The Info List - Hephthalite Empire

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The HEPHTHALITES (or Ephthalites) were a people of Central Asia who were militarily important circa 450-560. They were based in Bactria and expanded east to the Tarim Basin , west to Sogdia
and south through Afghanistan
to northern India. They were a tribal confederation and included both nomadic and urban, settled communities. They were part of the four major "Hunic" states known collectively as Xionites or " Hunas ", being preceeded by the Kidarites , and succeeded by the Alchon Huns and lastly the Nezak Huns . The Sveta Huna or _White Huns_ who invaded northern India
are probably the Ephthalites, but the exact relation is not clear.

The stronghold of the Hephthalites was Tokharistan on the northern slopes of the Hindu Kush , in what is present-day northeastern Afghanistan. By 479, the Hephthalites had conquered Sogdia
and driven the Kidarites westwards, and by 493 they had captured parts of present-day Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin in what is now Northwest China
. They expanded into northwestern India
as well.

The sources for Hepthalite history are poor and historians' opinions differ. There is no king-list and historians are not sure how they arose or what language they spoke.

The origin of the name "Hephthalites" is unknown, but it may have come from a Khotanese word _Hitala_, itself borrowed from Uigur , meaning "Strong".


* 1 Territory

* 2 History

* 2.1 5th century: conflicts and alliances with the Sasanians * 2.2 6th century and later

* 3 Ethnonyms * 4 Ethnicity * 5 Origins * 6 Religion and culture * 7 White Huns in Southern Central Asia * 8 Possible Descendants * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Sources * 12 External links


Hephthalites chieftain circa 484-560.

The Hephthalites formed in Bactria around 450, or sometime before. In 442 their tribes were fighting the Persians. Around 451 they pushed southeast to Gandhara
. In 456 a Hephthalite embassy arrived in China. By 458 they were strong enough to intervene in Persia.

Around 466 they probably took Transoxianan lands from the Kidarites with Persian help but soon took from Persia the area of Balkh and eastern Kushanshahr .

In the second half of the fifth century they controlled the deserts of Turkmenistan as far as the Caspian Sea and possibly Merv .

By 500 they held the whole of Bactria and the Pamirs
and parts of Afghanistan

Probably in the late fifth century they took the western Tarim Basin ( Kashgar and Khotan
) and in 479 they took the east end ( Turfan ). In 497-509, they pushed north of Turfan to the Urumchi region. In 509 they took 'Sughd' (the capital of Sogdiana

Around 565 their empire was destroyed by an alliance of the Göktürks and the Sasanians , but some of them remained as local rulers in the Afghan region for the next 150 years.


See also: Hephthalite–Persian Wars


Hephthalite king wearing the crown of Sasanian Emperor Peroz I
Peroz I
. Late 5th century CE.

Our best information comes from Persian sources: from 442, Yazdegerd II (435-57) fought 'tribes of the Hephthalites’, according to the Armenian Elisee Vardaped . In 453, Yazdegerd moved his court east to deal with the Hephthalites or related groups.

In 458, a Hephthalite king called Khushnavaz helped Sasanian Emperor Peroz I
Peroz I
(458-84) gain the Persian throne from his brother. The Hephthalite may have also helped the Sasanians eliminate another Hunnic tribe, the Kidarites : by 467, Peroz I, with Hephthalite aid, reportedly managed to capture Balaam and put an end to Kidarite rule in Transoxiana once and for all. The Kidarites, weakened, had to take refuge in the area of Gandhara

Later however, Peroz I
Peroz I
fought three wars with his former allies the Hephthalites. In the first two he was captured and ransomed himself. In the third he was killed, and for the next two years the Hephthalites plundered parts of Persia.

