Kushan Empire, Vima Takto "Great Savior" (80-100 AD) Æ Tetradrachm Coin. VF
Condition: VF Mint Period: 80-100 AD References: MACW # 2947 Mint Place: Uncertain Begram or Taxila area mint. Denomination: Æ Tetradrachm (reduced / lightweight type) Material: Bronze Diameter: 23mm Weight: 7.78gm
Obverse: Radiate and diademed bust of Vima Takto to right, holding scepter in his left hand. Tamgha (royal cipher/seal) ro left.
Reverse:: Vima Takto on horseback to right. Tamgha(royal cipher/seal) to right. Greek legend around. Legend: BACIΛEV BACIΛEVWN CWTHP MEΓAC
The Kushan Empire (Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία Κοσσανῶν; Bactrian: Κυϸανο, Kushano) was a syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. It spread to encompass much of Afghanistan, and then the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent at least as far as Saketa and Sarnath near Varanasi (Benares), where inscriptions have been found dating to the era of the Kushan Emperor Kanishka the Great. Emperor Kanishka was a great patron of Buddhism. He played an important role in the establishment of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and its spread to Central Asia and China.
The Kushans were most probably one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, an Indo-European nomadic people of possible Tocharian origin, who migrated from Gansu and settled in ancient Bactria.
The Kushans possibly used the Greek language initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram and facilitating the spread of Mahayana Buddhism to China.
The Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, the Aksumite Empire and the Han dynasty of China. The Kushan Empire was at the center of trade relations between the Roman Empire and China: according to Alain Daniélou, "for a time, the Kushana Empire was the centerpoint of the major civilizations". While much philosophy, art, and science was created within its borders, the only textual record of the empire's history today comes from inscriptions and accounts in other languages, particularly Chinese.
The Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, which fell to the Sasanians invading from the west, establishing the Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom in the areas of Sogdiana, Bactria and Gandhara. In the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty also pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan and Kushano-Sasanian kingdoms were eventually overwhelmed by invaders from the north, known as the Kidarites, and then the Hephthalites.
Vima Takto or Vima Taktu was a Kushan emperor who reigned c. 80–90 CE.
Vima Takto was long known as "The nameless King", since his coins only showed the legend "The King of Kings, Great Saviour", until the discovery of the Rabatak inscription helped connect his name with the title on the coins.
Vima Takto's empire covered northwestern Gandhara and greater Bactria towards China, where Kushan presence has been asserted in the Tarim Basin. Under his reign, embassies were also sent to the Chinese court.
He is mentioned in the Chinese Historical Chronicle of the Hou Hanshu, in relation to his father Kujula Kadphises:
"Qiujiuque (Ch: 丘就卻) [Kujula Kadphises] was more than eighty years old when he died. His son, Yangaozhen (Ch:閻高珍) [probably Vema Tahk(tu) or, possibly, his brother Sadaṣkaṇa], became king in his place. He defeated Tianzhu [North-western India] and installed Generals to supervise and lead it. The Yuezhi then became extremely rich. All the kingdoms call [their king] the Guishuang [Kushan] king, but the Han call them by their original name, Da Yuezhi."
The connection of Vima Takto with other Kushan rulers is described in the Rabatak inscription, which was written by Kanishka. Kanishka makes the list of the kings who ruled up to his time: Kujula Kadphises as his great-grandfather, Vima Takto as his grandfather, Vima Kadphises as his father, and himself Kanishka:
"... for King Kujula Kadphises (his) great grandfather, and for King Vima Taktu (his) grandfather, and for King Vima Kadphises (his) father, and *also for himself, King Kanishka" (Cribb and Sims-Williams 1995/6: 80)
A later inscription found at Vima's sanctuary at Mat, also records that he was the grandfather of Huvishka.
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