How Alexander’s invasion worked for the Greeks and Indians

Indian campaign of Alexander the Great – Alexander’s Indian Invasion

The Greeks and the Iranians struggled for world dominion in the fourth century BC. The Greeks finally defeated the Iranian empire under the guidance of Alexander of Macedonia

Alexander captured Asia Minor and Iraq, including it he also conquered Iran. Alexander marched from Iran to India, clearly enticed by the country’s vast wealth. Herodotus, recognized as the father of history and perhaps other Greek authors had presented India as a fantastic realm that attracted Alexander to attack it. Alexander was also inspired by geographical research and the history of nature.

How Alexander's invasion worked for the Greeks and Indians

He learned that the Caspian Sea extended to India’s eastern coast. He was also influenced by legends about former conquerors, whom he aspired to mimic and exceed.

His designs were adapted to the political situation in northwest India. The territory was divided into several autonomous monarchs and tribal republics, all of which were deeply rooted in the land and dedicated to the sovereign in which they resided. It was simple for Alexander to capture these states one by one.

 Ambhi, the king of Taxila, and Porus, whose dominion stretched in between Jhelum and the Chenab, were two of the most well-known kings of these lands. They could have effectively blocked Alexander’s approach if they had joined forces, but they were unable to do it.

Following his colonization of Iran, Alexander marched to Kabul, from whence he crossed the Khyber Pass into India in 326 BC. The journey to the Indus took him five months. Ambhi, the monarch of Taxila, willingly surrendered to Alexander, bolstering his army and refilling his wealth.

Alexander met the earliest and most vehement resistance from Porus when he arrived at the Jhelum. Even though Alexander vanquished Porus, he was fascinated by the Indian prince’s bravery and courage. As a result, he gave him his kingdom back and made him an ally. He then begins to the Beas River.

 He intended to travel even further east, but his troops refused to follow him. The armed forces of Greek had become jaded and ill as a result of the conflict. Due to India’s scorching temperature and 10 years of nonstop campaigning, they were homesick.

They experienced an Indian combat ability on the Indus riverbank ‘In the art of fighting, the Indians were vastly superior to the other people inhabited the area at the time,’ writes Greek historian Arrian.

The Greek soldiers, in particular, were warned of a powerful force on the Ganges. This was the kingdom of Magadha, governed by the Nandas, who had a considerably larger force than Alexander

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Despite Alexander’s repeated requests for them to advance, the Greek warriors stood still. Alexander bemoaned attempted to raise the hearts of those who are disloyal and crushed by greedy worries.

The monarch, who had never experienced loss at the hands of his foes, had to accept the failure of his troops. He was compelled to flee, and his ambition of establishing an eastern kingdom was demolished. 

Alexander defeated several weak republics on his comeback march until he arrived at the termination of the Indian boundary. He fought continuously in India for 19 months (326-325BC), leaving him little time to arrange his victories. Nonetheless, he made preparations.

Most captured states were returned to their rulers when they agreed to submit to his authority. His territory, on the other hand, was divided into three portions and sent to three Greek rulers.  A few cities were explored to retain his strength in that particular location.

Effects of Alexander’s Invasion:

The invasion of Alexander brought ancient Europe and ancient South Asia together for the first time. Alexander’s campaign in India was a resounding success.

He expanded his dominion by conquering an Indian region that was substantially larger than Iran’s. The Greek territories in India, on the other hand, were quickly defeated by  Maurya kings.

The invasion’s most significant result was the establishment of direct interaction among India and Greek in a variety of disciplines. Alexander’s war opened up four unique land and sea routes, laying the foundation for Greek traders and artisans and expanding commercial opportunities. 

Although there were some Greek settlements in the northwest previous to Alexander’s invasion, the invasion greatly increased the number of Greek communities in this area.

How Alexander's invasion worked for the Greeks and Indians

The cities of Alexandria in Kabul, Boukephala of Jhelum, and Alexandria located on the Sindh were the most significant. Even though the Mauryas controlled the entire region, the Greeks remained to reside under Chandragupta of the Mauryan empire and Ashoka. 

Alexander was fascinated by the geology of the strange ocean that he first saw near the entrance of the Indus River. Initiating the Riverbank of  Indus towards the entrance of the Euphrates, he ordered his new fleet, led by his companion Nearchus, to survey the coast and look for harbors. 

As a result, Alexander’s historians left excellent topographical reports as well as properly dated documents of Alexander’s campaign, allowing us to build a reliable Indian timeframe for successive events. Alexander’s historians also give us valuable insight into the socio-economic situations of the time.

They educate us about the tragic situation, impoverished parents selling their daughters in marketplaces, and the north-west breed of beautiful oxen. From there, Alexander dispatched 2lakh oxen for   Macedonia to be used in Greece. Carpentry was India’s most popular craft, with carpenters creating chariots and ships. 

Alexander’s invasion prepared the path for the Maurya empire to expand in north-west India by removing the authority of small kingdoms. According to legend, Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya dynasty, witnessed the operation of Alexander’s military machine and learned something from it. Resulting in the demolition of Nanda’s strength. 

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