Strato I

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This article is about the Indo-Greek king. For the airplane called Strato 1, see Grob/E-Systems/AlliedSignal Egrett.
Strato I
Indo-Greek king
Strato I portrait.jpg
Portrait of Strato I.
Coin of Strato I. Obv. Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "of king saviour and just/ righteous" Strato". Rev. Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa Dhramikasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato, follower of the Dharma"

Strato I (Greek: Στράτων Α΄), was an Indo-Greek king who was the son of the Indo-Greek queen Agathokleia, who presumably acted as his regent during his early years after Strato's father, another Indo-Greek king, was killed.

Date and genealogy[edit]

Coin of young Strato I and his mother Agathokleia.
Obv: Conjugate busts of Strato and Agathokleia. Greek legend: BASILEOS SOTΕROS STRATONOS KAI AGATOKLEIAS "Of Saviour King Strato, and Agathokleia".
Rev: Athena throwing thunderbolt. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA TRATASARA DHARMIKASA STRATASA "King Strato, Saviour and Just (="of the Dharma")".

Until recently, consensus was that he ruled between c. 130–110 BCE in Northern India and that his father was the great king Menander I. Menander ruled the entire Indo-Greek empire, but in this scenario, the western parts including Paropamisade and Arachosia, gained independence after the death of Menander I, pushing Strato and Agathokleia eastwards to Gandhara and Punjab. This view was introduced by Tarn and defended as recently as 1998 by Bopearachchi.


The modern view, embraced by R. C. Senior and probably more solid since it is founded on numismatical analyses, suggests that Strato I was a later king, perhaps ruling from 110–85 BCE, though perhaps still a descendant of Agathokleia. In this case, Agathokleia was the widow of another king, possibly Nicias or Theophilus.

A third hypothesis was presented in 2007 by J. Jakobsson:[1] according to this, the coins of Strato in fact belong to two kings who both may have ruled around 105–80 BCE, though in different territories:

  • Strato Soter and Dikaios (Greek: ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝ Ο ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΑΙ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣ "Strato the saviour and just/righteous"), was Agathokleia's son.
  • Strato Epiphanes Soter (Greek: ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝ Ο ΕΠΙΦΑΝΗΣ ΣΩΤΗΡ "Strato the illustrious, saviour"), was a middle-aged king who may have been Agathokleia's brother and ruled in western Punjab.

This theory was based on difference in titles, in monograms and coin types between the two.

Events during his reign[edit]

Coin of Strato I in the Indian square standard, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ ("King Strato the Saviour").

Agathocleia's importance was gradually downplayed on the coins, so presumably her guardianship ended when Strato came of age. Strato I was also the only Indo-Greek king to appear bearded, probably to indicate that he was no longer an infant. Strato I, or the two Stratos, fought for hegemony in Punjab with the king Heliokles II, who overstruck several of their coins. There were very likely wars with other kings as well. The middle-aged Strato, according to the third theory, was succeeded by his son Polyxenios, who ruled only for a short time.

A hoard of Strato's coins was found in Mathura outside New Delhi, which may have been the easternmost outpost of the Indo-Greek territory.

Coins[edit]

Strato in combat gear, on a coin of Agathokleia, making a blessing gesture, circa 100 BCE.
Gold coin of young Strato I with helmet. Greek legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "King saviour Strato".
Coin of middle-aged Strato I. Obv. Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "of king saviour and just/righteous Strato". Rev. Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa Dhramikasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato, follower of the Dharma"
Strato I old and bearded.

