The Info List - Kambojas

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The Kambojas
were a tribe of Iron Age
Iron Age
India, frequently mentioned in Sanskrit
and Pali literature. The tribe coalesced to become one of the solasa (sixteen) Mahajanapadas
(great kingdoms) of ancient India mentioned in the Anguttara Nikaya.

Vedic period
Vedic period
India, with the Kamboja on the northwest border


1 Ethnicity and language 2 Origins 3 Kambojan States

3.1 The Aśvakas 3.2 Conflict with Alexander

4 Migrations

4.1 Eastern Kambojas

5 Mauryan period 6 See also 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Ethnicity and language[edit] The ancient Kambojas
were probably of Indo-Iranian origin.[1] They are, however, sometimes described as Indo-Aryans[2][page needed][3][volume needed][4] and sometimes as having both Indian and Iranian affinities.[5][6][7] The Kambojas
are also described as a royal clan of the Sakas.[8] Origins[edit] The earliest reference to the Kambojas
is in the works of Pāṇini, around the 5th century BCE. Other pre- Common Era
Common Era
references appear in the Manusmriti
(2nd century) and the Mahabharata
(10th century BCE), both of which described the Kambojas
as former kshatriyas (Warriors caste) who had degraded through a failure to abide by Hindu sacred rituals.[9] Their territories were located beyond Gandhara, beyond Pakistan, Afghanistan
laying in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan where Buddha statues were built in the name of king Maurya & Ashoka[10] and the 3rd century BCE Edicts of Ashoka
Edicts of Ashoka
refers to the area under Kamboja control as being independent of the Mauryan empire
Mauryan empire
in which it was situated.[9] Some sections of the Kambojas
crossed the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
and planted Kamboja colonies in Paropamisadae
and as far as Rajauri. The Mahabharata
locates the Kambojas
on the near side of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
as neighbors to the Daradas, and the Parama- Kambojas
across the Hindu Kush as neighbors to the Rishikas (or Tukharas) of the Ferghana region.[11][page needed][12][13] The confederation of the Kambojas
may have stretched from the valley of Rajauri
in the south-western part of Kashmir to the Hindu Kush Range; in the south–west the borders extended probably as far as the regions of Kabul, Ghazni and Kandahar, with the nucleus in the area north-east of the present day Kabul, between the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
Range and the Kunar river, including Kapisa[14][15] possibly extending from the Kabul valleys to Kandahar.[16] Others locate the Kambojas
and the Parama- Kambojas
in the areas spanning Balkh, Badakshan, the Pamirs and Kafiristan.[17] D. C. Sircar supposed them to have lived "in various settlements in the wide area lying between Punjab, Iran, to the south of Balkh."[18] and the Parama-Kamboja even farther north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising the Zeravshan
valley, towards the Farghana region, in the Scythia
of the classical writers.[2][page needed][19][20] The mountainous region between the Oxus
and Jaxartes
is also suggested as the location of the ancient Kambojas.[21] The name Kamboja may derive from (Kam + bhoj "Kamma+boja"), refer ring to the people of a country known as "Kum" or "Kam". The mountainous highlands where the Jaxartes
and its confluents arise are called the highlands of the Komedes by Ptolemy. Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
also names these mountains as Komedas.[22][23][24] The Kiu-mi-to in the writings of Xuanzang
have also been identified with the Komudha-dvipa of the Puranic
literature and the Iranian Kambojas.[25][26] The two Kamboja settlements on either side of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
are also substantiated from Ptolemy's Geography, which refers to the Tambyzoi located north of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
on the river Oxus
in Bactria, and the Ambautai people on the southern side of Hindukush in the Paropamisadae.[citation needed] Scholars have identified both the Ptolemian Tambyzoi and Ambautai with Sanskrit Kamboja.[11][27][28][29][30] Scholars, such as Ernst Herzfeld, have suggested etymological links between some Indo-Aryan ethnonyms and some geonyms used by Iranian-speaking peoples of the Caucasus Mountains
Caucasus Mountains
and Caspian basin. In particular, Kamboja somewhat resembles the hydronym Kambujiya – the Iranian name for the Iori/Gabirri river (modern Georgia/Azerbaijan). Kambujiya is also the root of Cambysene (an archaic name for the Kakheti/Balakan regions of Georgia and Azerbaijan) and the Persian personal name Cambyses. (A similar link is suggested between the Kura River, which is near the Iori, and the name of the Kurus and Kaurava
mentioned in vedic literature.)[31] Such etymologies have not, however, been universally accepted.[citation needed] Kambojan States[edit] The capital of Kamboja was probably Rajapura (modern Rajauri). The Kamboja Mahajanapada
of Buddhist traditions refers to this branch.[32] Kautiliya's Arthashastra
and Ashoka's Edict No. XIII attest that the Kambojas
followed a republican constitution. Pāṇini's Sutras tend to convey that the Kamboja of Pāṇini
was a "Kshatriya monarchy", but "the special rule and the exceptional form of derivative" he gives to denote the ruler of the Kambojas
implies that the king of Kamboja was a titular head (king consul) only.[33] One king of Kamboja was King Srindra Varmana Kamboj.[34] The Aśvakas[edit] Main article: Aśvakas The Kambojas
were famous in ancient times for their excellent breed of horses and as remarkable horsemen located in the Uttarapatha or north-west.[35][36] They were constituted into military sanghas and corporations to manage their political and military affairs.[citation needed] The Kamboja cavalry offered their military services to other nations as well. There are numerous references to Kamboja having been requisitioned as cavalry troopers in ancient wars by outside nations.[37][38] It was on account of their supreme position in horse (Ashva) culture that the ancient Kambojas
were also popularly known as Ashvakas, i.e. horsemen. Their clans in the Kunar and Swat valleys have been referred to as Assakenoi and Aspasioi in classical writings, and Ashvakayanas and Ashvayanas in Pāṇini's Ashtadhyayi.

