Contents: Preface. I. The Pre-Alexandrian Age: 1. The prehistoric civilisations. 2. Greece and the orient. 3. Indo-Iranians, Indo-Aryans and Indian aborigines. 4. Greek and Vedic Gods. 5. The proto-Indo-Europeans. 6. Mythical contacts. 7. First historical contacts. II. The Post-Alexandrian Age: 1. Alexander and the Indian gymnosophists. 2. Megasthenes and Indian religions. 3. The Greeks in the Mauryan Empire. 4. Greeks and Buddhism. 5. Greeks and Hinduism. 6. The Indians and the Greek religion. 7. After the fall of bactria. 8. Early travels to India. 9. Other travellers. 10. Some references to Indian religions in early Greek literature. 11. The meeting of religions. III. Who Were the Yavanas?: 1. The problem of definition. 2. Traditional views about the origin and social status of Yavanas. 3. Yonas, Yavanas and other Greeks. 4. The Yavana invasion. 5. Yavanas in the Pauranic literature. 6. Later historical references. 7. Yavanacarya and Yavanika. 8. The Mohammedan invasions. IV. Demetrios Galanos (1760-1833): 1. The first years. 2. Galanos in India. 3. Galano's work. 3. Works on Galanos. V. Contemporary Greeks in India: 1. The Greek Community in Bengal. 2. Two eminent ladies. 3. Indological studies in Greece. 4. Greek scholars in India. 5. The descendants of Megasthenes. 6. Greek culture in India. Appendix: 1. Greek philosophers and India. 2. The oriental origin theory. 3. Sramanas and Brahmanas in Greek and Indian literature. 4. Philosophical review. A comparative chronological chart. Index.
"This book relates to the history of the ideological presence of the Greeks in India. Unlike the previous works, which have been focused on particular historical periods, the present study aims to present the literary and religio-philosophic character of the Greeks in India as they interact with the Indians and the Indian culture from the earliest times to the present. It includes prehistoric, mythical and the first historically attested accounts of contact, a critical review of the Oriental Origin theory and travels of the Greek philosophers who are commonly thought to have visited or to have been influenced by India, the meeting of Alexander with the Indian Gymnosophists, the inter-religious contacts that took place between the two peoples during the reign of the Indo-Greek kingdoms in Bactria and the Medieval Ages, and a critical study of the identity of the Yavanas as they occur in Indian texts and inscriptions. The book provides further information on the life and work of the first and foremost Greek Indologist Demetrios Galanos, a record of Indological studies in Greece, and reviews on the works made by contemporary Greek scholars and diplomatic representatives in India." (jacket)