Kushan, Kipanada 330-360, AV Stater
Obv.: King with trident in front of altar
Rev.: Goddess Ardoksho
The Kushan Empire stretched from the Aral Sea to the Bay of Bengal. It was one of the largest empires of late antiquity, but existed for only about 200 years and is therefore mostly unknown. The empire's founders were a branch of the Yuezhi confederacy, an Indo-European nomadic people. Originally, the Yuezhi lived in the grasslands of the East Central Asian Tarim Basin until they were driven west by Xiongnu around 176 - 160 BC.
The Kushan princes settled on the middle Oxus (now Amudarya) and from there conquered Bactria. This brought the nomadic people into contact with Alexander the Great, who conquered the region between 329 and 327 BC. Since the Greek alphabet was used in Bactria, the Kushan adopted the characters. This is also reflected in the coinage, which shows Hellenistic features with Greek script and rulers in the style of Alexander.
From Bactria, the Kushan territory extended southward across the Hindu Kush and settled in Mes Aynak. Under the Buddhist emperor Kanishka (127 - 151 AD), the empire reached its greatest extent, stretching from China to northern and eastern India and parts of Pakistan. After the death of Emperor Vasudeva I in 225 AD, the empire split into western and eastern parts. The Kushans in the western area were soon defeated by Persian Sassanids. The eastern part became independent under local princes around 270 AD and was eventually subjugated by the Gupta Empire.
Kipanada was probably a local ruler in the Taxila area of the eastern Kushan Empire. He is known for his gold coins.
Ardoksho is the Kushan goddess of fortune. She is equated with the Roman goddess Fortuna or the Greek goddess Tyche, whose iconography she uses. Carrying a coin with Ardoksho’s image allegedly attracts money, abundance, and good fortune.