Talk:Plato of Bactria

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Untitled[edit]

I am - as usual - a bit behind here, since I cannot read Bopearachi's French works. My apologies. No other site has any coins of Plato, nor have I seen any reference except to that unique coin. I am thankful for your addition here. However, I have checked the coin date on the Seleucid Yahoo Group and accordingly changed the time of Plato's rule - and his relationship with Eucratides.

Have you checked my entries for Demetrius III and Heliokles II? Do the suggestions stand? And finally: what should be done about the geographical duplicates (Taxila is said to be a city in both Punjab and Gandhara) on the main Indo-Greek page? Best Regards User--Sponsianus 21:00, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Hi Sponsanius. Again, as you're clearly interested in this subject, I really recommend the Bopearachchi book. The French text is actually few, and most of the book is about coin descriptions and pictures. It is available on Amazon.fr
Overall, three dates are known to appear on the coins of Plato: MZ, MH and MN.
Thanks for your additions on Demetrius III and Heliokles II. When you look at all the coins available, separate attribution seems more probable, but this is an area where various interpretations are always possible.
For the locations in the main Indo-Greek article, after many attemps following Tarn, I have finally followed Bopearachchi and taken the same structure. The Indo-Greek main article should be consistent is that respect. This is not always reflected in the text of all individual kings (sorry, lack of effort on my part). Please feel free to correct any discrepancy you may find. Best regards. PHG 22:04, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your quick reply. The main issue on the Indo-Greek page is: who ruled in Eastern Punjab between 100-80 BCE? Here is a sketch for a timeline in accordance with the site as I perceive it. The Y-axis is read more or less like a map going from west to east (even though Arachosia is rather south than east of Kabul). "&" are assumed corulers, "/" are competing kings.


Year (Kabul-----------Arachosia------Gandhara/W Punjab--E Punjab)

130 Heliokles I---------------------Strato I & Agatokleia------------------

120 Zoilos & Lysias------------------------------------Strato I--------------

110 Antialkidas & Lysias-----------------------------Strato I--------------

100 Antialkidas/Polyxenos-------------------Heliokles II & Dem. III-

95 Amyntas & Diomedes--Philoxenos--------------?

90 Theophilos?/Nikias--Arkebios---------------------?

85 Hermaios--------Arkebios----------------------------?

80 Hermaios--------(Maues) & Artemidoros--------?


75 Hermaios-------------------Apollodotos II--------------------------

65 (Scythians)----------------Apollodotos II---------------------------


60 (Scythians)----------Hippostratos--------------------Dionysios------

50 (Scythians)------------------------------------------------Zoilos II---

40 (Scythians)------------------------------------------------Zoilos II---

30 (Scythians)-------------------------------------------------Apollophanes

20 (Scythians)--------------------------------------------------Strato II


Some minor kings are not included: in Gandhara/Arachosia (Menander II, Telephos) and in Western Punjab (Epandros, Thrason). So, what is the catch? Do Philoxenos and Arkebios rule eastern Punjab, or are Polyxenos, Epandros or Thrason (three kings associated with the house of Menander I) misplaced and should rule further east? The rule of Maues is shortened - 80-65 BCE are generous estimates.

However, I don't want to disturb the structure by changing individual kings without your consent. Apart from the question above, here is what I suggest:

  1. The territory of Antialcidas and Lysias should be extended to include Gandhara.
  2. Artemidoros comes after Maues, since he claims to be his son on one of his coins.
  3. How do we know which kings are "Eastern" or "Western" after 100 BCE? Philoxenos looks rather "Eastern" to me.
  4. Finally, something should be done to separate "Gandhara" from "Punjab". If these two areas are used side by side, Taxila could only be part of one of them. BTW: the Indo-Greek territory stretched into Kashmir as well.

