Δευτέρα, 29 Οκτωβρίου 2018

The military campaign of king Seleucus Nicator against India and the treaty that shield the friendship

Seleucus I Nicator (c. 358 BC - 281 BC; "Seleucus the Victor") was one of the Diadochi. Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over much of the territory in the Near East which Alexander had conquered. After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus initially supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, and was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus, Peithon and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC. At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater. But almost immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy. From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire. Seleucus' wars took him as far as India, where, after two years of war (305–303 BC), he was defeated by the armies of the Maurya Empireand made peace by marrying his daughter to king Chandragupta, whereupon he was rewarded a considerable force of 500 war elephants, which would play a decisive role against Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and against Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC. Seleucus' victories against Antigonus and Lysimachus left the Seleucid dynasty virtually unopposed in Asia and in Anatolia. However, Seleucus also hoped to take control of Lysimachus' European territories, primarily Thrace and Macedon itself. But upon arriving in Thrace in 281 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court with his sister Lysandra. The assassination of Seleucus destroyed Seleucid prospects in Thrace and Macedon, and paved the way for Ptolemy Ceraunus to absorb much of Lysimachus' former power in Macedon. Seleucus was succeeded by his son Antiochus I as ruler of the Seleucid empire. Seleucus founded new cities during his reign, including Antioch (300 BC) and in particular Seleucia on the Tigris (c. 305 BC), the new capital of the Seleucid Empire, a foundation that eventually depopulated Babylon. The event connected to Seleucus was the founding of the city of Seleucia. The city was built on the shore of the Tigris probably in 307 or 305 BC. Seleucus made Seleucia his new capital, thus imitating Lysimachus, Cassander and Antigonus, all of whom had named cities after themselves. Seleucus also transferred the mint of Babylon to his new city. Babylon was soon left in the shadow of Seleucia, and the story goes that Antiochus, the son of Seleucus, moved the whole population of Babylon to his father's namesake capital in 275 BC. The city flourished until AD 165, when the Romans destroyed it.
Before his death, Seleucus tried to deal with the administration of Asia Minor. The region was ethnically diverse, consisting of Greek cities, a Persian aristocracy and indigenous peoples. Seleucus perhaps tried to defeat Cappadocia, but failed. Lysimachus' old officer Philetairos ruled Pergamon independently. On the other hand, based on their names, Seleucus apparently founded a number of new cities in Asia Minor. Few of the letters Seleucus sent to different cities and temples still exist. All cities in Asia Minor sent embassies to their new ruler. It is reported that Seleucus complained about the number of letters he received and was forced to read. He was apparently a popular ruler. The Seleucid Empire became a major center of Hellenistic culture it maintained the preeminence of Greek customs where a Greek political elite dominated, mostly in the urban areas. The Greek population of the cities who formed the dominant elite were reinforced by immigration from Greece.
Chandragupta Maurya (reign: 321–297 BCE) was the founder of the Maurya Empire, which was originally centered in the Magadha region, but eventually expanded to include a larger part of ancient India. Chandragupta, under the tutelage of Chanakya, conquered the Nanda Empire and the eastern provinces of the Seleucid Empire, thus establishing the largest empire that would exist in the Indian subcontinent. Chandragupta's life and accomplishments are described in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Greek texts, but they vary significantly in details from the Jaina accounts. Megasthenes served as a Greek ambassador in his court for four years. In Greek and Latin accounts, Chandragupta is known as Sandrokottos and Androcottus. Chandragupta Maurya was a pivotal figure in the history of India. Prior to his consolidation of power, Alexander the Great had invaded the northwest Indian subcontinent, but would abandon further campaigning into India in 326 BCE due to a mutiny in his army. The Macedonian Empire left behind satrapies in the disputed northwestern Indian subcontinent. The region, previously being governed by the Achaemenid Empire since the conquests of Darius the Great, was once again contested over. The Indus Valley and adjoining regions would be conquered by Chandragupta during the Seleucid–Mauryan war. The Mauryan Empire would eventually extend from Bangladesh to Afghanistan, and incorporate most of the Indian subcontinent. After unifying much of India, Chandragupta and Chanakya passed a series of major economic and political reforms. He established a strong central administration from Pataliputra (Patna), patterned after Chanakya's text on governance and politics, the Arthashastra.Chandragupta's India was characterised by an efficient and highly organised structure. The empire built infrastructure such as irrigation, temples, mines and roads, leading to a strong economy. With internal and external trade thriving and agriculture flourishing, the empire built a large and trained permanent army to help expand and protect its boundaries. Chandragupta's reign, as well the dynasty that followed him, was an era when many religions thrived in India, with Buddhism, Jainism and Ajivika gaining prominence.
