Azes I

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Azes I
Indo-Scythian king
Coin of Azes I.jpg
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
Predecessor Spalirises
Successor Azilises
Coin of Azes I (c. 48/47 – 25 BCE).
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".
Coin of Azes with Demeter and Hermes.

Azes I (Greek: Ἄζης; c. 48/47 BCE – 25 BCE)[1] was an Indo-Scythian ruler who completed the domination of the Scythians in Gandhara.

History[edit]

Coin of Azes I, portrait of the king (detail).

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[edit]

Coin from Azes Era depicting the king. British Museum.

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.[2]

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.[3]

Azes I and Azes II identical?[edit]

According to Senior, Azes I may have been identical with Azes II, due to the discovery of an overstrike of the former over the latter.[4]

A drachma of Azes I (about 57-35 BC). Diameter: 16 mm. Weight: 2.4 g.
Indo-Scythian kings, territories and chronology
Territories/
dates
Western India Western Pakistan
Balochistan
Paropamisadae
Arachosia
Bajaur Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura
INDO-GREEK KINGDOM
90–85 BCE Nicias Menander II Artemidoros
90–70 BCE Hermaeus Archebius
85-60 BCE INDO-SCYTHIAN KINGDOM
Maues
75–70 BCE Vonones
Spalahores
Telephos Apollodotus II
65–55 BCE Spalirises
Spalagadames
Hippostratos Dionysios
55–35 BCE Azes I Zoilos II
55–35 BCE Azilises
Azes II
Apollophanes Indo-Scythian dynasty of the
NORTHERN SATRAPS
Hagamasha
25 BCE – 10 CE Indo-Scythian dynasty of the
APRACHARAJAS
Vijayamitra
(ruled 12 BCE - 15 CE)[5]
Liaka Kusulaka
Patika Kusulaka
Zeionises
Kharahostes
(ruled 10 BCE– 10 CE)[6]
Mujatria
Strato II and Strato III Hagana
10-20CE INDO-PARTHIAN KINGDOM
Gondophares
Indravasu INDO-PARTHIAN KINGDOM
Gondophares
Rajuvula
20-30 CE Ubouzanes
Pakores
Vispavarma
(ruled c.0-20 CE)[7]
Sarpedones Bhadayasa Sodasa
30-40 CE KUSHAN EMPIRE
Kujula Kadphises
Indravarma Abdagases ... ...
40-45 CE Aspavarma Gadana ... ...
45-50 CE Sasan Sases ... ...
50-75 CE ... ...
75-100 CE Indo-Scythian dynasty of the
WESTERN SATRAPS
Chastana
Vima Takto ... ...
100-120 CE Abhiraka Vima Kadphises ... ...
120 CE Bhumaka
Nahapana
PARATARAJAS
Yolamira
Kanishka I Great Satrap Kharapallana
and Satrap Vanaspara
for
Kanishka I
130-230 CE

Jayadaman
Rudradaman I
Damajadasri I
Jivadaman
Rudrasimha I
Isvaradatta
Rudrasimha I
Jivadaman
Rudrasena I


Bagamira
Arjuna
Hvaramira
Mirahvara


Vāsishka (c. 140 – c. 160)
Huvishka (c. 160 – c. 190)
Vasudeva I (c. 190 – to at least 230)


230-280 CE

Samghadaman
Damasena
Damajadasri II
Viradaman
Yasodaman I
Vijayasena
Damajadasri III
Rudrasena II
Visvasimha

Miratakhma
Kozana
Bhimarjuna
Koziya
Datarvharna
Datarvharna

INDO-SASANIANS
Ardashir I, Sassanid king and "Kushanshah" (c. 230 – 250)
Peroz I, "Kushanshah" (c. 250 – 265)
Hormizd I, "Kushanshah" (c. 265 – 295)

Kanishka II (c. 230 – 240)
Vashishka (c. 240 – 250)
Kanishka III (c. 250 – 275)


280-300 Bhratadarman Datayola II

Hormizd II, "Kushanshah" (c. 295 – 300)

Vasudeva II (c. 275 – 310)
300-320 CE

Visvasena
Rudrasimha II
Jivadaman

Peroz II, "Kushanshah" (c. 300 – 325)

Vasudeva III
Vasudeva IV
Vasudeva V
Chhu (c. 310? – 325)

320-388 CE

Yasodaman II
Rudradaman II
Rudrasena III
Simhasena
Rudrasena IV

Shapur II Sassanid king and "Kushanshah" (c. 325)
Varhran I, Varhran II, Varhran III "Kushanshahs" (c. 325 – 350)
Peroz III "Kushanshah" (c. 350 –360)
HEPHTHALITE/ HUNAS invasions

Shaka I (c. 325 – 345)
Kipunada (c. 345 – 375)

GUPTA EMPIRE
Chandragupta I Samudragupta


388-396 CE Rudrasimha III Chandragupta II

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Falk and Bennett (2009), pp. 197–215.
  2. ^ 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. 
  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
  4. ^ Coin India
  5. ^ From the dated inscription on the Rukhana reliquary
  6. ^ 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 [1]
  7. ^ 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 [2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Indo-Scythian king
Spalirises

(In Arachosia and Gandhara)
Indo-Greek king:
Telephos

(In the western Punjab)
Indo-Greek king:
Hippostratos
Indo-Scythian Ruler
57–35 BCE
Succeeded by:
Azilises