An Important Account of the Greek State That Ruled the Hindu Kush for Centuries in the Wake of Alexander the Great“If through the Bactrian Empire European ideas were transmitted to the Far East, through that and similar channels Asiatic ideas found their way to Europe.”—Intellectual Development of EuropeFollowing the Macedonian invasion of Persian in the fourth century B.CAn Important Account of the Greek State That Ruled the Hindu Kush for Centuries in the Wake of Alexander the Great“If through the Bactrian Empire European ideas were transmitted to the Far East, through that and similar channels Asiatic ideas found their way to Europe.”—Intellectual Development of EuropeFollowing the Macedonian invasion of Persian in the fourth century B.C., an independent Greek-ruled empire emerged over an area encompassing modern Afghanistan, eastern Iran, and northern Pakistan. This ancient empire, called Bactria, is recorded in texts, both Asian and European, as well as through coins, inscriptions, and architectural remnants. Bactria served as a contact point between Europe, South Asia, and the Far East for more than two hundred years before disappearing under the pressure of a resurgent Persia to the west and Indian states to the east. In Bactria: The History of a Forgotten Empire, historian Hugh G. Rawlinson begins with the early history of Bactria and its subjugation by Persia, and then describes the conquest of Iran by Alexander the Great and the establishment of an independent Bactria ruled by Greeks. The Bactrians adopted Buddhism early on and helped establish the religion throughout the area. The author then follows the history of the empire through its rulers, including Menander, until Greek rule was extinguished around 135 B.C. Finally, the author discusses the effects of Greek occupation on the region. Based on meticulous research in ancient texts from Greece, Persia, and India, and using material evidence of the time, this history, which won the Hare University Prize at Cambridge in 1909, remains relevant today, providing a fascinating portrait of a little-known connection between East and West....
|Title||:||Bactria: The History of a Forgotten Empire|
|Number of Pages||:||208 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Bactria: The History of a Forgotten Empire Reviews
In the decades of chaos following Alexander's flouncing last words, as his vast conquests fragmented into endless squabbling petty kingdoms, a Greek-ish empire arose roughly in Afghanistan - but at times its territory stretched from Iran and Turkmenistan to India. And now, if people recognise its name at all, that's just for the camels (mentioned only once here - and that to note their absence from the ancient sources). Rawlinson's really not kidding about that 'forgotten' - this is not just information which is obscure to the general reader*, it's a tapestry of shadows and guesswork. The list even of Bactria's rulers is spotty, and can at best be pieced tentatively together from fragmentary ancient sources (probably inexact even when they were complete) and numismatic inference. Even the one name among them that sparks some glimmer of recognition, Menander, has such basic details as the decades of his reign shrouded in doubt. There were great wars and mighty feats of valour (at one siege, hundreds stood against tens of thousands - and prevailed) - and half the time, not only are the individual soldiers' names lost to us, but we don't even know for sure who the enemy was or what the fight was about. A melancholy reminder of quite how much oblivion has claimed, and how a glorious ruler of sweeping dominions may go further into the darkness even than Ozymandias. *'General reader' having a different meaning in 1912 to now, given the introductory assertion that they are the intended audience, followed by various untranslated passages in Latin, Greek and even Sanskrit. And while that makes this monograph (whatever happened to monographs?) sound like the product of a much more civilised age, one conversely hopes that by his death in the fifties, Rawlinson was perhaps a little less free with the comfortable assertions of Aryan supremacy to the "native stock".
Quite basic and old school, but considering the era it is from-remarkably even-handed.
A history of Bactria - rather interesting, but outdated (obviously).