The coins of Strato show portraits aging from a youth to middle-aged. They have been divided into the following periods, where period 8 may belong to the second king. ^

  • Period 1 (Only Agathokleia):

Bronzes: Athena / seated Heracles.
Obverse - Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΘΕΟΤΡΟΠΟΥ ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΙΑΣ "of queen Godlike Agathokleia"
Reverse - Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa Agathukriae "Queen Agathokleia, saviour and follower of the dharma"

  • Period 2:

Silver: Agathokleia's portrait / walking king forming benediction gesture.
Obverse - Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΙΑΣ "of queen Agathokleia"
Reverse - Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa Stratasa "The Great king Strato, saviour and followers of the Dharma"

  • Period 3:

Silver: Bust of adolescent Strato / Athena holding Nike.
Obverse - Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "of king saviour and just/righteous Strato"
Reverse - Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa Dhramikasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato, follower of the Dharma"

  • Period 4:

Silver: Adolescent Strato jointly with Agatokleia / Athena Alkidemos left.
Obverse - Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΙΑΣ "of king saviour Strato, and Agathokleia"
Reverse - Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa Stratasa/Agathukriae "Great saviour king Strato, and Agathokleia"

  • Period 5-7:

Silver: Strato alone, diademed, helmeted or spear-throwing, sometimes bearded / Athena Alkidemos (left, right or forward).
Bronzes: Heracles / Nike
Obverse - (5-6) Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "of king saviour Strato"
(7) Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "of king saviour and Just/Righteous Strato"
Reverse - (5) Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato"
(6) Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato, follower of the dharma"
(7) Pali: Maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato, follower of the dharma"

  • Period 8:

Silver: Middle-aged Strato diademed or helmeted / Athena Alkidemos left.
Bronzes: Apollo / Sacrificial tripod
Obverse - Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΣΤΡΑΤΩΝΟΣ "of king illustrious saviour Strato"
Reverse - Pali: Maharajasa pracachasa tratarasa Stratasa "Great saviour king Strato, the illustrious"

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)[2]
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
Territories/
dates
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura[3]
326-325 BCE Campaigns of Alexander the Great in India Nanda Empire
312 BCE Creation of the Seleucid Empire Creation of the Maurya Empire
305 BCE Seleucid Empire after Mauryan war Maurya Empire
280 BCE Foundation of Ai-Khanoum
255–239 BCE Independence of the
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Diodotus I
239–223 BCE Diodotus II
230–200 BCE Euthydemus I
200–190 BCE Demetrius I Sunga Empire
190-185 BCE Euthydemus II
190–180 BCE Agathocles Pantaleon
185–170 BCE Antimachus I
180–160 BCE Apollodotus I
175–170 BCE Demetrius II
160–155 BCE Antimachus II
170–145 BCE Eucratides I
155–130 BCE Yuezhi occupation,
loss of Ai-Khanoum
Eucratides II
Plato
Heliocles I
Menander I
130–120 BCE Yuezhi occupation Zoilos I Agathokleia
120–110 BCE Lysias Strato I
110–100 BCE Antialcidas Heliokles II
100 BCE Polyxenos Demetrius III
100–95 BCE Philoxenus
95–90 BCE Diomedes Amyntas Epander
90 BCE Theophilos Peukolaos Thraso
90–85 BCE Nicias Menander II Artemidoros
90–70 BCE Hermaeus Archebius
Yuezhi occupation Maues (Indo-Scythian)
75–70 BCE Vonones Telephos Apollodotus II
65–55 BCE Spalirises Hippostratos Dionysios
55–35 BCE Azes I (Indo-Scythians) Zoilos II
55–35 BCE Vijayamitra/ Azilises Apollophanes
25 BCE – 10 CE Gondophares Zeionises Kharahostes Strato II
Strato III
Gondophares (Indo-Parthian) Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)
Kujula Kadphises (Kushan Empire) Bhadayasa (Indo-Scythian)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jakobsson, J. Relations between the Indo-Greek kings after Menander I, part 2, Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society 193, 2007
  2. ^ O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
  3. ^ History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.9 [1]

References[edit]

  • The Greeks in Bactria and India, W.W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Agathokleia
Indo-Greek ruler in Gandhara and Punjab
125–110 BCE
Succeeded by
Heliokles II