful conviction, almost single handedly resurrected the old glory of Iran and helped save her true identity."

"For Keikhosrow Shahrokh, the love of Iran ran deep to the core of his existence."

From your article on Keikhosrow Shahrokh. Phrases like "The true glory of Iran" and pathetic descriptions of nationalistic pathos do not belong in a dictionary. You may like this man and are well allowed to praise his efforts, but not like this!

This is a confirmation that the Charter of freedom of Humankind issued by Cyrus the Great on his coronation day in Babylon could be considered superior to the Human Rights Manifesto issued by the French revolutionaries in their first national assembly. The Human Rights Manifesto looks very interesting in its kind regarding the expressions and composition, but the Charter of Freedom issued twenty three centuries before that by the Iranian monarch sounds more spiritual.

From your article on the Cyrus Cylinder. It is utterly ridicilous to claim Cyrus the Great as a great protagonist of human rights in any modern sense of the word. I do indeed admire the humanistic tone of this cylinder, but it is very clear that Cyrus was an autocrat king, a dictator who more or less claimed to be a god himself. He was not a democrat, and the old Achaemenid kingdom was no democracy. It was an empire which expanded by wars and conquests, and where many people were enslaved.

If you read between the lines, the "human rights" are more describing how Cyrus removed authority from other kings and placed it all in his own hands, because he is chosen by the Gods. In another passage, he describes that he will not attack anybody until the gods decide it's time for him to do so.

"From now on, till (Ahura) Mazda grants me the kingdom favor, I will impose my monarchy on no nation"

It takes little logic to realise that when the gods "grant" Cyrus a kingdom, he will attack that kingdom. And who interprets the will of the gods? - Cyrus himself or priests loyal to him! In other words, we have an imperialist who hides behind "the will of the gods" to motivate his conquests. Note that this is only what many other rulers - including Greeks and Romans - often did, but to claim that the Achaemenid empire invented the Human Rights is nothing but ignorant propaganda.

And finally, you took my article on the Seleucids in Iran and put it up as an article about the Seleucids in general, giving a rather unbalanced view of the Seleucid empire - because the article omits much of the Seleucid history outside Iran.

Dear Sponsianus[edit]

My replies are in italics --Sponsianus 18:30, 1 September 2005 (UTC) My replies are in bold text --Amir85 8:30, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Well I'll answer all your comments one by one but before that first of all I dont know who you are , what you do and what level of historical knowledge you have (no user page) and secondly I havent forgotten you , refusing to apologize me for your statement you'd made about me to zora and I dont think you're willing to do it .

Certainly not. Given your text about Rosham Farohzad, I was very kind and moderate. And you seem to show no remorse about your blatant copyvio of my Seleucid text. Where is the permission from Iranchamber which you claimed you had? Please feel free to ask them to forward it here and tell me they accepted that you copied my text and claimed it as yours! First of all you didnt answer me about yourself and what level of historical knowledge you have.I'm not going to forward it because I dont trust someone I dont know and I never claimed that was my article.One their condition to use their text was to metion its source site which I did it in 'see Also' section of the article.

1.I dont think you know properly about contemporary history of Iran.After Qajar dynasty , Iran was in desperate need for nationalism and revival of its ancient identity so people like Keikhosrow Shahrokh are treated as saviours of the nation though it may have caused extreme nationalism just like ataturk in Turkey.So the article is written in a way to take the reader to those times and the way Iranian society wanted Iran to be. But please feel free to write that: "many Iranians saw Keikhoshrow as a saviour." That is an objective statement, unlike the quote:

"This great man of Persian (Iranian) history, with his immense and powerful conviction, almost single handedly resurrected the old glory of Iran and helped save her true identity."

That quote is propaganda.

Will do it

2.About Cyrus cylinder I didnt get your point.Its not hard to understand why it "could" be considered superior to the Human Rights Manifesto issued by the French revolutionaries in their first national assembly ,being the first , issued 2300 years before french revolution and by standards of its era it was not only great but outstanding.Dont forget how the French revolutionaries treated the royal family and noblemen and whoever was in their way which sometimes were intellectuals.

Sigh. Nobody has said that "democrat" cannot commit atrocities and "dictators" cannot be tolerant. But unlike the Human Rights Manifesto the Cyrus cylinder does not reflect any efforts to even attempt a more democratic society. Cyrus was an autocrat with unlimited powers. Such an organisation of a state is not compatible with human rights, however mild and tolerant Cyrus appeared on his edicts. Either you get this or you don't.

It wasnt reflecting any efforts to even attempt a more democratic society , but no one claimed it to be democracy do you think Babylon or egypt or Mesopotamia were being governed ? were they telorant of other religions and beliefs ? do you know how they treated jews and other minorities? How brutal were kingdoms in ancient Mesopotamia ? So what Cyrus did was to give rights to people of all religions and beliefs to have their own rights ( but not meddle in his rule of course) so it was much superior to what has been ruling in these conquered nations.did you get it or again you want to mention he was an autocrat and not a democrat?

3.Here is another sign of your boasting about History of Iran and how you love to criticize with no knowledge (Zora has the same characteristic if you look at her edits in Elamite and Khuzestan)when you are criticizing Cyrus II , sure Achaemenids were no democrats but they were telorant of other races and faiths , they didnt look to other races and people as "barbarians" specially Cyrus II was the most telorant and well-disposed ruler of Achaemenid.Yes he loved to conquer new countries (with order of gods) just like Alexander or Trajan (they had their gods behind them as one the reasons to attack other nations) but with a difference that he did it with minimal casualties mostly bloodless victories and by respecting the conquered traditions and beliefs.Liberation of jews from babylon is one of the examples of his manner and allow them to rebuild their temple at Jerusalem.(He has been named as kind and good ruler both in jewish writings and bible.

Nobody has said that Alexander or Trajan did not conquer new countries. But it is another example of nationalist propaganda if you actually fool yourself into believing that "bloodless victories" and "minimal casualties" stuff. This was very long ago, and we don't have reliable sources for many of the Achaemenid conquests. Some of the remains are documents like the Cyrus cylinder - written by the conqueror himself and certain to idolize him!

From your statements it shows how you are boasting ,my sources of reference are Xenophon and Plutarch (you know them , right ?) which all mentioned how tolerant and well-disposed he was.Minimal casualties stuffs are their writings not only Greek historians but even in bible and in recordings of Mesopotamians as tolerant and well-disposed amazingly even some of them looked at him as a saviour.So please I sincerely advice you read some persian history before replying.

However, the wars we do know about tell us that the Achaemenids were as violent as any conqueror. Greece was invaded twice by massive armies, Athens was burnt to a cinder; in Asia the Greek city of Miletos to name but one had most of its inhabitants enslaved; Egypt rose several times in bitter wars with the Persian conquerors, and the Scythians defended their independence in a terribly bloody conflict.

Non of them happened in Cyrus II's era mr historian and I never said that Achaemenids were tolerant as Cyrus II.About Scythians because they were a barbarian nation and attacked regularly northern cities of the empire massacaring people in a hack-and-slash style.(Even greeks were in a constant threat from Scythians and had few wars with them did you know that ?).He even proposed to the Scythian queen to avoid bloodshed but she refused and ignited a bloody war.after Cyrus's death there is a story that the queen beheaded the Cyrus and made a golden bowl out of his head.

You are a nationalist, Amir85. You automatically describe times when Persians had military hegemony as some kind of golden age. And this is simply not acceptable in a dictionary.

its the a usual way to describe different era's of a dynasty , you can look at Byzantine Empire as an example.

4.About Seleucids ,as you may know By the time Seleucids were driven out of Iran or Persia especially after Antiochus III ,Seleucids were merely a living dead , an state of constant civil wars.Surrounding countries kept it as a barrier between themselves until Romans finished off the sinking state.So its golden era was mainly when it had Persia under its rule.Thats why Seleucids are in History of Iran chart.

Iran was never a central area for the Seleucids (they had very few mints there, for instance). Therefore a general article about the dynasty should not be centered around Iranian history, as my article was - since it was originally written in quite another context, as you well know. It is a good article - even if I say so myself - but it is misplaced there. Or rather: you misplaced it there!

Yes they had most of Persia for quite sometime in their golden era .Persia could considered to be their most important nation they ruled ,about mints there are reasons: Persia were in constant change of rulers and dynasties this has caused lack of artifacts from different dynasties.And also not to mention Persians never fully accepted seleucids.

And finally I have to admit I may have written some of the article in a unsuitable tone but I havent written out of ignorance.

So you have been writing in an unsuitable tone on purpose? Well at least you're honest!

