The Indo-Parthian kingdom was the largest sub-kingdom of the Parthian Empire, which at its peak expanded from Turkey to Eastern Iran. It was located west of the Parthian homeland and was founded in the late 1st century BC by the first of several kings named Gondophares – a Scythian or Saka king as well as the member of the Suren family, one of the seven major noble houses of the Parthians.
Gondophares, an old Persian word meaning ‘Winner of Glory’ served as a title for the Kings, and was used by many successors of the throne. The coinage of the Indo-Parthian was influenced heavily by the Parthian style.
The origin of the Indo-Parthians remains in dispute amongst scholars. However, it is certain that eventually they became independent of the Parthian empire and ruled over present day Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India (Gandhara region). Their first capital city was Taxila in present-day south central Pakistan. Later they shifted their capital city between Kabul and Peshawar.
The coin is silver, round and struck using a die. The obverse of the coin features the king on horseback and the Greek legend – BACILEWN BACILEWN GONDOFAROU. The Reverse features a standing Shiva holding a ‘trident’, with the Kharoshti Legend – MAHARAJA RAJARAJA MAHATA DHRAMIA DEVAVRATA GUDAPHARASA. Indo-parthian coins featuring Shiva are extremely rare.
TitleGondophares (Indo-Parthian), Silver Tetra Drachm
Periodc. 32-60 AD