The Kambojas
were famous for their horses and as cavalry-men (aśva-yuddha-Kuśalah), Aśvakas, 'horsemen', was the term popularly applied to them... The Aśvakas inhabited Eastern Afghanistan, and were included within the more general term Kambojas. — K.P.Jayswal[36]

Elsewhere Kamboja is regularly mentioned as "the country of horses" (Asvanam ayatanam), and it was perhaps this well-established reputation that won for the horsebreeders of Bajaur and Swat the designation Aspasioi (from the Old Pali aspa) and assakenoi (from the Sanskrit
asva "horse"). — Etienne Lamotte[39]

Conflict with Alexander[edit] The Kambojas
entered into conflict with Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
as he invaded Central Asia. The Macedonian conqueror made short shrift of the arrangements of Darius and after over-running the Achaemenid Empire he dashed into today's eastern Afghanistan
and western Pakistan. There he encountered resistance from the Kamboja Aspasioi and Assakenoi tribes.[40][41] The Ashvayans (Aspasioi) were also good cattle breeders and agriculturists. This is clear from the large number of bullocks that Alexander captured from them - 230,000 according to Arrian[42] - some of which were of a size and shape superior to what the Macedonians had known, and which Alexander decided to send to Macedonia for agriculture.[43][44] Migrations[edit] During the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE, clans of the Kambojas
from Central Asia in alliance with the Sakas, Pahlavas and the Yavanas entered present Afghanistan
and India, spread into Sindhu, Saurashtra, Malwa, Rajasthan, Punjab and Surasena, and set up independent principalities in western and south-western India. Later, a branch of the same people took Gauda and Varendra territories from the Palas and established the Kamboja-Pala Dynasty
Kamboja-Pala Dynasty
of Bengal
in Eastern India.[45][46][47] There are references to the hordes of the Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, and Pahlavas in the Bala Kanda
Bala Kanda
of the Valmiki Ramayana. In these verses one may see glimpses of the struggles of the Hindus with the invading hordes from the north-west.[4][48][49] The royal family of the Kamuias mentioned in the Mathura Lion Capital
Mathura Lion Capital
are believed to be linked to the royal house of Taxila
in Gandhara.[50] In the medieval era, the Kambojas
are known to have seized north-west Bengal
(Gauda and Radha) from the Palas of Bengal
and established their own Kamboja-Pala Dynasty. Indian texts like Markandeya Purana, Vishnu Dharmottari Agni Purana,[51] Eastern Kambojas[edit] See also: Kamboja-Pala Dynasty
Kamboja-Pala Dynasty
of Bengal A branch of Kambojas
seems to have migrated eastwards towards Nepal and Tibet
in the wake of Kushana
(1st century) or else Huna (5th century) pressure and hence their notice in the chronicles of Tibet ("Kam-po-tsa, Kam-po-ce, Kam-po-ji") and Nepal
(Kambojadesa).[52][53] The 5th-century Brahma Purana
Brahma Purana
mentions the Kambojas
around Pragjyotisha
and Tamraliptika.[54][55][56][57][volume needed]