I meant they are historically accurate and maybe in an unsuitable tone

Good luck and try to read and analize more of history of near east and persia from different sources to get a right insight to it. Amir85 18:27, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Last reply[edit]

This will be my final word on this subject.

3. "its the a usual way to describe different era's of a dynasty" No it's not. As for the reference to the Byzantine empire, you've misunderstood what I meant . There is indeed a headline called "Golden era" but that simply means the empire scored many successes during that period. Not that the rule was unusually just and everybody in the empire was happy.

Stories like the above about Cyrus and the Scythian queen are just that - stories - even if they reflect real events. And the Bible! Seriously - you certainly know the Bible is not an objective source!? That's why one should be careful before writing in a dictionary - one has to be able to see through propaganda and biased sources. Note that I am not at all saying that Cyrus was a unusually violent king. On the contrary he compares well with such rulers as Alexander and Trajan - brilliant, enlightened and tolerant kings, but whose actions caused much bloodshed and suffering, as virtually all conquerors have done.

4. I am personally a member of the "modern school" who believe that the Eastern domains were indeed more important to the Seleucids than is traditionally described, but your view is exaggerated and contradictory - if the Seleucids couldn't strike coins in Iran because of the "constant change of rulers and dynasties" then their grip of Iran was obviously not that strong! The Seleucids built/rebuilt lots of cities, but very few of them in Iran.

The accounts we have of the Seleucid army (Appian, Plutarch etc) mention Persian/Median soldiers in the Seleucid army, but they are usually a rather small fraction. Persis probably appointed its own governors after the revolt of Molon (c 222 BCE) and became a vassal-kingdom soon after. No, even if the Seleucids tried to rule Iran, their base was certainly in Syria/Babylonia and most of their wars in their "golden era" were with Egypt - my text says nothing about that and is therefore unsuitable. (The Seleucids/Parthian period is on of my stronger areas - I am writing a book about hellenism in the east which means that I have studied this period extensively.) Absurdly enough, the distant Afghanistan was a more important stronghold for hellenism than Iran.

I believe you have begun to see some of my points - if you rewrite the article we discussed in (1) that is indeed very fine - and I shall end the discussion here. Best regards --Sponsianus 17:04, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Heliokles overstrikes over Hermaeus[edit]

Hi Sponsianus. Yes, Bopearachchi writes about two known overstrikes by Heliokles II over coins of Hermaeus. The book where this is mentionned, "De l'Indus a l'Oxus", is a Museum Catalogue for a 2003 special exhibit in a Southern France museum (Musee de Lattes) ISBN 2951667922. I am afraid it would not be available in any other language than French... Best regards. PHG 13:57, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Indo-Greek Kingdom[edit]

Hi Sponsianus. I've put the Indo-Greek Kingdom on the Wikipedia:Featured article candidates pages. Thanks to put in your vote!PHG 14:01, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus. Thank you for your comments and your support for the FA! You are totally right that the chronology of the Indo-Greeks (especially the later ones) is not clearly established. After many frustrations, I simply formatted the article along one interpretation, which seemed to me the most complete, documented, recent, and consistent, that of 1991 Bopearachchi. It is clearly not perfect, but I doubt there is yet any better construction available at this point (I guess somebody will have to spend a lifetime on it!). It allows the chronology to have a structure at least, on which we can clearly improve as more research is being done. Best regards. PHG 09:17, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus. Thank you for the comments on the Bactrian coins of the Indo-Greek kings. In your opinion what would be the most up-to-date published work on the chronology on the Indo-Greek kings at this point? Would you know of a summary of all their overstrikes? Best regards. PHG 22:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus. I'm all for tweaking the chronology, as long as it is referenced (overstrikes especially), and we still maintain an intelligible structure (since the subject remains highly speculative, I guess a highly regarded published source like Bopearachchi remains ideal as a basic framework). I do not have easy access to the more recent discoveries on overstrikes though. I know that Bopearachchi published some corrections to his chronology around 1999, and I will try to find the reference. I think it would be great if we could reference known overstrikes for each kings (something I've started to do in places). Don't forget to tell me when your book is out, and to give me the ISBN! Best regards. PHG 22:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus. Thanks for the comments. Yes, the nomination is going fine, and the article is very close to becoming FA now. For Heliokles I vs Heliokles II, no revert intended (I'm not so sure about which part you mention). Please modify where you see fit. Best regards. PHG 13:24, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Indo-Greek Kingdom FA[edit]

Indo-Greek Kingdom is now a Featured article. Thanks for the great support! PHG 22:23, 26 January 2006 (UTC)


All I could find for the moment. --Eupator 15:41, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It wouldn't cite him as a source.--Eupator 19:40, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Houghton 1235 Timarchus.jpg[edit]

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Indo-Greek kings[edit]

Hi Sponsianus. Welcome back! and thanks for your message. It seems you have a lot of new information on the sequence of the kings, overstrikes, and their hoards. I think it would be great if we could incorporate such information in the bios of each of the kings, whereby suppositions can be made on their dates and order. I wish one day we can have a secure genealogy of Indo-Greek kings! Best regards PHG 11:57, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Indo Greek Article and Maps[edit]

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 06:06, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello Devanampriya!

Thanks for your kind words. Regarding the map: as I mentioned in a previous post, historical maps are seldom objective: they are tendentious. One tendency is to show a development at its apogee. For instance, when depicting the conquests of the early Caliphate, I have seen maps with an arrow pointing at Rome (Arab pirates raided Ostia). So the map tells us: at its maximum, the Arab tide reached even Rome.

However: at all other times, it didn't. Modern scholars seem more aware of such imbalanced statements and tend to give vaguer maps - much to the frustration of amateurs like myself who like these spectacular questions: "What was the maximum extent of this and that empire?" "How far east did the Greeks really reach?" Wikipedia is filled with such detailed and usually old maps, mostly because there is no copyright on them.

The aforementioned Caliphate map was found in the same work "Atlas der Welt Geschichte", as the Indo-Greek map that I have sent PHG a scan of. He said he will rework a non-copyright version. But this map does in fact support your criticism to some extent: the Indo-Greek kingdom is restricted to Mathura and the attack on Pataliputra is marked as a mere arrow.

I agree that the obsolete interpretations to this attack (which clearly took place under Menander, not Demetrios I) should be removed. But since there is uncertainty, the arrows ought to remain. And the embassies: why object to them? Maps often give such curiousities and these journeys were definitely fascinating.

While the "Geschichte" map might also be subjective, it is based on the ancient sources and much better than some of the nonsensical suggestions which emerged: for instance one version where the capital Sagala was placed at the very eastern border.

Even though PHG might have broken a consensus, I can understand if he is frustrated with some of the contributors. Windy City Dude revamped the map completely, and when PHG asked him if his version had taken in account Strabon and Polybios WCD answered that he had not "heard of much". Really!

As for the Hathigumpa inscription, the king was explicitly described as a Yavana. To read in Vima or Vimaka, who were not Yavanas, seems rather forced when Amyntas (A-mi-ta) is such a suitable candidate, in time as well as place. The coins of Amyntas - and several other later kings - have been found in substantial amounts in eastern Punjab, even in the Sonipat hoard outside New Delhi, which is even further east than Punjab. The Indo-Greeks very likely held Mathura to after 100 BCE. Coins of Apollodotos II, an even later king, and his son (?) Dionysios, have been found in Sindh, indicating an even later presence there. There are generally few coins found in Sindh due to the flow of the Indus which eventually rinses everything into the sea.

The "threat" to the longevity of the Indo-Greek kingdom in these days does IMHO not come from lack of evidence of what territories they held, but from questions of the ethnicity of the kings. Artemidoros was a Saka, Hermaios quite possibly as well, and the finding of the coin of Nastenes show that also Iranian could adhere to Greek coin standards. Best regards Sponsianus 11:36, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello Sponsianus,

Great to hear back from you! I definitely appreciate your words and insights. Perhaps they can help us resolve this issue for good. Very quickly, a few responses to your points above:

1. Regarding maps in general-I agree, mapmaking can be a tendentious issue. I cannot justify a caliphate map, esp one which I have not seen; however, since issue was taken with this, and it comes from the same German Atlas, perhaps we could use another source for our Indo-Greek Map.

