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THE DECADES THAT FOLLOWED ALEXANDER'S DEATH
SAW A GRADUAL AND UNMISTAKABLE PROGRAMME OF HELLENISATION,
AS IDEAS, THEMES AND SYMBOLS FROM ANCIENT GREECE WERE INTRODUCED TO THE EAST.
The descendants of his generals remembered their Greek roots and actively emphasized them, for example
on the coinage struck in the mints of the major towns that were located in strategically important points along
the trade routes or in agriculturally vibrant centers! The form of these coins became standardized: an image of
the current ruler on the obverse with ringlets held by a diadem, and invariably looking to the right as Alexander
had done, with an image of Apollo on the reverse, identified by Greek letters. The Greek language could be heard - and seen -
all over Central Asia and the Indus valley. At AI KHANOUN in northern Afghanistan - a new city founded by Seleucus - maxims from Delphi were carved on to a monument, including:
AS A CHILD, BE WELL-BEHAVED.
AS A YOUTH, BE SELF-CONTROLLED.
AS AN ADULT, BE JUST.
AS AN ELDER, BE WISE.
AS ONE DYING, BE WITHOUT PAIN.
Greek was in daily use by officials more than
a century after Alexander's death, as tax receipts and documents
relating to soldiers' pay from Bactria from around 200 BC show. Indeed, the language penetrated
deep into the Indian subcontinent. Some of the edicts issued by Maurayan
ruler ASHOKA, the greatest of the early Indian rulers,
were made with parallel Greek translations,
evidently for the benefit
of the local
population
...