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The Greeks in Bactria and India (Cambridge Library Collection - Classics) Paperback – June 24, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1108009416 ISBN-10: 1108009417 Edition: 1st

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Book Description

The second edition (1966) of the first published work on the Greek kingdoms of Bactria and India to treat them as Hellenistic states. Beginning with an overview of the Seleucid settlement after the death of Alexander the Great, it covers the years between 206 and 145 BCE.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Classics
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (June 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1108009417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1108009416
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LRE on July 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have Tarn in the Ares reprint that includes a bibliography by Frank Lee Holt.

The description of this book is misleading. Most of the volume discusses the minuta of Tarns reconstuction of very obscure history. His main literary sources are the Epitome of Trogus and Strabo. The coin evidence which leads him into areas of wild speculation based on types found in hords is ubiqitous. They are always interspersed with equally turgid discussins of scraps of of literary souces.

It is difficult to read significance into Roman coin evidence with its titles(Parthicus) and come up with something significant. Trajan's attept to annex the western part of Pathia is reconstucted in this way and is only slightly more convincing.

Tarn with his great man approach to history makes far too much of the coin portraits as relevatory of character(?!).

Unfortunately there is nowhere else to start. But you can move forward from Tarn To A.K Narain's The Indo Greeks: Revised and Supplimented, Narain's book is his revised dissertation, another turgid almost point by point critique of Tarn using more Indian literary sources, a copy of an accesable chapter from The Cambridge Anchient History, his book on coins (reprinted by Ares back in the day), and some useful charts.

That brings up the matter of maps which in both Tarn and Narain are just horribe. The original edition of Tarn contained larger copies in a map pocket, but they still were insufficient. I suspect that maps before and just after the partiton and liberation of India by the British might help. These authors drop place names regularly with the expectation that all readers have large scale maps of the relevant portions of the subcontinent jammed in their memory.

So I give Tarn three stars and tell you to buy him if you want to struggle through this difficult period of Hellenism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karthikeyan on January 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since there are not too many books on this topic, you may consider this a god send. Though author seems extrapolating at many places in the book with his conjectures; the book is definitely comprehensive and well researched in most places
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This is a outstanding book on a little known people, the The Greeks of Bactria, today called Afghanistan. They were a foreign people left by Alexander the Great's conquest. They and the local people worked together to create a country that became powerful from 206B.C. to 145B.C. They would invade India and conquer further than Alexander the Great did. The nomads of Central Asia would invade and destroy this Kingdom and form a new Empire called the Kushan. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Be aware that most of Tarn's work cannot be supported by the evidence, as he was determined to weave together a narrative history. Historians, in reality, "know" very little about Bactria as the only remaining primary evidence from the period is the coin collection; aside from that, you have archaeology and secondary histories written after the fall of Bactria. Read the work of Frank Holt, arguably the best contemporary historian who researches this field. I have given this work two stars instead of one simply due to the "classic" nature of the book, but not because it should be the authority on Bactrian history.
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