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The reception of T. S. Bayer’s 'Historia Regni Graecorum Bactriani' (1738)

Mairs, R. (2014) The reception of T. S. Bayer’s 'Historia Regni Graecorum Bactriani' (1738). Anabasis: Studia Classica et Orientalia, 4. pp. 255-262.

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Abstract/Summary

Theophilus (Gottlieb) Siegfried Bayer (1694-1738) is usually credited as the first person in modern times to address the history of the Greeks in Bactria in a serious way. Bayer’s Historia Regni Graecorum Bactriani, brings together numismatic and historical research. He describes two Graeco-Bactrian coins which he was able to examine first hand, and collects and comments upon the Classical historical sources on the Greek kingdoms of Bactria and India. It was published in St. Petersburg in 1738, where Bayer, a German, held an academic position. In this short article, I am interested in two questions surrounding the Historia Regni Graecorum Bactriani. First (and relatively briefly), how Bayer conducted his research without first hand access to source material and without himself travelling in Bactria – or indeed further east than St. Petersburg. Secondly, the way in which Bayer’s scholarship was received by some of his contemporaries and by later writers, outside the field of Bactrian studies.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:40060

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