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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

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Indo-Baktrian Kingdom – 57 BC

King Azes I

From Ancient Galleries

Indo-Baktrian Kingdom – 57 BC

Obverse: Zeus standing left, holding torque in extended right hand and cradling scepter in left arm.
Reverse: Nike standing right, holding wreath in right hand and palm frond with long fillets in left.

Obv: BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN MEΓAΛOY AZOY, legend in Greek. Zeus standing left, holding torque in extended right hand and cradling scepter in left arm. Rev: Kharosthi legend,Azes Text pronounced, “Maharajasa rajarajasa mahatasa Ayasa” legend translation, ”of the Great King of Kings Azes”. Nike standing right, holding wreath with long, broad, and angular fillets in extended right hand and palm frond with long flowing fillets in left; Azes Monogram monogram in lower right field.

Azes I (57-35 BCE) was an Indo-Scythian ruler who completed the domination of the Scythians in northern India and is considered the founder of the major dynasty ruling an empire based on the Punjab and Indus valley from about 57 to 35 BC. Regarded as Parthian by some scholars and Scythian by others, the dynasty is probably Scytho-Parthian, a composite people using both Śaka and Pahlava names, derived from the Scythian settlement in the Parthian province of Sīstān. Azes’s most lasting legacy was the beginning of what is called the Azes era. Azes I ranks among the towering figures who ruled in India and neighboring regions. He capitalized on trade with the West, dominating part of the silk route and reaping the benefits of the traditional trade routes from India. He unified the Punjab and extended his influence over a vast tract of land – a fact which his coins confirm, for they circulated over a very large territory. It was widely believed that the era was begun by Azes’s successors by simply continuing the counting of his regnal years. However, Prof. Harry Falk has recently presented an inscription at several conferences which dates to Azes’s reign, and suggests that the era may have been begun by Azes himself. Most popular historians date the start of the Azes era to 58 BC and believe it is the same as the later era known as the Malwa or Vikrama era. However, a recently discovered inscription dated in both the Azes and the Greek era suggests that actually this is not the case. The inscription gives the relationship Azes = Greek + 128. It is believed that the Greek era may have begun in 173 BC, exactly 300 years before the first year of the Era of Kanishka. If that is the case then the Azes era would begin in about 45 BC.

Value: Bilingual Tetradrachm. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 9.65 grams. Mint: Perhaps Bannu. Date: 57-35 BC.
Attribution: Senior 76.4 T; MIG type 738a (drachm); CNG 88, lot 632; cf. BN 109-111 (drachm).

Legend, Documentation and Attribution