At the beginning of his Indica, he speaks about the older Indians who know about when Dionysus and Hercules arrived in India. This story was very popular during the Alexandrian period. What he says about the religions of the Indians is important. He mentions the devotees of Heracles (Lord Krishna) and Dionysus (Lord Shiva or King Lord Indra). However, he does not mention Buddhists. This could mean that the religion was not well known before Ashoka took power.
Megasthenes' Indica is the first well-known description of India by someone from the Western world.
References[change | change source]
- McCrindle, J.W. (1877). Ancient India As Described By Megasthenes and Arrian.. Trubner & Co., London. http://www.archive.org/stream/ancientindiaasd02mccrgoog#page/n6/mode/2up.
- Dahlaquist, Allan (1996). Megasthenes and Indian Religion- Volume 11 of History and Culture Series. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 386.
- Vassiliades, Demetrios (2000). The Greeks in India: A survey in Philosophical Understanding. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publ..
- Megasthenes (1846), E. A. Schwanbeck, ed., Indica, Sumptibus Pleimesii, bibliopolae (Original Oxford University), http://books.google.com/books?id=J1MOAAAAQAAJ