With the Sasanian Empire paying tribute to the Hephthalites, from 474, the Hephthalites themselves adopted the winged, triple-crescent crown of Peroz I
Peroz I
to crown their effigy in their own coinage. They thus expressed symbolically that they had become the legitimate rulers of Iran

From 484 until the middle of the sixth century, Persia paid tribute to the Hephthalites. In 488, Kavadh I (488-96, 498-531) made himself king of Persia with Hephthalite help. (He overthrew his uncle, the brother of Peroz.) In 496-98, he was overthrown by the nobles and clergy, escaped and restored himself with a Hephthalite army. Hephthalite troops helped Kavadh at a siege of Edessa .


The "Hephthalite bowl", NFP Pakistan
, 460-479 CE. British Museum .

The period 498-c555 is almost blank in the standard English sources. In 552, the Göktürks took over Mongolia, and by 558 reached the Volga
. By 581 or before, the western part separated and became the Western Turkic Khaganate .

Circa 555-67, the Turks and the Persians allied against the Hephthalites and defeated them after an eight-day battle near Qarshi perhaps in 565. The allies then fought each other and c. 571 drew a border along the Oxus
. After the battle, the Hephthalites withdrew to Bactria and replaced king Gatfar with Faganish, the ruler of Chaghaniyan . What happened in the Tarim Basin is not clear.

Small Hephthalite states remained, paying tribute either to the Turks or the Persians. They are reported in the Zarafshan valley, Chaghaniyan, Khuttal , Termez, Balkh, Badghis , Herat and Kabul. Circa 651, during the Arab conquest, the ruler of Badghis was involved in the fall of the last Sassanian Shah Yazdegerd III . Circa 705, the Ephthalite rulers of Badghis and Chaghaniyan surrendered to the Arabs under Qutaiba ibn Muslim .


Coin of the Hephthalites circa 350 CE, possibly from Bactria , imitating a coin of Shapur I .

The name Hephthalites originated with Ancient Greek sources, which also referred to them as _Ephthalite_, _Abdel_ or _Avdel_.

To the Armenians, the Hephthalites were _Haital_, to the Persians and Arabs, they were _Haytal_ or _Hayatila_, while their Bactrian name was _Ebodalo_ (ηβοδαλο).

In Chinese chronicles, the Hephthalites are usually called _Ye-ta-i-li-to_ (or _Yediyiliduo_), or the more usual modern and abbreviated form _Yada_ (嚈噠 _Yàdā_). The latter name is been given various Latinised renderings, including _Yeda_, _Ye-ta_, _Ye-Tha_; _Ye-dā_ and _Yanda_. The corresponding Cantonese
and Korean names _Yipdaat_ and _Yeoptal_ (Korean : 엽달), which preserve aspects of the Middle Chinese pronounciation (roughly _yep-daht_, ) better than the modern Mandarin pronunciation, are more consistent with the Greek _Hephthalite_. Some Chinese chroniclers suggest that the root _Hephtha-_ (as in _Ye-ta-i-li-to_ or _Yada_) was technically a title equivalent to "emperor", while _Hua_ was the name of the dominant tribe.

In Ancient India, names such as Hephthalite were unknown. The Hephthalites were apparently part of, or offshoots of, people known in India
as _ Hunas _ or _Turushkas_, although these names may have referred to broader groups or neighbouring peoples.


Hephthalites chieftain late 5th century.

There are several theories regarding the origins of the White Huns, with the Iranian and Turkic theories being the most prominent.

According to most specialist scholars, the spoken language of the Hephthalites was an Eastern Iranian language , but different from the Bactrian language written in the Greek alphabet that was used as their "official language" and minted on coins, as was done under the preceding Kushan Empire .

According to Xavier Tremblay, one of the Hephthalite rulers was named "Khingila ", which has the same root as the Sogdian word _xnγr_ and the Wakhi word _xiŋgār_, meaning "sword". The name Mihirakula is thought to be derived from _mithra-kula_ which is Iranian for "the Sun family", with _kula_ having the same root as Pashto _kul_, "family". Toramāna , Mihirakula's father, is also considered to have an Iranian origin. In Sanskrit, _mihira-kula_ would mean the _kul_ "family" of _mihira_ "Sun", although _mihira_ is not purely Sanskrit
but is a borrowing from Middle Iranian _mihr_. Janos Harmatta gives the translation "Mithra's Begotten" and also supports the Iranian theory. Hephthalite king wearing the crown of Sasanian Emperor Peroz I
Peroz I
. Late 5th century CE.

