Kushan, Soter Megas, ca. 55-105, AE Tetradrachm
Obv.: Bust with diadem n. r., holding scepter, above rays, l. Tamgha
Rev.: King with whip r., riding, r. Tamgha
Expand your collection with a coin of a forgotten world empire!
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.
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.
The name Soter Megas translates as "Great Horseman" and was the epithet of King Vima Takto. Under his rule, the kingdom was further expanded and stretched from Bactria to northern India.