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Anaxandridas ho Skandiates

Antiquity Expert's Main Thread

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Dear friends and leaders of the 0 A.D. project and community.


I am an expert in the ancient history of Greece and Rome, fluent in Latin and Greek with a broad network of specialist experts in both languages. WE FIND YOUR PROJECT FANTASTIC AND CAN HELP YOU WITH

- (real) Greek Hellenistic pronounciation and grammar

- (real) Naming of buildings/institutions

- Architectural expertise (library of 10.000+ images of Hellenistic art available) to improve your already great buildings for hist. accuracy

- An overview of ALL technologies developed in Greece and the Hellenistic world, for use in the 'Academy' building, as well as a realistic estimate of their actual importance to history.


To be honest I am working on important stuff and technically should not have time for this, but the effort of all of you here astonishes me, and it is worth it. It will have to be a work in progress, but we can start with the technologies, a few building design 'repairs' so to speak, and a clarification about Greek pronounciation. THANK YOU for your great work! Long live 0 A.D.

 

 

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Pronounciation:
A proposal is to use classical Greek ~350BC as astandard, since the ruling class and nobility always mastered it, and it remained the language of government in Greek civilization, and actually it was the language of Roman nobility as well. You will remember that Cicero studied at a Greek academy, and Caesar did not say "Alea iacta est" but quoted Menandros in Greek. All Romans of education spoke Greek.
This is proposed because it would be super complicated to create separate Greek voice-recordings for ALL Greek civs here (Ptolemaic accent, Seleucid accent, etc.)
 

It would technically be reasonable to use Demotic Egyptian for the Ptolemaic peasants, Attic dialect for Athenian peasants etc. etc., but would it not overcomplicate matters?

Have you thought about creating civilian units like the "philosopher" who could improve tech advancement when 'garrisoned' with others inside the academy, or the "architect" who could improve buildings, or would be necessary to build advanced ones, etc.?

Would it not be great if it were possible to win on "civilization points" as a defensive civilization, within great walls - by building ever more great buildings within a timeframe? (as variant of 'wonder' scenario, a combination of tech and smaller wonder-like structures, libraries, temples etc.?)

Just some ideas. More to come. AVE ATQVE VALE!

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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Architecturally, the Ptolemaic designs are very beautiful, BUT, you need to add some more classical Greek structures - that woud make it actual Ptolemaic. There is a strong tendency to mix too much "old egypt" in - it was a mixture, yes, but Greek architecture dominated.

Just for clarification: I am not Greek, but Scandinavian.

Also you want to make the Pharos taller, and provide a huge ramp, and put a statue on top. I can even provide you with the correct font and inscription actually set in golden letters into the pharos lighthouse! The fire was up on the "platform", not inside a "case", and a mirror reflected the light - possibly designed by archimedes himself! It was THE Ptolemaic wonder, possibly the greatest of all the ancient world, likely between 120 and 135 metres tall.

If you stick with the pyramids, notice that your golden tip (Pyramidion) should be much smaller.
The Greek Theatron has mediocre late-Roman mosaics posted to its outer walls ;-) that is cute, but you might want to have a look at the theatre reconstruction I will share here tomorrow, for modification! (post limit exceeded?)

Thank you as always for your awesome work! Greetings Anaxandridas
 

Pharos realheight.jpg

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Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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Hi,

Thank you for your proposal and your help.

6 minutes ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Architecturally, the Ptolemaic designs are very beautiful, BUT, you need to add some more classical Greek structures - that woud make it actual Ptolemaic. There is a strong tendency to mix too much "old egypt" in - it was a mixture, yes, but Greek architecture dominated.

Yup, we know and your help could be useful in these threads:

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Hello and welcome!

0 A.D. is a project that has been (and still is) in development for years; what we have right now is the result of numerous volunteers contributing in their free time, which is great. People come and go, though, and not everyone has the same standards or is fully aware of what has been done before; as a consequence the game is full of inconsistencies (the game is still in alpha stage and is not perfect); e.g. at least three different transcriptions of Greek are currently used, e.g. η is sometimes written as e, sometimes ē, sometimes i.

