HIST/SIS 225--Lecture Outline
The Crossroads of Civilizations

I. Empires and cultural exchange in "Central Asia."

A. Nomads from the north.
B. Persian empires and culture--the Achaemenids and their religious, urban and administrative legacies.
C. "States" that sit astride the Hindu Kush.
D. Cultural syncretism.

II. The Graeco-Bactrian legacy of Alexander the Great.

A. Why would the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (after 272 BCE) have his edicts copied in Greek?
B. After the battle of Gaugamela in 331 BCE.
1. Garrisons, conscription and cities.
2. Successor states: Seleucids and others.
C. Material evidence.
1. The world of Classical culture: Stobi, Ephesus.
2. The Greeks in the East.
a. Centers of Greek culture: Ay Khanum (on the Oxus) under Eucratides the Great 170-145 BCE and Taxila-Sirkap (Indus Valley). b. Greek gods on coins.
c. Metalwork and sculpture in Gandhara and adjoining regions: Classical, Indian, and Nomadic traditions and their mix.
d. Contributions to early Buddhist imagery.

III. From Yeh-chih (Yuezhi) to Kushans.