Were the Mauryans vassals of the Seleucids?

Nov 2011
1,111
The Bluff
Selucus was not interested in this (arid and far-off) region, he just wanted peace on his eastern borders so that he could concentrate on the western border. I do not think anyone denies influence.
This is true. It was apparent in the aftermath of Alexander's death that control of territory so far east was very problematic. In fact, the establishment of Taxila as a client kindom and, more so, the enlarging of Poros' client kingdom was the solution adopted by Alexander as his method of doing so without committing too costly numbers of Macedonian troops. Seleukos, with major unresolved military matters in his western rear, was not ever going to be able to hold down lands that far east. As the crisis in the west (producing the decisive showdown of Ipsos) developed, a negotiated agreement was the natural solution to stable eastern borders. A border which remained stable.

The Wiki article needs to be read with caution (as always). There are problems with its view. Alexander is described as having "retreated" but more indicative of the author's prejudices are statements such as the following:

Chandragupta's mercenaries may have assassinated two of Alexander's governors, Nicanor and Philip. He probably fought Alexander's satraps, including Eudemus – who left the territory in 317 BCE; and Peithon, who governed cities near the Indus River until he left for Babylon in 316 BCE.
No evidence exists which provides backing to the claim that Nikanor and Philip were killed by Chandragupta's mercenaries. In fact, it is clear that Philip was killed by the mercenaries appointed as part of his satrapal troops. Nikanor was killed in 326 in an uprising of the Assakenians and was hardly dispatched by Chandragupta's supposed mercenaries.

With Eudamos and Peithon, the clear implication of the author's statement is that this pair left because of supposed inroads by Chandragupta. Both these men did leave their satrapies but hardly for any such reason. Eudamos murdered Poros (sometime between 321 and 318) and headed west to join a satrapal coalition to fight against the aggrandising Peithon (not he mentioned above). Nothing indicates he was planning not ever to return for this coalition was soon taken over by Eumenes in the great struggle against Antigonos; the end of which saw Eudamos' murder. Peithon, now gover of Para[amisodai, was subsequently summoned by the victor, Antigonos and made satrap of Babylonia in place of Seleukos.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,788
New Delhi, India
I would not contest all your points, but I would like to mention that retreat of Selucus was not the end of Greeks in India. After the decline of Mauryan empire, the Bactrian Greeks again ruled North-West India (Starting with Menander) for more than a 100 years before they were replaced by Scythians.
 
Nov 2011
1,111
The Bluff
I would not contest all your points, but I would like to mention that retreat of Selucus was not the end of Greeks in India. After the decline of Mauryan empire, the Bactrian Greeks again ruled North-West India (Starting with Menander) for more than a 100 years before they were replaced by Scythians.
Very true. While I would say that Seleukos hardly "retreated", he most certainly returned with some alacrity; alacrity fueled by the impending battle on his western marches. Had Seleukos not returned it was certain Antigonos will have won and will have subsequently invaded Seleukos' heartland.

I would add that it is much easier to maintain a hold on these Indian territories from a base in Bactria (or modern Afghanistan) than what would be Seleukos' "centre".
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,788
New Delhi, India
Yeah, either from Bactria or even more conveniently from Purushapura (Peshawar) or Kabul. But the capital of Indo-Greeks was Sagala (Sakala, modern Sialkot, Pakistan), much deeper in Punjab. By that time they had lost Bactria to Scythians. That was the pattern in Central Asia from times immemorial, pressure from tribes in the North and movement into India, one after the other. That happened with Aryans too. Later, the Greeks lost Sagala too to Scythians, Rajuvula.

 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,788
New Delhi, India
(and perhaps retreaded to Himalayas). A few tribes in India and Pakistan are supposed to have Greek connection.
 
Nov 2008
1,417
England
After the decline of Mauryan empire, the Bactrian Greeks again ruled North-West India (Starting with Menander) for more than a 100 years before they were replaced by Scythians.
The Bactrian Greek conquest of India surely began during the reign of the Bactrian king, Euthydemos, some time before 195 BC. The actual first campaign seems to have been conducted by Demetrius, the king`s son, which took the provinces of Pushkalavati and Gandhara . Euthydemos died about the year 195 to be succeeded by Demetrius whose first coins depict him wearing the elephant crown of Alexander with Heracles, the patron deity of the dynasty, on the reverse in the act of crowning himself. It is the elephant crown on the coins which symbolizes Demetrius`s Indian conquests. Menander didn`t appear on the scene until much later, possibly about 150 BC.
 
Jun 2012
522
I would not contest all your points, but I would like to mention that retreat of Selucus was not the end of Greeks in India. After the decline of Mauryan empire, the Bactrian Greeks again ruled North-West India (Starting with Menander) for more than a 100 years before they were replaced by Scythians.
Minor addendum for the sake of the facts. It seems more accurate to say that they ruled only a small portion of the North-West since they were only relegated to Punjab for any 'durable' period of time (at the duration of time when the Sungas, Kanvas, and Satavahannas were ruling substantially West from Pataliputra and Amaravati respectively). The Indo-Greek rule of the North-Western portion of the Gangetic plains (Mathura) was apparently quickly replaced at first by a '-mitra' or '-datta' dynasty. They were the ones who were apparently in turn replaced by the Scythians that originated from the North.
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,788
New Delhi, India
What I meant was that the Indo-Greeks in their principality were replaced by Scythians after some time. I did not say that they ruled the whole Indo-Gangetic plains.
Wikipedia has a nice time-line at Indo-Greek Kingdom - Wikipedia
 
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Feb 2018
7
India
Hi

It was most likely other way around as giving up your daughter to your enemy is considered most humiliating thing in India as we see from Mughal-Rajput relationships.

Selucids invaded India for more lands, Mauryans defeated them, took daughter of king to further humiliate him and 1/3 of his Empire.

And made his now father in law his autonomous vassal and allowed him to go home.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,788
New Delhi, India
Was that woman Selucus' daughter? Mentioned earlier also, Selucus was not at all Interested in Indian territories. He perhaps had his eyes on Greece.