The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World  book cover
1st Edition

The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World

Edited By

Rachel Mairs

ISBN 9781138090699
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
712 Pages 186 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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