--Sponsianus 00:28, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Hi Sponsianus, Thank for your chart. Here it is revised exactly according to Bopearachchi (please look at it in Edit mode for exact alignement):

Year Kabul-------Arachosia-------Gandhara-------W Punjab-------E Punjab

130 Zoilos--------------------->Agathokleia-------------->

120 Lysias---------------------->Strato I---------------->

110 Antialcidas----------------->Heliokles II------------->

100 Polyxene--------------------Demetrios III

100-95 Philoxene--------------------------------------------->

95-90 Diomede------><--------------Amyntas----><--Epander

90 Theophile----><--------------Peucolaos--><--Thrason

90-85 Nicias-------><--------------Menander II><-Artemidore

90-70 Hermaois-- --><-------------Archebios---------------->

                                     Maues------------------>
                                   Telephos---><-Apollodotus II--------->

65-55 Hippostratos Dionysios

55-35 Azes I Zoilos II

35-25 Apollophanes

25-10 Strato II

                                                                Rajuvula

So this would mean nobody ruled Eastern Punjab between Menander and Apollodotus II (although the Greek are recorded in Mathura until around 100 BCE) On your other comments:

  1. Menander II and Telephos are indeed included in Gandhara/Arachosia
  2. Epander and Thrason are indeed in Western Punjab.
  3. "The territory of Antialcidas and Lysias should be extended to include Gandhara" > Not according to Bopearachchi.
  4. "Artemidoros comes after Maues, since he claims to be his son on one of his coins" > Do you have an image of this coin? I do not know it.
  5. "How do we know which kings are "Eastern" or "Western" after 100 BCE? Philoxenos looks rather "Eastern" to me" > Right. I just kept Bopearachchi.
  6. "Finally, something should be done to separate "Gandhara" from "Punjab". If these two areas are used side by side, Taxila could only be part of one of them. BTW: the Indo-Greek territory stretched into Kashmir as well." I think Taxila is technically in Punjab, but is also said to have been one of the capital of Gandhara.

PHG 13:48, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


Thanks! I give my comments in italics.

  • Hi Sponsianus. My comments throughout your text (with ident). Regards.PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

So this would mean nobody ruled Eastern Punjab between Menander and Apollodotus II (although the Greek are recorded in Mathura until around 100 BCE)

Very interesting. On my ancient maps (I use mostly Atlas zur Welt Geschichte by Westermanns) Punjab ends far west of Mathura, and even with a liberal definition Mathura only just touches the south-east border. So what Bopearachi means with eastern Punjab is the area east/south of Hyphases, as far as Mathura.

Punjab, 1903

So if Strato held Mathura, he held eastern Punjab as well as areas east of Punjab. When Strato died, Mathura and Punjab east of Hyphases was lost (if it had not been lost when Menandros died.)''

In around 80 BCE, parts of this area were reconquered by Apollodotus II, who hence took the title Great King. IIRC, he has this title on all his coins, so he ruled two kingdoms from the start of his reign. The most probable explanation is that Maues conquered eastern Punjab, and when Maues died the Greeks took back the entire area immediately - by simply putting a Greek back on the throne of the Scythian empire! Apollodotus II was the son of a king (he calls himself Philopator) but who? Epander or Thrason who have similar Athena reverses? Or Philoxenos - Apollodotus II also has the king-on-horseback coins, even if his horse is walking, not galopping like Philoxenos and Menander II. Hippostratos - very probably the son of Apollodotus II - has both types so one wonders what the difference was.

  • Maues apparently never went as far as Eastern Punjab, so a better explanation might be that the Indo-Greek fled and resettled in Eastern Punjab after his attacks.PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Menander and the next kings apparently ruled in Mathura (and therefore probably also in eastern Punjab, beyond the limits set by Bopearachchi), which was held until 100 BCE when the Indians claim to have taken the area. The area of eastern Punjab may have been evacuated, until it was taken again by the Greeks when they had to take refuge from Maues circa 65BCE. PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

But the sequence rulers of Sialkot, the capital of Menander I, should be as follows: Strato I, Heliokles II, (Demetrios III?), Philoxenos, Epander, (Thrason ?), Maues, Mahen (his queen), Artemidoros or Apollodotos II, Hippostratos, Azes. Or is Sialkot counted as an eastern Punjab city, with Dionysios, Zoilos, Apollophanes and Strato II ruling there as well?

