Bactrian Greek Coins For Sale

The Indo-Greek Kingdom covered various parts of the northwest and northern Indian subcontinent from 180 BC to around AD 10, and was ruled by a succession of more than thirty Hellenic and Hellenistic kings, often in conflict with each other. The kingdom was founded when the Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invaded India in 180 BC, ultimately creating an entity which seceded from the powerful Greco-Bactrian Kingdom centred in Bactria (today's northern Afghanistan). Since the term "Indo-Greek Kingdom" loosely describes a number of various dynastic polities, it had numerous capitals, but the city of Taxila in northern Pakistan was probably among the earliest seats of local Hellenic rulers, though cities like Pushkalavati and Sagala (apparently the largest of such residences) would house a number of dynasties in their times. Based on Ptolemy's Geographia and the nomenclature of later kings, a certain Theophila in the south was also probably a satrapal or royal seat at some point.

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Kushan? 'Bust Right' AE Unit 016634

Unidentified Kushan? 'Bust Right' AE Unit
Bronze, 3.35 grams, 17.57 mm. Obverse: bust of king facing right. Reverse: fire-altar. Appears to have been overstruck on an earlier coin, possibly of Soter Megas with his bust right on the obverse. Fine.

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Kushan? 'Bust Right' AE Unit 016634


Azes I (reigned 57 - 35 BCE)

Azes I (57-35 BCE) was an Indo-Scythian ruler who completed the domination of the Scythians in northern India. Although Maues and his successors had conquered the areas of Gandhara, as well as the area of Mathura from 85 BCE, they were unsuccessful against the Indo-Greek kings remaining behind the Jhelum River in eastern Punjab. The Indo-Greek Hippostratos (65-55 BCE) finally lost to Azes I after a long resistance. Some coins of Azes I depict the god Poseidon vanquishing a horned river god, suggesting a naval victory over a river, probably the Jhelum.

Azes I 'Bull and Lion' AE Tetradrachm 016640

Azes I 'Bull and Lion' AE Tetradrachm
Bronze, 12.83 grams, 29.49 mm. Indo-Scythians. 57-12 BC. Obverse: BASLIEWS BASILEWN MEGALOU AZOU, zebu (humped bull) standing right. Monogram Whitehead 28 above, Kh monogram to right. Reverse: MAHARAJASA RAJARAJASA MAHATASA AYASA, in Karosthi, lion or leopard standing right. Monogram Whitehead 33 (B in square) above. Whitehead 271; BMC 142. Very fine/fine.

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Azes I 'Bull and Lion' AE Tetradrachm 016640


Azes II (reigned circa 35 - 12 BC)

Azes II was an Indo-Scythian king who completed the rule of the Scythians in northern India. After the death of Azes II, the rule of the Indo-Scythians in northwestern India finally crumbled with the conquest of the Kushans, one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi who had lived in Bactria for more than a century, and who were then expanding into India to create a Kushan Empire. Soon after, the Parthians invaded from the west. Their leader Gondophares temporarily displaced the Kushans and founded the Indo-Parthian Kingdom that was to last until the middle of the 1st century CE. The Kushans ultimately regained northwestern India circa 75 CE, where they were to prosper for several centuries. Some Indo-Scythian kingdom persisted in northern India until the 5th century CE.

Azes II 'Zeus' AE Drachm 016633

Azes II 'Zeus' AE Drachm
Billon, 1.86 grams, 14.93 mm. Indo-Scythians. 35 BC-12 AD. Obverse: BACILEWC BACILEWN MEGALOY AZOU, king on horseback right, holding whip; curved T-like monogram to right. Reverse: Karosthi legend, Zeus standing left, holding sceptre and Nike; PM-like monogram to left; B-like monogram to right. BMC 25. Good fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com

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Azes II 'Zeus' AE Drachm 016633


Apollodotus (circa 180 - 160 BC)

Apollodotus was one of the generals of Demetrius I of Bactria, the Greco-Bactrian king who invaded north-western India around 180 BC. He was probably a member of the royal house, and may have been a brother of Demetrius. Apollodotus was a contemporary of Menander I, although it seems the reign of Apollodotus preceded that of Menander, who was the general in charge of the eastern territories during his reign. The usurper Eucratides probably killed Apollodotus when he invaded the western territories of the Indo-Greeks around 160 BC. Eventually Menander managed to repel Eucratides beyond the Hindu-Kush. He took the title of King, and alone ruled nearly all the north-western area of the Indian sub-continent.
Apollodotus I 000914

Apollodotus I 'Tripod' Hemiobol
Bronze, 4.24 grams, 17.20 mm. 160 - 150 B.C. Obverse: King Apollodotus I, standing right. Reverse: Tripod. Fine condition, uncleaned 'as found' state.

