Saturday, August 1, 2009


That Menander was a great Indo·Greek prince was recorded by the historian Straho whose authority for the statement was a reference to him by the ancient writer Appalodorus. Periplus is another book assigned to 70-80 A.D., but of unknown authorship. But it is stated in this Periplus that coins with Greek letters and devices were current in the neighbourhood of Breach on the west coast of India in the first century A.D, ‘These coins resembled the
insignia of Appolodorus and Menander, Greek Potentates who were in power after Alexander. Hence it is inferred that the neighbourhood of Broach might have been included in the Greek
dominions in the times of Demetrius, Appolodorus and Menander. All this is entirely in the sphere of conjecture. It seems Appolodorus and Menander are mentioned in the list of Bharatiya
Yavana princes in the writings of Justin, the historian. But his writings are now extinct and not available for verification. It seems Plutarch also mentioned Menander as renowned for justice and that when he passed away the various cities in the neighbourhood contested for the privilege of hoiding his remains. This Menander is further identified with Milinda of the Milinda Panha(questions of Milinda), a Buddhist text containing the several questions raised by Milinda and the answers furnished to them by the Buddhist monk Nagasena at the end of which the prince, satisfied embraced Buddhism. This prince is spoken of as ‘Milindra’ in
Avadana-Kalpa-lata by Kshemendra. In the Shinkot inscription the name is given as ‘Menadra‘ and so it may be identified as ‘Minendra’or ‘Menandra’. This name might be read into the
devices on the coins, we are told. _
Later, in the 12th century A,D. all the inhabitants of the North Western Frontier Province and the states of Gandhara, Hara, Huna, Ramatha, Saka. Yavana etc. in the region of Modern Baluchistan, consisting of excommunicated Kshatriya groups were also converted to Islam and the entire region together with Sindhu now forms Western Pakistan.

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