2. Regarding Pataliputra- I do believe the consensus map did just that--showed an arrow leading to Pataliputra. However, PHG unilaterally elected to change that and imposed his original research and interpretation on that map by enveloping the entire Gangetic plain. I am fine with a simple arrow going there--given the debate--but I do wish to bring up a number of points given the application of hindu texts to this question.

a. Yavanas, as Indian scriptures and records both attest, was applied not just to the greeks, but many different foreigners ranging from the greeks to the arabs and the turks. As such, we must be cautious in our interpretation. Moreover, the Gautamiputra ( a second century ce figure) is noted as being a destroyer of Shakas, Yavanas, and Pahlavas. There is no mention of the Kushanas, who dominated North India during this period. This of course would lead to the logical supposition that he was referring to the Kushans--who employed greeks as both artisans and soldiers, and not to mention, took on aspects of Greek culture themselves. This would leave open the possibility of Hathigumpha referring to a Kushana. I am not saying this is an absolute truth. I'm just saying that the potential exists. The Kushans, of course, having actual historical evidence (rabatak, etc) indicating their rule and reach extended that far into eastern India.

b. The King Sagara-an ancestor of the God King Rama--is credited with defeating the usual host of tribes mentioned (including the Yavanas). Now, liberal Hindu calendar estimates aside, even if we interpret this under the framework of the AIT, we are at the very least looking at the epic age for such a figure( so roughly 800s BCE), and of course, much further back according to some Indian historians. Given this, are we to interpret that the Greeks were in that part of the world that far back? After all, the exile of Ionians by the Achaemenids would at the very earliest have taken place in the 6th century BCE. This is the reason why I have been advising caution in the interpretations of hindu texts, be it the Mahabharata, Ramayana, or the Yuga Purana.

3. Regarding the current map-I don't necessarily see the point of highlighting embassies; after all, the pandyas and the kushans also sent embassies to Rome (I don't recall any map showing that). Nevertheless, this is not a priority in my book given the use of circles. Previously, PHG was using arrows to demonstrate that--which could be misunderstood for military campaigns. That is why the matter was brought up.

4. Regarding the current map proposal-It takes far too many liberties with the writings of strabo and polybios. Narain himself raised this points, and this map has the Indo Greeks reaching into Madhya Pradesh and the Konkan--something which cannot be justified. Narain raised questions about how Tarn interpreted Ozene to be Ujjain and the reason for its listing as a conquered city was because of spelling (see Narain Indo Greeks). The same point applied to Gujarat. And, we should note , Saurashtra refers to the peninsular region of Gujarat, and not the border regions of maharashtra. What proof is there that they captured Ujjain and Bharhut?

5. Regarding coin hoards and Mathura-While large hoards of indo greek coins have been found in various parts of Northern and Western India, given the commercial nature of this civilization, we must again be careful with how we interpret this. After all, Menander's coins were found as far as Britain and hoards of Roman coins were found in the Deccan, and we cannot seriously say that both kingdoms extended that far. I believe this applies to mathura as well. I am not denying that the Indo Greeks could have captured Mathura. However, I am saying that we cannot ascertain this beyond a reasonable doubt. After all, there definitely is a chance that Mathura, as with Panchala, was an independent vassal kingdom of the Sungas.

6. Regarding your point about ethnicity-I 100% agree! That was one of the questions raised by Narain. These were not pureblooded greeks who were in a bactrian bubble before rolling into India. They of course intermarried with the local population and took on aspects of bactrian/persian culture as well. However, that does not mean that the "threat" to the longevity and extent was on that count. There are very valid questions about the nature of and extent of Indo Greek rule in India. As you yourself noted, the certitude of Tarn has diminished into uncertainty.

7. Regarding other factors-Narain points out that there is too often a heuristic engrained in approaches to this period that this was a zero sum game between the Indo Greeks and the Sungas. We do not appropriately account for other polities and tribes. The panchalas and mathuras (mentioned in the yuga purana) were seeminly independent according to this interpretation. Moreover, we have the Yaudheyas in western India and the Satavahanas in the Deccan and Central India. These were all trading peoples who would have exchanged goods and gold with their Greek neighbors. I noticed that the Satavahanas were not provided with the same benefit extended to the Greeks, as we have confirmation of Andhra rule in Gujarat and Central India, and they successfully invaded Magadha.

8. Regarding the German map-Since subjectivities are again an issue, that is why I recommend the map that Windy City Dude brought up (Oxford map). His lack of depth in the topic aside, the Dude provided us with a published work with the most accurate presentation of the Indo Greek Kingdom—free from debate. On the point of Sialkot, as Narain (who I must again reference on account of his original critique of the existing framework) points out, we have no clear evidence that Sakala was in fact the capital city of Menander. After all, the Divyavadana credits Pushyamitra's rule extending as far as that city. I am not saying that I necessarily subscribe to Narain's point, but that the versions proposed by previous wiki contributors may not be so ridiculous after all. While I know that PHG's complaint was that Windy City Dude has not read polybios or strabo, PHG was also mischaracterizing Narain's work--a seminal work which he had not read! Nevertheless, this is minutiae. My point here is that we can address these various scenarios in the article; however, the map itself, because of its proliferation on the web, should be representative of modern scholarship in the interest of accuracy. We should have a map that we call agree represents Indo greek holdings beyond a reasonable doubt. All subsequent scenarios, theories, and possibilities should be addressed on the actual article.

While I think we appeared to have solved one issue (namely with the campaign arrow to Pataliputra), I believe we have exacerbated another. The extension into the northern deccan and central India cannot be supported with current evidence. After all, the Satavahanas lost those regions not to the Indo Greeks but to the Shakas. If you believe otherwise, could you please refer me to the evidence that proves it is so?

On the question of Mathura. My responses above raised some concerns about its inclusion; in the interests of resolution, and since this was, by PHG's admission, a shorter term expansion if it did happen (back in Indian hands by 100BCE and taken by Menander ca 130s), perhaps you could suggest some sort of compromise here.

Lastly, I very much empathize with your frustrations regarding your above-stated questions (“How far east”, etc). Trust me, no one could be more frustrated than I am at the dearth of resources. Unfortunately, that is the bitter pill of Indian history--so much is unrecorded and subject to interpretation or outright reverie. However, it is precisely because modern scholars recognize these gaping holes and uncertainties that we must, as amateurs, respect them. I have no problem whatsoever in addressing these questions on the actual article--so long as they are accurate and relevant. However, given the wide currency of wikipedia and the dispersion of this map throughout the web, I do believe we have a duty to focus on what is evidenced by fact, rather than address these questions on the map and theories on the map.

I apologize for my prolixity. I just wanted to raise some important points that impact our efforts here. Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your response.

Best Regards,

Devanampriya 20:33, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello Sponsianus,

As always, a pleasure to hear back from you. I truly hope we can find a suitable accord that is mutually satisfactory. My concern right now is that this map and much of what is contained in this article is what 300 is to the Battle of Thermopylae. There is much original research, interpretation, and questionable wording to raise more than a few eyebrows. Nevertheless, I hope that in the spirit of resolution, we can negotiate a suitable end to this article lockout:

Sponsianus: Most interesting and all new to me, but are these sources credibly dated to before the Hellenistic period? Mythological kings are often credited with purging the country of various foreign invaders, no matter the historical accuracy.

Ah but that’s precisely it, my friend, where do we draw the line? Why are we so quickly dismissing Sagara but so confidently crediting the indo greeks? Therein lies the problem of using these texts in that manner. You mention that mythological kings are credited with defeating foreign invasions ; but the prophecies that stem from the mahabharata and the yuga purana could just as easily be seeking to heighten the doomsday scenarios of the Age of Kali but mentioning these assorted tribes. That is exactly the complaint about one-sidedness that Indian academics have. We can’t rely on these very same texts to buttress arguments about Indo Greek expansion, but sideline them when they are to the detriment of the established frameworks.

You are correct, Kushan stems primarily from the Indian world. This however, does make the point that the term yavana, as mleccha, came in to use for foreigners in general. Even the gentleman who posted on hellenistica (to whom you referred PHG) mentions that it is not impossible that the term Yavana be applied to the Kushans. Moreover, an actual published scholar, P.L. Gupta, stated that in his work.

The point about the arabs inheriting greek trades routes seems a little forced; simply because, indian traders sailed both east and west. The arabs did not gain control of the western routes at least until the 8th century ce, if not later. The cholas and chalukyas dominated the spice trade until the rise of the delhi sultanates and islamic expansion into south east asia.

Here is some food for thought from an academic paper by an actual Sanskrit scholar—something unfortunately that none of us in this discussion can attest to being:

2) Regarding argument No. 2, we must carefully examine the term Yavana. It is of frequent occurrence in Sanskrit literature; and every Western Orientalist, from the time of Sir William Jones to that of Professor Max Müller, says that it invariably implies the Greeks. This term is derived from the Sanskrit root yu = to mix or to be swift, implying a mixed or a swift race.

