India had a long trade and travel relation with Ptolemaic Egypt, a Greek kingdom in Egypt founded around 300 BCE. Inscriptions in temple ruins still carry Indian/Hindu names there. Image shows an estimate of Ptolemaic kingdom.
This inscription is found in the temple of Seti I at Khanais that falls on the road between the cities of Edfu and Mersa Alam. See map for exact location of the temple ruins. Google maps don't record the exact location
This temple has lots of inscriptions in both Greek and Hieroglyphics. See the entrance to the temple and some of the inscriptions in the rock cut caves.
Rawlinson mentioned the Greek inscription in his book "Intercourse between India and the Western World" published in 1916. The inscription is mentioned in p. 99. See the Greek inscription and his initial estimate what it meant.
Once translated, that inscription says "To Pan, who gives easy passage and listens to prayer; Sophon the Indian, on his own behalf". German scholars Wilcken and Hultzsch translated the inscription.
Hultzsch estimates that the Hellenized name Sophon's original Hindu form may be the Sanskrit Subhanu. This interpretation is generally accepted. Pan was identified with Krishna, the god of flocks and herds, and played a rustic flute. He was an Egyptian trader of Indian origin.
Sophon/Subhanu was one of the earliest examples of NRI that is known in history. His inscription is a testament to the early Indian merchants and traders in ancient Egypt. Later even in 470 CE, Brahmans visited Alexandria and stayed with Consul Severus.
Last excerpt from the Vakataka-Gupta Age by RC Majumdar, p. 338

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More from @FactIndology

31 Aug
This thread is how Christian saints crushed and destroyed Hindu idols in Armenia in 304 CE and converted the people to Christianity.
This is the work of Gregory the Illuminator, who served as the first head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Where is Armenia? It's located near the Caspian Sea, but is landlocked by Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran. See map for the exact location of Armenia.
How did Hindu religion and culture reach Armenia and when?
The existence of an ancient Indian colony in Armenia is well-known to Armenian scholars, but not known in India. This information comes from a Syrian person named Zenob, who was the companion of St. Gregory, the Illuminator on an idol-smashing tour through Armenia in 304 CE.
Read 14 tweets
18 Mar
Thread of Threads on caste

1. Evolution of caste in India
2. Caste like social institutions outside India
Read 5 tweets
17 Mar
How the British enforced the rigidity of the caste and often manufactured occupational castes during Census is evident from British census officers' writings. Here's Middleton, in the Punjab Census of 1921, "these castes have been largely manufactured and
almost entirely preserved as separate castes by the British Government..we pigeon-holed everyone by caste and if we could not find a true caste for them labelled them with the name of an hereditary occupation."
He further went on to add
"We deplore the caste system and its effect on social and economic problems, but we are largely responsible for the system which we deplore". Caste in earlier days was only rigid among the higher castes, but after the British, it crystallized among all sections of society. Image
Read 4 tweets
6 Mar
I had written earlier about history of caste in India. In this thread, I will show how caste-like elements were present in other parts of the world. Occupational, birth-based or endogamic groups are not unique to India.

In this quest, I will describe primitive societies in Egypt, Western Asia, China, Japan, America, Rome and tribal Europe. Hindu society is always criticized for its caste-like segregation. Let's see how society developed all over the world.
In ancient Egypt, there were 3 classes - land-owners, serfs, and slaves. The first 2 owned land whereas the slaves didn't.
Source: Ancient Times, A History of the Early World by Breasted p. 67
3/n Image
Read 46 tweets
4 Feb
We need to understand what the purpose of whataboutery is. When you see a counter-argument to any argument, that starts with "what about", it serves only one purpose - to accuse the arguer of hypocrisy.
In TV debates, press conferences or SM arguments, the only type of argument that you will see is that the person(s) raising a point has practiced the same behavior early and shows hypocrisy. That frees up the necessity of countering the actual argument.
Imagine you are diabetic and are not controlling your sugar intake. I advise you to stop taking sugar. Now, I myself may be also diabetic and can't control my sugar. My advices make me a hypocrite but doesn't diminish the importance of the actual advice.
Read 4 tweets
22 Jan
Caste is still an extremely important term in political and social life India. What is the origin of caste? Was it just a British invention as a form of grouping into Varna? Were there any other groupings in India before the British? A look at the history of caste.
The word 'caste' comes from the Protugues root 'casta' meaning 'race', 'kind', 'cast' or 'mould'. When the Portuguese first arrived in the East, they used casta to describe the religious and social distinctions as observed among the Hindu people.
The greatest Portuguese poet Luís de Camões wrote in his epic Os Lusíadas about the people of Malabar where we used the phrase "a casta antiqua" to describe the prevalent groupings. This was the first usage from where the modern word 'caste' is derived.
3/n Image
Read 66 tweets

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