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Title: New Light on the Fate of Greek in Ancient Central and South Asia
Author(s): BURSTEIN, Stanley M.
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 9    Date: 2010   
Pages: 181-192
DOI: 10.2143/AWE.9.0.2056307

Abstract :
One of the most unexpected results of Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian empire was the establishment of Greek rule in Bactria, essentially modern Afghanistan, and parts of north-west India. For approximately two centuries Greek was the language of the political and cultural elite in much of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan until ca. 140 BC, when the region was conquered by Central Asian nomads. Less clear is what happened to Greek and Greek culture after the nomad conquest. The usual assumption is that both quickly disappeared. This article calls attention to recently discovered evidence that suggests, however, that until at least the late 1st or early 2nd century AD Greek not only survived but was either that the official language or one of the official languages of the Kushan empire and its predecessors.

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