Menander I

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Portrait of Menander I Soter, from his coinage

Menander I Soter (alt. Ménandros Sōtḗr; Menander the Saviour), known as Milinda in Indian sources, was a Greco-Bactrian and later Indo-Greek King (reigned c.165/155[1] –130 BC) who administered a large territory in the Northwestern regions of the Indian Subcontinent from his capital at Sagala. Menander is noted for having become a patron and convert to Greco-Buddhism and he is widely regarded as the greatest of the Indo-Greek kings.[2]

According to the Buddhist tradition, Menander (Milinda) engaged in a series of conversations with the Buddhist sage Nagasena, as recorded in the The Questions of King Milinda (Milindapañha). Buddhist tradition relates that he handed over his kingdom to his son and retired from the world, but Plutarch says that he died in camp while on a military campaign, and that his remains were divided equally between the cities to be enshrined in monuments, probably stupas, across his realm.

Large numbers of Menander’s coins have been unearthed, attesting to both the flourishing commerce and longevity of his realm.

Further reading


  1. Bopearachchi (1998) and (1991), respectively. The first date is estimated by Osmund Bopearachchi and R. C. Senior, the other Boperachchi
  2. "Menander | Indo-Greek king". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-09-06.