For many years, however, scholars suggested that they were of Turkic stock. Some have claimed that some groups amongst the Hephthalites were Turkic -speakers. Today the Hephthalites are generally held to have been an Eastern Iranian people speaking an East Iranian language . The Hephthalites enscribed their coins in the Bactrian (Iranian ) script, held Iranian titles, the names of Hephthalite rulers given in Ferdowsi
's Shahnameh
are Iranian, and gem inscriptions and other evidence shows that the official language of the Hephthalite elite was East Iranian. In 1959, Kazuo Enoki proposed that the Hephthalites were probably Indo-European (East) Iranians as some sources indicated that they were originally from Bactria , which is known to have been inhabited by Indo-Iranian people in antiquity. Richard Frye is cautiously accepting of Enoki's hypothesis, while at the same time stressing that the Hephthalites "were probably a mixed horde". More recently Xavier Tremblay's detailed examination of surviving Hephthalite personal names has indicated that Enoki's hypothesis that they were East Iranian may well be correct, but the matter remains unresolved in academic circles. Asia in 500, showing the Hephthalite Khanate at its greatest extent.

According to the _ Encyclopaedia Iranica _ and _Encyclopaedia of Islam _, the Hephthalites possibly originated in what is today Afghanistan and Pakistan
. They apparently had no direct connection with the European Huns , but may have been causally related with their movement. The tribes in question deliberately called themselves "Huns" in order to frighten their enemies.

Some White Huns may have been a prominent tribe or clan of the Chionites . According to Richard Nelson Frye :

Just as later nomadic empires were confederations of many peoples, we may tentatively propose that the ruling groups of these invaders were, or at least included, Turkic-speaking tribesmen from the east and north. Although most probably the bulk of the people in the confederation of Chionites and then Hephhtalites spoke an Iranian language... this was the last time in the history of Central Asia that Iranian-speaking nomads played any role; hereafter all nomads would speak Turkic languages. Hephthalite horseman on British Museum bowl, 460-479 CE.

The 6th-century Byzantine
historian Procopius of Caesarea ( Book
I. ch. 3), related them to the Huns in Europe:

The Ephthalitae Huns, who are called White Huns The Ephthalitae are of the stock of the Huns in fact as well as in name, however they do not mingle with any of the Huns known to us, for they occupy a land neither adjoining nor even very near to them; but their territory lies immediately to the north of Persia They are not nomads like the other Hunnic peoples, but for a long period have been established in a goodly land... They are the only ones among the Huns who have white bodies and countenances which are not ugly. It is also true that their manner of living is unlike that of their kinsmen, nor do they live a savage life as they do; but they are ruled by one king, and since they possess a lawful constitution, they observe right and justice in their dealings both with one another and with their neighbours, in no degree less than the Romans and the Persians

As an illustration of how little we know of the Ephthalites, Kurbanov surveyed the literature and found these opinons: They were named after a king Eftalan or Hephtal. They lived in the Eftali valley (location not given). They called themselves War or Jabula or Alkhon. They were a political rather than ethnic unit. They, the Xionites and Kidarites were the same people or three different peoples. They were the ruling class of the Xionites. They were not Xionites. They were not the White Huns. They were natives of Bactria, or the Pamirs, or the Kundu Kush. They began as the Hua who were subjects of the Rouran in the Turfan area. They were a branch of the Yuezhi in the Altai area who merged with the Dinglings, defeated the Yueban and moved south. They arose near the Aral Sea from a fusion of Massagetae and Alans and moved southeast under the name of Xionites. They were partly Tibetan or Mongol or Tokharian or Huns who returned east after the fall of Attila. Kurbanov gives a few other theories and makes no attempt to reconcile them.


