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          Alexander the Great entered India in the spring 326 BC. He crossed the Indus, march to Taxila and then advanced to Hydespes (Jhelum). After his death, when the far-flung territories that he had conquered were divided amongst the powerful officers of his army; and a Greek kingdom was established in Syria under Seleucus. The kingdom extended from Euphrates to the Oxus and the Indus. During the reign of the Seleucid ruler Antiochos II, in about 250 BC. Diodotos, the Satrap of Bactria, the country north of the Hindukush, took advantage of the disturbacnes which followed the death of Antiochos Theos and became independent. Diodotos was succeeded by his son of the same name, who was supplanted in turn by one Euthydemos . His son Demetrius extended his kingdom beyond Bactria into Afghanistan and the Punjab. But he was confronted with a rival, Eucratides, who deprived him of his Bactrian dominion and extended his kingdom into Gandhara. Demetrius was succeeded in Afghanistan and the Punjab by Pantaleon and Agathocles. Then their kingdom passed to Menander I Soter, Milinda of the Indian tradition, recorded in the Milinda Panha (Questions of Menander). Menander I was the most powerful king amongst the Indo-Bactrians (Indo-Greek). He not only ruled over the kingdom that extended into Gandhara and the Punjab, but is also credited with having led an expedition deep into the Gangetic valley. He had perhaps appointed a few sub-king to assist him in the administration of his kingdom. Polyxenus and Epander are particulary named amongst them. After the death of Eucratides and Menander I Soter, the history of the Indo-Bactrian (Indo-Greek) rulers is confused.

          Gold coins for the first time are heard of during this period. They were issued by Diodotos, Eucratides and Euthydemos; but they were confined to Bactria and were never issued in India. A few gold coins were issued by Menander I Soter, they may be the eariest gold coins issued on the soil of India. These, and all of the other ruler named before, issued their coins mostly in silver and copper.


This was one of the earliest issues of Alexander the great struck in Egypt and it is the predecessor of all subsequent Ptolemaic coinage. These early issues are well known because of their outstanding style.