Monday, July 26, 2004

Greeks in Ancient Pakistan

Review by Safdar Mehdi

Greeks in Ancient Pakistan: "The invasion of Alexander the Great of the territories which now constitute Pakistan, was an event of great significance, not only because of the extraordinary nature of the military expenditure undertaken by one of the world's greatest conquerors, but also because it was the first time that direct contacts were established between Europe & South Asia. Alexander's invasion opened up a new era of mutually beneficial trade and cultural exchanges between the two regions, more than 4000 kilometers apart.

The fairly intense interaction between ancient South Asia and Greece commenced with the invasion of Alexander in fourth century BC and continued for almost seven centuries till the middle of 5th century AD. After Alexander, it was the Seleucid and Bactrian Greeks settled in West and Central Asia who continued to interact from across the borders before the Bactrian/Indus Greeks conquered Gandhara and Punjab in the begining of 1st century BC. The Indus Greeks were succeeded by the philhellenic Scythian, Parthians, and Kushans,who continued to rule ancient Pakistan, until the middle of 5th century AD."
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