Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Greco-Bactrians: Ariana, Arachosia and Bactria, (250 - 90 BC)


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"The Indo-Greek King Menander I (Pali Milinda) (c. 165 –130 BC) was born in Bactria, but brought up in Ariana (the Kabul valley) and in the early years of his rule expanded his father’s kingdom to the Indus valley and beyond, perhaps later establishing his capital at Sàgala.

"Ariana, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek Ἀρειανή Arianē.... (inhabitants: Ariani; Αρειανοί Arianoi), was a general geographical term used by some Greek and Roman authors of the ancient period for a district of wide extent between Central Asia and the Indus River, comprehending the eastern provinces of the Achaemenid Empire that covered entire modern-day Iran, Afghanistan,most of Pakistan , most of Turkmenistan and southern of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan."

Greco-Bactrians, 250–110 BC; Indo-Greeks, 155–90 BC..

"King Menander I, son of Demetrius was born in Bactria, but brought up in Ariana (the Kabul valley) and in the early years of his rule expanded his father’s kingdom to the Indus valley and beyond, perhaps later establishing his capital at Sàgala. Unlike Bactria, which was predominantly influenced by Greek culture, these new areas were already Buddhist. Menander, then, would have been educated in the Greek traditions but would have had direct contact with Buddhism and no doubt often met monks living in his kingdom."....http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/milinda.pdf

"Demetrius I (Greek: Δημήτριος Α΄; Persian: ‎/Pashto: دیمتریوس بلخی‎) was a Greek king (reigned c. 200–180 BC) of Gandhara. He was the son of Euthydemus and succeeded him around 200 BC, after which he conquered extensive areas in what now is eastern Iran thus creating an Indo-Greek Kingdom far from Hellenistic Greece. He was never defeated in battle and was posthumously qualified as the Invincible (Aniketos) on the pedigree coins of his successor Agathocles......"Demetrius" was the name of at least two, probably three Greek kings of Bactria (known as "ولایت بلخی" or Balkh Province in Afghanistan) and India. The much debated Demetrius II was a possible relative, whereas Demetrios III (c. 100 BC), is known only from numismatic evidence. Demetrius I was also known as the second Alexander. the Great."

"Demetrius started the invasion of northwestern India from 180 BC, following the destruction of the Mauryan dynasty by the general Pushyamitra Sunga, who then founded the new Indian Sunga dynasty (185–78 BC). The Mauryans had had diplomatic alliances with the Greeks, and they may have been considered as allies by the Greco-Bactrians. The Greco-Bactrians may also have invaded India in order to protect Greek populations in the subcontinent.......Demetrius may have first started to recover the province of Arachosia, an area south of the Hindu Kush already inhabited by many Greeks but ruled by the Mauryas since the liberation of the territory by Chandragupta from Seleucus. In his "Parthian stations", Isidorus of Charax mentions a colony named Demetrias, supposedly founded by Demetrius himself:......."Beyond is Arachosia. And the Parthians call this White India; there are the city of Biyt and the city of Pharsana and the city of Chorochoad and the city of Demetrias; then Alexandropolis, the metropolis of Arachosia; it is Greek, and by it flows the river Arachotus. As far as this place the land is under the rule of the Parthians." "Parthians stations", 1st century BC."....Bopearachchi, "Monnaies Greco-Bactriennes et Indo-Grecques", p52.

"Arachosia /ærəˈkoʊsiə/ is the Hellenized name of an ancient satrapy in the eastern part of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, Greco-Bactrian, and Indo-Scythian empires. Arachosia was centred on Arghandab valley in modern-day southern Afghanistan, and extended east to as far as the Indus River in modern-day Pakistan. The main river of Arachosia was called Arachōtós, now known as the Arghandab River, a tributary of the Helmand River. The Greek term "Arachosia" corresponds to the Aryan land of Harauti which was around modern-day Helmand. The Arachosian capital or metropolis was called Alexandria or Alexandropolis and laid in what is today Kandahar in Afghanistan."

"Arachosia" is the Latinized form of Greek Ἀραχωσία - Arachōsíā. "The same region appears in the Avestan Vidēvdāt (1.12) under the indigenous dialect form Haraxvaitī- (whose -axva- is typical non-Avestan)." In Old Persian inscriptions, the region is written h-r-v-u-t-i. This form is the "etymological equivalent" of Vedic Sanskrit Sarasvatī-, the name of a (mythological) river literally meaning "rich in waters/lakes" and derived from sáras- "lake, pond." (cf. Aredvi Sura Anahita)."Arachosia" was named after the name of a river that runs through it, in Greek Arachōtós, today known as the Arghandab, a left bank tributary of the Helmand River."

