Euthydemid

Definition

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published on 28 April 2011
The Euthydemids were a Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek dynasty of approximately 25 kings, named after its founder Euthydemos. The dynasty lasted between circa 230 BC and 10 BC, according to numismatic evidence. The numismatic emblems which characterize most this dynasty are Athena Alkidemos [Defender of the peoples] and Herakles. Euthydemos, became king by overthrowing the Greco-Bactrian king Diodotos II circa 230 BC. He then succeeded to resist against the Seleucid king Antiochos III who eventually recognized Euthydemos as the king of Bactria. He and his son Demetrios began to conquer India and thus became famous. They are mentioned by Greek and Latin classical historians, while their successors were divided since 190 BC and, with some exceptions such as the early Indo-Greek kings Agathocles and Pantaleon, faded into obscurity. Around 171 BC the Euthydemid dominion of Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms were shaken by the rebellion of Eucratides, who quickly conquered most regions, except the domains of king Menander. From then on the Euthydemid and Eucratid dynasties were waging continuous at war with each other, which lasted for 90 years and tore the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms apart. The powerful king Menander succeeded to push Eucratides back to Bactria around 155 BC, but the Euthydemids never fully regained control of Bactria. When the Yuezhei c.145 BC invaded Bactria, the Eucratids retreated into the Indo-Greek possessions. An Euthydemid presence remained in India until 80 BC; when both dynasties were worsened by the powerful Indo-Saka king Maues. In defense against Maues an alliance between the two Greek dynasties seems to have taken place, led by Amyntas. After the death of Maues, numismatic evidences suggests that only the Euthydmids subsequently ruled the Indo-Greek kingdoms, until evidence of Greek presence in India fades around 10BC.


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Timeline

Visual Timeline
  • c. 230 BCE
    Diodotos II is overthrown by Euthydemos. Beginning of the Euthydemid dynasty.
  • 206 BCE
    Recognition of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom and Euthydemid dynasty by Antiochos III.
  • c. 200 BCE - c. 185 BCE
    Demetrios is general for his father and then becomes king, greatly extending the kingdom in India.
  • c. 190 BCE
    First appearance of multiple Euthydemid kings at the same time. Beginning of the Indo-Greek kingdoms.
  • 186 BCE
    Demetrios wins a decisive battle in Gandhara, beginning the Yona (or Greek era) in India.
  • c. 155 BCE
    Euthydemid Menander succeeds to push back Eucratides westward of Hindu-Kush.
  • c. 130 BCE
    Eucratids flee from Bactria to India. Rivalry between Eucratids and Euthydemids takes place in the Indo-Greek kingdoms.
  • c. 80 BCE
    Alliance between Euthydemids and Eucratids against the Indo-Sakas, under the rule of Amyntas.
  • c. 70 BCE - c. 10 BCE
    Last Indo-Greek kings, probably Euthydemid ones.

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