1st Edition

The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World

Edited By Rachel Mairs Copyright 2021
    712 Pages 186 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    712 Pages 186 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume provides a thorough conspectus of the field of Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek studies, mixing theoretical and historical surveys with critical and thought-provoking case studies in archaeology, history, literature and art.

    The chapters from this international group of experts showcase innovative methodologies, such as archaeological GIS, as well as providing accessible explanations of specialist techniques such as die studies of coins, and important theoretical perspectives, including postcolonial approaches to the Greeks in India. Chapters cover the region’s archaeology, written and numismatic sources, and a history of scholarship of the subject, as well as culture, identity and interactions with neighbouring empires, including India and China.

    The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World is the go-to reference work on the field, and fulfils a serious need for an accessible, but also thorough and critically-informed, volume on the Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms. It provides an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the Hellenistic East.

    The Introduction and Chapter 17 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license

    1. Introduction.

    Rachel Mairs

    Part I: Interactions

    2. The Seleukid Empire

    Rolf Strootman

    3. South Asia

    Sushma Jansari

    4. Parthia

    Jacopo Bruno

    5. Central Asia and the Steppe

    Sören Stark

    6. China and Bactria during the reign of Emperor Wu in written tradition and in archaeology

    Lukas Nickel

    Part II: History of scholarship

    7. The Quest for Bactra: Scholarship on the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom from its origins to the end of colonialism

    Omar Coloru

    8. The Original ‘failure’? A century of French archaeology in Afghan Bactria

    Annick Fenet

    9. Hellenism with or without Alexander the Great: Russian, Soviet and Central Asian approaches

    Svetlana Gorshenina and Claude Rapin

    Part IV: Regional archaeological survey

    10. Afghan Bactria

    Laurianne Martienz-Sève

    11. Southern Uzbekistan

    Ladislav Stančo

    12. Southern Tajikistan

    Gunvor Lindström

    13. Sogdiana

    Bertille Lyonnet

    14. Merv and Margiana

    Gabriele Puschnigg

    15. Arachosia, Drangiana and Areia

    Warwick Ball

    16. Gandhāra and North-Western India

    Luca M. Olivieri

    Part IV: Written sources

    17. Greek inscriptions and documentary texts and the Graeco-Roman historical tradition

    Rachel Mairs

    18. Reading the Milindapañha: Indian historical sources and the Greeks in Bactria

    Olga Kubica

    19. Chinese historical sources and the Greeks in the Western Regions

    Juping Yang

    Part V: Numismatic sources

    20. History from coins: The role of numismatics in the study of the Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek worlds

    Simon Glenn

    21. Two sides of the coin: from Sophytes to Skanda-Kārttikeya

    Sushma Jansari

    22. Dating Bactria's independence to 246/5 BC?

    Jens Jakobsson

    23. Monetary politics during the early Graeco-Bactrian kingdom (250-190 BCE)

    Olivier Bordeaux

    24. The last phase of the Indo-Greeks: Methods, interpretations and new insights in reconstructing the past

    Shailendra Bhandare

    Part VI: Culture and identity

    25. Ai Khanoum, between east and west: A composite architecture

    Guy Lecuyot

    26. Globalization and interpreting visual culture

    Milinda Hoo

    27. Representation of Greek gods/goddesses in Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek visual culture

    Suchandra Ghosh

    28. Roman objects in the Begram hoard and the memory of Greek rule in Kushan Central Asia

    Lauren Morris

    Part VII: Beyond the Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek worlds

    29. Central Asia in the Achaemenid period

    Xin Wu

    30. Achaemenid north-west South Asia

    Cameron A. Petrie

    31. Greekness after the end of the Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms

    Joe Cribb


    Rachel Mairs is Professor of Classics and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Reading, UK. She has previously held positions at New York University, the University of Oxford and Brown University. Her publications include The Hellenistic Far East:Archaeology, Language and Identity in Greek Central Asia (2014), Archaeologists, Tourists, Interpreters (with Maya Muratov, 2015) and From Khartoum to Jerusalem: The Dragoman Solomon Negima and his Clients (2016). In 2016 she founded the Hellenistic Central Asia Research Network.

    "...[A] doubly valuable contribution to this field of study. Not only does it offer the reader a synthesis of the most recent research, interpretations and discoveries (archaeological, historical, epigraphic and numismatic), but also highlights a number of methodological and theoretical insights into fraught issues such as culture and identity... [T]his volume is a very useful resource for students, lecturers and researchers alike. It offers an invaluable state of the art on research connected to Hellenistic Central Asia as well as a snapshot of key theoretical and methodological debates taking place." - The Classical Review


    "[T]his volume is now the standard reference on the topic, a common point of departure for a new generation of readers. Its immediate assumption of this role is all but ensured by the precipitous timing of its release, at the end of two decades of coalition forces in Afghanistan and the rapid transformations that come with the return of Taliban rule. Current circumstances are very much on the minds of those working on this part of the world, who fear for the well-being of friends, colleagues, and the Afghan people. A dispassionate observer might note that avenues of access may be closing and that items of cultural heritage may well be subjected to intensified destruction and looting. One might say that the encyclopedic scope of this project befits this new precarity, an academic recourse to preserve and protect what might be lost." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review