Apollodotus II was an Indo-Greek king who ruled in the western and eastern parts of Punjab. Bopearachchi dates him to c. 80–65 BCE, R. C. Senior to c. 85–65 BCE. Apollodotos II was an important ruler who seems to have re-established the Indo-Greek kingdom to some extent of its former glory. Taxila in western Punjab was reconquered from nomad Scythian rule. Apollodotus II seems to have been a member of the dynasty of Menander I, since he used their typical deity Athena Alkidemos on most of his silver, Menander's title Soter, on all his coins. On some coins, he calls himself Philopator, which proves that his father had been king before him. R C Senior guesses that Epander could have been his father. Apollodotus' reign began in the Punjab, when the Scythian king Maues ruled in Gandhara and its capital Taxila. What happened is that Apollodotus II took over Taxila after the death of Maues, though it is uncertain whether he defeated Maues or his descendants, or was allied or related to the dynasty of Maues.
The late Indo-Greeks may have been rather mixed with both Scythians. R C Senior suggests that Apollodotus had struck an alliance with another Scythian king, Azes I; the Scythian hold on Gandhara loosened after the death of Maues, petty kings of mixed or uncertain origin, like Artemidorus the son of Maues and Menander II emerged in the area. These kings posed no threat to Apollodotus II, who on some of his coins assumed the title Basileus Megas, in echo of Maues' boastful title "Great King of Kings". After the death of Apollodotus II, the Indo-Greek kingdom fragmented once more. Apollodotus II issued a large number of coins, he struck silver with a diademed portrait on the obverse and a reverse of Athena Alkidemos, a unique coin with the reverse of a king Alexander the Great, sitting on a horned horse similar to Alexander's Bucephalus and holding his hand in a benediction gesture. He struck bronzes with Apollo/tripod, a type introduced by his namesake Apollodotus I; the coins of Apollodotus II are of different qualities.
Some still have the realistic portraits characteristic of the earlier Indo-Greek coins, Bopearachchi attributes these series to the western part of his kingdom. Others are badly struck and/or have clumsy and distorted portraits, these Bopearachchi interprets as belonging to newly opened mints in eastern Punjab struck by Indian celators with little knowledge of Greek engraving skills. On some of his coins there are both extra monograms in shape of Kharosthi letters; these monograms are interpreted, suggested by W. W. Tarn, to have belonged to officials with Indian names; the coins therefore indicate that Apollodotus II relied more on his Indian subjects than earlier kings, opened new mints in eastern Punjab where Greek presence was scarce. Apollodotus II overstruck a bronze of Maues. Zoilos II overstruck some of the coins of Apollodotus II, as did Azes I. "The Shape of Ancient Thought. Comparative studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies" by Thomas McEvilley ISBN 1-58115-203-5 "The Greeks in Bactria and India", W.
W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press. Coins of Apollodotus II More coins of Apollodotus II
The Indo-Parthian Kingdom known as the Suren Kingdom, was a Parthian kingdom founded by the Gondopharid branch of the House of Suren, ruling from 19 to c. 240. At their zenith, they ruled an area covering parts of eastern Iran, various parts of Afghanistan and the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent; the kingdom was founded in 19 when the Surenid governor of Drangiana Gondophares declared independence from the Parthian Empire. He would make expeditions into the west, conquering territory from the Indo-Scythians and Indo-Greeks, thus transforming his kingdom into an empire; the domains of the Indo-Parthians were reduced following the invasions of the Kushans in the second half of the 1st. Century, they managed to retain control of Sakastan, until its conquest by the Sasanian Empire in c. 240. The Indo-Parthians are noted for the construction of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi. Gondophares I seems to have been a ruler of Seistan in what is today eastern Iran a vassal or relative of the Apracarajas.
