In Indian sources, the usage of the words "Yona", "Yauna", "Yonaka", "Yavana" or "Javana" etc. appears repeatedly, and particularly in relation to the Greek kingdoms which neighboured or sometimes occupied the Indian north-western territories (which is now Afghanistan or part of Pakistan) over a period of several centuries from the 4th century BC to the 1st century AD, such as the Seleucid Empire, the Greco-Bactrian kingdom and the Indo-Greek kingdom. The Yavanas are mentioned in detail in Sangam literature epics such as Paṭṭiṉappālai, describing their brisk trade with the Cholas in Tamilakam.
After Alexander's invasion, the Greek settlements had existed in eastern parts of Achaemenid empire, north-west of India, as neighbors to the Iranian Kambojas. The references to the Yonas in the early Buddhist texts may be related to the same.
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