Bronze coin of king Telephos.
Obv: Zeus seated on a throne, scepter in left hand, forming a benediction gesture with the right hand, similar to the Buddhist vitarka mudra. Greek legend: BASILEOS EUERGETOU TELEPHOU
|Titles||Euergetes (the Benefactor)|
Telephos Euergetes (Greek: Τήλεφος ὁ Εὐεργέτης; epithet means "the Benefactor") was a late Indo-Greek king who seem to have been one of the weak and brief successors of Maues. Bopearachchi dates Telephos between 75–70 BCE and places him in Gandhara, Senior to circa 60 BCE and suggests that he ruled in some parts of Pushkalavati or even further west.
Nothing is known about his dynastic connections. His few coins are rather singular and none of them bear his likeness, a rare occurrence in Indo-Greek coinage. Despite his Greek name, Telephos might therefore have been a ruler of Saka origin. His epithet was also unprecedented.
Coins of Telephos
The silver of Telephos is rare and mostly consists of drachms; only a few tetradrachms are known. On the Greek side is a serpent-footed monster holding the stems of two plants, and on the Kharoshthi side two deities that probably should be identified with Helios and Selene, the sun and moon. Both types were unique in the area, though the monster would later appear on bronzes of Hippostratos.
An example of one of his bronzes is seen above, The obverse is the common type of sitting Zeus making a benediction gesture, whereas on the reverse is the unique type of a squatting man holding what on some specimens looks like a spear, on others a palm branch.
Telephos used only two monograms, which he inherited from Maues.
Telephos overstruck the earlier king Archebius.
|INDO-GREEK KINGS AND THEIR TERRITORIES
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)
||ARACHOSIA||GANDHARA||WESTERN PUNJAB||EASTERN PUNJAB|
|200–190 BCE||Demetrius I|
|185–170 BCE||Antimachus I|
|180–160 BCE||Apollodotus I|
|175–170 BCE||Demetrius II|
|160–155 BCE||Antimachus II|
|155–130 BCE||Menander I|
|130–120 BCE||Zoilos I||Agathokleia|
|120–110 BCE||Lysias||Strato I|
|110–100 BCE||Antialcidas||Heliokles II|
|100 BCE||Polyxenos||Demetrius III|
|90–85 BCE||Nicias||Menander II||Artemidoros|
|Yuezhi tribes||Maues (Indo-Scythian)|
|75–70 BCE||Telephos||Apollodotus II|
|55–35 BCE||Azes I (Indo-Scythian)||Zoilos II|
|25 BCE – 10 CE||Strato II & III|
- Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
- Seleucid Empire
- Indo-Parthian Kingdom
- Kushan Empire
- "The Greeks in Bactria and India", W.W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press.
- "The Coin types of the Indo-Greek Kings 256-54 BCE", A.K. Narain
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