Around 20–10 BC, he made conquests in the former Indo-Scythian kingdom after the death of the important ruler Azes. Gondophares became the ruler of areas comprising Arachosia, Sindh and the Kabul valley, but it does not seem as though he held territory beyond eastern Punjab. Gondophares called himself "King of Kings", a Parthian title that in his case reflects that the Indo-Parthian empire was only a loose framework: a number of smaller dynasts maintained their positions during the Indo-Parthian period in exchange for their recognition of Gondophares and his successors; these smaller dynasts included the Apracarajas themselves, Indo-Scythian satraps such as Zeionises and Rajuvula, as well as anonymous Scythians who struck imitations of Azes coins. The Ksaharatas held sway in Gujarat just outside Gondophares' dominions. After the death of Gondophares I, the empire started to fragment; the name or title Gondophares was adapted by Sarpedones, who become Gondophares II and was son of the first Gondophares.
Though he claimed to be the main ruler, Sarpedones’ rule was shaky and he issued a fragmented coinage in Sind, eastern Punjab and Arachosia in southern Afghanistan. The most important successor was Abdagases, Gondophares’ nephew, who ruled in Punjab and in the homeland of Seistan. After a short reign, Sarpedones seems to have been succeeded by Orthagnes, who became Gondophares III Gadana. Orthagnes ruled in Seistan and Arachosia, with Abdagases further east, during the first decades AD, was succeeded by his son Ubouzanes Coin. After 20 AD, a king named Sases, a nephew of the Apracaraja ruler Aspavarma, took over Abdagases’ territories and became Gondophares IV Sases. According to Senior, this is the Gondophares referred to in the Takht-i-Bahi inscription. There were other minor kings: Sanabares was an ephemeral usurper in Seistan, who called himself Great King of Kings, there was a second Abdagases Coin, a ruler named Agata in Sind, another ruler called Satavastres Coin, an anonymous prince who claimed to be brother of the king Arsaces, in that case an actual member of the ruling dynasty in Parthia.
But the Indo-Parthians never regained the position of Gondophares I, from the middle of the 1st century AD the Kushans under Kujula Kadphises began absorbing the northern Indian part of the kingdom. The Indo-Parthians managed to retain control of Sakastan, which they ruled until the fall of the Parthian Empire by Sasanian Empire; the city of Taxila is thought to have been a capital of the Indo-Parthians. Large strata were excavated by Sir John Marshall with a quantity of Parthian-style artifacts; the nearby temple of Jandial is interpreted as a Zoroastrian fire temple from the period of the Indo-Parthians. Some ancient writings describe the presence of the Indo-Parthians in the area, such as the story of Saint Thomas the Apostle, recruited as a carpenter to serve at the court of king "Gudnaphar" in India; the Acts of Thomas describes in chapter 17 Thomas' visit to king Gudnaphar in northern India. As Senior points out, this Gudnaphar has been identified with the first Gondophares, who has thus been dated after the advent of Christianity, but there is no evidence for this assumption, Senior's research shows that Gondophares I could be dated before 1 AD.
If the account is historical, Saint Thomas may have encountered one of the kings who bore the same title. The Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana is related by Philostratus in Life of Apollonius Tyana to have visited India, the city of Taxila around 46 AD, he describes constructions of the Greek type referring to Sirkap, explains that the Indo-Parthian king of Taxila, named Phraotes, received a Greek education at the court of his father and spoke Greek fluently: "Tell me, O King, how you acquired such a command of the Greek tongue, whence you derived all your philosophical attainments in this place?" -"My father, after a Greek education, brought me to the sages at an age somewhat too early for I was only twelve at the time, but they brought me up like their own son. It describes the presence of Parthian kings fighting with each other
Menander II Dikaios was an Indo-Greek King who ruled in the areas of Arachosia and Gandhara in the north of modern Pakistan. Bopearachchi has suggested that Menander II reigned c. 90–85 BCE, whereas R. C. Senior has suggested c. 65 BCE. In that case, Menander II ruled remaining Indo-Greek territories in Gandhara after the invasion of Maues. Menander II Dikaios may have belonged to the dynasty of Menander I Soter, the greatest of the Indo-Greek kings, it was long believed that there was only one king named Menander as their portraits were rather similar and Menander II seems to have been a devout Buddhist, just as Menander I was, according to the ancient Buddhist scripture the Milindapanha. On the other hand, the name Menander could well have been popular in the Indo-Greek kingdom, the coins of Menander II are not like those of Menander I nor of those other kings who are believed to have belonged to his dynasty. R. C. Senior links Menander II with the Indo-Greek king Amyntas, with whom he shares several monograms and facial features such as a pointed nose and receding chin.
