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In 333 BC Phillip II of Macedonia was assassinated and Alexander became king. He campaigned in Greece and the Balkans and after securing his kingdom’s borders he launched an invasion of the Persian Empire. Alexander portrayed himself as avenging the two earlier invasions of Greece by the Persians <ref>Plutarch. Life of Alexander, 5, 17</ref>. In a series of devastating campaigns, he seized the Persian Empire and ended the Achaemenid Dynasty. Alexander then campaigned to extend his control over the former Persian satrapies in modern Uzbekistan and Afghanistan (328-327 BC). The Achaemenids had also established some satrapies in modern Pakistan and Alexander wanted to add these to his Empire. The Macedonian monarch was first drawn to the Indian sub-continent by the desire to complete the conquest of the Persian Empire. However, it seemed that at some date that he decided to invade India, which he like other Greeks, believed was the end of the world <ref> Plutarch, 6. 4</ref>. At this time, India referred to the territory occupied by the modern state of that name and also the present-day nation of Pakistan. It was one of the most populous and urbanized parts of the Ancient World and had a culture every bit as rich as that of Ancient Greece. There were a series of large of sophisticated states in the subcontinent. Much of Northern India was controlled by the powerful Nanda Empire, while in what is now Bengal, the Gangaridai Empire, reputedly could field a force of 3,000 war-elephants.
[[File: Ashoka's visit to the Ramagrama stupa Sanchi Stupa 1 Southern gateway. jpg|200px|thumb|left| The Emperor Asoka from a frieze in India]]
==Alexander’s Invasion of India==