The INDIKA of Megasthenes

Dimitrios Vassiliadis

Megasthenes presenting his credentials to the Indian emperor Chandragupta Maurya at his palace in Pataliputra (modern Patna), Next to him sits Seleucus Nicator’s daughter Helen, In the center the great Indian statesman and royal advisor Chanakya.

Megasthenes (c. 350-290 BCE) served for 10 years as Seleucus Nicator’s ambassador to the palaces of Chandragupta Maurya and in this capacity he is the first recorded foreign ambassador in ancient Indian history.

He is also the first Indologist to make Indian culture known to the Western world with the ethnographic observations he recorded in his book INĐIKA, which he wrote during his stay in Pataliputra. That is why his pioneering work occupies a prominent place in the history of India. Many historians rank him among the fathers of Indian history.

The term INDIKA (Greek, Ινδικά) was used in ancient Greece to mean various India-related things, including the historical and ethnographic accounts of Ctesias, Megasthenes, Arrian and others.

The Hellenic-Indian Society for Culture and Development, following the ancient tradition, has chosen the title INDIKA NET for its electronic forums that promote Indological studies and document the Greek-Indian relations in our times.

Download Megasthenes’ Indika in Greek, Latin or English HERE