15 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Pronounciation:
A proposal is to use classical Greek ~350BC as astandard, since the ruling class and nobility always mastered it, and it remained the language of government in Greek civilization, and actually it was the language of Roman nobility as well. You will remember that Cicero studied at a Greek academy, and Caesar did not say "Alea iacta est" but quoted Menandros in Greek. All Romans of education spoke Greek.
This is proposed because it would be super complicated to create separate Greek voice-recordings for ALL Greek civs here (Ptolemaic accent, Seleucid accent, etc.)
 

It would technically be reasonable to use Demotic Egyptian for the Ptolemaic peasants, Attic dialect for Athenian peasants etc. etc., but would it not overcomplicate matters?

I believe the idea is to have two sets of Greek: Attic for the Classical factions and Koine for the Hellenistic states. However, Greek text strings currently in game appear a mixture of Modern, Hellenistic, and Classical, and voice recordings are very much a work in progress.

Anyway, if you're interested in actively contributing to the development version of 0 A.D., you probably should register at https://code.wildfiregames.com/ and https://trac.wildfiregames.com/ as well.

 

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The idea is to have two sets of Greek? Attic for Athens, Sparta, Macedon - and Koine for Seleucid, Ptolemaic empires?

That is doable, but you want to seriously get an expert to lead that. I will do all that I can, but let me get into contact with your "boss team" over the next weeks - we can do this. At all costs we want to avoid people investing lots of effort and time only to have a result that is not-historically-correct-at-all. There is a real danger of this happening. I recently saw BBC-documentaries with "experts" from top-notch universities walking around Greek ruins, trying to "read" aloud the text; the experts in grammar and text are often the worst speakers (try imagining Donald Trump speaking French).


Transcription should be standardized to 350 B.C. Attic - otherwise it will confuse more than it helps. It is already super complicated as it is.

The classical Greek of the 4th century was the Greek of all the great figures, all the way until late antiquity. This is what higher education taught, this is what the pronounciation-manuals were written to standardize. Koine is based on high-style Attic.

Therefore you want to STANDARDIZE your transcription (unit/building name tags etc.) and pronounciation as follows:

Β β - beta, as in "Bike!" translit.: B
Γ γ - gamma, as in "Greek"  --- two ΓΓ creates "ng" sound, hence ΑΓΓΕΛΟΙ ("angeloi", messengers/angels) translit.: G/NG
Ε ε - epsilon, as in German "sehr" translit.: E
Ζ ζ - dzeta/zdeta, either pronounced "ds" or "sd"! translit.: Z
Η η - heta, as in "hell" translit.: E
Θ θ - theta, as in "tax" translit.: TH
Ξ ξ - ksi, as in "axis" translit.: X
Ο ο - omikron, as in German "Sohn" translit.: O
Π π - pi, as b in english "blister" translit.: P
Ρ ρ - rho, rolled as in Italian "Roma" translit.: RH
Τ τ - tau, as in "astonished" translit.: T
Υ υ - ypsilon, as in German "für" translit.: Y
Φ φ - phi, as in "please" translit.: PH
Χ χ -  chi, as c in "casting" translit.: CH
Ψ ψ - psi, as in "epilepsytranslit.: PS
Ω ω - omega, as in "sloooooow" translit.: O
The letter "U" did not exist. The Greeks wrote ΟΥ, sounding as in "moon" (ΜΟΥΝ!). translit.: OU

Antiquity used ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS. (The small letters are included here for your convenience.)
The sound "F" did not exist at all, nor did the "th" of "the". If you hear it, you know it is not Greek from antiquity.
(Finally you want to avoid the later variant signs ω for Ω-omega, and C for Σ-sigma, on inscriptions or in artwork!)

I need a list of people who know basic Greek here in the forum, who can help seek out direct quotations from Greek history books and dialogues.


