Antialcidas

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Antialcidas Nikephoros "Victorious"
Indo-Greek king
Antialkidas.jpg
Silver tetradrachm of King Antialcidas.
Obv: Bust of Antialcidas wearing aegis and holding a spear, with Greek legend BASILEOS NIKEPHOROU ANTIALKIDOU "Of Victorious King Antialcidas".
Rev: Zeus with lotus-tipped sceptre, in front of an elephant with a bell (symbol of Taxila), surmouted by Nike holding a wreath, crowning the elephant. Kharoshti legend: MAHARAJASA JAYADHARASA ANTIALIKITASA "Victorious King Antialcidas". Pushkalavati mint.
Reign 130–120 BCE (R. C. Senior)
115–95 BCE (Boppearachchi)

Antialcidas Nikephoros (Greek: Ἀντιαλκίδας ὁ Νικηφόρος; epithet means "the Victorious") was a Greek King of the Indo-Greek Kingdom, king of the Eucratid Dynasty, who reigned from his capital at Taxila. Bopearachchi has suggested that he ruled from ca. 115 to 95 BCE in the western parts of the Indo-Greek realms, whereas R. C. Senior places him around 130 to 120 BCE and also in eastern Punjab (which seems better supported by coin findings). Senior does however believe that he ruled in tandem with King Lysias.

Genealogy[edit]

Antialcidas may have been a relative of the Bactrian king Heliocles I, but ruled after the fall of the Bactrian kingdom. Several later kings may have been related to Antialcidas: Heliokles II, Amyntas, Diomedes and Hermaeus all struck coins with similar features.

The Heliodorus inscription[edit]

Main article: Heliodorus pillar
Antialcidas sent an Embassy to Vidisa in central India.
Inscription on the Heliodorus pillar made by Antialcidas' Ambassador Heliodorus in 110 BCE.

Though there are few sources for the late Indo-Greek history, Antialcidas is known from an inscription left on a pillar (the Heliodorus pillar), which was erected by his ambassador Heliodorus at the court of the Sunga king Bhagabhadra at Vidisha, near Sanchi. It states that he was a devotee of Krishna, the Hindu god.

A part of the inscriptions says:

"This Garuda-standard was made by order of the Bhagavata ... Heliodoros, the son of Dion, a man of Taxila, a Greek ambassador from King Antialkidas, to King Bhagabhadra, the son of the Princess from Benares, the saviour, while prospering in the fourteenth year of his reign."

Coins[edit]

Silver drachm of King Antialcidas.
Obv: Bust of Antialcidas wearing a helmet, with Greek legend BASILEOS NIKEPHOROU ANTIALKIDOU "Of Victorious King Antialcidas".
Rev: Seated Zeus holding sceptre, with Nike on his extended arm, holding out a wreath to a baby elephant with bell. Kharoshti legend: MAHARAJASA JAYADHARASA ANTIALIKITASA "Victorious King Antialcidas".

Otherwise, Antialcidas is also known through his plentiful coins. He issued a number of bilingual Indian silver types: diademed, wearing a helmet with bull's horns or a flat kausia. He also appears throwing a spear. According to some interpretations (Grousset), the baby elephant may symbolize the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, who took the shape of a small elephant to enter the womb of his mother Queen Maya, a scene often depicted in Greco-Buddhist art. In that case the coin scene would represent a victory of Buddhism. According to other interpretations the elephant was the symbol of the city of Taxila.

"Mule coins" (overstrikes)[edit]

Antialcidas wearing the kausia. Japan Currency Museum.
Lysias was a contemporary of Antialcidas.

There is a bronze which features the obverse of Lysias and the reverse of Antialcidas. This was interpreted by Tarn and other earlier scholars as though the two kings might have forged some kind of alliance, but later, a bronze with the opposite arrangement was found.

Modern scholarship has however largely accepted that what was originally supposed to be a "joint issue" was in fact a mule; in other words, a mistake occurred in the process of overstriking the original coin, and it was accidentally issued with both king's standards.


Preceded by:
Lysias
Indo-Greek Ruler
(Paropamisade, Arachosia, Gandhara)
(115–95 BCE)
Succeeded by:
Polyxenios or Philoxenus
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)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  • "The Shape of Ancient Thought. Comparative studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies" by Thomas McEvilley (Allworth Press and the School of Visual Arts, 2002) ISBN 1-58115-203-5
  • "Buddhism in Central Asia" by B. N. Puri (Motilal Banarsidass Pub, January 1, 2000) ISBN 81-208-0372-8
  • "The Greeks in Bactria and India", W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press.
  • "The Indo-Greeks", A. K. Narain, B.R Publications
  • "The Decline of the Indo-Greeks", R. C. Senior & D. MacDonald, the Hellenistic Numismatic Society