View Full Version : Ancient TW2 - GANDHARAN Faction

dimitrios the samian
06-15-2016, 08:37

Gandhāra is the name of an ancient, extinct kingdom once located in north-western India in what is now Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Found mainly in the valley of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River, its main cities were Purushapura (modern Peshawar), and Takshashila (Taxila).
The Kingdom of Gandhara lasted from around the sixth century B.C.E. to the eleventh century C.E.
The Kingdom of Gandhara was located at the cross-roads of cultural exchange and thus became a laboratory for religious syncretism and cross-cultural fermentation. Following Alexander the Great's invasion of north-western India, Gandhara became renowned for its fusion of Greek and Buddhist culture, which was evident in its treasures of Greco-Buddhist art including the famous Bamyan Buddhas. The Kingdom represents one of the highlights of cross-cultural syncretism between East and West. Additionally, the Gandharan city of Taxila was an important Hindu[1] and Buddhist center of learning from the fifth century B.C.E.[2] to the second century, one of the greatest monastic-universities of the ancient world.



Gandhara witnessed the rule of several major powers of antiquity as listed here:

1. Achaemenids (~600-400 BCE)
2. Greeks (~326-324 BCE),
3. Mauryans (~324-185 BCE),
4. Indo-Greeks (~250-190 BCE),
5. Scythians (~2nd century to 1st century BCE),
6. Parthians (~1st century BC to 1st century CE),
7. Kushans (~1st to 5th century CE),
8. White Huns (~5th century CE)
9. Hindu Shahi (~9th to 10th century CE).

This was followed by Muslim conquests by which time we come to the medieval period of Indian History.


Darius I added Gandhara to the Achaemenid Empire around 556 BCE but his occupation of it did not last long. Later on it was instead known to be a tributary state of the Achaemenids (known as a satrapy) and later paid tributes and inferred hospitality to Alexander the Great who eventually conquered it (along with the rest of the Achaemenian empire).The Achaemenian hegemony in Gandhara lasted from the 6th century BCE to 327 BCE.
Alexander is said to have crossed through the area of what is called Gandhara to enter into Punjab proper (as indeed this region is still used today for the same function) and he was offered alliance by the ruler of Taxila Ombhi, against the king Porus, who was a constant source of agitation for Taxila and its surrounding regions. What happened after this at the Battle of Hydaspes is (quite literally) ancient history. Nonetheless, Alexander's stay here was short and he went south via the Indus River and crossed over into what is today Balochistan on the return journey.
Alexander left sizeable populations of Greeks in every region he conquered and Gandhara was no exception, with craftsmen, soldiers and other followers encouraged to inter-marry and blend with the locals and bring to them the fruits of Greek civilization. When Alexander died in June 323 BCE, his occupying Greek force, desperate to return home, started the journey back regardless of the orders to stay in the region and this left a large vaccuum in the already thinly spread Greek occupation force in Gandhara. Nonetheless, enough Greek centers were created in the region to affect its history for centuries to come.


By 316 BCE, King Chandragupta of Magadha (321-297 BCE) moved in and conquered the Indus Valley, thereby annexing Gandhara and naming Taxila a provincial capital of his newly formed Mauryan Empire. Chandragupta was succeeded by his son Bindusara, who was succeeded by his son Ashoka (who had previously remained a governor of Taxila for some time). Ashoka famously propagated the spread of Buddhism, and created a grand monastery to the east of the river Tamra at Taxila. This is the Dharmarajika Monastery, famous for its stupa, and it is said Ashoka buried several relics of Buddha there. However the Mauryan empire disintegrated after Ashoka's death and Gandhara was again up for grabs.


In 184 BCE, the Greeks (who had remained strong in Bactria, modern North Afghanistan), invaded Gandhara again under king Demetrius and it was he who built a new city on the opposite bank of the river from Bhir Mound. This new incarnation of Taxila is known now as Sirkap (meaning 'severed head') and it was built according to the Hippodamaean plan following a gridiron pattern.
The Kingdom of Demetrius consisted of Gandhara, Arachosia (modern day Kandahar in Afghanistan), the Punjab, and a part of the Ganges Valley. It was a multi-ethnic society, where Greeks, Indians, Bactrians and Western Iranians lived together. Evidence of this is found all over 2nd century BCE Taxila, such as a Zoroastrian sanctuary at Jandial, directly north of Sirkap.


The gradual takeover of the Punjab by the nomadic Scythians of Central Asia began around 110 BCE. These tribes had been accustomed to invading northern territories such as those in Bactia, but had been kept back by the Achaemenids in the past. They had settled in Drangiana, modern day Sistan in Iran and invaded Punjab, infiltrating through the southern Indus Valley, eventually taking over Taxila.
In the first quarter of the 1st century CE, the Parthians moved in and began taking over the Greek Petty Kingdoms in Gandhara and Punjab. Gondophares, a Parthian leader who lived at Taxila is said to have been baptised by the apostle Thomas, not a wholly impossible claim since the city already hosted a number of religious faiths and might have accomodated a fledgling Christian one.

dimitrios the samian
06-15-2016, 08:48

Ratheza: Indian Chariots - Royal Unit
Isvasa: Basic Archer, but can hide in the open - short bow (** new **)
Paramesvasa: Longbow now made more elite (means 'excellent archer' in Sanskrit)
Zaktika: Spears
Zaktigraha: Light Lancer Cavalry, fast but fragile (** new **)
Azviya: Horse Archers
Khadgadhara: Swordsmen (** new **)
Kalpita: War-Elephants
Prasika Javelins
Yuddhanauka Faction-Unique Warship
Varmavat Zula : Armoured Pikemen
Varmavat Parsava : Armoured Axemen

macsen rufus
06-15-2016, 15:35
Quick note - the axe and pikemen exist only in the armoured varieties :bow:

And, by the way, if any lurkers out there have a better grasp of Sanskrit grammar, I'm always open to correction if any of these names make no sense. Online dictionaries only take you so far...

dimitrios the samian
06-17-2016, 02:13
Quick note - the axe and pikemen exist only in the armoured varieties :bow:
Noted & corrected , they have quite a nice variety of troops !
But im sure that using logic , if an Armoured variety was present , there were also unarmoured ! :laugh4:
but that's just a dream at the moment ..... way down the line in a few years , we may talk about a " India TW "

macsen rufus
06-20-2016, 19:56
Thank Dimitrios for this :2thumbsup:









dimitrios the samian
06-21-2016, 07:34
My pleasure Mac :bow:
I'm glad I can finally contribute in a meaningful way .
Eventually I'd like these guys with footwear , I also have a few ideas on how we can add just a little , but enough to get their faction colors showing on them ~:) but that's for later ...
In the meantime my curiosity has been stirred & I wonder how Gandharans actually looked ?
If I find any pics I will post