KUSHAN, Soter Megas, c. 55-105 AD, bronze drachm


KUSHAN, Soter Megas, c. 55-105 AD, drachm, no date, Taxila, Obverse: bust R with 8 rays, Reverse: horseman R, BASILEU BASILEWN SOTHR MEGAS, round letter forms, bronze, 13mm, 1.73g, MA2988, F

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There is general agreement these days that the Kushan king who issued the SOTER MEGAS (Great Savior) coins was named Vima Takto.

The Kushans started as nomads but became cosmopolitan when they conquered Gandhara in western Pakistan. They controlled their section of the Silk Road trade, and patronized Buddhism.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver, and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.