India has be entered by people of various cultures which has led to cultural diversity but considering the fact that the Seleucid empire had ies and friendship with Indian empires why aren't there that many Greeks in India?

  • 3
    How do you know who is of Greek ancestry? Did you do some DNA testing? Supposing you are referring to the armies of Alexander the Great, they were all men, so there will be no mitochondrial DNA for you to find.
    – RedSonja
    Dec 24, 2020 at 15:50
  • 3
    If you mean, why is no-one speaking Greek, remember it has been quite a long time, and languages change. According to my memory of history, Alexander's armies turned round and went home, so they would not have left much behind anyway.
    – RedSonja
    Dec 24, 2020 at 15:52
  • I was thinking because of the selucid empire . Dec 24, 2020 at 16:12
  • Why aren't there that many Indians in the former Selucid Empire? Likewise, there was a lot of ocean trade between India and Greece/Rome, but not much evidence (AFAIK) of permanent immigration either way. But why would there be?
    – jamesqf
    Dec 24, 2020 at 18:08
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    @RedSonja In fact, the Bactrian kingdom showed a lot of signs of its Greek inhabitants for a long time after Alexander.
    – Mary
    Dec 25, 2020 at 1:31

1 Answer 1


The 'Yavanas' (Greeks) did have a strong presence in North India over 2000 years ago. They also had trading links with South India. Some mercenaries and artisans appear to have settled there.

Greek influence peaked under Demetrius I who reached as far as Magadha (modern Bihar) before being repelled by the King of Kalinga. Demetrius was married to a Mauryan princess. Indeed, the Greeks were generally of mixed origin. They maintained a separate identity till the time of Saka domination after which they were absorbed into various martial castes or became indistinguishable from the subject population. In remote mountain redoubts, some small communities claimed Greek origin. There are also various Rajput dynasties which have Greek princesses in their family tree. It is also possible that they appear in the 'Magha' (Iranian) Brahmin lineages.

Why did the Yavanas lose their separate identity? The answer ultimately comes down to the replacement of Greek by Bactrian and other 'Aryan' languages, consequent upon 'Scythian' & 'Hun' invasions, for all official and scholarly purposes. This extinguished the tradition of Greek Paideia which had attained high regard amongst local savants. Nevertheless, the legend of the technologically proficient Yavana continued to exercise a fascination for poets and writers of later, more settled, ages.

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