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Greco -Bactrian Kingdom (250–125 BCE)

The next major step in the development of the Silk Road was the expansion of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great into Central Asia. In August 329 BC, at the mouth of the Fergana Valley in Tajikistan, he founded the city of Alexandria Eschate or “Alexandria The Furthest”.

The Greeks remained in Central Asia for the next three centuries, first through the administration of the Seleucid Empire, and then with the establishment of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom  in Bactria (modern AfghanistanTajikistan, and Pakistan) and the later Indo-Greek Kingdom (180 BCE – 10 CE) in modern Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. They continued to expand eastward, especially during the reign of Euthydemus (230–200 BCE), who extended his control beyond Alexandria Eschate to Sogdiana. There are indications that he may have led expeditions as far as Kashgar in Chinese Turkestan, leading to the first known contacts between China and the West around 200 BCE. The Greek historian Strabo writes, “they extended their empire even as far as the Seres (China) and the Phryni.

The Hellenistic world and Classical Greek philosophy mixed with Eastern philosophies, leading to syncretisms such as Greco-Buddhism.

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