The Seleucid–Mauryan War was fought between 305 and 303 BCE. It started due to the occupation of the Indian satrapies of the Macedonian Empire by Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, of the Maurya Empire. Seleucus I Nicator, of the Seleucid Empire, sought to retake those territories. The war ended in a settlement resulting in the annexation the Indus Valley region and perhaps Afghanistan to the Mauryan Empire, with Chandragupta securing control over the areas that he had sought, and a marriage alliance between the two powers. After the war, the Mauryan Empire emerged as the dominant power of the Indian Subcontinent. The Persian provinces in what is now modern Afghanistan, together with the wealthy kingdom of Gandhara and the states of the Indus Valley, had all submitted to Alexander the Great and become part of his empire. Appian : " Seleucis was always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus." Alexander the Great had appointed satraps in control of his territories. Similarly satraps were appointed to govern the Indus Valley.
The Mauryans had annexed the areas of Indus valley governed by four such Greek satraps: Nicanor, Phillip, Eudamus and Peithon. This established Mauryan control to the banks of the Indus. Chandragupta's victories convinced Seleucus that he needed to secure his eastern flank. Seeking to hold the Macedonian territories there, Seleucus thus came into conflict with the emerging and expanding Mauryan Empire over the Indus Valley. So began the Seleucid-Mauryan War. Appian : "Seleucus crossed the Indus and waged war with Sandrocottus [Maurya], king of the Indians, who dwelt on the banks of that stream, until they came to an understanding with each other and contracted a marriage relationship. Some of these exploits were performed before the death of Antigonus and some afterward."
Chandragupta's army was large, well trained and paid directly by the state as suggested by his counsellor Chanakya. It was estimated at hundreds of thousands of soldiers in Greek accounts. For example, his army is mentioned to have 400,000 soldiers, according to Strabo: " Megasthenes was in the camp of Sandrocottus, which consisted of 400,000 men." Pliny the Elder, who also drew from Megasthenes' work, gives even larger numbers of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 9,000 war elephants. Mudrarakshasa mentions that Chandragupta's army consisted of Sakas, Yavanas (Greeks), Kiratas, Kambojas, Parasikas and Bahlikas. Seleucus I Nicator's invasion of India (c.306-303 BC) was one of a series of obscure campaigns fought by Seleucus in an attempt to gain control of the eastern part of his recently regained kingdom. The events of the war between Seleucus and Chandragupta are obscure. Seleucus crossed the Indus, and may have advanced towards the Ganges. If there were any major battles Chandragupta must have won them, for when the war ended (possibly in 303 BC) the peace was greatly to his advantage. Seleucus abandoned any claims east of the Indus and also transferred the satrapies of the Parapanisadai (around Kabul), Aria (around Heart) and Arachosia (around Kandahar) and possible eastern Gedrosia to Chandragupta. In return he was given 500 war elephants. The treaty was to be ratified by a marriage alliance between the two men.
Seleucus obtained knowledge of most of northern India, as explained by Pliny the Elder through his numerous embassies to the Mauryan Empire. Seleucus apparently minted coins during his stay in India, as several coins in his name are in the Indian standard and have been excavated in India. These coins describe him as "Basileus" ("King"), which implies a date later than 306 BC. Some of them also mention Seleucus in association with his son Antiochus as king, which would also imply a date as late as 293 BC. No Seleucid coins were struck in India thereafter and confirm the reversal of territory west of the Indus to Chandragupta. Seleucus have founded a navy in the Persian Gulf and in the Indian Ocean. The two rulers seem to have been on very good terms, as classical sources have recorded that following their treaty, Chandragupta sent various presents such as aphrodisiacs to Seleucus.
Strabo : " The Indians occupy in part some of the countries situated along the Indus, which formerly belonged to the Persians: Alexander deprived the Ariani of them, and established there settlements of his own. But Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract (Epigamia), and received in return five hundred elephants." The details of the engagement treaty are not known, but since the extensive sources available on Seleucus never mention an Indian princess, it is thought that the marital alliance went the other way, with Chandragupta himself or his son Bindusara marrying a Seleucid princess, in accordance with contemporary Greek practices to form dynastic alliances. An Indian Puranic source, the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana, described the marriage of Chandragupta with a Greek ("Yavana") princess, daughter of Seleucus, before accurately detailing early Mauryan genealogy. Pratisarga Parva : "Chandragupta married with a daughter of Suluva, the Yavana king of Pausasa. Thus, he mixed the Buddhists and the Yavanas. He ruled for 60 years. From him, Vindusara was born and ruled for the same number of years as his father. His son was Ashoka." In a return gesture, Chandragupta sent 500 war elephants to Seleucus, which played a key role in the victory of Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus. In addition to this treaty, Seleucus dispatched an ambassador, Megasthenes, to Chandragupta, and later king Antiochos sent Deimakos to his son Bindusara, at the Maurya court at Pataliputra (Patna).  After Chandragupta's renunciation, his son Bindusara succeeded as the Maurya Emperor. Chandragupta had a marriage alliance with the Seleucids, which has led to speculation that Bindusara's mother might have been Greek or Macedonian. Bindusara. maintained friendly relations with Greek governors in Asia and Egypt. Bindusara's son Ashoka became one of the most influential rulers in India's history due to his extension of the Empire to the entire Indian subcontinent as well as his role in the worldwide propagation of Buddhism.
Πηγή : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_I_Nicator

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