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Full Access Hellenism in Central Asia and the North-West of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent: The Epigraphic Evidence 1

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Hellenism in Central Asia and the North-West of the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent: The Epigraphic Evidence 1

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Abstract The Greek inscriptions from Central Asia give information mainly on the three centuries before our era, particularly on the 3rd and 2nd century BC. In the Greek inscriptions from Central Asia, we notice the absence of any sign of a civic life; the inscriptions, however, clearly show firstly on which cultural frontier the Greeks of Central Asia lived and secondly how proudly they asserted their cultural identity. The presence in Central Asia of a living Greek culture is unquestionable, and the most striking fact is that the authors of the inscriptions were proud of the Greek culture. Their Greek names however do not necessarily reveal the ethnic origin, and we do not know whether among them there were “assimilated” Bactrians or Indians. The Greeks, at any rate, constituted a limited community of people living very far from their country of origin, at the borders of two foreign worlds (Iranian and Indian) which were far bigger and older than theirs.

10.1163/157005712X638681
/content/journals/10.1163/157005712x638681
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Abstract The Greek inscriptions from Central Asia give information mainly on the three centuries before our era, particularly on the 3rd and 2nd century BC. In the Greek inscriptions from Central Asia, we notice the absence of any sign of a civic life; the inscriptions, however, clearly show firstly on which cultural frontier the Greeks of Central Asia lived and secondly how proudly they asserted their cultural identity. The presence in Central Asia of a living Greek culture is unquestionable, and the most striking fact is that the authors of the inscriptions were proud of the Greek culture. Their Greek names however do not necessarily reveal the ethnic origin, and we do not know whether among them there were “assimilated” Bactrians or Indians. The Greeks, at any rate, constituted a limited community of people living very far from their country of origin, at the borders of two foreign worlds (Iranian and Indian) which were far bigger and older than theirs.

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1. Bernard P. "Langue et épigraphie grecques dans l’Asie centrale à l’époque hellénistique" Greek Archaeology without Frontiers 2002 Athens 75 108
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2012-01-01
2016-12-08

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