Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bactrian Kushan Kings (30 - 375 AD)


Click Here to View the Main Index


The Kushan Empire was an empire in Central Asia originally formed in the early 1st century CE under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria around the Oxus River (Amu Darya), and later based near Kabul, Afghanistan.

King Kujula Kadphises (ca. 30 – ca. 80)....the prince [elavoor] of Guishuang, named thilac [Kujula Kadphises]

King Vima Taktu or Sadashkana (ca. 80 – ca. 95)......Sadashkana or Sadaṣkaṇa according to the gold plate inscription of Senavarman, mentions Sadashkana as the Devaputra (son of god), son of maharaja rayatiraya Kujula Kataphsa (Kujula Kadphises):"Maharaja rayatiraya Kuyula Kataphsaputra Sadashkano devaputra""The son of god Sadashkano, son of the Great king and king of kings, Kujula Kaphises......Vima Takto (Ancient Chinese: 閻膏珍 Yangaozhen) is mentioned in the Rabatak inscription"

King Vima Kadphises (ca. 95 – ca. 127)...Vima Kadphises added to the Kushan territory by his conquests in Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan.

Kanishka, King of Kings...Buddhist emperor Kanishka (127–151 BCE)....The Kushans also had a summer capital in Bagram (then known as Kapisa), where the "Begram Treasure", comprising works of art from Greece to China, has been found.

King Huvishka (ca. 160 – ca. 190
King Vasudeva I (ca. 190 – ca. 230)
King Kanishka II
King Vasishka
King Kanishka III
King Vasudeva II
King Shaka
King Kipunada

"The coins of Kujula and his immediate successors give the king’s name and titulature in Greek, often with a Kharoṣṭhī version on the reverse. The earliest issues of Kanishka likewise bear on the obverse his name and title in Greek (basileus basileōn kanēškou “[coin] of Kanishka, king of kings”), while the reverses portray divinities named in Greek as Hēphaistos, Hēlios, Nanaia, and Selēnē. Later issues follow the same pattern, but the legends are henceforward in Bactrian rather than Greek. Kanishka’s titulature appears (in its fullest form) as šaonano šao kanēški košano “of Kanishka, king of kings, the Kushan,” that of his successor Huvishka as šaonano šao ooēški košano. The forms kanēški and ooēški (also ouoēški, ooēške) are in the oblique case, cf. the Greek gen. kanēškou; a few coins of Huvishka have the nom. form (ooēško), as do those of the succeeding rulers, (bazodēo), Kanishka II (kanēško), Vasishka (bazēško, cf. R. Göbl, Dokumente zur Geschichte der iranischen Hunnen in Baktrien und Indien, Wiesbaden, 1967, III, pl. 8), etc.

Surkh Kotal (Persian: سرخ‌کوتل‎), also called Chashma-i Shir or Sar-i Chashma, is an ancient archaeological site located in the southern part of the region of Bactria, about 18 km north of the city of Puli Khumri, the capital of Baghlan Province of Afghanistan.....It is the location of monumental constructions made during the rule of the Kushans. Huge temples, statues of Kushan rulers and the Surkh Kotal inscription, which revealed part of the chronology (another fragment of that chronology was found on the Rabatak inscription found nearby) of early Kushan emperors (also called Great Kushans) were all found there.... The most famous artifacts of this site are the Surkh Kotal inscriptions, the statue of King Kanishka and the fire altar.".....

" translations of the inscriptions from Surkh Kotal by J. Harmatta. They were originally in the Bactrian language and written in Greek script.....'Era-year 299, on the 9th [day] of [month] Dios, King of Kings Ooëmo Takpiso, the majesty, the Kuṣāṇa, had the canal d[ug here]."......Languages and literature of the Kushan Empire" János Harmatta. (1994). In: History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume II, pp. 427-432. UNESCO Publishing. Paris. ISBN 92-3-102846-4.

"The Rabatak inscription is an inscription written on a rock in the Bactrian language and the Greek script, which was found in 1993 at the site of Rabatak, near Surkh Kotal in Afghanistan. The inscription relates to the rule of the Kushan emperor Kanishka, and gives remarkable clues on the genealogy of the Kushan dynasty."

"The Rabatak inscription.....(Translation by Nicholas Sims-Williams) [1] . . . of the great salvation, Kanishka the Kushan, the righteous, the just, the autocrat, the god [2] worthy of worship, who has obtained the kingship from Nana and from all the gods, who has inaugurated the year one [3] as the gods pleased. And he *issued a Greek *edict (and) then he put it into Aryan. [4] In the year one it has been proclaimed unto India, unto the *whole of the realm of the *kshatriyas, that (as for) [5] them - both the (city of) . . . and the (city of) Saketa, and the (city of) Kausambi, and the (city of) Pataliputra, as far as the (city of) Sri-Campa [6] - whatever rulers and other *important persons (they might have) he had submitted to (his) will, and he had submitted all [7] India to (his) will. Then King Kanishka gave orders to Shafar the karalrang [8] *at this . . . to make the sanctuary which is called B . . . ab, in the *plain of Ka . . ., for these [9] gods, (of) whom the . . . *glorious Umma leads the *service here, (namely:) the *lady Nana and the [10] lady Umma, Aurmuzd, the gracious one, Sroshard, Narasa, (and) Mihr. [interlinear text: . . . and he is called Maaseno, and he is called Bizago] And he likewise [11] gave orders to make images of these gods who are written above, and [12] he gave orders to make (them) for these kings: for King Kujula Kadphises (his) great [13] grandfather, and for King Vima Taktu, (his) grandfather, and for King Vima Kadphises [14] (his) father, and *also for himself, King Kanishka. Then, as the king of kings, the devaputra [15] . . . had given orders to do, Shafar the karalrang made this sanctuary. [16] [Then . . .] the karalrang, and Shafar the karalrang, and Nukunzuk [led] the worship [17] [according to] the (king's) command. (As for) *these gods who are written here - may they [keep] the [18] king of kings, Kanishka the Kushan, for ever healthy, *secure, (and) victorious. [19] And [when] the devaputra, the *ruler of all India from the year one to the year *one *thousand, [20] had *founded the sanctuary in the year one, then *also to the . . . year. . . [21] according to the king's command . . . (and) it was given also to the . . ., (and) it was given also to the . . ., (and) also to [22] . . . the king gave an *endowment to the gods, and . . ."...

The Rabatak site, again visited by Robert Kluijver in March 2002, has been looted and destroyed (the looting was performed with bulldozers), reportedly by the local commander at Rabatak.

Gandhāra (Pashto: ګندارا‎, Urdu: گندھارا‎) was an ancient Buddhist kingdom in the Swat and Kabul river valleys and the Pothohar Plateau, in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Its main cities were Purushapura (modern Peshawar), and Takshashila (modern Taxila). The Kingdom of Gandhara lasted from the early 1st millennium BC to the 11th century AD. It attained its height from the 1st century to the 5th century under the Kushan Kings.


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….August 2013


No comments:

Post a Comment