The Kambojas
of ancient India are known to have been living in north-west, but in this period (9th century AD), they are known to have been living in the north-east India also, and very probably, it was meant Tibet.[58]

The last Kambojas
ruler of the Kamboja-Pala Dynasty
Kamboja-Pala Dynasty
Dharmapala was defeated by the south Indian Emperor Rajendra Chola I
Rajendra Chola I
of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century.[59][60] Mauryan period[edit] See also: Maurya Empire The Kambojas
find prominent mention as a unit in the 3rd-century BCE Edicts of Ashoka. Rock Edict XIII tells us that the Kambojas
had enjoyed autonomy under the Mauryas.[4][page needed][61] The republics mentioned in Rock Edict V are the Yonas, Kambojas, Gandharas, Nabhakas and the Nabhapamkitas. They are designated as araja. vishaya in Rock Edict XIII, which means that they were kingless, i.e. republican polities. In other words, the Kambojas formed a self-governing political unit under the Maurya emperors.[62][63] Ashoka
sent missionaries to the Kambojas
to convert them to Buddhism, and recorded this fact in his Rock Edict V.[64][65] See also[edit]

Etymology of Kapisa Kom people (Afghanistan) Kom people (India) Kamboj


^ Dwivedi 1977: 287 "The Kambojas
were probably the descendants of the Indo-Iranians
popularly known later on as the Sassanians and Parthians who occupied parts of north-western India in the first and second centuries of the Christian era." ^ a b Mishra 1987 ^ Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Achut Dattatrya Pusalker, A. K. Majumdar, Dilip Kumar Ghose, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Vishvanath Govind Dighe. The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1962, p 264, ^ a b c "Political History of Ancient India", H. C. Raychaudhuri, B. N. Mukerjee, University of Calcutta, 1996. ^ See: Vedic Index of names & subjects by Arthur Anthony Macdonnel, Arthur. B Keath, I.84, p 138. ^ See more Refs: Ethnology of Ancient Bhārata, 1970, p 107, Ram Chandra Jain; The Journal of Asian Studies, 1956, p 384, Association for Asian Studies, Far Eastern Association (U.S.) ^ India as Known to Pāṇini: A Study of the Cultural Material in the Ashṭādhyāyī, 1953, p 49, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Afghanistan, p 58, W. K. Fraser, M. C. Gillet; Afghanistan, its People, its Society, its Culture, Donal N. Wilber, 1962, p 80, 311 ^ Walker and Tapp 2001 ^ a b Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania, Barbara A. West, Infobase Publishing (2009), ISBN 9781438119137 p. 359 ^ Encyclopaedia Indica, "The Kambojas: Land and its Identification", First Edition, 1998 New Delhi, page 528 ^ a b Sethna, K. D. (2000) Problems of Ancient India, New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. ISBN 81-7742-026-7 ^ Numerous scholars now locate the Kamboja realm on the southern side of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
ranges (in the Kabul, Swat, and Kunar valleys) and the Parama- Kambojas
in the territories on the north side of the Hindu Kush. See: Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 11-13, Moti Chandra - India; Geographical Data in the Early Purāṇas: A Critical Study, 1972, p 165/66, M. R. Singh ^ Purana, Vol VI, No 1, January 1964, p 207 sqq; Inscriptions of Asoka: Translation and Glossary, 1990, p 86, Beni Madhab Barua, Binayendra Nath Chaudhury - Inscriptions, Prakrit). ^ The Peoples of Pakistan: An Ethnic History, 1971, pp 64-67, Yuri Vladimirovich Gankovski - Ethnology. ^ History of the Pathans, 2002, p 11, Haroon Rashid - Pushtuns. ^ Michael Witzel Persica-9, p 92, fn 81. ^ Asoka and His Inscriptions, 1968, pp 93-96, Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa. ^ Sircar, D. C. (1971). Studies in the Geography
of Ancient and Medieval India. p. 100.  ^ See: Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118, J. C. Vidyalankara ^ The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa's Harshacharita, 1969, p 199, Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala ^ Central Asiatic Provinces of the Mauryan Empire, p 403, H. C. Seth; See also: Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, 1937, No 3, p. 400; Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1940, p 37, (India) Asiatic Society (Calcutta, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal
- Asia; cf: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 176, p 152, Shashi P. Asthana; Mahabharata
Myth and Reality, 1976, p 232, Swarajya Prakash Gupta, K. S. Ramachandran. Cf also: India and Central Asia, p 25 etc, P. C. Bagchi. ^ Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 403; Central Asiatic provinces of the Maurya Empire, p403, H.C. Seth ^ History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 152, Shashi Asthana; Mahabharata
