Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Transition between two great rulers, Chandragupta and Asoka

Chandragupta’s death did not mean the end of the Mauryan Empire, which was to flourish for another four centuries. The most famous ruler was to be his grandson, Asoka, but we cannot ignore the binding role played by his son Bindusara.

[Maurya Empire at its maximum extent]

Bindusara came to the throne in 297 BC, and this was six years after the death of Seleucos but the friendly relations between the Seleucid empire and the Mauryan empire were not interrupted. In 280 BC, Seleucos I had been replaced by his son Antiochus I while Megasthenes, his ambassador at the Mauryan court was replaced by Deimachos. Unfortunately, very few of the new envoy’s records have survived.

There are some speculations that Bindusara’s mother might have been Greek or even Macedonian based on the fact that his father had made a marriage alliance with Seleucos. Yet there is no hard proof for this theory.

There is, however, an interesting anecdote worth to be mentioned about the relation between Bindusara and Antiochus, whether it is true or not. Nothing being sweeter than figs, Bindusara apparently begged Antiochus to send him some figs and while he was at it, some raisin wine as well; he added that he would like him to buy and send him a professor. The irony of the situation cannot have escaped Antiochus who sent him the figs and the wine, but told Bindusara that he could not oblige him with his last wish since it was unlawful for Greeks to sell a professor.

Otherwise, nothing much has been recorded about the reign of Bindusara but he seems to have walked in his father’s footsteps and worked on consolidating his empire rather than expanding India further. It also transpires that Chanakya, the famous and highly competent minister of Chandragupta continued to serve his son with the same dedication.

It is certain, however, that Bindusara maintained the peace during his 25 years of kingship and managed to keep the empire together for his son, Asoka. He died in 272 BC at the age of 48.

All these events, it should be said, evolved at a time when the wars of succession for Alexander’s Empire finally settled down.

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