Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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70                Greek and Semi-Greek

After their advent, it became the capital of eastern
Iran, separated from the rest of the Persian Empire
by the vast Karmanian Desert, and never perfectly
subdued. It became a fixed policy on the part
of the Persian kings to leave the satrapy of Baktria
in a state of practical independence, as it formed
an outpost against the ever-growing menace of the
Skythian hordes beyond the Oxus. Baktra was
famous in Persian literature as the centre of the
worship of Anahid, probably, a Skythian goddess
originally, who had there a great temple. Baktra
fell, like the rest of Persia, before the invincible
arms of Alexander, and formed a natural base for
his invasion of India. Of the far-reaching projects
of Alexander, his colonies in the Indus valley,
and their fate, we have already spoken. Meanwhile
Baktria, which had been made an important
Macedonian settlement, became a part of the
Syrian Empire, until its ruler, a certain Diodotus,
took advantage of the incessant wars which
distracted the king's attention to declare himself
an independent sovereign. Parthia quickly fol¬
lowed suit. This must have been about 250 B.C.,
or a little later. Baktria finally extorted her
independence in 208 B.C., when Antiochus III,
after an unsuccessful siege of the capital, acknow¬
ledged the claims of Euthydemus, the Baktrian
ruler, and gave him a Seleukid princess in marriage.
Meanwhile, the great Empire of the Mauryas
was slowly breaking up. A succession of weak
monarchs followed the death of Asoka in 231 B.C.,
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