It occurs in Pãnini, [IV, i, 49] and Kãtyãyana says in his Vartikas, that when the “Alphabet of the Yavanas” is meant, the affix ãnuk should be added to the word Yavana, and this becomes Yavanãni. [Siddhanta Kaumudi, p 61, Bombay Edition] Even granting for argument's sake that Panini lived in the [Page 10] 6th century B.C. according to Professor Max Müller [ History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature] — and certainly he lived several centuries earlier — it is plain that neither Pãnini nor Kãtyãyana used the term Yavana in their works to mean the Grecian alphabet, for it would not have been introduced into India before the invasion of Alexander in the 4th century B.C. Dr. Goldstücker [Pãnini, page 16] thinks that Yavanani signifies the cuneiform writing, and being peculiar in its character when compared with Sanskrit, it must have been known during the time of Pãnini.

To show that the term is of frequent occurrence in Sanskrit literature, the following instances may be quoted :

You can read about this examples, including the Sagara one I mentioned from the Vishnu purana to get a more detail look, here. Sponsianus: I agree that the south-eastern parts of the Indo-Greek conquests seem less motivated than those in the north (Mathura). Also, the “Atlas der Welt Geschichte” map was actually striped for Indo-Greek territory, full colour only for the original Bactrian kingdom. It was however based on the outdated model that all conquests took place under the long reign of Demetrios I, supported by Menander as a sub-king. That map is indeed not perfect, but I have not seen any better original work. I could mail it to you so you can see for yourself.

This is a rather contradictory point, Sponsianus, since you yourself pointed out the fallacy of the Tarn’s construct, but then note that this was used for the German map. As noted by Narain, Tarn’s theory involved the assumption that Demetrius was the overlord and Menander led the eastern campaign and apollodotus led those south. Moreoever, you yourself note that the southeastern parts are questionable. Again, if you disagree please point me out to the sources that argue otherwise. Otherwise, the credibility of this map is seriously damaged. The oxford map may be slightly older, but I believe, it has the most credibility at this stage. You stated that Windy City’s map is questionable because it combines indo greek and bactrian greek holdings, but that is exactly what PHG has done with his rendition of the map. The Oxford map combines several maps, but unlike the german map, accurately displayed verified indogreek holdings and does not make outrageous overreaches for any kingdom (i.e. deccan). I recommend we return to it.

In the interest of fairness, could you please send me a copy of the “Atlas der Welt Geschichte map with its references? Here is my e-mail address: Thanks.

Sponsianus: Hence, Menander’s expansion – if it was historical at all – must have cut deep into the Indian heartland. My personal view is that the fact that Menander was remembered at all, along with his immense output of coins, could indicate that the Indo-Greek kingdom was briefly the vast empire that Strabon describes. But as said, I agree that the southern extensions o f the map are possibly exagerrated. The southern extensions are most certainly exaggerated as those regions were very clearly under the rule of the Satavahanas. Morevoer, you will not the extreme proximity to the capital of Pratishtana (indeed, the german map shows greek domains to the south of it—which is preposterous). It is not my intention to inflame the emotions on this page, but there is absolutely nothing extant to support this. I truly hope that you will understand why myself and other contributors are rather frustrated with this map.

Again, the Milindapanha notes that he was king in Sagala, not that it was his capital. That was precisely Narain’s point—we don’t know but are merely assuming. As for Menander’s conquests, an expansion into Jammu (clearly a more likely scenario) could also establish his credentials as a conqueror. A quick reading of Sanskrit literature would soon demonstrate the propensity for exaggeration within the Indian literary world. I am not seeking to devalue Menander—who was clearly a significant historical figure. I am saying that we must be wary of all possibilities. After all, many historians consider Kharavela to be a serial propagandizer. I am not commenting either way, but simply noting that we must take everything with a grain of salt. And we have no specifics here for any claim of conquest or advancement beyond the Punjab.

As for Mathura, we again have confirmation of nothing. Much of what you discuss, although seemingly reasonable in my opinion, does not come from verifiable and reliable sources. Strato may have ruled mathura and may have not. We have no confirmation on that point. Uniform coins may have been found, but they just as well could have been from refugees fleeing the invading shakas as they could have from soldiers. My point here is that we seem to be reaching for scenarios that could favor such a thing, as Tarn did, rather than independently considering all evidence and interpretations.

Here is my proposal.

1. Use the oxford map provided by Windy City dude as the basis for our new map. 2. Failing line 1, since the critique of that map by yourself mentioned that those areas were not under simultaneous rule commit to the following: a. Create an amended version of the oxford map b. Red for the Greco-bactrians and Orange for the Indo Greeks

I am definitely open to suggestions, as I’m sure my counterparts on this page are as well. Please let me know what you think.

Best Regards

Devanampriya 05:53, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Indo-Greek map[edit]

Hi Sponsianus! Could you send me a scan of the Narain map? Best regards PHG 18:26, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Skanderbeg II[edit]

Hi! This is almost occult: I asked the same question about Skanderbeg II as you - only I asked it on the Skanderbeg page! I haven't found anything on Yahoo or Google. Really peculiar name by the way: Alexander is read as al-Exander in Arabic, which becomes Iskandar due to Arabic not having x or e. The Turks adopted this version, and the Albanians and Slavs got it from them, interpreting the name as i-Skandar, the i being the usual Turk vowel added before double consonants (like Istanbul for Stamboul) and therefore not part of the name. So Skandar or Skender, for Turk language has e. So when the Albanian national hero names himself after Alexander, his name becomes distorted to Skander. Only that Alexander was actually named after his uncle Alexander, king of Epiros in Albania - there's a full circle for you!

Take care Sponsianus 22:47, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your precisions. I must add that the "-beg" ending is a Turkish title, corresponding to "Bey". It's quite common today in countries influenced by Turkish culture to add such "titles" after first names. For exemple, the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan is named Nursultan Nazarbayev, which means "Sultan Noor, (descendant) of Bey Nazar". Thoses "titles" are just a part of first names and they're no longer genuine titles.
In Albanian, Skanderbeg's name is usually written "Skënderbeu". The reason is: in Albanian language, nouns are either "definite" or "undefinite" with a different ending. Thus "beg" = "a bey" and "beu = the bey". The definite ending is generally a vowel (except sometimes after a "a", it's a "j"). And proper names are definite. It explains why every Albanian surnames end with either a vowel or a "-aj" ending. First names are not concerned if they are used with the surname, but they are if they are used alone. Švitrigaila 10:19, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
PS: It explains too why in Kosovo some people have a name ending with "-iqi". It's the Serbian ending "-ić" with an definite ending "-i". The Albanian sound of "q" corresponds roughly to the Serbian sound "ć". Švitrigaila 10:22, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


Just to tell you that I find your reaction to my reversion exceptionally commendable! While I do believe that what you wrote is essentially OR, if you ever encounter an expert assessment of Fomenko's claims, do add it to the article. And, I am sure that you will find it interesting to read what Fomenko says on the issue (Google Books can help you a great deal here). Nikola 20:04, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

If thousands of numismatists say that "coin A is minted by X" and "coin B is minted by Y", and Fomenko says that "X and Y are different names for the same person, who minted coins A and B", it doesn't mean that the conclusions of the numismatists are fundamentally flawed. I don't want to say that anything will be revealed to you by reading Fomenko, except Fomenko's point.
Reflections are not fictional people, nor inventions. Reflections are distorted accounts of very real people. Real people do strike coins, and they can strike more than one type of coin. Nikola 20:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe Fomenko would have another explanation for that particular pair. In any way, I don't think you can criticise something you admit to haven't even read. Nikola 00:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Indo-Greek kingdom[edit]

Dear Sponsianus,
For your information, the article on the Indo-Greek kingdom is under FA review following a request by User:Devanampriya to User:Blnguyen. You may leave comments at Wikipedia:Featured article review/Indo-Greek Kingdom. Best regards PHG 19:35, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Indo Greek books[edit]

Do you have access to full copies of Tarn's and Narain's books (in any edition; I don't think the revisions are going to matter much for our purposes)? I presume you have Bopearchchi's Monnaies, or access to it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:21, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, but that should not be necessary: I have access to the literature too. I have a more sweeping plan to propose: that we begin by rewriting the articles on the kings of Bactria and India to include, stated explicitly, what Tarn and Narain and Bopearchchi say about each. I could begin with Diodotus and work forward, and you with Strato II and work back; or some other plan to divide the labor; as a precondition, at least for me, of rewriting Indo-Greek Kingdoms. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:03, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I do not at the moment have access to Mitchiner's Yuga Purana. If you do, can you check whether he accepts Tarn's thesis as a Gesamtkunstwerk, or is simply agreeing on this one point of Indo-Greeks in Malwa? I have also made a map suggestion. Regards, Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:20, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I went to WT:OR, and (as I was quailing at the thought of explaining this mess) found this section, which seems applicable as a practical matter: an image isn't OR as long as we agree it fairly represents the sources (as our map has already been tweaked over Euthymedia). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I think a boundary at Mathura and an arrow at Palinputra may cover everybody's position, even Narain's, but I don't have him before me. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:43, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't mean to butt in, but just wanted to respond to your note, Pmanderson|Septentrionalis. As I have his works in front of me, Narain actually doesn't support a boundary at Mathura. In fact, he is specifically against it having interpreted the Yuga Purana as emblematic of the vigorous political activity in the gangetic plains. He believes the Mathuras and the Panchalas (which he believes to be kingdoms in Modern Uttar Pradesh) led an independent raid down the Ganges to Pataliputra and that an Indo greek contingent merely joined. Narain fixes the Indo Greek boundary at its greatest extent at the river Ravi (In the Punjab).

