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Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 60 BC – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus. His literary style was Atticistic — imitating Classical Attic Greek in its prime.


He was a Halicarnassusian.[1] At some time he moved to Rome after the termination of the civil wars, and spent twenty-two years studying Latin and literature and preparing materials for his history. During this period, he gave lessons in rhetoric, and enjoyed the society of many distinguished men. The date of his death is unknown.[2]

His major work

His major work, entitled Ῥωμαϊκὴ Ἀρχαιολογία (Romaiki Archeologia, Roman Antiquities), embraced the history of Rome from the mythical period to the beginning of the First Punic War. It was divided into twenty books, of which the first nine remain entire, the tenth and eleventh are nearly complete, and the remaining books exist in fragments in the excerpts of the Roman emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus and an epitome discovered by Angelo Mai in a Milan manuscript. The first three books of Appian, Plutarch's Life of Camillus and Life of Coriolanus also embody much of Dionysius.

His chief object was to reconcile the Greeks to the rule of Rome, by dilating upon the good qualities of their conquerors and also by arguing, using more ancient sources, that the Romans were genuine descendants of the older Greeks.[3][4]

According to him, history is philosophy teaching by examples, and this idea he has carried out from the point of view of a Greek rhetorician. But he carefully consulted the best authorities, and his work and that of Livy are the only connected and detailed extant accounts of early Roman history.

Jat History

Sir H. M. Elliot[5] writes.... [p.507]: General Cunningham in his Archælogical Report for 1863-4, says, "The traditions of the Hindu Játs of Biána and Bharatpur point to Kandahar as their parent country, while those of the Muhammadan Játs generally refer to Gajni or Garh-Gajni, which may be either the celebrated fort of Ghazni in Afghanistan or the old city of Gajnipur on the site of Rawul-Pindi. But if I am right in my identification of the Játs with the Xanthii of Strabo, and the Iatii of Pliny and Ptolemy, their parent country must have been on the banks of the Oxus, between Bactria, Hyrkania, and Khorasmia. Now in this very position there was a fertile district, irrigated from the Margus river, which Pliny calls Zotale or Zothale, and which, I believe to have been the original seat of the Iatii or Játs. Their course from the Oxus to the Indus may perhaps be dimly traced in the Xuthi of Dionysius of Samos, who are coupled with the Arieni, and in the Zuthi of Ptolemy who occupied the Karmanian desert on the frontier of Drangiana. As I can find no other traces of their name in the classical writers, I am inclined to believe, as before suggested, that they may have been best known in early times, by the general name of their horde, as Abars, instead of by their tribal name as Játs. According to this view, the main body of the Iatii would have occupied the district of Abiria and the towns of Parda-bathra and Bardaxema in Sindh, or Southern Indo-Scythia,

[p.508]: while the Panjab or Northern Indo-Scythia was chiefly colonized by their brethren the Meds.

Shudraka: Alexander Cunningham[6] writes that The ancient town of Ajudhan or Pakpatan, is situated on the high bank of the old Satlej, 28 miles to the south-west of Depalpur Pakistan, and 10 miles from the present course of the river.

Its foundation is assigned to a Hindu saint, or raja, of the same name, of whom nothing else is recorded. This part of the Doab is still known as Surāt-des, a name which recalls the Surakousae of Diodorus, and the Sudrakae and Oxudrakae of other Greek writers. Now, the Sudrakae are always coupled with the Malli by classical authors, just as Ajudhan and Multan are joined together by the Muhammadan historians. I think, therefore, that we may look upon Ajudhan and its neighbour Depalpur Pakistan as two of the chief cities of the Sudrakas, or Surakas, who, in the time of Alexander, were one of the free nations of India. Dionysius and Nonnus use the form of Hudarkae, Pliny has Sydrakae, which agrees with Strabo's Sudrakae ; and Diodorus has Surakousae. Arrian and Curtius alone give Oxudrakae. Strabo adds that they were said to be descendants of Bacchus;[7]