Ariana and Arachosia...A 15th century reconstruction (by Nicolaus Germanus) of a 2nd-century map (by Ptolemy)....Following the Partition of Babylon, the region became part of the Seleucid Empire, which traded it to the Mauryan Empire in 305 BC as part of an alliance. The Sunga Dynasty overthrew the Mauryans in 185 BC, but shortly afterwards lost Arachosia to the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. It then became part of the break-away Indo-Greek Kingdom in the mid 2nd century BC....After 400 AD, Arachosia became part of the surviving Kushano-Hephthalite Kingdoms of Kapisa, then Kabul, before coming under attack from the Moslem Arabs."

"Menander’s successors, Queen Agathocleia and Strato I Soter, continued to reign for at least 40 years after his death, but their lives saw the emergence of a new dynasty in western India, that of the Sakas (Scythians) and Yueh-Chih from central Asia, and the Greek Bactrian era came to an end."....http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/milinda.pdf

"Tibetan histories and works on Kala Chakrait may be conjectured that this S'ambhala, very probably, was the capital of the Bactrian Empire of the Eastern Greeks who had embraced Buddhism. It is also conjectured that the modern city of Balkh must have been the site of their latest capital. The name of King Menander {Minendra) who erected a very lofty chaiti/a has been mentioned by the Kashmirian poet Ksomendra, in Avaddna Kalpalatd, a work that was finished in about 1035 A.D…."...https://archive.org/stream/grammaroftibetan00dass/grammaroftibetan00dass_djvu.txt

Arya: Sanskrit/Indian: Noble, great, truthful.....The word "Arya" itself is a Sanskrit and Avestan/Old Persian word that means "noble".

"The Greek term Arianē (Latin: Ariana) is based upon an Iranian word found in Avestan...... Airiiana- (especially in Airiianəm Vaēǰō, the name of the Iranian peoples' mother country). The modern name Iran represents a different form of the ancient name Ariana which derived from Airiianəm Vaēǰō and implies that Iran is "the" Ariana itself – a word of Old Iranian origin.- a view supported by the traditions of the country preserved in the Muslim writers of the ninth and tenth centuries.".....The names Ariana and Aria, and many other ancient titles of which Aria is a component element, are connected with the Sanskrit term Arya-, the Avestan term Airya-, and the Old Persian term Ariya-, a self designation of the peoples of Ancient India and Ancient Iran, meaning "noble", "excellent" and "honourable".

Click on the map to enlarge

"In page 193, of his Grammar, Alexander Csoma has the following passage: — .....He conjectured that S'ambhala must have been the capital of a kingdom ihat flourished in the early centuries of Christ and that S'ridhdnya Kataica was the Cuttak of Orissa. The last of the kings of S'ambhala is, however, not mentioned in the Ju!a Tantra....... It is stated that a king named Samudra Vijaya arrived at S'ambhala in 618 A.D., and shortly after that the period called, in the Tibetan chronology, (Me-kha-rgya-Mtsho*,) commenced. It is also stated that in 622 A.D., at Makha (Mecca) the Muhamadan religion was established. From what can be gathered from Tibetan histories and works on Kala Chakrait may be conjectured that this S'ambhala, very probably, was the capital of the Bactrian Empire of the Eastern Greeks who had embraced Buddhism. It is also conjectured that the modern city of Balkh must have been the site of their latest capital. The name of King Menander {in Sans. Minendra) whq erected a very lofty chaiti/a has been mentioned by the Kashmirian poet Ksomendra, in^ha Avaddna Kalpalatd, a work that was finished iu about 1035 A.D. ".....https://archive.org/stream/grammaroftibetan00dass/grammaroftibetan00dass_djvu.txt

"At various times, the region of Ariana was governed by the Persians (Achaemenids, 550–330 BC; Sasanians, 275–650 AD; Kushano-Sasanians, 345–450 AD), Macedonians (Seleucids, 330–250 BC; Greco-Bactrians, 250–110 BC; Indo-Greeks, 155–90 BC), Iranian peoples from Persia and Central Asia (Parthians, 160 BC–225 AD; Indo-Scythians, 90 BC–20 AD; Indo-Parthians, 20–225 AD; Kushans, 110 BC–225 AD), white Huns (Kidarites, 360–465 AD; Hephthalites, 450–565 AD), Indian empires (Mauryans, 275–185 BC; Hindu-Shahis)."

"Arya (Sanskrit, also ārya; Pāli: ariya) is a term frequently used in Buddhism that can be translated as "noble", "not ordinary", "valuable", "precious", "pure", etc. Arya in the sense of "noble" or "exalted" is frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero. The term is used in the following contexts:
The Four Noble Truths are called the catvāry ārya satyāni (Sanskrit) or cattāri ariya saccāni (Pali).
The Noble Eightfold Path is called the ārya mārga (Sanskrit, also āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga) or ariya magga (Pāli).
Buddha's Dharma and Vinaya are the ariyassa dhammavinayo.
In Buddhist texts, the āryas are those who have the Buddhist śīla (Pāli sīla, meaning "virtue") and follow the Buddhist path.
Buddhists who have attained one of the four levels of awakening (stream-entry, once-returner, non-returner, arahant) are themselves are called ariya puggalas (Arya persons).
Those who despise Buddhism are often called "anāryas".

