Parthicus Posted November 13, 2022 · Member Share Posted November 13, 2022 I've worked up two more coins from my Whitman Baltimore haul and am ready to present my findings: Coin 1: Bactria. AE square obol (21 x 19 mm). Eukratides I (171-135 BC). Obverse: Helmeted bust right, 3-line Greek legend around "[Bas]ilews Megalou [Eukratidou] (Of the great king Eukratides). Reverse: The Dioskouroi on horseback, two-line Kharoshthi legend above and below "Maharajasa [Evukratidasa]" (Of the great king Eukratides). MACW 1730-1732, This coin: Purchased from Tamco Numismatics at the Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo, October 2022. Coin 2: Indo-Scythians. AE square trichalkon (22 x 22 mm). Taxila mint. Obverse: King on horseback right, 4-line Greek legend around "[Bas]ilews basileon megalou [Azilisou]" (of the great king of kings Azilises). Reverse: Herakles seated left holding club, Kharoshthi legend around. MACW 2286. This coin: Purchased from Tamco Numismatics at the Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo, October 2022.(Some historical sections below recycled from earlier posts of mine.)Bactria was a territory containing land in what is now Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. The area was conquered by Alexander the Great, and it devolved on his Seleucid successors before breaking away and calving its own line of secessionist Indo-Greek kingdoms. Eukratides I became king of Bactria in 171 BC by overthrowing his predecessor, Euthydemus I, although it is unclear if Eukratides was a disgruntled Bactrian army officer or if he was a relative of the Seleucid king Antiochus IV who headed to the Wild East to try and reclaim lost Seleucid territory. (The start date of Eukratides' reign is set at 171 BC because of a historical mention by Justin that Eukratides of Bactria took power at the same time as Mithradates I of Parthia. If you've read anything about the difficulties in our understanding of Parthian history, you realize how insane it sounds to use Parthian history as a fixed point for dating other events.) Eukratides would go on to have military success against his Indo-Greek neighbors, but he lost some of his western territory, including the city of Herat (in modern Afghanistan) to Mithradates I of Parthia. He is considered one of the most important Bactrian kings, and he issued a large amount of coinage. While the king's name is off the flan on both sides, the designs are sufficient to narrow down the identification.The Indo-Scythians were originally a nomadic people who conquered a large region in the northern and north-western Indian subcontinent around the mid-2nd century BC. Unfortunately, the details of Indo-Scythian history are poorly understood, as very few historical sources survive; Indo-Scythian history makes Parthian history look complete and uncontroversial. Azilises appears to have co-reigned with Azes I, although some scholars hold that Azes I and Azes II were actually one long-lived king. It is known that shortly after the reign of Azes II, the nascent Kushan Empire conquered Taxila and surrounding territories, as they expanded at the expense of the Indo-Scythians. The city of Taxila, located in what is now Punjab province in Pakistan, was a major point of contact between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent for many centuries, from the around 1000 BC to the time of the Kushans, but it began to decline in importance until it was finally destroyed by the Huns and abandoned in the 5th century AD. While the king's name is missing on the Greek inscription, the Kharoshthi plainly reads "Ayilishasa" on the left side, making the ID secure.I picked these coins from a $25 per coin "your pick" pile of mixed Bactrian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian etc. coins. (This is the same group that yielded the Indo-Parthian coin I recently posted.) Square bronze coins are an interesting feature of these series, and I picked out two examples that were well-preserved and had interesting designs (Dioskouroi on galloping horses and Herakles with a huge club), so that I could have fun identifying them later. Please post whatever related coins you have. 10 2 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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