I saw that a Persian gentlemen had contributed with Farsi somewhere here as well - to this I can only advise you CAUTION, CAUTION, CAUTION:

The situation is even more difficult than with Greek - you will want to take the greatest care. Here is a beginner's introduction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Aramaic_language#Imperial_Aramaic

For the Persians (which have some very cool Achaemenid-style structures! ΚΥΔΟΣ!) you will want to use either:
- Imperial Aramaic (lingua franca of the empire!)
- Old Persian (as standardized in the Behistun inscriptions!)

Finding someone who can speak proper Old Persian or Imperial Aramaic.... good luck, they are out there somewhere, but you need experts to find them. I can help you later? But any Old Persian expert must be able to speak at least two other languages without an accent for his Oldpersian to be believable; and speak Sanskrit too, I think that is a must.

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Quote

That is doable, but you want to seriously get an expert to lead that. I will do all that I can, but let me get into contact with your "boss team" over the next week

lol, if you starting that way...

@Itms

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Here a few theatres, and also the Oracle of Zeus at Dodona - temples usually had enclosures like this, very important aspect also for Ptolemaic buildings etc.

ALL THE "GREEK" THEATRES YOU THINK YOU KNOW are very nice, but built by Greeks/Romans during the ROMAN IMPERIAL ERA, expanded, with taller buildings, different styles, etc.

Find below examples of what classical and hellenistic-age theatres looked like. You will notice they have rather low scene buildings, and are "open".

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18 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

lol, if you starting that way...

@Itms

You can of course just do like they did with "Helen of Troy", "Alexander", etc. etc., make up stuff and pretend it is historical reality. But part of why I like this project is because it strives to be something better.

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Nice to get some historians interested into the game. It does not happen often though I wish we had more visibility in the academic world because we can give more life to academic studies. Even if it's 100% perfect we not are professionals after all but striving to achieve levels like what we did for the Kushites is great IMHO.

So thanks for anything you will bring us.

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Best source for Hellenistic-era housing and structures are grave-houses of high-ranking people. They also frequently give us colours. Here first examples from Ptolemaic Egypt, showing how the blend was actually Greek architecture with Egyptian-inspired elements.

#hellenizingtheptolemies PART 1

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#hellenizingtheptolemies PART 2

Find here also an example of shield-decoration-on-wall from Miletos! And a ptolemaic tomb of a young woman named Isidora, from Egypt, adding Egyptian elements to Greek architecture. Interior of some tombs also show "egyptianizing" doors, windows etc. Note also statue niche! You want tiny statues in those Greek cities.

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1 hour ago, stanislas69 said:

Nice to get some historians interested into the game. It does not happen often though I wish we had more visibility in the academic world because we can give more life to academic studies. Even if it's 100% perfect we not are professionals after all but striving to achieve levels like what we did for the Kushites is great IMHO.

So thanks for anything you will bring us.

Not only can you give more life to academic studies, you can become THE important part in the education about antiquity. This is the future friends!

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Also, an important note: Indeed Alexander would have wished more blending of architectural styles, as he also wished intermarriage between his Greek and Persian and Indian and Egyptian subjects etc. However, this was an utopian idea, met with skepticism when he introduced it and entirely abandoned after his death by his successors. In reality there was an artistic implementation of elements from the newly conquered territories into the Greek art of the region and period, but the fusion of populations did not occur [Edit: except after the Greek kingdoms had collapsed, and the remaining Greeks were absorbed or subjugated into the new state]. Greeks never learnt the native languages or the regions conquered, instead their tolerance consisted in allowing the natives to become hellenized and take part in society, sometimes also as leaders. In Alexandria Egypt - as indeed everywhere else where hellenistic culture lasted - cultures were kept in their strictly separated quarters, Judaeans in theirs, the demotic Egyptian-speakers in theirs, and so forth. The Ptolemaic court remained entirely Greek, its worldview was looking up towards Hellas with Athens and the other centres, and only very slowly did influences other than artistic decoration make their way into the Greek quarter where the courts of Hellenistic rulers were situated.

The same was the case in the Selecid empire. The rulers made the local administrations switch to Koine, and their eyes were still fixed upon Hellas. Koine Greek became the language of administration in Western Asia to the degree that it was even the administrative language of the Parthian empire. Thus deeply had Koine Greek become a part of society in Western Asia formerly ruled by the successors.


