SCYTHIAN, Azilises, 57-c.35 BC, drachm


SCYTHIAN, Azilises, 57-c.35 BC, drachm, no date, Taxila Sirsukh mint, Obverse: horseman with spear R, BASILEWS BASILEWN MEGALOU AZILISOU (Greek), SAM (Karosthi) before horse, TI (Karosthi) above, Reverse: city goddess standing L, MAHARAJASA RAJARAJASA MAHATASA AYILISHASA, monogram 10 left, DRAHM right, silver, 17mm, 1.87g, S56.532D, aVF

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The assignment of mint to Taxila is according to Mitchiner. Senior suggests mint assignments but does not state them as facts.

According to Mitchiner Azilises was a junior partner of Azes I, with dates 57 BC to about 35 BC. Senior raises the possibility that they were rival kings, and that the so-called “joint” coins are mules. He seems to agree with Mitchiner regarding the dates of reign. Senior thinks that there was only one Azes, not two.

The Scythians were horse nomads famous for their cruelty and for riding around naked in the winter. They were active for about 500 years from Eastern Europe to India.

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.