Heliokles II

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Heliokles II Dikaios ("The Just")
Indo-Greek king
Heliokles II portrait.jpg
Portrait of Heliokles II.
Reign 95–80 BCE
Coin of Heliokles II.
Heliokles II with spear.
Bronze coin of Heliocles II
Obv: Bust of diademed king. Greek legend: BASILEOS DIKAIOU HELIOKLEOUS "Of King Heliocles the Just"
Rev: Kharoshti (Indian) translation, elephant.

Heliocles II Dikaios (Greek: Ἡλιοκλῆς Β΄ ὁ Δίκαιος; epithet means "the Righteous") is thought to have been one of the later Indo-Greek kings and a relative of the Bactrian king Heliocles I. Bopearachchi and R. C. Senior seem to agree that he ruled ca 95–80 BCE (see Overstrikes).

Heliocles II seems to have been engaged in a series of wars with Strato I in Gandhara and Punjab; the two share several mintmarks and Heliocles II overstruck many of his coins. During this period, a number of kings fought for hegemony in the Indo-Greek territories, some of them were likely supported by nomad Saka rulers such as Maues.

Genealogy[edit]

Coin of Heliokles II. Indian Museum, Kolkata.

Heliocles II used a reverse of standing Zeus, who was a common deity among the later Indo-Greek kings. J. Jakobsson[1] sees Heliocles as the son of the important king Antialcidas Nikephoros (whose type was sitting Zeus) and perhaps the grandson of Heliocles I.

He goes on to suggest that Heliocles was the older brother of the king Archebius Nikephoros Dikaios, who seems to have succeeded Heliocles II in Gandhara (perhaps after his death from disease; Heliocles I looks emaciated on his later portraits). Archebius uses a very similar reverse and combines the epithets of Heliocles II and Antialcidas; in addition, their coin portraits are similar, with hooked noses and fierce expressions.

R.C. Senior has instead suggested a connection with Demetrius III, who used a similar reverse of standing Zeus.

Coins of Heliocles II[edit]

Heliocles II issued Indian silver with portrait (diademed, helmeted or spear-throwing) / standing Zeus and bronzes with bearded diademed portrait (Heliocles or Zeus) / elephant.

It is uncertain whether he struck Attic coins. A number of posthumous coins for Heliocles I have been found in Bactria; possibly some of these may have been struck by Heliocles II, though there are no similar monograms.

Gallery[edit]

Overstrikes[edit]

The existence of numerous overstrikes helps locate the reign of Heliokles II in relation to other Indo-Greek kings. Heliokles overstruck coins of Agathokleia, Strato I, and Hermaeus. Conversely, Amyntas overstruck coins of Heliokles II, these overstrikes would suggest that Heliokles II reigned around 95–85 BCE, and was a contemporary of Amyntas and Hermaios [2]

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)[3]
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
Territories/
dates
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura[4]
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
Emperor Ashoka (268-232)
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 Yavanarajya
inscription
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)
Sodasa
(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. ^ Bopearachchi, "De l'Indus à l'Oxus", p129
  3. ^ O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
  4. ^ History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.9 [1]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Strato I
Indo-Greek ruler in Gandhara and Punjab
110–100 BCE
Succeeded by
Demetrius III