Here is Narain on the topic: "Menander's kingdom shows Indo-Greek power at its height. He ruled from the Kabul valley in the west to the Ravi (river in Pakistan) in the east, and from the Swat valley in north to northern arachosia in the south" (Narain, A.K. The Indo Greeks. BR Publishing Corp: Delhi. 2003.p.122)

Also, the Sungas are credited with ruling Ujjain and there is no apparent break during the discussed Indo Greek periods. They lost the region to the Satavahanas who frequently warred over it with the Sakas.

I hope this addressed your concerns. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.


Devanampriya 03:27, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Devanampriya is correct about Narain's view on Mathura, but to repeat myself: Narain constructed this view in the 1950s, under the now heavily outdated presumption that Menander ruled before Apollodotus I and Antimachus II (Narain does not acknowledge Apollodotus I) and thus started from a base far more to the west than we now know. Neither did Narain know about Menander's inscription south of New Delhi, or the Indo-Greek era dating of the well outside Mathura. But we've been over this. In which other topics are views from the 1950s still regarded as canon?Sponsianus 12:34, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
    • I will quibble with "merely joined" (the Yavanas "occupied Madhyadesa" and "withdrew" from Pataliputra, which implies that, allies or not, Menander did hold the area for a time); but I grant Narain holds that the border was, except for one or two campaigns, in the Punjab. (What are his grounds for holding the Hypanis was the Ravi, and not the Beas?)
    • What other topic? See the extent to which we cite Kerenyi for classical mythology; and Tarn's Hellenism is still a good textbook.
    • Is there really no room for Narain's argument that coins are found in Mathura because it was a commercial center? We know coins circulated in Barygaza when no Greeks ruled there.
    • Is there an objection to cities with no boundaries? Unfortunately, I can't upload such a map myself. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:06, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Narain first constructed the view in the 50s but he retained it in his supplemented reprint in 2003. Here are some of his reasons:

"Moreover, Allan has shown that Mathura was in the hands of the local kings until its conquest by Rajuvula (the Saka king) who, like his son Sodasa, copied the local type on his coins; 'Had the Yavanas been already there, there would have been a break in the Hindu coinage earlier'. The fact that the Saka kings of Mathura imitated the local type is very significant, for wherever the Sakas and the Pahlavas succeeded the Indo-Greeks they borrowed the type of the latter for their coins." (p.115)

  • Regarding PmAnderson's Question: Narain actually states that the Hypanis was the Beas (p.109). He just credits the Rajanyas (an indigenous power) with rulership over the trans-Beas tract.
  • I am in agreement with PmAnderson's point about how we must be cautious about coin hoards.
  • I am willing to accept PmAnderson's position about simply loading a map with no boundaries with the following notes: Mathura, Ujjain, and Barygaza are not to be colored in temporary or permanent indo greek colors.

The point about Mathura, which is clearly a possible (though unconfirmed) theory, should be discussed in the article because it remains a legitimate theory. Barygaza has yet to produce legitimate evidence and Ujjain, apparently, was not even suggested by Tarn as being in the Indo Greek Kingdom (please verify as I am simply citing Narain on Tarn below): "Ptolemy also mentions Ozene (Ujjain), which is not included in the Indo Greek kingdom by Tarn, and was ruled by Indian powers" (p.118)

  • Regarding PmAnderson's quibble: Are you relying on Mitchiner's Yuga Purana? As I understand the context, (admittedly based on Narain's description), there still remains discrepancies around readings and there are several interpretations. Narain notes that Pancala should actually be favoured over Yavana in certain places.
    • No, I'm relying upon Narain's wording, which is what I quoted, and which seems to affirm that Menander himself held parts of eastern India, although briefly. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:26, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

"Pancala ksapayisyanti nagaram ye ca parthiva. And this would give quite pertinently the meaning that the Pancalas and those other kings (who participated in the invasion) destroyed the city". (p.244)

As I understand it, there are four different manuscripts of the Yuga Purana (A,B,C, and P), and if all 4 are taken into consideration, exclusivity for the "occupation" would not be assigned to the Yavanas--at least according to Narain. In fact the leading role for invasion, destruction, and occupation would be assigned to the Pancalas and this would be corroborated by the numerous Pancala coins found in the eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh and Magadha (where there is a total absence of indo greek coins).

In sum, I am totally open to legitimate theories (as opposed to idle speculation by any scholar) to be discussed in the article (as opposed to the map where we cannot include the requisite caveats). These include the possibility of Mathura's capture and a campaign into the Gangetic plain as far as Pataliputra. But there must be the caveat noting that these are simply theories. Thanks.


Devanampriya 02:04, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

  • And once more, Narain's theories about the extension of Menander's kingdom are highly speculative because Narain fails to place Menander properly in the chronology. Regarding the coin hoards, he actually says that that coins of Menander have been found in eastern Punjab is no proof for Menander ruling there, for coins of other kings have also been found in the same hoards, and these kings certainly did not rule in eastern Punjab.

This is circular reasoning at its worst.

Anyway, if we are to include Narain's doubts on the rule of Mathura, we would in consequence have to include his denial of the existence of Apollodotus I, for the two matters are intertwined. This is perhaps the worst error that Narain committed, and it is such that it clouds all his analysis of Indo-Greek chronology afterwards. Even more so because it requires Narain to make ignore Strabon as well as the Periplus, who both mention the kings "Apollodotos and Menander" in that order.

It would be far more constructive if you, Devanampriya, instead of referring to Narain over and over, commented on the proof for Menander's rule in eastern Punjab, such as this inscription, which was found 20 years after Narain's book was published:

Senior, Indo-Scythians coins, p.XIV. "The discovery in 1979 of an inscription at Reh, some 350 km southeast of Mathura (almost 1,500 km from Menander's western border) giving his name and titles, is confirmation of these conquests", Senior, Indo-Scythian coins, p.xlvi

Doesn't this outdate Narain's reservations quite severely (and then I haven't mentioned the Yavana kingdom well inscription outside Mathura)? Could anybody please look up in the newer editions of Narain's Indo-Greek if and how comments on this finding, which is a rather obvious first-hand source that Menander was king even to the east of Punjab? Sponsianus 11:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Unfortunately, most theories about the Indo Greeks remain speculative, not just Narain's. But before we start ripping him to shreds, I think it is important to understand what he is actually saying. He does not offer the coins as evidence of rule per se, but remarks as to why the preference toward pancala versus yavana must be given to the reading of the yuga purana--let's just be clear on that:

"It is worth noting that the Paris MS has Pancala in place of Yavana, and if we give any weight to the finds of Pancala Mitra coins in the eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh and Magadha as against a total absence of Yavana coins, there is no reason why the reading Pancala should not be preferred as against Yavana" (p.244).

As for the Reh inscription, which Sponsianus insists I respond to, it might be beneficial to provide the full context:

  • The Reh inscription is so badly damaged (unsurprising considering hathigumpha et al) that a reading of the name Menander is actually ill-positioned(Gupta, P.L. "Kushana Coins and History". D.K. Printworld 1994).
  • Gupta actually postulates that a Kushan king (as with the Rabatak inscription) was responsible for it.

I'm not saying the Kushan theory is valid (or not for that matter); what I am saying is that based on this, it is inappropriate to accept as gospel that Menander was responsible for this--since his name can't even be read clearly. So this hardly counts as iron clad. Same goes with Sponsianus' reference to the Maghera inscription (the well stone), which is dated so closely to the Scythian conquest of Mathura that it hardly serves as definitive proof--this on top of the questions regarding the usage of the word Yavana to begin with.

  • Bottomline: My point is not that Mathura could not ever have been conquered by the indo greeks. My point is that there clearly is no definitive scholarly consensus around it at this stage, and that the evidence offered in favour of the theory is easily subject to holes being poked into it.