"Professor Frank Holt, Professor of ancient Greek and Roman history wrote, Bactria (now Afghanistan) had been a center of civilization long before the rise of the Greek cities....William Dalrymple a British historian wrote. The Great Mughals to regard Afghanistan as a far more elegantly cultured place than India....Ariana- meaning "Land of the Aryans" Ariana (now Afghanistan) the name of the Iranian peoples mother country). Ariana was named after its one of provinces Aria, a region enclosed chiefly the valley of the Hari River which is modern day's Herat Province of Afghanistan.....Since the Indo-Aryan peoples built their first Kingdom in Bactria (now Balkh) scholars believe that it was from this area that different waves of Indo-Aryan peoples spread to Iran and Seistan, where they became today's Persian, Pashtuns, and Baloch, The ones that stayed in Bactria became Tajiks, who are located in modern Balkh and surrounding areas. The period between 26th- 20th century BC was the most important period in the history of Balkh."

Frank Lee Holt .....Alexander the Great and Bactria: The Formation of a Greek Frontier in Central Asia (1989)

"ARYA / HERAT ...by W. J. Vogelsang.......The present town of Herat in western Afghanistan dates back to ancient times, but its exact age remains unknown. In Achaemenid times (ca. 550-330 B.C.E.), the surrounding district was known as Haraiva (in Old Persian), and in classical sources the region was correspondingly known as Areia. In the Zoroastrian Avesta (Yašt 10.14; Vidēvdāt 1.9), the district is mentioned as Harōiva. The name of the district and its main town is derived from that of the chief river of the region, the Hari Rud (Old Iranian *Harayu “with velocity”; compare Sanskrit Saráyu [Mayrhofer, Dictionary III, p. 443]), which traverses the district and passes just south (5 km) of modern Herat. The naming of a region and its principal town after the main river is a common feature in this part of the world. (Compare the adjoining districts/rivers/towns of Arachosia and Bactria.)....The site of Herat dominates the productive part of ancient Areia, which was, and basically still is, a rather narrow stretch of land that extends for some 150 km along both banks of the Hari Rud, from near Obeh in the east to near Kuhsān in the west. At no point along its route is the valley more than 25 km wide. The city and district of Areia/Herat occupy an important strategic place along the age-old caravan routes across the Iranian Plateau.....http://lukferi.webs.com

William Dalrymple....

Bronkhorst, J.; Deshpande, M.M., eds. (1999), Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidence, Interpretation, and Ideology, Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University

F. R. Allchin and N. Hammond, The Archaeology of Afghanistan. From Earliest Times to the Timurid Period, London , 1978.

W. J. Vogelsang, The Rise and Organisation of the Achaemenid Empire. The Eastern Iranian Evidence, Leiden, 1992. Idem, The Afghans, Oxford, 2002.

"King Vishtasp of Bakhdi / Balkh.....Among the Farvardin Yasht's list of Zarathushtra's first "hearers and teachers" is Kavoish Vishtaspahe (Kava Vishtasp) (13.99). In the Yasht, Kava Vishtasp has a special place having a verse devoted to him. The common extrapolation is that Kava Vishtasp is the Kai Gushtasp (Gushtasp is a later form of Vishtasp) mentioned in later texts which also state that King Vishtasp's / Gushtasp's capital was Bakhdhi or Bakhdi, i.e. present day Balkh in Northern Afghanistan. ....Bakhdi is listed as a nation in the Vendidad but not in the Farvardin Yasht. These later texts also tell us that Zarathushtra died in Bakhdi/Balkh, killed by a Turanian. ...Balkh is directly south of Samarkand over an eastern spur of the Pamir mountains. The predecessors of present day Samarkand and Balkh are among the first nations listed in another (and later) book of the Avesta - the Vendidad."....http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/airyanavaeja.htm

Migration of the Aryans and Expansion of Aryan Lands....Before the era of legendary King Jamshid, see (Aryan Prehistory and Location of Aryan Homeland), the original Aryan homeland in the Avesta, Airyana Vaeja, could not have been very large. However, starting in the Jamshidi era and continuing up to the establishment of the Achaemenian Persian empire under Darius the Great, the Aryan lands did grow considerably in size."...http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/airyanavaeja.htm



John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2014


1 comment:

  1. Pozdrav . Arachosia is greek name for ancient Harahvatia - Harvatia - Ariana . Croatia .