top of page

PARTHIA BACTRIA AND THE YUEZHI During Mughal Emperor Akbar III 1948-2012

Akbar III 1948-2012
Stacked Wooden Logs


Collection Name:" An Historical Atlas of Central Asia" book


Date: 1944 | Short Title: . | Publisher: P. Bernard | Publisher Location:----

Type: Atlas Map

Place : Central Asia

Full Title:
An Historical Atlas of Central Asia" written by Yuri Bregel. This is stated on Page no 09 of this book.


After the death of Alexander (323 B.C.) and the wars between his generals that lasted for two decades, his empire was finally divided into three separate states: one with the center in Macedonia, another one with the center in Egypt, and the third one, with the center in Mesopotamia; the latter, under Seleucus I and his descendants, included Iran and the regions of Central Asia that had been conquered by Alexander.

Antiochus, the son of Seleucus and the daughter of Spitamenes (see map 3), became co-ruler with his father in charge of the eastern regions of the empire, apparently with his residence in Bactra, the capital of Bactria. During the reign of Seleucus, Bactria and Margiana apparently suffered from attacks of nomads from the north (whose origin is unknown), and Alexandria in Margiana and Alexandria Eschatae were destroyed. It is believed that the military campaigns of the Seleucid general Demodamos in Margiana and as far as the Yaxartes (Sïr-Darya) between 293 and 280 B.C. were a response to these nomadic inroads. Alexandria in Margiana was restored as Antiochia in Margiana (however, according to another theory, Antiochia was the first city built by the Greeks in Margiana), and Alexandria Eschatae was rebuilt as Antiochia in Scythia. Long ramparts which were used to defend the oases of Antiochia in Margiana, of Marakanda (Smarakanda) in Soghd, of Bactra, and of Alexandria in Aria were built or restored. During his own reign (281-261 B.C.) Antiochus I was occupied with the affairs of the west of his empire, while new Greek colonies were being established along the main route from Mesopotamia to Bactra. There was a continuing influx of Greek colonists from the west, the Hellenization of Bactria and Parthia advanced considerably, and their economy flourished.

By the middle of the 3rd century B.C. the governors of Parthia and Bactria seceded from the Seleucids. In Parthia the new independent ruler was soon killed as a result of an invasion from the north by the nomadic Parni, under Arsaces, who founded a new Parthian kingdom. In Bactria it was its satrap Diodotus who founded the new independent state known in the historical literature as the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. Both new kingdoms successfully withstood the attempts of the Seleucids to reconquer them. The most serious attempt was made by the Seleucid Antiochus III in 208 B.C., when he set out for an eastern campaign, defeated Parthia, and besieged the Bactrian king Euthydemus in Bactra (Zariaspa); the siege lasted for two years, and in the end Antiochus left, recognizing Bactria’s independence. After this Parthia and Greco-Bactria pursued their own territorial expansion, Parthia mainly to the west, to Mesopotamia, and Greco-Bactria to the south, into India. Their borders shifted with the success or failure of their military campaigns. The northern limits of Parthia extended up to the Uzboy bed of the Oxus (Amu-Darya), while in the east Parthia captured from the Greco-Bactrian kingdom the provinces of Margiana (with the city of Antiochia in Margiana) and Aria (with the city of Hare/Antiochia in Aria). The northern border of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom ran along the Oxus (Amu-Darya), probably from the latitude of the later Amul (Charjuy) up to the place west of Antiochia Tarmata (Termez), then turned north and then east along the Hisar range; the limits of its maximum expansion to the east are not quite clear, but it is assumed that the Greeks did not reach the Tarim basin. The southern expansion of Greco-Bactria, beyond the Hindukush mountains, began under king Demetrius I, around 185 B.C. While Demetrius was in India, a Greek noble named Eucratides rebelled and overthrew Demetrius around 171 B.C., after which Eucratides continued the conquests in northern India. The Indian possessions of Greco-Bactria soon became a separate Indo-Greek kingdom that later disintegrated into a number of small principalities, the last of which survived until the first years A.D.

The turmoil in the steppes of Central Asia began with the southwestern expansion of the Xiongnu in the 170s B.C. The Yuezhi, after their defeat by the Xiongnu in about 176 B.C., split into two groups, of which the smaller one, the “Lesser Yuezhi,” migrated to the south-east, to the northeastern limits of Tibet, while the Great Yuezhi attacked the Wusun, their neighbors to the west, who retreated to the Ili valley. The Yuezhi migrated farther south-west, on their way displacing some Saka groups from Eastern Turkestan and the Sacaraucae from the Middle Yaxartes; the Saka migrated, through the Pamirs, to northern India, while the Sacaraucae and others came to the eastern limits of Parthia and eventually to the Helmend river basin that from then on became known as Sakastan, later Sistan. In the course of their migration the Saka destroyed the Greco-Bactrian kingdom. The last king of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, Heliocles, ruled until about 141 B.C. The Yuezhi soon followed the Saka into Bactria, having passed through Ferghana. In the second half of the 130s B.C. the Great Yuezhi occupied the regions north of the Oxus (both northern Bactria and Soghdiana), while the part of Bactria south of the Oxus disintegrated into a large number of city-states recognizing the supreme authority of the Yuezhi. As distinct from Bactria, Parthia successfully withstood the nomadic attacks, and during the reign of Mithridates II (123-87 B.C.) it reached
an unprecedented might.

Rate This BookDon’t love itNot greatGoodGreatLove itRate This Book

Your content has been submitted

Post Comment
Ratings & Review
Click To Close Comment Box
Click To Post Your Comment
Show Reviews

Ismail Mazari

average rating is null out of 5

Very good information.

average rating is null out of 5

Shah Sharaf Barlas

average rating is null out of 5

If possible anyone have shijra family tree of Mughal Barlas traib of Attock Pakistan please share with me.


The Mughal Maps takes you back to a historical time of different eras, where you can see historical events based on the map and location of the event with all the details of the area of that time. You can add your maps to The Mughal Library here.

Mughal Library brings readers of our history and related subjects on one platform. our goal is to share knowledge between researchers and students in a friendly environment.

bottom of page