Bactria

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Definition

Jan van der Crabben
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published on 28 April 2011
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Translated text available in: Turkish, Malay, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese
Map of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (by PHGCOM, CC BY-SA)
Map of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
PHGCOM (CC BY-SA)

Bactria was a province of the Persian empire located in modern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

After the defeat of Darius III of Persia, Bactria continued to offer resistance against Alexander the Great, led by Bessus, who had proclaimed himself successor to Darius. Alexander conquered it with great difficulty between 329-327 BCE, largely with the help of local auxiliary forces. During his stay there, Alexander married a Bactrian woman, Roxanne, to aid his effort of controlling the region.

After Alexander's death, Bactria was part of the Seleucid Empire. The many difficulties against which the Seleucid kings had to fight and the attacks of Ptolemy II of Egypt gave Diodotus, satrap of Bactria, the opportunity to declare independence (about 255 BCE) and conquer Sogdiana, founding the Indo-Greek Kingdom.

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About the Author

Jan van der Crabben
Jan is the Founder and CEO of World History Encyclopedia, leading the non-profit company to best fulfil its mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. He holds an MA War Studies from King's College.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Crabben, J. v. d. (2011, April 28). Bactria. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/Bactria/

Chicago Style

Crabben, Jan van der. "Bactria." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 28, 2011. https://www.worldhistory.org/Bactria/.

MLA Style

Crabben, Jan van der. "Bactria." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 28 Apr 2011. Web. 02 Aug 2021.