Reference question (Was: Filliozat)

Edwin F Bryant efb3 at
Wed May 15 01:11:13 UTC 1996

On Thu, 9 May 1996, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote
> ps. While on the topic of Alexander and Greek references to India,  
> have there been further developments in the Sandrocottus =  
> Chandragupta Maurya identification? There have been some recent  
> attempts by revisionist historians in India to suggest that  
> Sandrocottus is not the Maurya king, but the Gupta one. Is there a  
> response to this from more objective historians? 
The principal obstacles to this new identification (although it does
 exactly with Puranic narrative) are the Ashokan pillars.   One of these
(R.E.XIII) mentions five Near Eastern kings whose reigns overlapped in the
3rd cent. BCE. These would seem to anchor the date of Ashoka. Chandragupta
Maurya is the grandfather of Ashoka, so he cannot be moved far temporally 
from the above date (The Puranas would situate him in the 15th cent BCE).
Alexander invaded in 326 BCE, was succeeded by Seleucus Nicator whose
ambassador, Megasthenes, mentions Sandrocottus. Megasthenes would have
been in India  circa 302 BCE So the case for Sandrocottus being
Chandragupta Maurya is difficult to get around.
> Otherwise the 'revisionist' version makes intriguing reading in places,
because there are serious problems with the reconstruction of this period
of history.   The best, and most easily available presentation challenging
the Sandrocottus = Chandragupta Maurya equation is K.D. Sethna's 'Ancient
India in a New Light' Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1989 (but these are not,
actually, recent attempts and I have the biblio. of almost everyone who
has preceded him in this historical reconsideration, if of any use).

At the moment this issue is simmering on a backburner as the 'Aryan
Invasion' debate rages in India.

Edwin Bryant. 

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