which in point of style and execution can vie with the finest coins of the
world served as models for the indigenous currency. Similarly, some silver
coins of Indo-Greek kings show definite evidence of the adaptation of the
indigenous methods of India. The bilingual coinage, with legends in Greek
and Kharosthi, was continued by Sakas, Parthians and the earlier Kushanas;
the Kharosthi legends were first discontinued by Kanishka.
The Greek calendar which Demetrius took to India with him gave birth to
many other eras; the idea of reckoning time from a date fixed once for all
came to India with the Greeks. Sakas and Kushanas copied so closely that
nothing differed but the initial year—they kept the same subdivision, the
A considerable volume of trade between India and the West came into
existence as a result of the Greek conquest. The new outburst of prosperity at
Seleuceia which coincided almost exactly with the great period of Greek rule
in India from Demetrius to Menander is a sure proof of this growing trade.
Seleuceia was the hub of the commercial activity which passed the goods
overland to Syria and Phoenician ports. In the first century BC the Greeks in
India imported for themselves silk and other articles from China. A regular
trade route also existed between Bactria and Barygaza.
In the field of literature, a few Greek words found their way into Sanskrit.
The Sanskrit words for pen, ink, tablet, plaque and book are all derived from
Greek. Although all evidence is lost, we can still get traces of the literature
written by the Greeks in India.
In the realm of astronomy Indians were certainly indebted to the Greeks.
According to the Gargi Samhita, ‘The yavanas are barbarians yet the science
of astronomy originated with them and for this they must be revered like
gods.’ It is commonly held that the decimal value of zero was invented in
India, but it should nevertheless be recalled that ‘both place-value notation
and zero symbol are in ordinary use in Babylonia and in Greek astronomy.
The Indian innovation consists only in transferring this method to a number
system with decimal order. The names of the Zodiac and planets in
Aryabhatta and in Varahamihira are certainly of Greek origin.
But in the realm of religion, the constant flow of ideas between the two
countries produced far-reaching consequences and the conversion of
Heliodorous to Bhagavatism and of Menander to Buddhism show that the