Myth and Reality, 1976, p 232, Swarajya Prakash Gupta, K. S. Ramachandran. ^ "The Town of Darwaz in Badakshan is still called Khum (Kum) or Kala-i-Khum. It stands for the valley of Basht. The name Khum or Kum conceals the relics of ancient Kamboja" (Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1956, p 256, Buddha Prakash [Asiatic Society (Calcutta, India), Asiatic Society of Bengal]). ^ India and the World, p 71, Buddha Prakash; also see: Central Asiatic Provinces of Maurya Empire, p 403, H. C. Seth; India and Central Asia, p 25, P. C. Bagchi ^ Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1956, p 256, Asiatic Society (Calcutta, India), Asiatic Society of Bengal. ^ Talbert 2000, p. 99 ^ For Tambyzoi=Kamboja, see refs: Pre Aryan and Pre Dravidian in India, 1993, p 122, Sylvain Lévi, Jean Przyluski, Jules Bloch, Asian Educational Services; Cities and Civilization, 1962, p 172, Govind Sadashiv Ghurye ^ For Ambautai=Kamboja, see Witzel 1999a ^ Patton and Bryant 2005, p. 257 ^ Histoire Auguste: Pt. 2. Vies des deux Valérines et des deux Galliens, 2000, p 90, Ammn Marcellin, Jean Pierre Callu, O. Desbordes (Les hydronymes de Transcaucasie, en question ici, auraient pu, dès lors, aussi dériver aussi de ces ethniques, lors de l'extension des tribus iraniennes vers le Nord de la Médie, et non pas de ces souverains achéménides — dont la présente légende répond mieux à l'ingéniosité «heurématique» des Grecs) ^ See: Problems of Ancient India, 2000, p 5-6; cf: Geographical Data in the Early Puranas, p 168. ^ Hindu Polity: A Constitutional History of India in Hindu Times, Parts I and II., 1955, p 52, Dr Kashi Prasad Jayaswal - Constitutional history; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja - Kamboja (Pakistan). ^ Studies in Skanda Purana, 1978, p 59, A. B. L. Awasthi. ^ The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 103 ^ a b Hindu Polity, 1978, pp 121, 140, K. P. Jayswal. ^ War in Ancient India, 1944, p 178, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar - Military art and science. ^ The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 103; The Achaemenids in India, 1950, p 47, Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya; Poona Orientalist: A Quarterly Journal Devoted to Oriental Studies, 1945, P i, (edi) Har Dutt Sharma; The Poona Orientalist, 1936, p 13, Sanskrit
philology ^ "Par ailleurs le Kamboja est régulièrement mentionné comme la "patrie des chevaux" (Asvanam ayatanam), et cette reputation bien etablie gagné peut-etre aux eleveurs de chevaux du Bajaur et du Swat l'appellation d'Aspasioi (du v.-p. aspa) et d'assakenoi (du skt asva "cheval")". E. Lamotte, Historie du Bouddhisme Indien, p. 110. (WP translation. Quotation should be taken from the published English translation: Lamotte 1988, p. 100) ^ Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10; also see: History of Porus, pp 12, 38, Buddha Parkash ^ Proceedings, 1965, p 39, by Punjabi University. Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies - History. ^ De Sélincourt, A., & Hamilton, J. (1971, 2003). Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Book IV, pp. 244 ^ History of Punjab, 1997, Editors: Fauja Singh, L. M. Joshi ^ Acharya 2001, p 91 ^ Geographical Data in the Early Purāṇas: A Critical Study, 1972, p 168, M. R. Singh - India. ^ History of Ceylon, 1959, p 91, Ceylon University, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Hem Chandra Ray, K. M. De Silva. ^ Pande (R.) 1984, p. 93 ^ Shrava 1981, p. 12 ^ Rishi, 1982, p. 100 ^ See: Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol II, Part I, p xxxvi; see also p 36, Sten Konow; Indian Culture, 1934, p 193, Indian Research Institute; Cf: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1990, p 142, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland - Middle East. ^ Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 127 ^ Shastri and Choudhury 1982, p. 112 ^ B. C. Sen, Some Historical Aspects of the Inscriptions of Bengal, p. 342, fn 1 ^ M. R. Singh, A Critical Study of the Geographical Data in the Early Puranas, p. 168 ^ Ganguly 1994, p. 72, fn 168 ^ H. C. Ray, The Dynastic History of Northern India, I, p. 309 ^ A. D. Pusalkar, R. C. Majumdar et al., History and Culture of Indian People, Imperial Kanauj, p. 323, ^ R. R. Diwarkar (ed.), Bihar Through the Ages, 1958, p. 312 ^ Ancient Indian History and Civilization by Sailendra Nath Sen p.281 ^ The Cambridge Shorter History of India p.145 ^ H. C. Raychaudhury, B. N. Mukerjee; Asoka and His Inscriptions, 3d Ed, 1968, p 149, Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa. ^ Hindu Polity, A Constitutional History of India in Hindu Times, 1978, p 117-121, K. P. Jayswal; Ancient India, 2003, pp 839-40, V. D. Mahajan; Northern India, p 42, Mehta Vasisitha Dev Mohan etc ^ Bimbisāra to Aśoka: With an Appendix on the Later Mauryas, 1977, p 123, Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya. ^ The North-west India of the Second Century B.C., 1974, p 40, Mehta Vasishtha Dev Mohan - India; Tribes in Ancient India, 1973, p 7 ^ Yar-Shater 1983, p. 951