The Indo-Greek/Bactrian kingdom will have to be made a civilization, under Eukratides and Menandros those kingdoms became fabulously, and insanely wealthy. Once cut off from the Greek mainland (by the fall of Greek rule in Persia) however, these independent "colonial" kingdoms in the East gradually withered away, some sailed to Ptolemaic Egypt along the coast or thence onwards to Hellas proper. A few remained back, and intermarried and were absorbed into the native populations. In the 1st century A.D., we find that the Greek legends of coins minted in northern India become ghibberish - the knowledge of Greek was lost, the inherited custom of Greek coin use remained.

Graeco-Roman art continued to influence northern India throughout the first 3-4 centuries of the A.D.-period: Essentially, less and less remained, and in the end, we find that the characteristic elements such as columns and ornamenal motifs dwindle as new styles are developed by the Indians.

Note that the Maurya civilization temple structure, the Stupa, was originally a hellenistic contribution. As could be expected, Achaemenid influence also mixes in the period before the arrival of Alexander - thus it is likely that the first literate civil administration known in India was that introduced by the Achaemenid satraps. The lion you can see on the Mauryan three-lion-capital is the EXTINCT Eurasian lion, which is why it looks different. Greek examples of lions from c. 550, 525 and 330. Probably Neoassyrian prototype, example from c. 850 B.C. And an Achaemenid example from c. 5th-century-B.C . (See image filename of each lion example-picture.) 

Finally note that, as attested by the inscriptions of Darius I, the Persians employed Greeks from their province of Ionia to do the artwork in stone for their palaces. It is reasonable to assume that Greeks were made to instruct local masters, from which the distinctly Persian style of relief and sculpture developed which we know so well from Persepolis and Susa etc.

 

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Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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20 minutes ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

as indeed everywhere else where hellenistic culture lasted - cultures were kept in their strictly separated quarters,

This is where I believe the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom differs. Probably on account of the  2 century old presence of Greeks as subject populations deported by the Persians as early as Darius I, prior to the Macedonian conquest. Hellenistic influences in Bactria are all over the place, and remixed, with each other as well as Iranian (and even some indirect Mesopotamian influences, in architecture at least). The conversion of a decent number of Greeks to Buddhism, as well as Zoroastrianism, and the worship of gods like Zeus-Zoroaster. Some mixed marriages seem to have occurred. The architectural layout of sites like Ai Khanoum also demonstrate a departure from Greek norms, using Hellenistic elements as a decorative veneer, but using Achaemenid principles in layout and function, alongside purely Greek structures like the theatre. Being hopelessly outnumbered by a mixed "native" population of Persians, Bactrians, Sogdians, Scythians and Indians, at such a great distance from the Greek homelands, as well as being largely cut off from new Greek settlers necessitated a more delicate approach to ruling their subjects, causing a much stronger and more genuine mixing of cultures. They are easily one of the most divergent Hellenistic civs, which makes them especially interesting in my opinion. Alexanders dream seems to have come to fruition, to a degree at least, in the furthest reaches of his empire. Ironically, one of the most obscure Hellenistic states, the Indo Greek Kingdom was one of the last (if not the last) independent Hellenistic Kingdom.

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I also supply here images of Hellenistic fortifications, along with a book full of reconstructions. I hope that can help the designers adjust ->simplify the walls/towers, which are sometimes a little too "cool"

(my favorite is the tower with the tiny temple on the top :-P I saw it some months back here on the forum, don't know whether it was incorporated into the game though.)
 

https://issuu.com/muratcetinel/docs/fortress_090_-_greek_fortifications

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Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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2 hours ago, Anaxandridas ho Skandiates said:

Not only can you give more life to academic studies, you can become THE important part in the education about antiquity. This is the future friends!

i said that before but nobody put such importance. even I suggesting an encyclopedia with some details.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sundiata said:

