Short notes on Impact of the Invasions

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For about 200 years, the Indo-Persian rule continues and the impact of such a relationship was tremendous. The Western world came to know more about India-the people and the country.

Contacts we established enhancing trade and commerce (ancient Persian coins found in the region north-west of India indicate this).

New scripts were introduced-Aramaic (referred to as Yavanani by Punini) and Kharoshthi, written from right to left like the Arabic script. The Kharoshthi script was used in Asokan inscriptions in the north-west.

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The Iranian impact was also felt in art and architecture. The Asokan bell-shaped capitals on pillars show influence of Iranian models. The preambles of Asoka’s edicts and the terms used therein (for the Iranian ‘dipi’, the Asokan scribe’s substituted ‘lipi’) follow the Iranian models and methods.

The Greeks, thus, came to know about the wealth of these regions. Alexander’s conquest of areas north-west of India and the adjacent parts increased contacts between ancient Europe and ancient India.

Four distinct routes (land and sea) were opened up and trading facilities increased. Alexander sent a fleet under Nearchus to explore, probably, the coast and to look for harbours from the mouth of River Indus to that of the River Euphrates.

The Greek historians of the time have left behind geographical accounts. Their records of Alexander’s campaign and their accounts of the socio-economic conditions in the north-west parts of India are a wealth of useful information.

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Alexander’s conquest meant a number of Greek settlements in the region and the extension of areas where the Greeks had settled earlier. These included the city of Alexandria (region of Kabul), Boukephala (on River Jhelum) and another Alexandria in the Sindh region.

The Macedonians established them in the north-west by defeating the petty states in the area. Thus, the various political units were joined into one and a kind of union established which greatly helped in consolidating Mauryan power in that region.

Probably, Chandragupta Maurya had seen the working of Alexander’s military and had acquired some knowledge which contributed to his rise as a strong emperor.

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