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Apollodotus I 000914


Kadphises I (circa 30 - 80 AD)

Kadphises I may be a descendant of Heraios or perhaps even the same person, and is apparently confused by some with one of the later Indo-Greek kings, Hermaeus Soter, but he also shares his name with some of the last Indo-Scythian rulers, suggesting a possible family connection there. During his reign, Kadphises subdues the Indo-Scythians and establishes his kingdom in Bactria and the valley of the River Oxus, defeating the Indo-Parthians. Then he captures Gandhara (modern Kandahar).

Kujula Kadphises 000895

Kujula Kadphises 'Hercules' Medium AE Unit
Bronze. 8.42 grams, 23.21 mm. Circa. 30 - 80 A.D. Obverse: Diademed bust right, imitative of Hermaeus; corrupt Greek legend. Reverse: Hercules standing facing, holding club and lion skin; Karosthi legend. Good fine condition, uncleaned 'as found' state.
£30.00

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Kujula Kadphises 000895


Vima Takto (circa 80 - 90 AD)

Vima Takto was known as "The Nameless King", since his coins only showed the legend "The King of Kings, Great Saviour", until the discovery of the Rabatak inscription helped connect his name with the title on the coins. Vima Takto's empire covered north-western India and Bactria towards China, where Kushan presence had been asserted in the Tarim Basin. Under his reign, embassies were also sent to the Chinese court.

Soter Megas 'King on Horseback' AE Tetradrachm 019201

Soter Megas 'King on Horseback' AE Tetradrachm
Bronze, 8.48 grams, 21.02 mm. Kushan Kingdom. 2nd Century AD. Obverse: no legend, radiate, diademed, and draped bust right, holding filleted lance, three-pronged symbol of Soter Megas behind. Reverse: (BASILEVC BASILEWN) CWTHR MEGAC, king riding right on horseback, holding ankus; three-pronged symbol of Soter Megas to right. Donum Burns 58; MACW 2950; Whitehead 103; BMC 2-10. Very fine and better. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com

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Soter Megas 'King on Horseback' AE Tetradrachm 019201


Kanishka or Kanerkes (circa 87 - 106 AD)

Kanishka or Kanerkes reigned and conquered. His power extended over the upper Oxus basin, Kabul, Peshawar, Kashmir, and probably far into India. His name and legends still filled the land, or at least the Buddhist portion of it, 600 years later, when the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang traveled in India; they had even reached the great Mahommedan philosopher, traveler, and geographer, Abu Rihan Al-Biruni, in the 11th century; and they are still celebrated in the Mongol versions of Buddhist ecclesiastical story.

Kanishka 'Hephaistos' AE Tetradrachm 016642

Kanishka 'Hephaistos' AE Tetradrachm
Bronze, 15.38 grams, 25.70 mm. Kushan Empire. 127-140 AD. Obverse: PAO KANhPKI, the king, clad in coat and trousers, standing left by altar, holding spear. Reverse: AQPO, Hephaistos, the god of metals, standing left, holding wreath in left hand, tongs in left hand, which is resting on his hip. Tamgha of Kanishka to left. BMC 34; Whitehead 92. Appears to have been overstruck on a coin of an earlier King. Good fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com

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Kanishka 'Hephaistos' AE Tetradrachm 016642
Kanishka 'Sun God' AE Hemidrachm 019869

Kanishka 'Sun God' AE Hemidrachm
Bronze, 4.31 grams, 17.63 mm. Kushan Empire. 127-140 AD. Obverse: DAO KANhPKI, the king, wearing helmet and diadem, clad in coat and trousers, standing left with right hand outstretched over altar, holding spear in left hand. Reverse: MIOPO, The Sun-god Mithras, standing left, diademed with radiate disk, clad as the king, right hand outstretched and resting left hand on sword at waist, tamgha to left. BMC 46; Whitehead 68; Grotefend 211. Fine.
£20.00

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Kanishka 'Sun God' AE Hemidrachm 019869


Kadphises II (circa 90 - 112 AD)

Kadphises II is a great conqueror and a great Buddhist. He expands the borders of his kingdom to the bordering provinces of China and Persia, and later ventures into India, where he establishes his borders as far as Punjab and parts of modern Uttar Pradesh, and is the first to introduce gold coinage there. However, he apparently dies without an heir, and the kingdom is thrown into confusion as his kshatrapas (governors) fight amongst themselves. Kanishka, the kshatrapa of the kingdom's eastern province, wins the struggle and declares himself the successor.

Kadphises II 'Siva and Bull' AE Tetradrachm 016639

Kadphises II 'Siva and Bull' AE Tetradrachm
Bronze, 16.98 grams, 26.33 mm. Kushan Kingdom. 95-115 AD. Obverse: BACILEVC BACILEWN CWTHR MEGAC ooHMo KADFHCEC, king standing half-left sacrificing over altar, trident and axe to left, club and four-pronged tamgha of Kadphises to right. Reverse: Karosthi legend, Siva, radiate, holding trident, standing facing before humped bull right. Mitchiner ACW 3033ff; BMC 27. Good fine.

