Agathokleia

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For the 3rd century BC mistress of Ptolemy IV Philopator, see Agathoclea
Agathokleia
Indo-Greek queen
Agathokleia.jpg
Coin of Agathokleia.
Obv: Queen Agathokleia in profile.
Rev:: Greek straight bow and arrow container.
Reign 110–100 BCE
Successor Strato I

Agathokleia Theotropos (Greek: Ἀγαθόκλεια Θεότροπος; the epithet possibly means the Goddess-like) was an Indo-Greek queen who ruled in parts of northern India as regent for her son Strato I.

Date and genealogy[edit]

The traditional view, introduced by Tarn and defended as late as 1998 by Bopearachchi, is that Agathokleia was the widow of Menander I. In the civil wars after Menander's death, the Indo-Greek empire was divided, with Agathokleia and her young son Strato maintaining themselves in the eastern territories of Gandhara and Punjab.

The modern view, embraced by R. C. Senior and probably more solid since it is founded on numismatical analyses, suggests that Agathokleia was a later queen, perhaps ruling from 110 BC–100 BC or slightly later. In this case, Agathokleia was likely the widow of another king, possibly Nicias or Theophilus. In either case, Agathokleia was among the first women to rule a Hellenistic Kingdom, in the period following the reign of Alexander the Great.

Some of her subjects may have been reluctant to accept an infant king with a queen regent: unlike the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Kingdoms, almost all Indo-Greek rulers were depicted as grown men. This was probably because the kings were required to command armies, as can be seen on their coins where they are often depicted with helmets and spears. Agathokleia seems to have associated herself with Athena, the goddess of war. Athena was also the dynastic deity of the family of Menander, and Agathokleia's prominent position suggests that she was herself the daughter of a king, though she was probably too late to have been a daughter of the Bactrian king Agathocles.

Coinage[edit]

Coin of Strato I and Agathokleia.
Obv: Conjugate busts of Strato and Agathokleia. Greek legend: BASILEOS SOTEROS STRATONOS KAI AGATOKLEIAS "Of Saviour King Strato, and Agathokleia".
Rev: Athena throwing thunderbolt. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA TRATASARA DHARMIKASA STRATASA "King Strato, Saviour and Just (="of the Dharma")".

The coins of Agathokleia and Strato were all bilingual, and Agathokleia's name appears more often in the Greek legend than in the Indian.

(See Strato I for details of legends.)

Most of Agathokleia's coins were struck jointly with her son Strato, though on their first issues, he is not featured on the portrait.

Silver: Bust of Agathokleia/walking king

Bust of Strato and Agathokleia conjoined/Athena Alkidemos

Bronzes: Bust of either helmeted Athena or Agathokleia as a personification of this goddess/sitting Herakles

The later king Heliokles II overstruck some of Agathokleia's coins.

INDO-GREEK KINGS AND THEIR TERRITORIES
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)
Territories/
Dates
PAROPAMISADE
ARACHOSIA GANDHARA WESTERN PUNJAB EASTERN PUNJAB
200–190 BCE Demetrius I DemetriusCoin.jpg
190–180 BCE Agathocles AgathoclesWithAlexander.jpg PantaleonCoin of Greco-Baktrian Kingdom king Pantaleon.jpg
185–170 BCE Antimachus IAntimachusMedaille.jpg
180–160 BCE Apollodotus IApollodotosi.jpg
175–170 BCE Demetrius II Demetriosii.jpg
170–145 BCE EucratidesTetradrachm Eukratides.jpg
160–155 BCE Antimachus IIAnimachusii(2).jpg
155–130 BCE Menander IMenander Alexandria-Kapisa.jpg
130–120 BCE Zoilos IZoilosI-525.jpg AgathokleiaAgathokleia.jpg
120–110 BCE Lysias Lysias-150.jpg Strato IAgathokleia&Strato.jpg
110–100 BCE AntialcidasAntialcidas.JPG Heliokles IIHelioclesii.jpg
100 BCE PolyxenosPolyxenos.jpg Demetrius IIIDemetrius Aniketou.jpg
100–95 BCE PhiloxenusPhiloxenos.jpg
95–90 BCE DiomedesDiomedes2.jpg Amyntas Amyntas.jpg EpanderEpander.jpg
90 BCE Theophilos Theophilos-634.jpg PeukolaosPeukolaos coin.jpg Thraso
90–85 BCE NiciasNikias.jpg Menander IIMenanderDikaiou.jpg ArtemidorosArtimedoros.jpg
90–70 BCE HermaeusHermaeusCoin.jpg ArchebiosArchebios229.jpg
Yuezhi tribes Maues (Indo-Scythian)
75–70 BCE Telephos Telephos.jpg Apollodotus IIAppollodotosii.jpg
65–55 BCE HippostratosHippostratos.jpg DionysiosDyonisos coin.jpg
55–35 BCE Azes I (Indo-Scythian) Zoilos IIZoilosIICoin.JPG
55–35 BCE ApollophanesApollophanes.jpg
25 BCE – 10 CE Strato II & III Stratoii.jpg
Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • W.W. Tarn. The Greeks in Bactria and India. Third Edition. Cambridge: University Press, 1966.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Menander I
Indo-Greek ruler in Gandhara and Punjab Succeeded by
Strato I