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External links[edit]

Kamboj Society - Ancient Kamboja Country

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Ancient South Asia and Central Asia

Archaeology and prehistory

Proto-Indo-Iranians Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex
Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex
(BMAC) Indo-Aryan migration theory Swat culture Genetics and archaeogenetics History of the horse

Historical peoples and clans

Saka Indo-Scythians Yuezhi Kambojas Sakaldwipiya Parsi Kidarites Alchon Huns Hephthalites Nezak Huns


Greco-Bactrian Kingdom Indo-Greek Kingdom Indo-Parthian Kingdom Kushan Empire Kamboja Kingdom

Mythology and literature

Shakdvipa Āryāvarta Indo-Scythians
in Indian literature Uttaramadra Uttarakuru

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Tribes and kingdoms mentioned in the Mahabharata

Abhira Andhra Anarta Anga Anupa Assaka Asmaka Avanti Ay Bahlika Bhārata Chedi Chera Chola Chinas Dakshina Kosala Dakshinatya Danda Dasarna Dasharna Dasherka Dwaraka Gandhāra Garga Gomanta Gopa Rashtra Hara Huna Heheya Himalaya Huna Kanchi Kasmira Kalakuta Kalinga Kamboja Karnata Karusha Kashi Kekeya Kerala Khasa Kikata Kirata Kishkindha Konkana Kosala Kuninda Kunti Kuru Lanka Madra Madraka Magadha Maha Chinas Mahisha Malla Malava Matsya Mekhalas Mleccha Mudgala Mushika Nasikya Nepa Niharas Nishada Odra Pallava Panchala Pandya Parada Parama Kamboja Parasika Parvartaka Parvata Paurava Pishacha Pragjyotisha Pratyagratha Prasthala Pundra Pulinda Saka Salva Salveya Salwa Saraswata Saurashtra Sauvira Shakya Sindhu Sinhala Sivi Sonita Sudra Suhma Surparaka Surasena Tangana Trigarta Tulu Tushara Ursa Uttara Kuru Uttara Madra Utkala Vanga Vatadhana Vatsa Videha Vidarbha Yavana Yaudheya

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Great Indian Kingdoms (c. 600 BCE–c. 300 BCE)

Anga Assaka
(Asmaka) Avanti Chedi Gandhara Kashi Kamboja Kosala Kuru Magadha Malla (Mallarashtra) Machcha
(Matsya) Panchala Surasena V