Distortions in History
In Indian and especially Tamil literature, many scholars have wrongly attributed Yavana’s as meaning Greeks and Romans only. In reality any outsider in the olden times, (almost ten centuries before), was known as ‘Yavana’, the Greeks and Romans were only a small proportion as compared to the large Western Asian traders who frequented southern India for more than 2 millennia. The Pattanam excavations, near Kochi shown in the film is of significance as Mesopotamian and Sassanid artifacts found at the site, reinstate the fact that much before the Romans and Greeks, the trade contacts existed between West Asia and South India. The Romans and Greeks merely followed the existing trade route, till their empire remained powerful.
While the possibility of Roman embassies reaching the South Indian kingdoms is not ruled out, it has to be also understood that, in the height of the Roman empire, parts of West Asia and North Africa were under the control influence of the Romans. As the society was moving from the barter system of trade to the coinage system, the Roman coin standard was probably acceptable to the traders of those parts. In today’s context as the all powerful American dollar is used as a currency for exchange, it doesn’t mean that every transaction done with the dollar meant the physical presence of an American.