Coin of Dionysios Soter
|Born||c. 86 BCE|
According to Osmund Bopearachchi, he reigned c. 65–55 BCE and inherited the eastern parts of the kingdom of the important late ruler Apollodotus II. The kings share the same epithet and use the common reverse of fighting Pallas Athene, and it seems plausible that they were closely related, but relationships between the last Indo-Greek kings remain uncertain since the only sources of information are their remaining coins. R. C. Senior dates him approximately ten years later.
Earlier scholars like Professor Ahmad Hasan Dani have dated Dionysius much earlier, between the years 115 and 100 BCE, making him the ruler of the Swat and Dir Valleys and the weak successor of Polyxenos.
Dionysios was probably pressured by the invasions of the Indo-Scythians, and also had to deal with Hippostratos, a more important king who had inherited the western part of the kingdom of Apollodotus II.
Dionysios' name echoes the Olympic wine-god Dionysos, who according to Greek mythology was also an ancient king of India.
Coins of Dionysios
Dionysios was the first in the line of late kings who issued only silver drachms, but no tetradrachms, which was likely due to his limited resources. On their obverse is a diademed portrait of the king, with Athena Alkidemos on the reverse.
He also issued bronzes with Apollo on the reverse and a tripod on the obverse. Both these types were inherited from Apollodotus II. The quality of the portraits is inferior to most earlier kings. According to Bopearachchi, Dionysios inherited only the inferior celators of Apollodotus II, which he associates with mints in eastern Punjab.
One single coin of Dionysios Soter is known to have used the "boxy" mint-mark characteristic of the last Indo-Greek kings, down to Apollophanes, Strato II and Strato III, who used it exclusively of any other. He is also the first king known to have used this mint-mark, which therefore came to be during his reign.
- Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
- Seleucid Empire
- Indo-Parthian Kingdom
- Kushan Empire
- All that's known about him was that he died in an expedition to Kashmir.The Greeks in Bactria and India by William Woodthorpe Tarn p.318
- Jakobsson, J (2010). "A Possible New Indo-Greek King Zoilos III, and an Analysis of Realism on Indo-Greek Royal Portraits". Numismatic Chronicle. JSTOR article
- O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
- Quintanilla, Sonya Rhie (2 April 2019). "History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE". BRILL – via Google Books.
- Monnaies Gréco-Bactriennes et Indo-Grecques, Osmund Bopearachchi, Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
- The Bactrian and Indus-Greeks, Ahmed Hasan Dani, Lahore Museum.
- The Indo-Greeks Revisited and Supplemented, A.K. Narain, BR Publishing Corporation.
| Indo-Greek Ruler
(in Eastern Punjab)
65 – 55 BCE