As stated above, we absolutely should discuss the theory in the article since several well-respected scholars have suggested it and there is no consensus to gainsay it, just as there is none to confirm it. But the map should contain confirmed territories, not speculative ones.

To summarize: I am not averse to discussing any serious theories in the article. My suggestion is that we keep it simple for non history buffs, with a section to air out the theoretical differences on expansion. Unless Pmanderson|Septentrionalis has any other questions for me, I will remove myself from the rest of the conversation. Also, do you gentlemen think that it might be fitting if we shifted the discussion back to the Indo Greek Kingdom?


Devanampriya 23:39, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Copied. We should probably comment at the end of that copy, to make clear what was said here and what there. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:01, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks; I'm glad you think the section on sources is helpful. This is an instance of Piotrus' Principle: Anything worth proving on the talk page is probably worth including in the article. That may have wider ramifications. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:14, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

  • You should also read Fussman's article. He questions the Milinda-panha severely, on the grounds that much of the information on Menander is found only in the late Pali translation, and is therefore (on straight philological grounds) likely to be interpolated; this is the main thesis and title of the article. In the process, he reviews the other evidence; in doing so, he denies the Reh inscription is Menander: the name given is Mininda, not Milinda; and more seriously one of the titles is King of kings, perfectly plausible for an Indo-Parthian, but not for Menander, who didn't use it. (So much is Fussman: this would seem to mean you can either have the Reh lingam or no sub-kings, but not both.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Gérard Fussman's 1993 JA article is one of the essential mod. sources for N.Indic history in the Hellenistic period. It includes a good edition and translation of the Maghera stone text, which illustrates both the fact and the longevity (in the consciousness of local Hindu traders) of Indo-Greek rule about Mathura. The hoard evidence from the Upper Yamuna reinforces this by its selective nature; i.e. even large hoards like Sonipat don't come close to including all the known kings, and therefore do not attest circulation of Indo-Greek coinage in general beyond political frontiers but of the issues of the fewer rulers of the local regions. Ditto the long but by no means complete list of Indo-Greek kings who struck coinage for circulation in Bactria and the near complete absence of Indo-Greek coinage south and east of the Mathura regions, which would not be the case if the Indo-Greek coinage circulated widely beyond the frontiers of the Hellenistic states. Finally the significant correspondence of Indo-Greek kings missing from the Sonipat hoard with those who did strike for Bactrian purchases (and vice-versa) underlines the validity of the view that the find spots of hoards (especially large hoards) document territorial rule. There are two major problems with Fussman's article, in hindsight. First Prof.Harry Falk has recently demonstrated that part of the Shinkot reliquary inscription concerning Menandros and the Apracarajas is a modern forgery (the part concerning Menandros and the purportedly contemporary Vijayamitra). Secondly Fussman defines the usability of the Milindapanha tradition according to the plausibility of key information in the earliest texts; above all Menandros' birth overseas in a place called Alexandria (A-li-san in the Chinese, Alasanda in the Pali) is judged to be unacceptable and therefore the entire tradition is deemed unusable, not just the obviously historically bogus later books which are absent from the (earliest surviving) Chinese text. However reaching this conclusion Fussman only considered Alexandria beside Egypt; fatally overlooking the island at the egress of the Persian Gulf which was called Alexandria in antiquity (attested both by Ammianus Marcellinus and Claudius Ptolemy). This island can be incorporated into Menandros' biography quite readily (viz. a political exile of his likely father Antimachos II in Seleukid Babylonia in the late 170s-early 160s BC), and matches the data in the earlier texts about his birth on an island (Pali) or by the sea (Chinese) quite well. So there most likely is a little bit of authentic information about Menandros in the earliest versions. No one should seriously dispute that it is very little indeed; however its bounds must be more uncertain and controversial than Fussman's tidier but fundamentally flawed dismissal of the lot. Congratulations to Jens on his wiki award. Appietas (talk) 03:55, 13 January 2008 (UTC) (M.K.Passehl)

Barnstar of High Culture.png The Barnstar of High Culture
Here's the Barnstar of High Culture, for your sophisticated and balanced contributions to such arcane subjects as the Greeks in the East. Good luck with your book, and hats off! PHG (talk) 05:48, 15 December 2007 (UTC)


Is there any real doubt that the Chinese Ta-Hia/Ta-hsia/Daxia is Bactria, or at least near Bactria? A merge is proposed (see the talk page) and I said I'd ask you. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:49, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

number of Cleopatra's children[edit]

Hi Sponsianus,

I added a comment at Talk:Cleopatra_VII and thought you might be able to resolve the issue, since you commented on a related one earlier.

Joriki (talk) 04:15, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Disputed fair use rationale for Image:Bop 13A Antiochos Nikator.jpg[edit]

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Hi Sponsianus. I am again being attacked by User:Elonka and some of her supporters at Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Franco-Mongol alliance/Workshop. Could you kindly give your opinion? Thank you. PHG (talk) 17:16, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus. Thank you for your support, I do appreciate tremendously! Best regards. PHG (talk) 21:29, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

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Hi, Sponsianus. How are you? Thanks for your input. I really appreciate your comments and I am very please to communicate with you. I would like to share some things with you:

1 - Herold did not kill "ALL" of the Hasmonean, just the proeminents. Plenty of Hasmonean descendants personages appear in History after his dead, like Flaviu Josephus, and Simon (III) Perea, son of Salomé de Judea (Hasmonean). The line of the "MACCABEES" came to an end, not the whole of the extend family of the Hasmomean.

Just like Simon (III) Perea, a legitm descendant of the Hasmonens, used this unique surname to identify his place and location of orign, (as you know Hasmonean strong hold in Perea), plenty others families, also direct descendants, did the same thing. There are plenty of historical records of these Perea family, since early Diáspora - until today.

2 - Your are very right about the Hasmoneans Kings having sexual relationships with their inumerous concumbines. They had sons and daugthers with their concubines, so they should have thousands of genetics descendants today. Congratulations for this conclusion. I agree with you in this specif matter. But, from this thousands of genetic descendants, I bealive that less than 5% kept the first and original surname COHEN de PEREA, (just like Simon (II) Perea) and also less than 5% of those kept the tradition and the Halachá law of being Cohanim and with the oral tradition of being legitm descendants of the Hasmoneans. We are the COHEN PEREA family that kept 100% of the tradition of being legitm and direct descendants, ketubahs of many generations, and also objects from the Hasmonean period, like Medals, Oil Lamps, Coins and etc, that was passed from father to son.

What is really interesting is that, since the Hasmonean were direct descendants of Aaron HaKohen, than their DNA must be identical or very similar (because of the mutations) to Aaron and Cohanim of today. After analises of the DNA of the PEREA jews families w/ the traditon, I realize that they have the same COHEN signature as my family, only for (01) step mutation on the DYS #388. They have value 16 rather than 15, so because of this specif mutation, these PEREA do not have the J2 Standard and old reconized signature for the Cohanim. (but they are Cohanim). In other words: My family is the only one who kept the oldest and most recognized signature for the Cohanim, among others Perea jews.

Now, in Israel, they found the Tombs of the Hasmonean with hundreds of ossuaries on it, engraved with the names of the Hasmonean family. IAA did run a DNA PCR test to identify their genetic relationship and have the results on their database. After looking at, they tested different alleles of the Chromossome comparing to mine. So, I order new DNA test to finaly have the perfect DNA mach and science proves, that I am a direct descendant of the Kings Hasmonean.

Now, I spoke about all these things with Rabies in Jerusalem from the Rabbinical Assembly. They are expecting the results to “nominate” and “recognize” myself as a legitim descendant of the Kings Hasmonean. Is’nt this a great possibility for me and my family?

3 - The Hasmonean “dynasty” was extinguished, but not his descendants lineage. Now, Talmud and the Book of 1 Maccabees 14, quotes that jewish people, the Sinedrim, and all the cast of Cohanim, made a eternal and still valid decree, saying that the lineage of the Hasmonean must always prevail and be the lider of the jews and Priests, UNTIL the coming of the Messia.

Please, lets keep talking about this matter, ok? I really like your comments. Let´s keep in touch and let me know if this new infos helped in somehow!

Best Regards,

(Please, post your replay here)

--Chris Cohen / Jornalist / President of Jornal Goyaz, founded in 1884, with 124 years on brazilian market. / President of the Brazilian Association of Cohanim. (talk) 17:21, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus, how are you? Again, I really appreciate your comments. However, I still would like to share some facts with you.

1 - Royal Hasmoneans" and "Maccabeans" are more less synoyms, but NOT the same thing. Judah is the “Maccabean” because of this surname. He was the only one in the family with this specif surname Maccabe. (but “Maccabeans” was used to “identify” the whole family members). Since this is not the main point of our discussion, lets leave this aside and focus on the most important fundaments.

