Do Indian historical records talk about the Achaemenids?

Feb 2017
526
Latin America
This is a question that has always interested me. From the Puranas and the Pali canon I've read, there's no mention of the Achaemenids as far as I'm aware. Are there Indian sources speaking of them and their rule over northwest India?
 
Apr 2018
787
India
Technically there isn't a thing called Indian historical records. Hindus never chronicled history as such. All authentic sources of the history of the time are either Greek or in a few cases, Roman. In the particular case of the Achamenid conquest of Western India, a few Persian inscriptions are major sources of info.

Puranic and Buddhist accounts of anything aren't so reliable as they tend to be heavily biased.
 
Feb 2017
526
Latin America
Technically there isn't a thing called Indian historical records. Hindus never chronicled history as such.
Then what the hell are the Puranas, the Pali canon, Buddhist and Jain sutras containing historical information, the Mahavamsa?


All authentic sources of the history of the time are either Greek or in a few cases, Roman. In the particular case of the Achamenid conquest of Western India, a few Persian inscriptions are major sources of info.

Puranic and Buddhist accounts of anything aren't so reliable as they tend to be heavily biased.
And Greek and Roman sources aren't heavily biased either?
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
5,076
India
This is a question that has always interested me. From the Puranas and the Pali canon I've read, there's no mention of the Achaemenids as far as I'm aware. Are there Indian sources speaking of them and their rule over northwest India?
The Pahlavas (Iranian tribe) are mentioned, but I hardly know any reference Achaemenids in any ancient Indian chronicles.
 

Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,534
In the Past
Then what the hell are the Puranas, the Pali canon, Buddhist and Jain sutras containing historical information, the Mahavamsa?
Puranas is not historical texts. It's largely folklore and myths. Legends at best. Some are just theological texts or geneological.

Pali Canon are religious texts. They are historical texts in much the same way the Bible is.

Sutras are basically aphorisms. Any history contained would be untrustworthy and hardly full of any depth.

The Mahavamsa is basically a poem. It's as historically reliable as the Illiad.

None of these are historical texts.

And Greek and Roman sources aren't heavily biased either?
They are. The key point is scale.
 
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Feb 2017
526
Latin America
Puranas is not historical texts. It's largely folklore and myths. Legends at best. Some are just theological texts or geneological.

Pali Canon are religious texts. They are historical texts in much the same way the Bible is.

Sutras are basically aphorisms. Any history contained would be untrustworthy and hardly full of any depth.

The Mahavamsa is basically a poem. It's as historically reliable as the Illiad.

None of these are historical texts.


They are. The key point is scale.
Religious texts can be historical. The books of Kings in the Bible are among the best records we have for the first half of the second millennium BCE for the Near East. History is not the point of the Pali canon and the sutras, but they do contain genuine historical information. The Puranas also are theological in nature but they are meant to be history and once you get outside their mythological period, they start giving important information that can't be regarded, again no different than the Bible when you get to Samuel (even Judges for that matter). And God no the Mahavamsa is not an epic poem comparable to the Iliad. By the time of the Mahavamsa Indians had been writing books for centuries and kept records as well, and the Mahavamsa derives its history from them. The Iliad is purely a collection of oral history when the Greeks had only minimal writing and didn't keep records. The Iliad is comparable to the Mahabharata or Ramayana, not the Mahavamsa.

You exaggerate the lack of religiosity in Greco-Roman texts too. Diodorus, Livy, Plutarch and Herodotus recount such a massive amount of mythological material about gods and heroes worshipped in temples that by that same standard, they're no more historical than the Puranas and Mahavamsa, or the Iliad for that matter.
 
Jun 2017
591
usa
As far as I know there is no mention in any of the Indian texts about the Achaemenid Empire. It definitely extended to what today is Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan but because it was on the fringe of the empire the area had more autonomy and did not affect the people much? Another reason could be that it might have been very shortlived.
 
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Jun 2017
591
usa
Ramayana and Mahabharat and parts of the Puranas are considered "ItihAsa".
ItihAsa means "So it happened" which we call "History" today.
It was not written in the format we are familiar with today and had a lot of exaggerations and mythological additions but it is history nonetheless.