He suggests a close relation to the semi-Scythian king Artemidorus, son of Maues, since their coins use similar types and are found together. There is a small possibility that Menander II, rather than Menander I, is the Buddhist Greek king referred to in the Milinda Panha; this point is unsolved however, since Greek sources relate that the great conqueror Menander I is the one who received the honour of burial in what could be interpreted as Buddhist stupas. More Menander I may indeed have first supported Buddhism, like the other Indo-Greek kings, was the protagonist of the Milindapanha, on account of his described fame, whereas Menander II, a minor king, may have wholeheartedly embraced Buddhism, as exemplified by his coins; the coins of Menander II bear the mention "Menander the Just", "King of the Dharma" in Kharoshti, suggesting that he adopted the Buddhist faith. Menander II struck only Indian silver; these depict the king in diadem or helmet of the type of Menander I, with a number of reverses: a king on horseback, Nike and a sitting Zeus of the type of Antialkidas and Amyntas Nikator, but with an eight-spoked Buddhist wheel instead of the small elephant.
His bronzes feature Athena standing, with spear and palm-branch, shield at her feet, making a benediction gesture with the right hand, similar to the Buddhist vitarka mudra. Other varieties feature a king performing the same gesture. On the reverse is a lion, symbol of Buddhism, as seen on the pillars of the Mauryan King Ashoka. In general, the coins of Menander II are quite few. A contemporary king to represent the Buddhist lion on his coins is the Indo-Scythian king Maues, around 85 BCE; the Shape of Ancient Thought. Comparative studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies by Thomas McEvilley ISBN 1-58115-203-5 Buddhism in Central Asia by B. N. Puri ISBN 81-208-0372-8 The Greeks in Bactria and India, W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press. Coin India gallery Coins of Menander II
Azes I was an Indo-Scythian ruler who completed the domination of the Scythians in Gandhara. Maues and his successors had conquered the areas of Gandhara, as well as the area of Mathura from 85 BCE forming the Northern Satraps. Azes's most lasting legacy was the foundation of the Azes era, it was believed that the era was begun by Azes's successors by continuing the counting of his regnal years. However, Prof. Harry Falk has presented an inscription at several conferences which dates to Azes's reign, suggests that the era may have been begun by Azes himself. Most popular historians date the start of the Azes era to 58 BC and believe it is the same as the era known as the Malwa or Vikrama era. However, a discovered inscription, the Bajaur reliquary inscription, dated in both the Azes and the Greek era suggests that this is not the case; the inscription gives the relationship Azes = Greek + 128. It is believed that the Greek era may have begun in 173 BCE 300 years before the first year of the Era of Kanishka.
If, the case the Azes era would begin in about 45 BC. According to Senior, Azes I may have been identical with Azes II, due to the discovery of an overstrike of the former over the latter. Yuezhi Greco-Bactrian Kingdom Indo-Greek Kingdom Indo-Parthian Kingdom Kushan Empire Harry Falk and Chris Bennett. "Macedonian Intercalary Months and the Era of Azes". Acta Orientalia: 197–215. ISSN 0001-6438. Retrieved 11 April 2014. McEvilley, Thomas; the Shape of Ancient Thought. Comparative studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. Allworth Press and the School of Visual Arts. ISBN 978-1-58115-203-6. Retrieved 11 April 2014. W. W. Tarn; the Greeks in Bactria and India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-00941-6. Retrieved 11 April 2014. Coins of Azes I Discussion of the Azes and Greek Era
Archebius Dikaios Nikephoros was an Indo-Greek king who ruled in the area of Taxila. Osmund Bopearachchi dates him to c. 90–80 BCE, R. C. Senior to about the same period, he was one of the last Indo-Greek kings before the Saka king Maues conquered Taxila, a contemporary of Hermaeus in the west. He may have been a relative of Heliokles II, who used a similar reverse and the title Dikaios. Archebius issued silver with helmeted king, sometimes in spear-throwing pose. On the reverse is Zeus standing facing, holding a thunderbolt or on some issues an aegis. Archebius struck a rare series of Attic tetradrachms, found in Bactria, he issued bronzes with an owl / Nike. Archebius overstruck two coins of Peukolaos; the Shape of Ancient Thought. Comparative studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies by Thomas McEvilley ISBN 1-58115-203-5 Buddhism in Central Asia by B. N. Puri ISBN 81-208-0372-8 The Greeks in Bactria and India by W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press. Coins of Archebius More Coins of Archebios