2 – “As you see, Josephus did certainly not think that Simon of Perea was a legitimate Hasmonean”.

You are right about that Josephus did not mention his genealogy. He did not say that Simon Perea “was” or “wasnt” descendant of the Hasmonean. But if you read the complete book of Josephus, (not only one single phrase) you will notice that Simon Perea put a “diadem” on his head after Herod died, claiming the Royal Dinasty back from his Hasmonean lineage. He was son of Salomé de Judea (a well know and respect Hasmonean). “Diadem” means “crow”. (It´s engraved on the Hasmonean coins). Simon Perea did tried to take the Royal Dinasty back from his family claim. But he was not sucesfull.

The Talmud was written by the Rabbies (after Crist Era) who were 100% certain about their knowlogde, history and facts. Tamud quote that “Everyone today claiming to be descendant of the Hasmonean, must be a slave on the past” (because of Herod). Simon Perea was quoted as this perfect example of being Hasmonean and slave from Herod. In our Jewish Law Halachá, there is no problem at all, if our ancestor was a slave in the past. As a matter of fact, “all” jews were slaves in Egypt and Babilonia. This is not a problem of real and legitm rights and heritage. Jews accept the genealogy, not the “condition” of the jew as a slave, noble or king.

3 - “We can never sort out the actual Pereas from the false ones”.

Sure we can. DNA has put aside the false ones. There are pleny Pereas that are not jews, and not with the Cohanim Modal Gene Sequencie on their DNA. As you know, Hasmonean were direct descendants of Aaron HaKohen, so they must have the Cohen sequencie as my Perea family does (and most of others Perea dont have it). DNA is the ultimate source and science prove to sort out the false ones from the true ones.

4 - “Anyway, we don't know anything about his Josephus children either so it's a moot point.”

This is not correct, Sponsianus. You must do your home work! J

Flaviu Josephus genealogy it is well know by everybody that studies this matter. He had 4 wifes, and plenty childrens. Two of his sons was named after the Hasmonan King: Hyrcanus and Agrippa. Josephus put this two surnames on this two sons “Hyrcanus and Agrippa”. We dont have to be that smart to figure out that are as Josephus, a Hasmonean, pleny others family scaped and runaway on Diáspora.

5. I doubt - please correct me if I am wrong - that objects such as lamps and medals have passed for more 2000 years from father to son in any family.

You are right, this was not passed from father to son for over 2000 years. This objects it is on our family hands for 6 generations. So, I calculate around no later than 500 years. By this fact it is one a single piece and evidence of our family claim, not the ultimate resource. I bealive my family have the largest single collection of objects from the Hasmoneans in the world. (But we can leave this fact out of our discussion, because this is not a prove of anything). Our Ketubahs points our claim.

6 – “The Hasmoneans existed almost a hundred generations before us, and an exact match of one or a few generations is impossible to trace”.

Sponsianus, DNA have the power to determinate everything, including the possibility of paleo PCR DNA test. If my DNA shows to be compatible with the ossuaries of the Hasmonean, than this is the final thing.

7 - “What you may claim is that you as an ancestor of the ancient Hasmoneans have ancestors who were relatives of the Hasmonean kings”

No. This is not my claim at all. All Cohanim of today are descendant of Aaroon, father of all Cohen, and Hasmoneans too. My specif claim is that our family are direct descendants of the Hasmonean.

8 - This article about the Hasmonean kingdom is named "Hasmoneans" and not "Hasmonean royal dynasty" which would perhaps be more formally correct. I suggest that you could add a section about the "greater Hasmonean family" or something like that, under Y-chromosomal Aaron.

No. My claim has nothing to do with the Y-chromosomal Aaron. My claim is specif about the Hasmonean. Rabinical Assembly Jerusalem are ready to examinate the results, once finish, and to recognize my family as direct descendants of the Hasmonean. This is going to be notorious all over the world, and sure viable to add on the Hasmonean article, for sure.

I am juts waiting for DNA, and Jerusalem Post, and other jewish magazines, to writte and publish a story about my family. After I collect enough material published by credible companies, I WILL post these informations on the Hasmonan article. This is going to be very interesting of the readers of Wikipedia. I will also post, if necesary, parts from Rabinical Assembly Jerusalem lettter confirming the veracity of our claim based on our material and DNA, and the original diploma issued by the Govermant of Israel.

Nobody in this world will never be able to disagree with the infos, facts, proves, DNA... that I will soon add on the Hasmonean article.

Best Reggards,

Chris Mashiach Cohen Perea --Chris Cohen / Jornalist / President of Jornal Goyaz, founded in 1884, with 124 years on brazilian market. / President of the Brazilian Association of Cohanim. (talk) 16:11, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Dear Sponsianus.

I really appreciate this conversation. It is valid to understand the main point.

A – The Salomé de Judea, mother of Simon, it is not the well know other Salome that you described. This one was married with Costobarus (Governor) of IDUMAEA before his first husband died. Than she married Joseph III , one of the Patriarchs of PALESTINE. The only know childres are a daughter called Berenike and Simon of Perea. She was a great-great- daugther of the same “lineage” of Aristobulus II Priest-King line, but probably as cousin.

B - “None of them (Josephus and Simon) share your genetic marker”. Yes, you are right about that. (but this is not the issue, I dont have to be linked with Josephus or Simon Perea in genetic terms).

C – “Nothing compared to the almost hundred times that small changes have accumulated (every generation) until we reached your Y-chromosome”

The Y Cromossome suffers only one (01) step mutation at the microsatelite locis in every 100 generations or so on some specifs alleles (the ones used to determinate the relationship between two persons). It is perfect possible to estabilish genetic relationships in DNA Paleo – PCR test. There are only 5 companies in the whole world that provide this kind of service.

D- “Neither the Israeli government, nor a Rabbi council, have the authority to declare what constitutes as genetic proof in this kind of matter”

They can do whatever they want. They are independent from the Religious parties. Now, they will not issue anything “direct to me”, but a official letter (and probably not a Diploma), recognizing the scienfic links and studies on this case.

“For this, your story needs to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal”

This is not a specif policy of Wikepedia. There are plenty articles with references from well know publishers as Jerusalem Post, NY Times and etc... (but since this can take sometime to happen, we can leave this point for future analises and judgment.)

E – “I am uncertain whether you mean royal Hasmoneans or the Hasmonean group in its wider sense”

What a nice question. I really like this one! I congratulate you for this brillant mind.

I wish we can focus on this specif point from now one!

Yes. I bealive my family have the conection for the Hasmonean in a wider sense. The Royal ones were to visible to survive. They had a terrible end on Herod hands. Now, Talmud quotes (if you dont accept Talmud as reference, than our Halacha is not valid at all for you). But please understand the Talmud is a guide in our religion and used as the most important source of decisions made by our people and Rabbies)

Example: We are expecting our Messiah to come from a lineage of the King David. Many jewish families have this specif claim of being from the lineage of King David. They are still alive and I can mention plenty for you. Now, the most important thing is to be linked to the King David tree, wich is wider. This perfect example fits my claim. IT can be wider, but will not loose in “essence”, and “blood” and most important, Genealogy TREE. Our religion expects the Messiah from this real TREE. It can be a single “flower” or a “leave” out of the thousands spred into the same TREE.

F – “ I do certainly not deny your connections with the wider ancient Hasmonean family”

Again, I appreciate your comment and final conclusion. I am very satisfy for being descendant of the wider Hasmonean Tree.

Best Regards,

Chris Cohen Perea —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chriscohen (talkcontribs) 01:00, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


Hi! Please note that I have filed a request for appeal here. Comments welcome! Best regards PHG (talk) 16:10, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Sponsianus for your support. I truely appreciate! It seems that writing on little-known subjects of history, such as the Franco-Mongol alliance, can meet with a lot of disbelief and even anger from some parties... Best regards PHG (talk) 19:11, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG[edit]

An Arbitration case involving you has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Daniel (talk) 23:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


You said you were removing irrelevant details [1] but you might not have realized that you took the year of the accident out of the intro and that you repeated the phrase "only blind officer serving in the Special Forces". On the assumption that this was accidental, I undid your reversion.

