Department or Program

Classical and Medieval Studies


This thesis explores contact between Ancient Greece and India prior to Alexander the Great's expedition into India. While the broader topic of Greco-Roman interactions with India has received an increasing amount of interest from contemporary scholars, much of this research centers on Alexander and the Roman Empire. I use a combination of Greek, Indian and Persian sources to argue that pre-Alexandrian contact between the two cultures was more significant than is generally recognized. I particularly focus on critically analyzing sources that have often been dismissed as fabrications, and argue that even sources that are not ‘true’ in the traditional sense can in fact carry valuable information about the transference of information between the two regions. Furthermore, by drawing from Indian and Persian sources I am able to demonstrate that many of the ‘myths’ associated with India in ancient Greek sources are derived from Indian/Persian folklore and mythology. Finally, I propose revising the framework within which we view contact between the two regions to better accommodate the role that traders, trade routes, and the movement of physical goods played in the development of a ‘Greek’ conception of India.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Cameron, Hamish

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.