Gandhāra was an ancient state, a mahajanapada, in the Peshawar basin in the northwest portion of the ancient Indian subcontinent, present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The center of the region was at the confluence of the Kabul and Swat rivers, bounded by the Sulaiman Mountains on the west and the Indus River on the east; the Safed Koh mountains separated it from the Kohat region to the south. This being the core area of Gandhara, the cultural influence of "Greater Gandhara" extended across the Indus river to the Taxila region and westwards into the Kabul and Bamiyan valleys in Afghanistan, northwards up to the Karakoram range. Gandhara was one of sixteen mahajanapadas of ancient India mentioned in Buddhist sources such as Anguttara Nikaya. During the Achaemenid period and Hellenistic period, its capital city was Pushkalavati, modern Charsadda; the capital city was moved to Peshawar by the Kushan emperor Kanishka the Great in about AD 127. Gandhara existed since the time of the Rigveda, as well as the Zoroastrian Avesta, which mentions it as Vaēkərəta, the sixth most beautiful place on earth, created by Ahura Mazda.
Gandhara was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. Conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC, it subsequently became part of the Maurya Empire and the Indo-Greek Kingdom; the region was a major center for Greco-Buddhism under the Indo-Greeks and Gandharan Buddhism under dynasties. It was a central location for the spread of Buddhism to Central Asia and East Asia, it was a center of Bactrian Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. Famed for its local tradition of Gandhara Art, Gandhara attained its height from the 1st century to the 5th century under the Kushan Empire. Gandhara "flourished at the crossroads of Asia," connecting trade routes and absorbing cultural influences from diverse civilizations. Pockets of Buddhism persisted in Pakistan's Swat valley until the 11th century; the Persian term Shahi is used by historian Al-Biruni to refer to the ruling dynasty that took over from the Kabul Shahi and ruled the region during the period prior to Muslim conquests of the 10th and 11th centuries.
After it was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1001 AD, the name Gandhara disappeared. During the Muslim period, the area was administered from Kabul. During Mughal times, it was an independent district. Gandhara was known in Sanskrit as गन्धार gandhāra, in Avestan as Vaēkərəta, in Old Persian as Gadāra in Babylonian and Elamite as Paruparaesanna, in Chinese as T: 犍陀羅/S: 犍陀罗, in Greek as Γανδάρα; the Gandhari people are a tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, the Atharvaveda, Vedic texts. They are recorded in the Avestan-language of Zoroastrianism under the name Vaēkərəta; the name Gāndhāra occurs in the classical Sanskrit of the epics. One proposed origin of the name is from the Sanskrit word गन्ध gandha, meaning "perfume" and "referring to the spices and aromatic herbs which they traded and with which they anointed themselves.". A Persian form of the name, mentioned in the Behistun inscription of Emperor Darius I, was translated as Paruparaesanna in Babylonian and Elamite in the same inscription. In addition to Gandhara proper, the province encompassed the Kabul Valley and Chitral.
Kandahar is sometimes etymologically associated with Gandhara. However, Kandahar was not part of the main territory of Gandhara; the boundaries of Gandhara varied throughout history. Sometimes the Peshawar Valley and Taxila were collectively referred to as Gandhara; the heart of Gandhara, was always the Peshawar Valley. The kingdom was ruled from capitals at Kapisa, Taxila, Puruṣapura and in its final days from Udabhandapura on the River Indus. Evidence of the Stone Age human inhabitants of Gandhara, including stone tools and burnt bones, was discovered at Sanghao near Mardan in area caves; the artifacts are 15,000 years old. More recent excavations point to 30,000 years before the present. Gandhara was an ancient kingdom of the Peshawar Valley, extending between the Swat valley and Potohar plateau regions of Pakistan as well as the Jalalabad district of northeastern Afghanistan. In an archaeological context, the Vedic period in Gandhara corresponds to the Gandhara grave culture; the name of the Gandhāris is attested in the Rigveda.
The Gandhāris, along with the Balhikas, Mūjavants and the Magadhas, are mentioned in the Atharvaveda, as distant people. Gandharas are included in the Uttarapatha division of Buddhistic traditions; the Aitareya Brahmana refers to King Nagnajit of Gandhara, a contemporary of Janaka, king of Videha. Gandhara was one of sixteen mahajanapadas of ancient India; the primary cities of Gandhara were Puruṣapura, Takṣaśilā, Pushkalavati. The latter remained the capital of Gandhara down to the 2nd century AD, when the capital was moved to Peshawar. An important Buddhist shrine helped to make the city a centre of pilgrimage until the 7th century. Pushkalavati, in the Peshawar Valley, is situated at the confluence of the Swat and Kabul rivers, where three different branches of the River Kabul meet; that specific place is still called Prang an
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
A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the purported or actual physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures; the authenticity of any given relic is a matter of debate. Relics have long been important to Buddhists, Christians and many other religions. In these cultures, reliquaries are presented in shrines, churches, or temples to which the faithful make pilgrimages in order to gain blessings; the term is sometimes used loosely of containers for the body parts of non-religious figures. The use of reliquaries became an important part of Christian practices from at least the 4th century in the Eastern Churches, which adopted the practice of moving and dividing the bodies of saints much earlier than the West in part because the new capital of Constantinople, unlike Rome, lacked buried saints. Relics are venerated in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and some Anglican Churches. Reliquaries provide a means of displaying relics.