This is where I believe the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom differs. Probably on account of the  2 century old presence of Greeks as subject populations deported by the Persians as early as Darius I, prior to the Macedonian conquest. Hellenistic influences in Bactria are all over the place, and remixed, with each other as well as Iranian (and even some indirect Mesopotamian influences, in architecture at least). The conversion of a decent number of Greeks to Buddhism, as well as Zoroastrianism, and the worship of gods like Zeus-Zoroaster. Some mixed marriages seem to have occurred. The architectural layout of sites like Ai Khanoum also demonstrate a departure from Greek norms, using Hellenistic elements as a decorative veneer, but using Achaemenid principles in layout and function, alongside purely Greek structures like the theatre. Being hopelessly outnumbered by a mixed "native" population of Persians, Bactrians, Sogdians, Scythians and Indians, at such a great distance from the Greek homelands, as well as being largely cut off from new Greek settlers necessitated a more delicate approach to ruling their subjects, causing a much stronger and more genuine mixing of cultures. They are easily one of the most divergent Hellenistic civs, which makes them especially interesting in my opinion. Alexanders dream seems to have come to fruition, to a degree at least, in the furthest reaches of his empire. Ironically, one of the most obscure Hellenistic states, the Indo Greek Kingdom was one of the last (if not the last) independent Hellenistic Kingdom.

It is all quite correct what you write, and yet I feel that your romantic spirit perhaps likes to laud the genuine mixing of cultures more greatly than it can actually bear. It is tempting for us to dream of this - would it not be wonderful if it were so, Alexander's dream realized? - but in reality in the absence of good literary sources, most of which existed, but were lost without copies or epitomes, we must assume that these kingdoms, which were indeed as you say the last independent hellenistic kingdoms, were exactly like all the other hellenistic kingdoms, ruled by a Greek ruling class their collapse (it seems that mismanagement, intrigues between rival Greek princes, and outside martial pressure were responsible) at which point the Greeks either returned "home" or disappeared by absorption/intermarriage into the native populations.

It is tempting to see the beautiful artworks of the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. in India, which seem so inspired by Greek sculpture, as a result of a nobler mixed Greek-Indian population's heritage. But I think we should accept that these works were made by Indians proper, who had by now developed their own style, possibly influenced continuously by sculpture-imports from the Roman hegemony to the West.

There is nothing incorrect in all that you write; but take care not to overinterpret, friend, and arrange correct facts so the conclusions appear as you would rather like them to appear. Upon close examination you will find it so, I think.

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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20 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

i said that before but nobody put such importance. even I suggesting an encyclopedia with some details.

That will absolutely happen. We also definitely need to make historical campaigns once we come out of the alpha stage. For now let us just be happy that this amazing project exists!!!!!! Thanks to everyone, really!

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@Anaxandridas ho Skandiates, I do understand where you are coming from, and it's difficult to argue about obscurities. It is in the absence of plentiful literary sources that I turn to the archaeological record. Being most familiar with Ai Khanoum, it is clear from that site that the Greco Bactrians did things differently. Most of the structures in this newly built city have strong Achaemenid features, with Greek finishings. Architecture says a lot about a culture, and purely Greek structures are very rare, which is strange for a capital city (Hellenistic remains at Bactra being too scattered to make any conclusions, but considering it's ancient history and importance to Zoroastrianism, which many of the Greeks embraced, it seems unlikely that this city was totally transformed into a "Greek" city the way Alexandria in Egypt was). This is to be expected considering their geographical context. All the other Hellenistic states were surrounded by other Hellenistic states, or states that were (being) heavily influenced by the Greeks. The Greco-Bactrians were surrounded by powerful non-Greek polities, except for their border with the Seleucid empire, which was a peripheral territory for the Seleucids. Their intense contact with the nomadic Scythians (and other steppe people) as well as Maurya India, both radically different from Greeks, and exceedingly powerful in their own right, as well as probably having to contend with local (tribal) rulers and Iranian elites within their territory meant that political manoeuvrings  would have been much more important to maintain stability in a potentially volatile cocktail of cultures. The documented conversion of groups of Greeks to entirely non-Greek religions, their occasional service to Indian rulers and the role that Greeks played in the dissemination of Buddhism is also quite noteworthy.

