- Nov 2011
- The Bluff
Possibly the most sensible post on the thread. Seleukos came into contact with the Indian king at the end of a long anabasis into the Alexanderian east during which he brought much of what you mention back under Macedonian control (Bactria-Sogdiana, Parthia for example). This after concerted warfare in the central satrappies over Babylon, Media and Persis. By the close of the century (204), Seleukos had a far bigger fish to fry: Antigonos Monophthalmos. The One-Eyed was engaged in a war on the western marches of Sleleukos' territories and an alliance was contracted with Lysimachos, Kassandros and Ptolemy to confront both Antigonos and his son Demetrios. This is the background to Seleukos and (S)Androcottos coming to terms. Seleukos had to contend with his great enemy for had he not, he will have lost the heart of his newly subjugated empire. You can't be everywhere and Seleukos had to march his army back into Kappadokia in time for the showdown that would be Ipsos.The sources really only suggest a post-war alliance, not vassalage. There is a marriage, Seleucus receives elephants and Chandragupta receives more land. Also, the Seleucids had enough trouble with Bactria-Sogdiana, Parthia, Asia Minor and Coele-Syria. To enforce a sustained vassalage on the Mauryas would have required security within the already unwieldy Seleucid Empire and numerous gargantuan campaigns.
As for Pliny, perhaps Seleucus really did reach that far, but it's also possible that geographers on his expedition were recording distances from a combination of personal data, information received from Indian guides and perhaps eventually their new Mauryan allies.