Lysias Anicetus

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Lysias Anicetus "Invincible"
Indo-Greek king
Lysias portrait.jpg
Portrait of Lysias.
Reign 130–120 BCE
Coin of king Lysias (r. c. 120–110 BCE).
Obv. King Lysias with elephant head. Greek legend BASILEOS ANIKETOU LYSIOU "Of Invincible King Lysias".
Rev. Nude Herakles standing facing, crowning himself, holding club, lion's skin, and palm (variation of Demetrius I type. Monograms. Kharoshti legend, translation of the Greek.

Lysias Anicetus (Greek: Λυσίας ὁ Ἀνίκητος; epithet means "the Invincible") was an Indo-Greek king.

Time of reign[edit]

According to numismatist Bopearachchi, Lysias was a close successor to Menander I and Zoilos I, and therefore may have ruled around 130–120 BCE. R. C. Senior suggests a similar date.

Bopearachchi suggests that Lysias' territory covered the areas of the Paropamisade and Arachosia, but his coins have been found in the Punjab and it is possible that Lysias ruled most of the Indo-Greek territory for a period, though perhaps in cooperation with Antialcidas, with whom he shared most of his monograms.

Lysias apparently claimed to be a descendant of Demetrius, using a similar reverse of Heracles crowning himself, Demetrius' epithet Invincible, and sometimes the elephant crown always worn by this king. A similar reverse was also used by Zoilus I, who may have ruled some decade earlier and was likely an enemy of Menander.

Lysias rule seems to have begun after the murder of Menander's infant son Thrason, and since his coins do not resemble Menander's it seems as though he, just as Zoilus, belonged to a competing line, despite his magnificent coinage, his policies were probably rather defensive. The Bactrian kingdom had recently fallen to invading nomads and though the Indo-Greeks managed to avoid the same fate, they became isolated from the Hellenistic world.

Coin types[edit]

Coin of king Lysias (r. c. 120–110 BCE).
Obv. King Lysias in armour. Greek legend BASILEOS ANIKETOU LYSIOU "Of Invincible King Lysias".
Rev. Nude Herakles standing facing, crowning himself, holding club, lion's skin, and palm (variation of Demetrius I type. Monograms. Kharoshti legend, translation of the Greek.

Lysias issued a number of bilingual Indian coins, on his silver portrait types he appears either diademed or dressed in various types of head-gear worn by earlier kings: the elephant scalp of Demetrios I, a bull's horns helmet or Corinthian helmet with scales, and the Greek flat hat "kausia". He also appeared throwing a spear.

The reverse is always Herakles crowning himself, and holding his club, with the new addition of a palm to signify victory.

He also issued a series of Attic tetradrachms, and even smaller denominations (a hemidrachm is known) for circulation in Bactria.

His Indian type square bronzes show a bust of Herakles/elephant.

"Mule coins" (overstrikes)[edit]

There is a bronze which features the obverse of Lysias and the reverse of Antialcidas, this was interpreted by Tarn and other earlier scholars as though the two kings might have forged some kind of alliance, but later, a bronze with the opposite arrangement was found.

The modern view is that these coin were "mules;" in other words, an impoperly overstruck issue of one of the pertinent rulers. While not signs of an alliance, they still suggest that Lysias' and Antialcidas' reigns were adjacent.

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)[1]
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
Territories/
dates
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura[2]
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]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Zoilos I
Indo-Greek Ruler
(Paropamisade, Arachosia)
120–110 BCE
Succeeded by:
Antialcidas
  1. ^ O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
  2. ^ History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.9 [1]