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan and the northwest region of the Indian subcontinent, during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings conflicting with one another. The kingdom was founded when the Graeco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded the subcontinent early in the 2nd century BC; the Greeks in the Indian Subcontinent were divided from the Graeco-Bactrians centered in Bactria, the Indo-Greeks in the present-day north-western Indian Subcontinent. The most famous Indo-Greek ruler was Menander, he had his capital at Sakala in the Punjab. The expression "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, traditionally associated with a number of regional capitals like Taxila and Sagala. Other potential centers are only hinted at. During the two centuries of their rule, the Indo-Greek kings combined the Greek and Indian languages and symbols, as seen on their coins, blended Greek and Indian ideas, as seen in the archaeological remains.
The diffusion of Indo-Greek culture had consequences which are still felt today through the influence of Greco-Buddhist art. The ethnicity of the Indo-Greek may have been hybrid to some degree. Euthydemus I was, according to Polybius, a Magnesian Greek, his son, Demetrius I, founder of the Indo-Greek kingdom, was therefore of Greek ethnicity at least by his father. A marriage treaty was arranged for the same Demetrius with a daughter of the Seleucid ruler Antiochus III; the ethnicity of Indo-Greek rulers is sometimes less clear. For example, Artemidoros may have been of Indo-Scythian ascendency. Following the death of Menander, most of his empire splintered and Indo-Greek influence was reduced. Many new kingdoms and republics east of the Ravi River began to mint new coinage depicting military victories; the most prominent entities to form were the Yaudheya Republic and the Audumbaras. The Yaudheyas and Arjunayanas both are said to have won "victory by the sword"; the Datta dynasty and Mitra dynasty soon followed in Mathura.
The Indo-Greeks disappeared as a political entity around 10 AD following the invasions of the Indo-Scythians, although pockets of Greek populations remained for several centuries longer under the subsequent rule of the Indo-Parthians and Kushans. In 326 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent as far as the Hyphasis River, established satrapies and founded several settlements, including Bucephala; the Indian satrapies of the Punjab were left to the rule of Porus and Taxiles, who were confirmed again at the Treaty of Triparadisus in 321 BC, remaining Greek troops in these satrapies were left under the command of general Eudemus. After 321 BC Eudemus toppled Taxiles, until he left India in 316 BC. To the south, another general ruled over the Greek colonies of the Indus: Peithon, son of Agenor, until his departure for Babylon in 316 BC. Around 322 BC, the Greeks may have participated, together with other groups, in the armed uprising of Chandragupta Maurya against the Nanda Dynasty, gone as far as Pataliputra for the capture of the city from the Nandas.
The Mudrarakshasa of Visakhadutta as well as the Jaina work Parisishtaparvan talk of Chandragupta's alliance with the Himalayan king Parvatka identified with Porus, according to these accounts, this alliance gave Chandragupta a composite and powerful army made up of Yavanas, Shakas, Kiratas and Bahlikas who took Pataliputra. In 305 BC, Seleucus I led an army to the Indus; the confrontation ended with a peace treaty, "an intermarriage agreement", meaning either a dynastic marriage or an agreement for intermarriage between Indians and Greeks. Accordingly, Seleucus ceded to Chandragupta his northwestern territories as far as Arachosia and received 500 war elephants: The Indians occupy in part some of the countries situated along the Indus, which belonged to the Persians: Alexander deprived the Ariani of them, established there settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them to Sandrocottus in consequence of a marriage contract, received in return five hundred elephants. The details of the marriage agreement are not known, but since the extensive sources available on Seleucus never mention an Indian princess, it is thought that the marital alliance went the other way, with Chandragupta himself or his son Bindusara marrying a Seleucid princess, in accordance with contemporary Greek practices to form dynastic alliances.
