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5601931. SOLD $195

INDIA, Kushan Empire. Kanishka I. Circa AD 127-151. CU Tetradrachm (27.5mm, 16.93 g, 12h). Main mint in Kapisha (Begram?). Middle phase. Kanishka standing left, holding goad and standard, sacrificing over altar; flame at shoulder / Mao standing facing, head left, extending right hand in benedictional gesture, left hand on hilt; tamgha to left. MK 774; ANS Kushan 520-5; Donum Burns 156-7. Dark brown patina. VF.

Ex Archytas Collection.

The name Kushan derives from the Chinese term Guishuang, used to describe one branch of the Yuezhi, a loose confederation of Indo-European people who had been living in the Xinjiang Province of modern China. Driven west by the Xiongnu nomads between 176 and 160 BC, the five groups of the Yuezhi – the Xiumi, Guishuang, or Kushans, Shuangmi, Xidun, and Dumi – reached the Hellenistic kingdom of Baktria by 135 BC. They expelled the ruling Greek dynasties there, forcing these kings farther south to settle along the Indus River. In the following century, the Guishuang bound the other tribes of the Yuezhi into a powerful state. As the Guishuang, or Kushans, were the predominant power, their name became that by which the entire confederation was known. The Kushan Empire reached its greatest extent under Kanishka I (AD 127-151), who gold and bronze coinage was vast and varied.