Indian Testimonies about ancient Macedonians

INDIAN Edicts of Ashoka (250 BCE)

An irrefutable evidence of the greek ethnicity of ancient Macedonians comes from the famous “Edicts of Ashoka” (c. 250 BCE) where the Buddhist emperor Ashoka refers to the Greek populations under his rule.

The Rock Edicts V and XIII mention the Yonas (or the Greeks) along with the Kambojas and Gandharas as a subject people forming a frontier region of his empire and attest that he sent envoys to the Greek rulers in the West as far as the Mediterranean, faultlessly naming them one by one.

In the Gandhari original of Rock XIII, the Greek kings to the West are associated unambiguously with the term “Yona“:

More precicely we have the following: “Now it is conquest by Dhamma that Beloved-of-the-Gods considers to be the best conquest. And it (conquest by Dhamma) has been won here, on the borders, even six hundred yojanas away, where the Greek king Antiochos rules, beyond there where the four kings named Ptolemy, Antigonos, Magas and Alexander rule, likewise in the south among the Cholas, the Pandyas, and as far as Tamraparni.” Rock Edict Nb13 (S. Dhammika)

The distance of 600 yojanas (a yojanas being about 7 miles), corresponds to the distance between the center of India and Greece (roughly 4,000 miles).



Maurya Emperor, Chandra Gupta, receiving his morning salute from his bodyguard of woman soldiers.

1.Antiochos refers to Antiochus II Theos of Syria (261-246 BCE), who controlled the Seleucid Empire from Syria to Bactria, in the east from 305 BCE to 250 BCE, and was therefore a direct neighbor of Ashoka.

2.Ptolemy refers to Ptolemy II Philadelphos of Egypt (285-247 BCE), king of the dynasty founded by Ptolemy I, a former general of Alexander the Great, in Egypt.

3.Antigonos refers to Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedon (278-239 BCE)

4.Magas refers to Magas of Cyrene (300-258 BCE)

5.Alexander refers to Alexander II of Epirus (272-258 BCE).

In the Gandhari original Antiochos is refered as “Amtiyoko nama Yona-raja” (lit. “The Greek king by the name of Antiokos“), beyond whom live the four other kings: “param ca tena Atiyokena cature 4 rajani Turamaye nama Amtikini nama Maka nama Alikasudaro nama” (lit. “And beyond Antiochus, four kings by the name of Ptolemy, the name of Antigonos, the name of Magas, the name Alexander” [1]

From the book “The Cambridge Shorter History of India” of Cambridge Un. Press – 1934


It is evident then, from the testimony of the epigraphic records, that Asoka ruled the whole of India except the extreme south, which was in the hands of the Cholas and Pāndyas. The inscriptions refer also to the nations on the borders of the empire. There were in the south, as already mentioned, the Cholas and Pāndyas, whose lands stretched as far as Tamraparni, i.e. Ceylon; while one edict adds two smaller border chiefs, the Keralaputra, i.e. the king of Kerāla or Malabar, and the Satiyaputra, not yet satisfactorily identified, but probably connected with the āndhras. Mentioned along with these independent kingdoms of the south are the Yavana king, Antiyaka, that is the Seleucid Antiochos Theos, whose lands marched with the Maurya empire on the north-west, and the other Greek kings who were his neighbours. On the outer fringe of the empire, but within the king’s territory, were the Yonas, the Greeks in the lands ceded by Seleucus to Chandragupta; other Yavanas are named, along with the Gandhāras, apparently as independent; they were probably the rulers of southern Afghanistan and the land west of the upper Indus. The Kambojas, mentioned with them and located north-west of Gandhāra in the Hindu Kush, spoke a semi-Iranian language and were regarded by Hindus as only half-civilised. Another group of frontier peoples living within the king’s territory but probably retaining some vestiges of autonomy, belonged to the south.

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Annunakey says:

The Yonas (or the Greeks) … Yunan maybe?
How many names do you have?