While taking the form of caskets, they range in size from simple pendants or rings to elaborate ossuaries. Since the relics themselves were considered "more valuable than precious stones and more to be esteemed than gold," it was only appropriate that they be enshrined in containers crafted of or covered with gold, silver and enamel. Ivory was used in the Middle Ages for reliquaries; these objects constituted a major form of artistic production across Europe and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. Many were designed with portability in mind being exhibited in public or carried in procession on the saint's feast day or on other holy days. Pilgrimages centered on the veneration of relics; the faithful venerate relics by bowing before the reliquary or kissing it. Those churches which observe the veneration of relics make a clear distinction between the honor given to the saints and the worship, due to God alone; the feretrum was a medieval form of reliquary or shrine containing the sacred effigies and relics of a saint.
The most magnificent example is that known as the Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral. After the storming of Milan in 1162 the supposed relics of the Magi were carried off and brought to Cologne, where a magnificent silver casket, nearly 6 feet long, 4.5 feet high was constructed for them. This superb piece of silversmith's work resembles in outward form a church with a nave and two aisles. In the late Middle Ages the craze for relics, many now fraudulent, became extreme, was criticized by many otherwise conventional churchmen. 16th-century reformers such as Martin Luther opposed the use of relics since many had no proof of historic authenticity, they objected to the cult of saints. Many reliquaries in northern Europe, were destroyed by Calvinists or Calvinist sympathizers during the Reformation, being melted down or pulled apart to recover precious metals and gems. Nonetheless, the use and manufacture of reliquaries continues to this day in Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian countries.
Post-Reformation reliquaries have tended to take the form of glass-sided caskets to display relics such as the bodies of saints. The earliest reliquaries were boxes, either box-shaped or based on an architectural design, taking the form of a model of a church with a pitched roof; these latter are known by the French term chasse, typical examples from the 12th to 14th century have wooden frameworks with gilt-copper plaques nailed on, decorated in champlevé enamel. Limoges was the largest centre of production. Relics of the True Cross became popular from the 9th century onwards and were housed in magnificent gold and silver cross-shaped reliquaries, decorated with enamels and precious stones. From about the end of the 10th century, reliquaries in the shape of the relics they housed became popular; the bones of saints were housed in reliquaries that recalled the shape of the original body part, such as an arm or a foot. Many Eastern Orthodox reliquaries housing tiny pieces of relics have circular or cylindrical slots in which small disks of wax-mastic in which the actual relic is embedded.
A philatory is a transparent reliquary designed to contain and exhibit the bones and relics of saints. This style of reliquary has a viewing portal by. During the Middle Ages, the monstrance form used for consecrated hosts, was sometimes used for reliquaries; these housed the relic in a rock crystal or glass capsule mounted on a column above a base, enabling the relic to be displayed to the faithful. Reliquaries in the form of large pieces of metalwork jewellery appeared around this time, housing tiny relics such as pieces of the Holy Thorn, notably the Holy Thorn Reliquary now in the British Museum. In Buddhism, stupa are an important form of reliquary, may be included in a larger complex known as a chaitya. In China and throughout East and Southeast Asia, these take the form of a pagoda. In Theravada Buddhism, relics are known as cetiya.
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-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
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
Hippostratos was an Indo-Greek king who ruled central and north-western Punjab and Pushkalavati. Bopearachchi dates Hippostratos to 65 to 55 BCE whereas R. C. Senior suggests 60 to 50 BCE. In Bopearachchi's reconstruction Hippostratos came to power as the successor to Apollodotus II, in the western part of his kingdom, while the weak Dionysios ascended to the throne in the eastern part. Senior assumes that the reigns of Apollodotus Hippostratos overlapped somewhat. Just like Apollodotus II, Hippostratos calls himself Soter, "Saviour", on all his coins, on some coins he assumes the title Basileos Megas, "Great King", which he inherited from Apollodotus II; this may support Senior's scenario. The relationship between these two kings remains uncertain due to lack of sources. Hippostratos did not, use the symbol of standing Athena Alkidemos, common to all other kings thought to be related to Apollodotus II; the two kings share only one monogram. The quantity and quality of the coinage of Hippostratos indicate a quite powerful king.
Hippostratos seems to have fought rather against the Indo-Scythian invaders, led by the Scythian king Azes I, but was defeated and became the last western Indo-Greek king. Hippostratos issued silver coins with a diademed portrait on the obverse, three reverses; the first is the image of a king on prancing horse, a common type, most used by the earlier kings Antimachus II and Philoxenus. The second reverse portrays a king on horseback, but the horse is walking and the king making a benediction gesture - this type resembles a rare type of Apollodotus II; the third is a standing goddess Tyche. Hippostratos struck several bronzes of types used by several kings: Serpent-legged deity / standing goddess. Apollo/tripod Sitting Zeus-Mithras / horse, reminiscent of coins of Hermaeus. Azes I overstruck several of Hippostratos' coins. Indo-Greek Kingdom Greco-Buddhism Indo-Scythians The Greeks in Bactria and India, W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press Main coins of Hippostratos