Coin of Azes I.
Obv: Azes I in military dress, on a horse, with couched spear. Greek legend: BASILEOS BASILEON MEGALOU AZOU "of the Great King of Kings Azes". British Museum.
|Reign||c. 48/47 – 25 BCE|
Although Maues and his successors had conquered the areas of Gandhara, as well as the area of Mathura from 85 BCE forming the Northern Satraps, they were unsuccessful against the Indo-Greek kings remaining behind the Jhelum River in eastern Punjab.
The Azes Era
Azes's most lasting legacy was the foundation of the Azes era. It was widely believed that the era was begun by Azes's successors by simply continuing the counting of his regnal years. However, Prof. Harry Falk has recently presented an inscription at several conferences which dates to Azes's reign, and suggests that the era may have been begun by Azes himself. Most popular historians date the start of the Azes era to 58 BC and believe it is the same as the later era known as the Malwa or Vikrama era.
However, a recently discovered inscription, the Bajaur reliquary inscription, dated in both the Azes and the Greek era suggests that actually this is not the case. The inscription gives the relationship Azes = Greek + 128. It is believed that the Greek era may have begun in 173 BCE, exactly 300 years before the first year of the Era of Kanishka. If that is the case then the Azes era would begin in about 45 BC.
Azes I and Azes II identical?
- Falk and Bennett (2009), pp. 197–215.
- Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford University Press. pp. 182–183, 194–195. ISBN 978-0-19-509984-3.
- For discussions refer to Bracey, R. (2005) 'The Azes Era' (http://www.kushan.org/essays/chronology/azesvikrama.htm), Cribb, J (2005) 'The Greek Kingdom of Bactria, its coinage and collapse' in Afghanistan, Ancien Carrefour entre l'est et l'ouest (ed. Bopearachichi O & Boussac, M-F), Turnhout: 207–225, Falk, H. & C. J. Bennett 'Macedonian Intercalary Months and the Era of Azes' Acta Orientalia 70 (2009) 197–216
- Coin India
- From the dated inscription on the Rukhana reliquary
- An Inscribed Silver Buddhist Reliquary of the Time of King Kharaosta and Prince Indravarman, Richard Salomon, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 116, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1996), pp. 442 
- A Kharosthī Reliquary Inscription of the Time of the Apraca Prince Visnuvarma, by Richard Salomon, South Asian Studies 11 1995, Pages 27-32, Published online: 09 Aug 2010 
- Harry Falk and Chris Bennett (2009). "Macedonian Intercalary Months and the Era of Azes". Acta Orientalia (70): 197–215. ISSN 0001-6438. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- McEvilley, Thomas (2002). The Shape of Ancient Thought. Comparative studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. Allworth Press and the School of Visual Arts. ISBN 1-58115-203-5. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- W.W. Tarn (2010). The Greeks in Bactria and India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-00941-6. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
(In Arachosia and Gandhara)
(In the western Punjab)