The Other Coin: Ancient India Part 2

After death of Alexander in 323 BC, his generals, known as the successors
(diadochi) started fighting for his massive empire. Seleukos Nictator, a friend and
general of Alexander proclaimed himself King of Persia, Bactria (Afghanistan) and
Syria. He had his capital at Babylon and invaded India (modern Punjab, located in
northern India and Pakistan) in 304 BC, which was then Mauryan empire ruled by
Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta Maurya and Seleucus concluded an alliance
and Seleucus gave his daughter in marriage to Chandragupta. He also transferred
Kabul, Kandahar (modern Afghanistan) and Baluchistan (modern Pakistan) to
Chandragupta. Chandragupta in turn presented him with 500 war elephants,
which he used to defeat the armies of other Alexandrian generals. It is why
Seleucid coins so often appear on his coins.
After death of last great Mauryan King, Ashoka, India was disintegrated into many
small kingdoms, which provided great opportunity for Indo-Greek Bactrian kings
for eastern expansion of their kingdoms. The Greco-Bactrian Kings expanded into
Afghanistan, Pakistan and into Northern India, The kingdom survived until
Northern nomads–the Scythians (Sakas) from the West and Yuezhi from the East
overran the country in 10 AD. A period of turmoil ensured until the Kushans
The name Kushan is derived from Chinese historical writings to describe one
branch of the nomadic people, called Yuezhi. These nomads who were of Indo-
European stock, roamed the northwestern China. Kujula Kadphises (30-80 AD)
established the Kushan dynasty in 78 AD By the fourth century A.D., political and
military turmoil destroyed the Kushan empire in the north and many kingdoms in
the south India. At this juncture, India was invaded by a series of foreigners and
barbarians from the north western frontier region and central Asia. The
emergence of a leader Chandragupta successfully halted the foreign invasions and
laid foundation of the great Gupta dynasty, the emperors of which ruled for the
next 300 years, bringing the most prosperous era in Indian history. After the
collapse of the Gupta Empire, India was once again ruled by many small
kingdoms until the invasion by the Muslims beginning in the 8th century.
Ancient Indian coins have survived in abundance in all kinds of metals and
denominations, depicting rulers and gods, following the Greco-Bactrian influence
begun by Alexander the Great. The rarest coin is the 169.2 gram 20 stater gold
coin of the Bactrian King Eukratides, which was found in Afghanistan and lead to
the archaeological exploration and discovery of gold treasures that the Taliban
sought to destroy along with innumerable ancient works of art and the Great
Buddhas, the subject of the "Mystery of the Afghan Gold."
Numismatically yous, David Elliott
Alexander as Zeus\A. attacks Poros
Coin of Ashoka
Bactrian coin of Eukratides
Bactrian coin of Demetrius
Kushan coin with 1st image of Buddha
Gupta coin with lion hunt\goddess