KUSHAN Soter Megas circa 55-105 AD drachm


KUSHAN, Soter Megas, circa 55-105 AD, drachm, Obverse: Herakles/Siva standing, Vi R, Reverse: Goddess standing R, bronze, 13mm, 1.32g, the “Vi” would seem to refer to Soter Megas’ name: Vima Takto, MA2921, aF

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This is one of the scarce coins struck by Soter megas before he adopted that epithet and started issuing his common coins showing his deified portrait.

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.