Lysias Anicetus

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Lysias Anicetus "Invincible"
Indo-Greek king
Lysias.jpg
Coin of king Lysias (r. c. 120–110 BCE).
Obv. King Lysias with elephant head. Greek legend BASILEOS ANIKETOU LYSIOU "Of Invincible King Lysias".
Rev. Nude Herakles standing facing, crowning himself, holding club, lion's skin, and palm (variation of Demetrius I type. Monograms. Kharoshti legend, translation of the Greek.
Reign 130–120 BCE

Lysias Anicetus (Greek: Λυσίας ὁ Ἀνίκητος; epithet means "the Invincible") was an Indo-Greek king.

Time of reign[edit]

According to numismatist Bopearachchi, Lysias was a close successor to Menander I and Zoilos I, and therefore may have ruled around 130–120 BCE. R. C. Senior suggests a similar date.

Bopearachchi suggests that Lysias' territory covered the areas of the Paropamisade and Arachosia, but his coins have been found in the Punjab and it is possible that Lysias ruled most of the Indo-Greek territory for a period, though perhaps in cooperation with Antialcidas, with whom he shared most of his monograms.

Lysias apparently claimed to be a descendant of Demetrius, using a similar reverse of Heracles crowning himself, Demetrius' epithet Invincible, and sometimes the elephant crown always worn by this king. A similar reverse was also used by Zoilus I, who may have ruled some decade earlier and was likely an enemy of Menander.

Lysias rule seems to have begun after the murder of Menander's infant son Thrason, and since his coins do not resemble Menander's it seems as though he, just as Zoilus, belonged to a competing line. Despite his magnificent coinage, his policies were probably rather defensive. The Bactrian kingdom had recently fallen to invading nomads and though the Indo-Greeks managed to avoid the same fate, they became isolated from the Hellenistic world.

Coin types[edit]

Coin of king Lysias (r. c. 120–110 BCE).
Obv. King Lysias in armour. Greek legend BASILEOS ANIKETOU LYSIOU "Of Invincible King Lysias".
Rev. Nude Herakles standing facing, crowning himself, holding club, lion's skin, and palm (variation of Demetrius I type. Monograms. Kharoshti legend, translation of the Greek.

Lysias issued a number of bilingual Indian coins. On his silver portrait types he appears either diademed or dressed in various types of head-gear worn by earlier kings: the elephant scalp of Demetrios I, a bull's horns helmet or Corinthian helmet with scales, and the Greek flat hat "kausia". He also appeared throwing a spear.

The reverse is always Herakles crowning himself, and holding his club, with the new addition of a palm to signify victory.

He also issued a series of Attic tetradrachms, and even smaller denominations (a hemidrachm is known) for circulation in Bactria.

His Indian type square bronzes show a bust of Herakles/elephant.

"Mule coins" (overstrikes)[edit]

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.

The modern view is that these coin were "mules;" in other words, an impoperly overstruck issue of one of the pertinent rulers. While not signs of an alliance, they still suggest that Lysias' and Antialcidas' reigns were adjacent.


Preceded by:
Zoilos I
Indo-Greek Ruler
(Paropamisade, Arachosia)
120–110 BCE
Succeeded by:
Antialcidas
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]

References[edit]

  • "The Greeks in Bactria and India", W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press

External links[edit]