Remember that this is where Alexander the Great himself married Roxana of Bactria, and where Alexander himself sanctioned mixed marriages (unlike the ones at Susa, there is little to go on to say that Macedonian-Bactrian marriages ended in failure). It is hard to imagine that either of these events weren't enduring symbols of the multicultural nature of the Greco Bactrian Kingdom. Neither can it be ignored that the first generation of Bactrian born Greeks in all likelihood already included people of mixed parentage. I'm honestly not trying to romanticize it. It's just obvious that Greek culture fused with the local Bactrian traditions, more so than in other Hellenistic states. The centuries old presence of deported Greeks and the relative isolation/distance from the greater Hellenistic world would have only facilitated a more speedy integration of Greeks into a much larger regional system.

I'm genuinely curious about the sources saying that the Greeks went "home"?

Basically what I'm saying is yes, their ruling class was Greek, but if they ever get developed for 0AD, and the archaeological references are used correctly, their structures are going to end up looking quite different from the other Hellenistic civs. In terms of units, you'd have the basic Hellenistic roster (with some minor unique elements), in addition to Hellenized Persians, Bactrians, Sogdians, Scythians and Mauryan elephants. They'd look and feel quite unique.   

Edited by Sundiata
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@Sundiata We are not really that far apart. I just think that the sources cannot be stretched so far as your statement hypothesizes, and I see it very clearly that Greek culture "went under" after the Seleucid empire cut off connection to the West around the Parthian conquest Bactria and Seleukia on Tigris around 141BC - it does coincide with the beginning of the long decline of the the Bactrian and Indogreek kingdoms, remember Menandros I died 130BC  - where you argue that there was some Greek cultural fusion with the local Bactrian traditions, more so than in other Hellenistic states, that it was a genuine multicultural culture on its own.

I do not see it, politely. I think the evidence speaks strongly for a fusion which happened as part of the decline and demise of the states of Eukratides and Menandros, after the Parthian conquests cut off connections to the West.

It was part of a decline, and it continued to decline until 0 A.D. (pun intended), shortly after which its remnants were absorped into the barbarian kingdoms that swallowed it. What I see is merely a fusion of Greek and Eastern art in Greek India, which we can incorporate into an Indo-Greek civ and which is super fascinating, because it really existed, as indeed did the Greek-supported Buddhism with the stupas furthered and supported by Menandros et al. (even though all the coins still feature versions of Zeus and Athena etc., and it is more likely that Buddhism became the personal royal religious project of Menandros, rather than Menandros I converting (=submitting) to the foreign religion. That appears to my mind quite unthinkable. The coins from Menandros onwards during the final century or so, feature the "wheel of dharma", and the kings often perform a buddhist gesture. Signs of that approaches were made by Greek kings towards their Indian subjects, certainly, but not evidence of fusion of cultures by any measure.)

As to Greeks returning "home", see the PERIPLUS OF THE ERYTHREAN SEA, showing Hellenistic trade-route network via Egypt which was very vibrant and replaced the land-route formerly passing through Seleucid Persia; there was a constant flux of Greeks in both directions, and it undoubtedly became obvious to the remaining "Eastern Greeks" that freedom would soon be lost, enemies encroaching from all sides.

For a concrete example of a wealthy trader speaking directly of far-reaching naval travels faring along the network-routes in the area of this periplus, see the Stele of Sophytos - these Eastern Greek kingdoms were so wealthy that countless such individuals must have existed; however all written sources that could detail the further administration of these realms and their social structure have been lost to us. Sophytos has been conjectured to have been of Indian descent, since the name appears "un-greek". But as you can see on his stele, there was nothing Asian about him except his name, the stele attests to complete hellenization.

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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@Sundiata  Let us postpone that entire exchange of arguments to a separate thread, and focus on the issues at hand. There is enough to do! It will be an exciting task once we get so far. INDO-GREEK CIV. Awesome idea! What a historic campagn we could make!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, to everyone in here!

Edited by Anaxandridas ho Skandiates
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