If you think "In 2006" is an irrelevant detail, by all means take it out again! :-) --Uncle Ed (talk) 15:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Unilateral changes[edit]

Please don't make unilateral changes to articles like this [2]. If you check out the extremely long discussion on the Talk page of Myanmar, you'd find extensive discussionand dispute about naming the artcle and per engvar and other policies we do not make unilateral likely to be disputed changes to articles without due discussion nor does the name of the article matter (hence why we still have references to petrol and colour) Nil Einne (talk) 14:48, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Talk: Ivan Castro[edit]

Thank you for your message in my "talk" page. I truely believed that there was motive to archive the discussions since there was a lack of participation for over a week in the "DYK" related issues, however I will not oppose to the un-arhivement. No problem. Tony the Marine (talk) 19:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

PHG ArbCom request[edit]

I've posted a request for possible additional evidence at Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/PHG/Evidence. Cool Hand Luke 18:54, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

You're wrong[edit]

As you left your comment on my user page and not my talk page I did not read it until now. But wikipedia policy is clear. The naming on an article DOES NOT decide what we call something in other articles, particularly when there is extremely active dispute about the name of the article. If you are unaware of this, take it to WP:VPP. And BTW, colour/petrol are most definitely NOT grammar issues but spelling and terminology ones. I suggest you take a read of the articles since you don't appear to understand what grammar and spelling are. And yes, WP:ENGVAR does come into this discussion since the term Myanmar is much more common in some varieties of English and Burma may be more common in others. The fact that there are political issues doesn't mean Engvar doesn't come into play and it is frequently raised any discussion about the name in the article. In fact, one of the primary reasons why the name is likely to remain Burma is because Burma is the original name of the article (before it was changed to Myanmar for a long while) and per Engvar we default to the original name if we can't decide in any other way Nil Einne (talk) 08:27, 17 January 2009 (UTC)


Hi Sponsianus! I think I am leaving. Drop me a line when your book on the Indo-Greeks is published. Cheers PHG (talk) 14:04, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG[edit]

The above-linked Arbitration case has been closed and the final decision published.

PHG's mentorship and sourcing arrangement is both revised and extended; the full list of new conditions are available by clicking this link. Furthermore, the original topic ban on editing articles related to medieval or ancient history has been rescinded. PHG is prohibited from editing articles relating to the Mongol Empire, the Crusades, intersections between Crusader states and the Mongol Empire, and Hellenistic India—all broadly defined. This topic ban will last for a period of one year. He is permitted to make suggestions on talk pages, provided that he interacts with other editors in a civil fashion.

Any particular article may be added or removed from PHG's editing restriction at the discretion of his mentor; publicly logged to prevent confusion of the restriction's coverage. The mentor is encouraged to be responsive to feedback from editors in making and reconsidering such actions. Furthermore, the Committee noted that PHG has complied with the Committee's restrictions over the past ten months, and that PHG is encouraged to continue contributing to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. PHG should be permitted and encouraged by other editors to write well-sourced suggestions on talkpages, to contribute free-content images to Wikimedia Commons, and to build trust with the community.

For the Arbitration Committee,
Daniel (talk) 22:32, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

"the" hemulen[edit]

I have read your comment on this question, thank you: it was interesting. I have also posted a response on the Hemulen talk page. Since you gave me a personal copy of what you posted there, I am extending the same courtesy to you:

Yes indeed. Sponsianus says that "Hemulen" is the definitive case; another form of words for the same fact is that the -n on the end is a post-fixed definite article, in other words "hemulen" means "the hemule", so that "the hemulen" strictly means "the the hemule". I did not mention this above, because it was not relevant to the point I was making, but it is certainly interesting. Whatever we may think of the translation, "the hemulen" has become the accepted English form. The one thing here that I did not know is that "hemule" has a separate existence as an adjective in Swedish: that too is interesting.
The one point here with which I would take issue is the suggestion of a separate form "Hemuli" for the species: I do not know of any example in English of a special species form of a noun distinct from the normal singular and plural forms. "Heruli" is quoted as an analogue. This is a Latin plural, traditionally used because the name, like many other ancient names, is known to us mostly from Greek and Latin sources. There does not seem to be any compelling reason to continue this tradition for a Germanic people, and many people now prefer to use the English plural "Heruls", but they are simply alternative plurals, not being distinguished in use as one for a few and the other for the whole tribe. The Wikipedia article on them to which Sponsianus links is a mess, using the two plurals inconsistently, depending on the preferences of individual editors. It is easy to see that there is no such distinction in their use. For example:
  • The Heruli ... were a nomadic Germanic people [Heruli for whole tribe]
  • The Heruls are first mentioned by Roman writers ... [Heruls for whole tribe]
  • ... many Heruli returned to Scandinavia ... [Heruli for some of them]
  • From the end of the third century, Heruls are also mentioned as raiders ... [Heruls for some of them]
Anyway, whether one prefers a Latin or an English plural for "herul", I can see no earthly reason for inventing a Latinate plural for "hemule", which, as far as I know, has no Latin connection.

JamesBWatson (talk) 16:36, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Following your further Hemulen-related comments on my talk page:

It's interesting to read comments from someone who has read the Swedish original, as a lot of my impressions of Tove Jansson's intentions are based on attempts to guess the relationship between the translation I read and the original, and I am never quite sure how close my guess is to the truth. You say that "Hemulen was first used to refer to a single character, whose name was later extended for to denote an entire species": I have formed the impression that Jansson often referred to animals by a name which was the definite version of a species name (e.g. isn't "Mumintrollet" really "the Moomintroll"?) and that the English translators were sometimes inconsistent about the use of such terms (e.g. variously using "Moomintroll" both as the name of a character = "Mumintrollet" and as the name of the species = "Mumintroll". However, without a knowledge of Swedish I am not really sure to what extent this impression is correct. My daughter knows a little Swedish, but not enough to read the books. Maybe I should work at getting her to learn more so that I can use her as an information source! JamesBWatson (talk) 18:07, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

You wrote: PS Have you seen her hilarious illustration [1] of Gollum?

Unfortunately clicking on the link you provided just produces: ZUGRIFF NICHT ERLAUBT Die angeforderte Seite darf nicht angezeigt werden. JamesBWatson (talk) 22:01, 23 March 2009 (UTC)



Tack för ditt svar på mitt blogginlägg! Jag försökte maila till den adress ditt bloggsvar angav, men mailet bouncade. Jag skulle gärna vilja ha en kopia av din sammanfattande artikel om hellenismen, som du kan maila till david (punkt) ekstrand (at) liberal (punkt) se.


David ekstrand (talk) 21:01, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

It is policy on English Wikipedia that material should be given in English. It is a mistake to think that a speaker of (for example) Swedish writing to another Swedish speaker is conducting a private exchange: everything you write, including comments on user talk pages, is the property of English Wikipedia, and should be readable by any Wikipedia user competent in English. JamesBWatson (talk) 11:32, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe the following is a correct translation of the above comment:

Thanks for your response to my blog! I tried to mail to the address given in your blog reply, but the email bounced. I would like to have a copy of your summary article on hellenism: you can email to david (dot) Ekstrand (at) liberal (dot) se.

JamesBWatson (talk) 11:41, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Interesting theory; I will look further.

However, when the kings of Syria and Media where fighting one another is almost as well-defined a date as (say) when the kings of Syria and Egypt where fighting one another, isn't it? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:35, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it gives a very exact date (we now know that Antiochus III became king in 222 BCE, and that Molon rebelled more or less instantly). Molon is the only person who could be called "king of Media" during the third century BCE. But, as Lerner states, we cannot really trust Polybius when he gets the names wrong. Sponsianus (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, I will read Lerner; but if Polybius is getting names wrong, it would seem to me that he is perfectly capable of calling the Parthians Medes. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:50, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Azes II and the Indo-Scythians[edit]

FYI... I went ahead and requested some peer review assistance with Azes II and Indo-Scythians. I think we need to improve both articles substantially, and you're edits helped point out this need (in a good way). You can find the reviews at:

Feel free to offer up what you have! Thanks. Hiberniantears (talk) 19:22, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


Congratulations for your work Sponsianus. I will clearly be one of the first to buy the English version of your book. Please kindly inform me when it becomes available! Best regards Per Honor et Gloria  20:38, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Replaceable fair use File:Bop 13A Antiochos Nikator.jpg[edit]

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USS Scorpion[edit]

Hello and thank you for your somewhat delayed reply to my edit in June 2012. The reason for my revert was that the Shute novel had nothing whatsoever to do with the loss of the USS Scorpion and was set in an entirely different time frame. Your example citing the Orient Express is different altogether, as it is a fictional story citing a train that is still in existence. It is pure coincidence that Shute's submarine carries the same name as the loss of a real vessel and is nothing to do with the article in question - therefore "Triva". Thank you for getting in touch. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 20:28, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Incidently, I should have mentioned: Shute's novel was published in 1957 - the actual articled USS Scorpion was not laid-down until 1958. Therefore, it was not the same vessel and a coincidence - as mentioned above. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 20:39, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I have replied to your latest message on my Talk Page. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 23:06, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

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