Azes II

Azes II

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Azes II

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Description:
Azes II (reigned circa 35-12 BCE), may have been the last Indo-Scythian king in northern Indian subcontinent (modern day Pakistan). After the death of Azes II, the rule of the Indo-Scythians in northwestern India and Pakistan finally crumbled with the conquest of the Kushans, one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi who had lived in Bactria for more than a century, and who were then expanding into India to create a Kushan Empire. Soon after, the Parthians invaded from the west. Their leader Gondophares temporarily displaced the Kushans and founded the Indo-Parthian Kingdom that was to last until the middle of the 1st century CE. The Kushans ultimately regained northwestern India circa 75 CE, where they were to prosper for several centuries.

The Bimaran casket

Azes II is also connected to the Bimaran casket, one of the earliest representations of the Buddha. The casket, probably Greek work, was used for the dedication of a stupa in Bamiran, near Jalalabad in Afghanistan, and placed inside the stupa with several coins of Azes II. This event may have happened during the reign of Azes (35-12 BCE), or slightly later. The Indo-Scythians are otherwise connected with Buddhism (see Mathura lion capital), and it is indeed possible they would have commendited the work.

Coinage

Coins attributed to Azes II use Greek and Kharoshti inscriptions, depict a Greek goddess as his protector, and thereby essentially follow the numismatic model of the Greek kings of the Indo-Greek kingdom,...
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