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Kadphises II 'Siva and Bull' AE Tetradrachm 016639


Vima Kadphises (circa 100 - 127 AD)

Vima Kadphises was a Kushan emperor from around AD 100 - AD 127. As detailed by the Rabatak inscription, he was the son of Vima Takto and the father of Kanishka. Vima Kadphises added to the Kushan territory by his conquests in Afghanistan and north-west India. He was the first to introduce gold coinage in India, in addition to the existing copper and silver coinage. Most of the gold seems to have been obtained through trade with the Roman Empire.

Vima Kadphises, Kushan King 'Siva' AE Tetradrachm 018317

Vima Kadphises, Kushan King 'Siva' AE Tetradrachm
Bronze, 15.53 grams, 26.76 mm. Kushan Mint. 105-120 AD. Obverse: BASILEYC BASILEWN CWTHP MEGAC OOHMO KADFICHC, king standing front in panoply, head left, making an offering over a small altar; monogram and club to right; trident-battleaxe to left. Reverse: Kharosthi legend around, Siva radiate, standing facing, wearing necklace, holding trident in right hand and leaning left arm on bull; monogram to left. Goebl 762; Whitehead 36; MA 3009ff. Very fine and better.

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Vima Kadphises, Kushan King 'Siva' AE Tetradrachm 018317


Kanishka (circa 127 - 152 AD)

Kanishka I was a king of the Kushan Empire in South Asia, ruling an empire extending from Northern India to Central Asia in the 2nd century AD, famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements. His capital was at Balkh (Bactra) in northern Afghanistan, with regional capitals at the location of the modern city of Peshawar in Pakistan, Mathura and Saketa in India.

Kanishka I 'Nana' AE Quarter Unit 000900

Kanishka I 'Nana' AE Quarter Unit
Bronze, 4.74 grams, 18.14 mm. Kushan Empire. 127-140 AD. Obverse: DAO KANHDKI, king standing left, wearing tall helmet, long heavy coat and trousers, beside small altar, holding vertical sceptre or spear. Reverse: NANA (on the left, downwards), Nanaia, nimbate and diademed, head surmounted by crescent, standing half-right, holding transverse sceptre ending in the rudimentary representation of the forepart of a horse leaping right, tamgha to right. BMC 54; Smith, Calcutta 7; Whitehead 97; Sear -. Fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com
£30.00

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Kanishka I 'Nana' AE Quarter Unit 000900


Huvishka I (circa 152 - 192 AD)

Huvishka I was a Kushan emperor from the death of Kanishka (assumed on the best evidence available to be in AD 140) until the succession of Vasudeva I about forty years later. His rule was a period of retrenchment and consolidation for the Empire. In particular he devoted time and effort early in his reign to the exertion of greater control over the city of Mathura, which represented the southernmost extent of the Empire and, like much of India/Pakistan, had been ruled via a series of subordinate rulers. These rulers, the ksatraps, maintained a certain amount of autonomy up under Kanishka, but they vanish from records in Huvishka's reign, while Huvishka patronised both Buddhist and Brahmin institutions in the town.

Huvishka 'Goddess of Plenty' AE Tetradrachm 016635

Huvishka 'Goddess of Plenty' AE Tetradrachm
Bronze, 11.52 grams, 26.02 mm. Kushan mint. 155-189 AD. Obverse: DAO NANO (DAO OOHDKE KODANO), Huvishka facing, diademed, seated cross-legged on cushions, with sceptre in raised left hand, right arm on hip. Reverse: MAO, Ardochsho, the goddess of plenty, standing left, holding cornucopiae, right hand outstretched, proffering diadem. Whitehead 146. Note: This is an unusual coin, also known to Cunningham in "Coins of The Kushans" on which the goddess is given the name of the moon-god, MAO. Good fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com

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Huvishka 'Goddess of Plenty' AE Tetradrachm 016635


Greek Coin Book and Other References:

Mionnet = Mionnet, Theodore Edme Description De Medailles Antiques, Grecques Et Romaines
Imhoof = Imhoof-Blumer, von F    Kleinasiatische Münzen
RecGen = Waddington, William Henry    Recueil General des Monnaies Greques d'Asie Mineure
BMC = British Museum Catalogues
SNG = Volumes of the worldwide SNG project    Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum,
Moushmov = Moushmov, Nikola    Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula
GIC = Sear, David R    Greek Imperial Coins & Their Values
RPC = Reinach & Hill    Roman Provincial Coinage
Varbanov = Varbanov, Ian    Greek Imperial Coins, Vols. 1-3
MacDonald = University of Glasgow    Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)



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