An Indian Puranic source, the Pratisarga Parva of the Bhavishya Purana, described the marriage of Chandragupta with a Greek princess, daughter of Seleucus, before detailing early Mauryan genealogy: "Chandragupta married with a daughter of Suluva, the Yavana king of Pausasa. Thus, he mixed the Yavanas, he ruled for 60 years. From him, Vindusara was ruled for the same number of years as his father, his son was Ashoka." Chandragupta, followed
Zoilos II Soter was an Indo-Greek king who ruled in eastern Punjab. Bopearachchi dates his reign to c. 55–35 BCE, a date supported by R. C. Senior; the name is Latinized as Zoilus. It is possible that some of his coins were issued by a separate king, Zoilos III. Zoilos seems to have been one of the rulers who succeeded the last important Indo-Greek king Apollodotus II the Great in the eastern parts of his former kingdom. All these kings use the same symbol as Apollodotus II, the fighting Pallas Athene introduced by Menander I, also the same epithet Soter, it is therefore possible that they belonged to the same dynasty, Zoilus II could have been related to the earlier king Zoilus I, but the lack of written sources make all such conjections uncertain. He may have been the Bactrian ally of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII referred to by Virgil in his vision of the Battle of Actium in The Aeneid, Bk. VIII, 688: Hinc ope barbarica variisque Antonius armis, victor ab Aurorae populis et litore rubro, Aegyptum viresque Orientis et ultima secum Bactra vehit..
Zoilos II issued silver drachms with diademed portrait and Pallas Athene in rather crude style, two sorts of bronzes in various denominations: "Apollo, with tripod and small elephant", "Elephant and tripod". The portraits attributed to Zoilos II could be divided into two groups; as numismatic evidence indicates that the younger portraits are recent research has suggested that they be attributed to a younger king, Zoilos III Soter, who would have been a son and successor of the older Zoilos. In particular, the mint mark, characteristic of the coins of Zoilos with a full head of hair, is a mint mark used down to the last Indo-Greek kings Strato II and Strato III, suggesting a reign for Zoilos III; this mint-mark however was never used by any king before him. The Indo-Scythian king Bhadayasa copied coins of Zoilos II, or the hypothetical Zoilos III, only mentioning his own name on the Kharoshthi legend of his coins. Many of the monograms on the coins of Zoilos II are in Kharoshti, indicating that they were made by an Indian moneyer.
This is a characteristic of several of the Indo-Greek kings of the eastern Punjab, such as Strato I, Apollodotus II, sometimes Apollophanes and Dionysios. Furthermore, the monogram is identical on their coins, indicating that the moneyer, or the place of mint, were the same; the coins of Zoilos II combine Greek monograms with Kharoshthi ones, indicating that some of the celators may have been native Indians. The Kharoshthi monograms are the letters for: sti, ji, ra, ga, gri, ha, stri, ri, bu, a, di, śi; the "Apollo and tripod" and "Elephant and tripod" types only have Kharoshthi monograms, while the portrait types have combinations of Greek and Kharoshthi monograms. The monogram 62 has been shown to be the last Indo-Greek monogram, only appears on the younger portraits that may belong to Zoilus III; the coins of Zoilos II have been found in the Sutlej and Sialkot II hoards, in Punjab hoards east in the Jhelum. 25 coins of Zoilos II were found under the foundations of a 1st-century BCE rectangular chapel in the monastery of Dharmarajika, near Taxila.
Two coins of Zoilos II were found in the Bara hoard near Peshawar, together with coins of the Indo-Scythian kings Azes I, Azes II. A coin of Zoilus II was overstruck on a coin of Apollodotus II. Greco-Bactrian Kingdom Seleucid Empire Greco-Buddhism Indo-Scythians Indo-Parthian Kingdom Kushan Empire The Greeks in Bactria and India, W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press. Indo-Greek Coins, R. B. Whitehead, 1914