  • I think Sialkot is in Eastern Punjab.PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

A final comment on the list: Zoilos II is misplaced. If he overstruck some of Apollodotus IIs coins, he was a contemporary or close follower.

  • I am not sure I see your point. He is indeed following Apollodotus II on the above list(s).PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  1. Menander II and Telephos are indeed included in Gandhara/Arachosia
  2. Epander and Thrason are indeed in Western Punjab.

Sorry. When I wrote "some minor kings are not included", I simply meant there was no place for them in my chart.

  1. "The territory of Antialcidas and Lysias should be extended to include Gandhara" > Not according to Bopearachchi.

Antialcidas is described on this site as reigning in Taxila. His ambassador came from Taxila, as stated in the ancient inscription, and there is also a convincing discussion about his elephant coins which are said to represent that city. Lysias crowns himself with an elephant scalp like Demetrius I - he is obviously claiming to be the conqueror of parts of India. And since Heliokles II/Demetrios III - if they exist, and I am getting more convinced - struck coins which are very similar to those of Antialcidas/Lysias, it is not unlikely that the latter at some time were masters of the entire Indo-Greek realm, even if they put relatives as rulers in Punjab

  • I think you're right, especially for Antialcidas in Taxila, since the evidence is clear there. We should probably do this modification. PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  1. "Artemidoros comes after Maues, since he claims to be his son on one of his coins" > Do you have an image of this coin? I do not know it.

I have only read of it. Here is a link: Artemidoros son of Maues coin

  • Thanks for the link, but I think we'd have to see an actual reproduction of the coin.PHG 22:24, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  1. "How do we know which kings are "Eastern" or "Western" after 100 BCE? Philoxenos looks rather "Eastern" to me" > Right. I just kept Bopearachchi.

Did Philoxenos ever strike coins with only Greek legends? Otherwise, it seems probable that he never ruled the entire Indo-Greek kingdom; instead the westernmost areas were held continously by the "Eucratides-like kings": Antialcidas and his followers Amyntas and Diomedes. All these kings struck Greek coins, as did Hermaios and Theophilos, though the latter was probably a usurper. This might be how Bopearachi defines western and eastern kings - not from where they came. But what disturbs me is why neither Zoilos nor Lysias struck Greek coins when they ruled in the west - or did they?

  1. "Finally, something should be done to separate "Gandhara" from "Punjab". If these two areas are used side by side, Taxila could only be part of one of them. BTW: the Indo-Greek territory stretched into Kashmir as well." I think Taxila is technically in Punjab, but is also said to have been one of the capital of Gandhara.

The problem is that Gandhara and Punjab are overlapping because they are names introduced at different times. --Sponsianus 18:27, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


  • I think that pretty much sums it up. As for Zoilos II: I meant that his reign should begin no later than 64 BCE (the year after Apollodotus II died and thus the last chance to overstrike his coins) not 55 as is said now.

Here is where the Artemidoros coin was published. [1]

I shall get the Bopearachi book. One last question: Are there any more kings who struck Attic coins without it being mentioned on this site? Strato I, Polyxenos, Menandros II, Apollodotus II, Hippostratus, Epandros, Nikias & Peucolaus are not accounted for.

I checked Bopearachchi: none of them seems to have struck Attic coins.PHG 12:02, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

BTW - do you work with numismatics? I am an amateur historian, almost through with writing a book on the hellenistic age in the east.

No, just an amateur who happened to be hooked by this subject. Nice to discuss with someone else who shares this interest. Tell me when your book is out! PHG 12:02, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

--Sponsianus 02:02, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Inscription[edit]

ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΠΛΑΤΩΝΟΣ or ΠΛΑΤΑΝΟΣ
I think I see an A alfa instead of an Ω omega.
Does anybody see the same? Are there any other inscriptions elsewhere or better preserved / better cut coins?--FocalPoint 21:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

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