The successor of Kujula Kadphises on the throne was long known simply as Soter Megas the great savior because of the most legible inscriptions on his coins. At around the beginning of the Christian era, one of the five Yueh-chih chiefs, K'iu-tsiu-k'io, attacked and defeated the others, leaving his clan in control; the Kuei-shang Kushans. Afghanistan: The Kushan Empire Under the rule of the Kushans, present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and western India participated both in seagoing trade and in commerce along the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean. In works of art they commissioned, the Kushan kings ordered their faces and garments be placed side-by-side with the Buddha and his retinue. Kanishka has also been the most prolific Kushan emperor in the production of inscriptions. A generation later, they were pressing into the Kabul valley and onto the Punjab plain. Predominantly , the Kushans also incorporated and Hellenistic beliefs into their own syncretic religious practices.
The Kushan territories, however, encompassed many lands beyond Bactria and was, by necessity, quite multicultural and multilingual. These rulers ruled the region of Bactria, as far as Kapisa and Kandahar in the south, for a hundred years, until the advent of the Iranian Huns in the second half of the fourth century. Settled life brought great changes to the lives of these former nomads. We further know of the existence of a tribal confederacy known as the Yüehzhi from the Chinese sources. Called the Era of Kanishka, the starting date of this calendar is unfortunately not known to us.
Unless otherwise noted, LibreTexts content is licensed by. This would have brought him in contact with the Kushans. The fact remains, however, that the Kushans fell to the Sassanians knocking on their gates from the West and the constant wars that the Kushans lost to the Chinese in the North would have put their resources under a considerable strain. Recognizing the importance of unification, these five tribes combined under the one dominate Kushan tribe, and the primary rulers descended from the Yuezhi. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Since then, Kushan soldiers and citizens are allowed to live in peace in Falconia.
He was succeeded by his son, Huvishka I, who ascended the throne in the same year. These coins bear several interesting features which become prominent in the subsequent Kushan coinage, although some had been already in use since the time of Kujula Kadphises. Traditionally, these coins are attributed to a ruler called Heraios based on the Greek inscriptions on the coins. Another significant development on the coins of Huvishka is the devaluation of the currency, causing the weight of his tetradrachms to fall quite low and causing the issuance of many imitations and forgeries. The Kushan army utilized immense cruelty in their conquest of Midland, slaughtering entire cities and mounting their remains on statues, buildings and in palaces.
The reign of Vasudeva I ca. Vima Takto was succeeded by his nephew according to the Rabatak Inscription called Vima Kadphises. Cribb and Georgina Hermann, 243-267. Agricultural and pastoral societies in ancient and classical history. After Vashishka the Kushan empire had completly disintegrated into few small kingdoms. Otherwise, the reign of Huvishka in general appears to have been largely peaceful, spent on establishing the Kushan control over northern India and largely moving the center of power to the southern capital of Mathura. Archaeologists who rediscovered the base of thes stupa in 1908-1909 ascertained that this stupa had a diameter of 286 feet.
Fragments of his statue found at Surkh Kotal ranks among the most precious objects in the Kabul Museum collection. Later, the Human Buddha images evolved associated with manly beauty and heroic ideals. Shaka era is still in use in India. On the other side of coin is a deity with a bull. The successor of Huvishka was named Vasudeva I whose name shows clear Indian influences.
Unfortunately, many of the practices, beliefs, art and texts of the Kushans were destroyed when the empire collapsed and if not for the historical texts of Chinese empires, this history may have been lost forever. Kushans are among the least studied of Iranian dynasties, mainly due to the conventions of modern historical enquiry which often does not consider them to belong to the history of Iran per se. See also the analysis of and J. From these two capitals, plus other settlements and trading posts farther north, the Kushansbecame master traders , adopted the Greek alphabet and struck their own gold coins featuring Kushan royal portraits, Greek mottos and symbols inspired by Roman coins that were widely used at that time to purchase goods from caravans along the Silk Road. More than 23,000 Greco-Buddhist sculptures made of clay or plaster, architectural decorations plus heads and figures depicting men, women, children, assorted demons, as well as the elderly, with every conceivable mode of expression and dress, every rank and status, every facial type from all corners of the known world — — were excavated from Hadda in a series of archaeological excavations during the 1930s and the 1970s. After the rise of the in Iran and of local powers in northern , Kushan rule declined. These conquests included parts of the northern central Iranian Plateau, once ruled by the Parthian Empire— a major political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq.
It was the Kushan emperor, Vima Kadaphises who introduced the first gold coins of india. While the accounts of Kanishka's interest in Buddhism have been verified by numerous archaeological finds, he was also a devotee and patron of other local religions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Precious carved ivories from India, lacquer boxes from China, glass and bronze from Eqypt and Rome, plaster decorative reliefs and other Silk Road trade goods were displayed and sold and perhaps kept in inventory for the purpose of making duplicates on site. On his coins, as well, Kanishka shows support for various cultures and artistic traditions in the territories under his control.