|November 29th, 2015, 12:06 AM||#3|
Influence of Greeks on India & Vice Versa
Not much is discussed on Indian influence on Greeks. May be some exchange of metaphysical thought would have happened. For example Alexander's army experiencing spectacle of Indian Kalanous who burned himself on funeral pyre. In addition to cotton, Greeks began using elephants in their army.
The direct contact between India and Greeks in Greece (Europe) lasted for a short time - about 76 years (323-247 BC) when contact was reduced / cut-off once the Parthian Empire arose. But the Greeks continued near / within Indian subcontinent as Bactrian Greeks (Afghanistan) and Indo-Greeks for further 237 years, that is till the last Greek king in circa 10 BC.
Influence was a two-way process. It seems Greek influence on Indian is much more.
First in art represented in Gandhara Art which influence spread to China etc also.
Most probably Hindus & Jains picked up the idea of making temples from temples to Greek gods & kings built by Indo-Greek kings. Their style of coinage – with king’s face on the coins was picked up by Western Kshatraps and Guptas.
One of my pet is that depiction of nudity or sexually explicit images in Indian art was inspired by Greek influence.
They influenced Indian astronomy also. There is book in Sanskrit titled ‘Yavanajataka’.
Then Greeks civilization declined and was replaced by undivided Roman Empire (27 BC – 285 AD). They traded more with coastal India – Malabar and Coromandal coast. Romans became addicted to Indian spices and clothes, and colors. However, again the contact was limited (only thru trade) because conquest these Romans stopped in Iraq, did not extend further east. Indian merchants travelled to Socotra Island (in Indian Ocean south of Yemen) and reached upto Alexandria city (Egypt).
Roman astronomy for sure had deep influence the Indian branch of this science. There is mention of ‘Romaka Siddhanta’ in Indian astronomy as one of the sources.
Interested to know more.