Synopsis: The rediscovery of Ai Khanoum testified to the wealth and power of the Bactrian Kingdom. Mithridates’ conquest of Babylonia is countered by an unlikely coalition.
“The cities of Bactria were Bactra, which they also call Zariaspa and through which flows a river of the same name that empties into the Oxus, plus the city of Darapsa, and others more. Among these was a city called Eucratideia, named after its ruler… (The Greeks) also controlled Sogdiana, which lies above and to the east of Bactria between the Oxus River – demarcating Bactrians from Sogdians – and the Jaxartes River, likewise separating the Sogdians from the nomads.” – Strabo, Geography, 11.11.2
“These wise sayings of earlier men, the words of well-known men, are enshrined in the holy Pytho. There Clearchus copied them faithfully, and set them up here in the sanctuary of Kineas, blazing from afar.
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.”
– Inscription at the Heroon (hero’s tomb) of Kineas, oikistes (founder) of the city of Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, dated 300 – 250 BC
Map of Ai Khanoum and Ashoka Rock Edicts