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Document Details :
Title: Whence the Women?
Subtitle: The Origin of the Bactrian Greeks
Author(s): BURSTEIN, Stanley M.
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 11 Date: 2012
A Greek-speaking elite ruled Bactria from the reign of Alexander the Great until its conquest by Saka nomads. Scholarship on Hellenistic Bactria has focused primarily on the history of the kingdom and the nature of Bactrian Hellenism. Little attention, however, has been paid to a fundamental problem: the origin of the Bactrian Greeks. In the absence of detailed study, scholars have assumed that they were the children of intermarriage between Alexander’s soldiers and native Bactrian women despite the lack of evidence for such unions. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a different origin for these women, namely, that they were captive Asian women, who already were attached to Alexander’s army when it entered Bactria.