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Old April 28th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #1

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Post Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


So I got this idea from another thread and thought it would be good as a separate discussion. I guess this poses the greater question as to what is meant when we use the term 'diadochi', but I was wondering what everyone thought concerning the legitimate use of the term 'diadochi' for the Greco-Bactrins/Indo-Greek kingdoms. Were they in any sense 'successors' of Alexander the Great, or something different?
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Old April 28th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #2

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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


I think so. They took a slice of Alexander's kingdom and infused "Greekness" or Hellenism into their kingdoms, to a certain extent. If they are going to lose marks for becoming less Greek, then the Ptolemies at the very least have to be disqualified alongside the Bactrians.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SanMartin View Post
So I got this idea from another thread and thought it would be good as a separate discussion. I guess this poses the greater question as to what is meant when we use the term 'diadochi', but I was wondering what everyone thought concerning the legitimate use of the term 'diadochi' for the Greco-Bactrins/Indo-Greek kingdoms. Were they in any sense 'successors' of Alexander the Great, or something different?
Hardly could this kingdom have been considered as any 'successor' of Alexander (diadochi), as it appeared almost a century later.

In any case, it seems that both the rulers and the population were essentially Hellenized natives, analogous to let say the kingdoms of Pontus and Bithynia.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 06:30 AM   #4

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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


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Hardly could this kingdom have been considered as any 'successor' of Alexander (diadochi), as it appeared almost a century later.

In any case, it seems that both the rulers and the population were essentially Hellenized natives, analogous to let say the kingdoms of Pontus and Bithynia.

What leads you to conclude that ?
From numismatic evidence, it is clear that if anything, the Greco-Bactrian kings were Indianized and their cultural syncretism surpasses any of the Diadochi kingdoms significantly.
For example, the Greco-Bactrians are the only Greek dynasty from that period to mint coins with hindu/Buddhist/Zoroastrian Gods on them.

On a side note, correct me if i am wrong but i see an elitist trend in you, where you superimpose the practices of the elites on the much larger common population - be it in the case of Byzantians or the Greco-bactrians.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #5

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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


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On a side note, correct me if i am wrong but i see an elitist trend in you, where you superimpose the practices of the elites on the much larger common population - be it in the case of Byzantians or the Greco-bactrians.
You're not alone in noticing this. I also feel he sees things a little too black and white.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


No polity appears out of thin air. "Successor" meaning "later" can't be argued. Nor can the knock-on causative effects of multiple cultural predecessors be ignored. Visit, among other places, the Taxila museum. The area had long been a cultural crossroads and has never ceased being that.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 07:28 AM   #7
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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


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Originally Posted by Lord_of_Gauda View Post
What leads you to conclude that ?
From numismatic evidence, it is clear that if anything, the Greco-Bactrian kings were Indianized and their cultural syncretism surpasses any of the Diadochi kingdoms significantly.
For example, the Greco-Bactrians are the only Greek dynasty from that period to mint coins with hindu/Buddhist/Zoroastrian Gods on them.

On a side note, correct me if i am wrong but i see an elitist trend in you, where you superimpose the practices of the elites on the much larger common population - be it in the case of Byzantians or the Greco-bactrians.
I can't understand why "Hellenized" and "Indianized" should be mutually exclusive terms; IMHO the evidence for both of them in this kingdom is obvious.

On a side note, you may require to review the definition of "elitist".

The only relation I can find between your bizarre ideas on the late Roman Empire and this Kingdom is an utterly misguided conception of anti-euro-centric Indian nationalism.
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You're not alone in noticing this. I also feel he sees things a little too black and white.
Can you please elaborate?
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Old April 29th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


Bactrian kingdom founded and ruled from greeks for 2 centuries.
Several archeological discoveries shows that the greek culture had influenced this region,
and maybe some of the natives had adopted in one way or another this culture.

But the continuing intervention in India,
and the isolation from the rest of successor kingdoms
made the convertion of the kingdom to a more eastern culture, as a matter of time.

On the other hand kingdoms of Pontus and (especially) Bithynia were in an continuing contact with greek culture
and at the last the natives became greeks themselves.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #9

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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
I can't understand why "Hellenized" and "Indianized" should be mutually exclusive terms; IMHO the evidence for both of them in this kingdom is obvious.

On a side note, you may require to review the definition of "elitist".

The only relation I can find between your bizarre ideas on the late Roman Empire and this Kingdom is an utterly misguided conception of anti-euro-centric Indian nationalism. Can you please elaborate?

What does, considering Byzantine empire a non-Roman entity (ie, considering itself as an eastern mediterranean entity) has to do with 'anti-european indian nationalism' ??!?
You lost me there.

As per the Greco-bactrians, it is obvious that their art was a blend of Greek artistic form with Indian icnonism, signifying syncretism.
Their religious practices are most definitely predominantly Indo-Iranian with minor Greek influences.

There is a great book written in that era that sheds light on Greco-Bactrians and Indo-Greeks (Milindapanha) and there is nothing in that book to suggest any Greek ideas on rulership - it seems that the idea of government distinctly favoured local flavour over Greek concepts.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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Re: Greco-Bactrians/Indo-Greeks - successor kingdom or separate entity?


Of course, books never have bias.
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