Telephos Euergetes

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Telephos Euergetes (the Benefactor)
Telephos with Helios and Selene.jpg
Obv: Anguipede, the limbs ending in lotus blossoms. Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ ΤΗΛΕΦΟΥ (King Telephos the Benefactor)
Rev: Helios radiate and Silene with crescent. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA KALAKRAMASA TELIPHASA (King Telephos the Benefactor).
Indo-Greek king
Reign75–70 BCE
BornSagala
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: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ ΤΗΛΕΦΟΥ
Rev: Squatting man, right hand forward. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA KALAKRAMASA TELIPHASA.

Telephos Euergetes (Greek: Τήλεφος ὁ Εὐεργέτης; Euergetes means "the Benefactor") was a late Indo-Greek king who seems 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 c. 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[edit]

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.

Overstrikes[edit]

Telephos overstruck the earlier king Archebius.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • The Greeks in Bactria and India, W. W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press.
  • The Coin Types of the Indo-Greek Kings, 256-54 B.C., A. K. Narain.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Maues
as Indo-Scythian king
Indo-Greek ruler of Gandhara
75–70 BCE
Succeeded by
Azes I
as Indo-Scythian king
  1. ^ O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
  2. ^ Quintanilla, Sonya Rhie (2 April 2019). "History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE - 100 CE". BRILL – via Google Books.