Iranian (Persian) & Macedonian (Greek) Invasion
Persian Invasion (550 BC)▪ Contemporary to reign of Bimbisara, Persian attacked N-W front of India & Magadha continued to rise in N-E & Central-north in India
▪ In N-W front of India, several small provinces like Kamboja, Gandhara & Madra did not have a political unity & continuously fought with each other
▪ Archaemadian ruler of Iran, Cyprus took advantage of this political disunity & invaded west front of India.
▪ All Indian tribes west of Indus River submitted to him including Gandhar
▪ Darius 1, Grandson of Cyprus conquered Indus valley as a whole & annexed Punjab & Sindh (N W India)
▪ Xerxes, Successor of Darius, employed Indian infantry & cavalry in war against Greece but got defeated & hence could not move forward in India. However, control of Persians over India slackened only after Alexander’s invasion on India
Effects of Persian Invasion▪ Impetus to Indo Iranian commerce & trade, which finally became the ground for Alexander’s invasion
▪ Use of Kharoshti script bought by Iranian gain popularity in N-W India & some inscription of Ashoka (250 BC) are written in this language (derived from Aramaic script, written from right to left)
▪ Influence of Persian art in India, Particularly monolithic pillars , & sculptures found on them along with inscriptions
Alexander’s Invasion (327 BC)After 2 centuries of Persian invasion, Alexander from Macedonia invaded India. Alexander conquered minor Asia along with Iraq & Iran and from Iran he marched into India
▪ Alexander conquered whole of Persia by defeating Darius 3 in battle of Arabela (330 BC).
▪ Herodotus, Father of history, wrote that fabulous wealth of India attracted Alexander & moreover his interest in Geographical enquiry & love of natural history urged him to invade India
▪ Alexander believed that on eastern side of India lies continuation of the sea & hence by conquering India, he would conquer eastern boundary of the world
▪ After conquest of Iran, he marched into India through Khyber pass 327 BC & crossed Indus in 326 BC.
▪ Ambhi, the ruler of taxila readily submitted to him but Porus whose kingdom lay between Jhelum & Chenab refused to submit to Alexander
Battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum)▪ Although Porus had a vast army & fought bravely, but he lost to Alexander
▪ Alexander, impressed by the bravery of Indian prince reinstated him to his throne and made him his ally
Then he advanced as far as river Beas, he wanted to move further but war weary, diseased, Hot weather of India & 10 year of continuous fighting led to the refusal of Greek soldiers to move further (Refusal also came because of the enormous power of Nandas of Magadha). Hence, Alexander divided his conquered territories into 3 Parts & placed them under 3 Greek governors.
Effect of Alexander’s Invasion▪ 1st contact b/w Europe & India paved the way for increased trade & commerce
▪ Encouraged political unification of India under Mauryas
Alexander’s authority in Indus valley was short lived because of expansion of Mauryan Empire under Chandragupta maurya