Persian and Macedonian Invasion in India Study materials
The ruling Achaemanian Dynasty of Persia was constantly striving to expand its borders. The first Achaemanian ruler, Cyrus, had already captured Babylon, Madia and Assyria and made an unsuccessful attempt to invade India too. He could capture the Hindukush and Gandhara regions, but had incurred a heavy defeat at Jedrosia. He was succeeded by Cambaysis, the second ruler of this dynasty, who-had little interest in India and, therefore, carried on his Egyptian conquest ignoring India. During the time of the third emperor of Persia, Darius (522-486 BC), the Magadha Empire has grown bigger after the north-western Indian kingdoms were merged into it. The regions of Afghanistan. Gandhara and Baluchistan (Indus), which now were under the Magadha rule, were the first to be attacked by the Persian rulers. The small administrators and rulers of these regions were in close contact with the Persian rulers and they helped Darius to attack these pockets of the Magadha Empire. Darius divided the entire empire into 24 provinces (satraps), with the, captured Indian regions of Gandhara and Indus forming his 24th province. He also recruited many Indian soldiers into his army and gave them high rank). He was succeeded by his son, Xerxes (519-465 BC), who came to throne at an age of 18 in 486 BC. He was a great warrior and was helped greatly by his Indian soldiers during his war with the Greeks. However, after him, the Persian Empire disintegrated by the end of fourth century BC and the Indian province became independent of Persia.
Although Indian accounts, to a large extent, ignored Alexander the Great’s Indus campaign in 326 BC, the Greek writers recorded their impressions of the general conditions prevailing in South Asia during this period. Thus, the year 326 BC provides the first clear and historically verifiable date in Indian history.He fought the Hydaspass battle against King Porus on the bank of the River Jhelum and finally emerged victorious. Later, Porus was brought to the Alexander’s court as a prisoner. The episode in Alexander’s court, which depicts the self-respect of King Porus, finds respectable the Indian and Greek history.
Alexander also conquered die kingdom on the banks of the rivers Ravi and Beas and further south. He had plans to conquer the Gangetic plains as well, but had to stall them because of the rising mutiny in the ranks of the Greek army. Greek army had been away from their home for a time and wanted to go back instead of progressing farther. The great general decided to return to Macedonia. His return journey to Babylon was lull of adversities and he had to battle throughout his journey. He fought with the Malwa and Kshudraka rulers and those were among the last battles he fought on the India soil. He reached Babylon in 325 BC and died in 323 BC of some mysterious disease.
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