Mahla - B S Dahiya[8] writes: They are perhaps the same as are described by the Greeks as Malloi. They were in fourth century B.C. on the west bank of Ravi and the south of Chenab-Jhelum confluence. They are described as extraordinarily strong and brave. They had along-with the Oxydra-kai, about one lac men under arms. The Greeks were terrified of them and it was with great difficulty that Alexander Persuaded them to fight these Mallis. Alexander had a narrow escape in that battle. As expected the “Malavas“ were enemies of their neighbour-Oxydra-Kai (Not identified , so far) and to face Alexander, they made peace and each unmarred Malava boy and girl was married to Oxydra-kai girls and boys. Though the Greeks said that they won, but the scene of the treaty negotiations, does not reflect the ‘defeated’ Mallovai. From the PunjabMalwa’ they went to Rajasthan and finally to Central Indian and named it as ‘Malwa’. They had a republican form of government and their coins have the legends ‘Malavanam Jaya’, ‘Malavaganasya Jaya’, etc. The Present Mall Jats are their descendants. Incidentally the Saubhuti (or-Sophytes of the Greeks) are the modern Sobhati (Punjabis) and Agiri or Agri is a caste in some Rohtak Villages. It is significant that Niti Prakashika calls them “devoid of religion” Megasthenes says that they settled in the Punjab at the time of Dionysius (Denavesa ? ) [9] Panini and Chandra say that they were neither Brahmans nor Kshatriyas. They buried their dead and mounds were raised over their dead. (Mal/ Malli/Mahlavat [10] seem to be the same. Mālavata as such are mentioned by Patanjali.

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[11] writes....The tribes in dispute in this respect are the Tak or Takka or Tank or Tonk or Tankur or Takor (or Tagar or Taggar). These are the descendents probably of Takshaka of Taxasila (possibly a descendent ruler of Visala in the Saka dynasty of Nrishyant, the Aiksvaka); Karkotakas and Kadrus or Kadars or in Pali Prakrita Kadasa; Mag or Meg or Megh or Makh (Makhar or Makkar); Sati or Satia, Dund, Sadan or Sadana; Janjuhas, descendents of Raja Mall, the founder of the old fort of Mallot, from the Anavas; A wans or Anuwans also from Anavas; Hudi (or Hada or Hooda or Huda or Uddai or Uddhika); Gakars or Gakhars (or Gargars or Gagar), the Gurgaridae of Dionysius from the Ta-Yueh-Chih, a major branch of the Sakas; Sivis of Sobii of Quintus Curtius or Sibae of Strabo or Sobae of Dionysius (or Chibar or Chhibar of the Panjabis or the Sivas of the Rigveda, Sivi or Shivaran or Sibia Jats). If the Sivis are Scythians, their descendents would automatically be Scythians. They are also Abar or Avars or the Aparni of Strabo, a branch of the Dahae Scythians; Sabal (or Sabar or Sabarwal), Pali or Palusii of Diodorus or Palaei or Apethaei of Pliny or Parii of Strabo or Paralatae of Herodotus, an important branch of the Dahae or (Dai or Dahi or Dahia of (Camb. His. of Iran, Vol. 3, Pt.I, p. 75; Ibid., vol. 3, Pt. 2, ;p. 686, 691,767, 769, 851); or the Dasas of Sanskrit texts or Dahiyas in the Jats.

External links


  1. Hidber. Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece (p.229). Routledge 31 Oct 2013, 832 pages, ISBN 1136787992, (editor N. Wilson).
  2. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dionysius Halicarnassensis". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 285–286.
  3. Dionysius of Halicarnassus. "The Roman Antiquities (Loeb Classical Library edition, 1937), Book 1, 11". Penelope, University of Chicago.
  4. E. Gabba, Dionysius and the History of Archaic Rome (Berkeley 1991)
  5. Editing The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/Note (C).- Ethnological (section),p. 507-508
  6. The Ancient Geography of India/Ransi,pp.214-215
  7. Geogr., xiv. 1, 8, and 33.
  8. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Jat Clan in India,p. 264
  9. Fragments, XLVI,7
  10. Fragments, XXXVII, 7
  11. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The identification of the Jats,p.323