Strato II

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Strato II
Indo-Greek king
Strato II portrait.jpg
Strato II
Reign 25 BCE – 10 CE
Religion Greco-Buddhism
Coin of Strato II.
Obv: Bust of Strato II. Greek legend: BASILEOS SOTEROS STRATONOS "Of King Strato the Savior".
Rev: Athena holding a thunderbolt. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA TRATARASA STRATASA "King Strato the Saviour".

Strato II "Soter" (Ancient Greek: Στράτων B΄ ὁ Σωτήρ, Strátōn B΄ ho Sotḗr; epithet means "the Saviour") was an Indo-Greek king. He ruled c. 25 BCE to 10 CE according to Bopearachchi. R. C. Senior suggests that his reign ended perhaps a decade earlier, he may have been supplanted by the Indo-Scythian Northern Satraps, particularly Rajuvula and Bhadayasa, whose coins were often copied on those of the last Indo-Greek kings.[1] Numerous coins of Rajuvula have been found in company with the coins of the Strato group in the Eastern Punjab (to the east of the Jhelum) and also in the Mathura area:[2] for example, 96 coins of Strato II were found in Mathura in conjonction with coins of Rajuvula, who also imitated the designs of Strato II in the majority of his ussues.[3]

Rule[edit]

Monolingual coin of Strato II Soter in Prakrit only. Obv. Apollo standing right, with quiver on back, holding arrow; thick bead-and-reel border. Obv. Diadem with Kharoshthi legend "Maharajasa tratarasa Stratasa" (Saviour King Strato).

Strato II ruled in the eastern Punjab, probably retaining the capital of Sagala (modern Sialkot, Pakistan), or possibly to the city of Bucephala (Plutarch, p. 48 n. 5).

Approximate region of East Punjab and Strato II's capital Sagala.

His territory was invaded by Rajuvula, Indo-Scythian king of Mathura, and he became the last of the Indo-Greek kings, together with his son[4] Strato III "Philopator" ("the father-loving"), who was included as joint regent on some of his coins and also issued coins on his own.

A few silver coins with a different portrait and the inscription Strato Soter Dikaios ("the just") may also belong to Strato III as sole ruler, or to a fourth king named Strato.[5][n 1]

Just like the earlier king Strato I, the last Stratos are thought to belong to the dynasty of Menander I, who also used the epithet Soter and the symbol of standing Pallas Athena.

Coins of Strato II, III and Strato Dikaios[edit]

Coin of Strato II and Strato III.
Obv: Probable bust of Strato II. Possible Greek legend: ΒΑϹΙΛΕΩΣ ϹΩΤΙΡΟϹ ϹΤΡΑΤΩΝΟϹ ΚΑΙ ΦΙΑ / ϹΤΡΑΤΩΝΟϹ "Of Kings Strato the Saviour and Strato the Father-loving".[6]
Rev: Athena holding a thunderbolt. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA TRATARASA STRATASA, POTRASA CASA PRIYAPITA STRATASA "King Strato the Saviour, and his grandson Strato the Father-loving.

The chronology of the late Indo-Greek kingdom has been established by Bopearachchi and other scholars from numismatical evidence alone, the coins deteriorated continuously, the Strato coins being the most debased and crude in style, a striking contrast to earlier kings who struck some of the most beautiful coins of antiquity.

The decay was due to the increasing pressure of the Indo-Scythian nomads on the remaining Greek pockets, as well as their long isolation from the rest of the Hellenistic world.

The boxy mint mark characteristic of Strato II and III and late Indo-Greek kings.

Strato II and III used exclusively a single "boxy" mint-mark, which they had in common with late Indo-Greek kings such as Apollophanes and was initiated by Dionysios Soter.[7]

Strato II, Strato III and Strato Dikaios struck debased silver drachms, which as mentioned portray Pallas on the reverse. Strato II appears as an old man with a sunken jaw on some of his coins, which is not surprising given that his grandson was co-regent.

Strato II also issued bronzes and even lead coins of the common type Apollo/tripod, on some of Strato II's silver drachms the letter sigma is written as C (a lunate sigma), a not uncommon trait on late Hellenistic coins in the east.

Imitations by Indo-Scythian rulers[edit]

Coin of Northern Satrap Rajuvula (c. 10 CE), an imitation of Strato II, Mathura and Eastern Punjab. This was the main coin type of Rajuvula.

Subsequent Indo-Scythian rulers, who replaced the Stratos in their territories, designed their coins in direct imitation of those of Strato II, this is the case of the Northern Satraps, who ruled in the territories from Sagala in Eastern Punjab to Mathura, such as Rajuvula, Bhadayasa. Just as the Yuezhi has copied the coins of the last Greco-Bactrian ruler Heliocles in Bactria, or the Indo-Scythians had copied the coins of the last western Indo-Greek ruler Hermaios in the area of Kabul, here again the Indo-Scythian Northern Satraps relied heavily on the numismatics of their predecessors.[1] The fact that powerful new rulers such as Rajuvula adopted extensively these coin designs tends to suggest that Strato II had been quite a significant ruler in his eyes.


Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)[8]
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
Territories/
dates
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura[9]
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 and references[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Given that the coins of Strato I have lately been attributed to two different kings, there may actually have been as many as five kings named Strato.

References

  1. ^ a b The Dynastic Arts of the Kushans, John M. Rosenfield, University of California Press, 1967, p.135 [1]
  2. ^ Mathurā and Its Society: The ʼSakæ-Pahlava Phase, Bratindra Nath Mukherjee, Firma K.L.M., 1981, p.9
  3. ^ Bibliography of Greek coin hoards, p. 194-195 [2]
  4. ^ R.C. Senior, Indo-Scythian coins and history. Volume IV. The Greek legend clearly implies that the two kings were father and son, and Senior dismisses the older reading "grandson" on the Kharosthi legend.
  5. ^ Senior, ibid.
  6. ^ Rapson, E.J. (1906). "Coins of the Graeco-Indian sovereigns agathokleia, Strato I Soter, and Strato II Philopator". Corolla Numismatica. Numismatic essays in honour of Barclay V. Head, with a portrait and eighteen plates. Oxford.  At the Internet Archive.
  7. ^ Jakobsson, J (2010). "A Possible New Indo-Greek King Zoilos III, and an Analysis of Realism on Indo-Greek Royal Portraits". Numismatic Chronicle.  JSTOR article
  8. ^ O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
  9. ^ History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.9 [3]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Apollophanes
Indo-Greek ruler
(Eastern Punjab)

25 BCE – 10 CE
Succeeded by
Strato III