Shaka Kushan

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Kushan emperor
Reign 300–350 CE

Shaka may have been the name of the Kushan emperor who succeeded Vasudeva II. There is a group of Kushan gold coins that all carry the Brahmi legend Shaka in the right field, in the same place where Vasudeva II's coins read Vasu, so it is natural to suppose that perhaps Shaka was the name of the king who issued these coins. A further support for this idea is that there is a mention of one "Devaputra Shahi Shahanshahi Shaka Murunda" in Samudragupta's famous Allahabad inscription, as one of the rulers who paid him homage. In this context, Shaka could be a title, it could refer to a tribe, or it could be a personal name. In any case, it seems to be related to the Shaka coins. Unfortunately, we don't know the date of the Allahabad inscription, so the best guess on dating Shaka is c. mid-4th century.

Robert Göbl [1] did not think Shaka was the name of a ruler; rather, he thought the coins were tribal issues, but Michael Mitchiner [2] and many other authors do think Shaka was a personal name.


  1. ^ Münzprägung des Kušānreiches, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1984
  2. ^ Oriental Coins and their Values: The Ancient and Classical World, London: Hawkins Publications, 1978

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Preceded by
Vasudeva II
Kushan Ruler Succeeded by
various minor archons, native to Gandhara