Hephthalite Coins Possible Hephthalite ruler. Shahi Tegin 728 CE. Hephthalite silver coin copying Gupta Empire horse type, 5th century.

Ancient Chinese chroniclers, as well as Procopius, wrote various theories about the origins of the people:

* They were descendants of the Yuezhi or Tocharian tribes who remained behind after the rest of the people fled the Xiongnu ; * They were descendants of the Kangju
; * They were a branch of the Tiele ; or * They were a branch of the Uar.

Older Chinese sources (c. 125) refer to them as _Hua_ (滑 _Huá_) or _Hudun_, and describe the Hephthalites as a tribe living beyond the Great Wall , in Dzungaria. Chinese chronicles state that they were originally a tribe of the Yuezhi, living to the north of the Great Wall, and subject to the Rouran (_Jwen-Jwen_), as were some Turkic peoples at the time. Their original name was HOA or HOA-TUN; subsequently they named themselves YE-THA-I-LI-TO (厌带夷栗陁, or more briefly Ye-tha 嚈噠), after their royal family, which descended from one of the five Yuezhi families which also included the Kushan .

The Hephthalite was a vassal state to the Rouran Khaganate until the beginning of the 5th century. Between Hephthalites and Rourans were also close contacts, although they had different languages and cultures, and Hephthalites borrowed much of their political organization from Rourans. In particular, the title "Khan ", which according to McGovern was original to the Rourans, was borrowed by the Hephthalite rulers. The reason for the migration of the Hephthalites southeast was to avoid a pressure of the Rourans. Further, the Hephthalites defeated the Yuezhi in Bactria and their leader Kidara led the Yuezhi to the south.


They were said to practice Polyandry and Artificial cranial deformation . Chinese sources said they worshiped 'foreign gods', 'demons', the 'heaven god' or the 'fire god'. The Gokturks told the Byzantines that they had walled cities. Some Chinese sources said that they had no cities and lived in tents. Litvinsky tries to resolve this by saying that they were nomads who moved into the cities they had conquered. There were some government officials but central control was weak and local dynasties paid tribute.

According to Song Yun , the Chinese Buddhist
monk who visited the Hephthalite territory in 540 and "provides accurate accounts of the people, their clothing, the empresses and court procedures and traditions of the people and he states the Hephthalites did not recognize the Buddhist
religion and they preached pseudo gods, and killed animals for their meat." It is reported that some Hephthalites often destroyed Buddhist
monasteries but these were rebuilt by others. According to Xuanzang , the third Chinese pilgrim who visited the same areas as Song Yun about 100 years later, the capital of Chaghaniyan had five monasteries.

According to historian André Wink, "...in the Hephthalite dominion Buddhism
was predominant but there was also a religious sediment of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism ." Balkh had some 100 Buddhist monasteries and 30,000 monks. Outside the town was a large Buddhist monastery, later known as Naubahar .


Hephthalite successor kingdoms in 600. Main article: Hunas

It is not clear whether the people called SVETA HUNA (_White Huns_) in Sanskrit
were the Hephthalites or a related people, the Xionites . In the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, the Hephthalites were not distinguished from their immediate Chionite predecessors; both are known as _Huna_ (Sanskrit: Sveta-Hūna, White Huns). In Ancient India, names such as Hephthalite were unknown. The Hephthalites were apparently part of, or offshoots of, people known in India
as _ Hunas _ or _Turushkas_.

Historians such as Christopher I. Beckwith , referring to Étienne de la Vaissière , say that the Hephthalites were not necessarily one and the same as the White Huns (_Sveta Huna_). According to de la Vaissiere, the Hephthalites are not directly identified in classical sources alongside that of the White Huns.

The _Huna_ had already established themselves in Afghanistan
and the modern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan
by the first half of the 5th century, and the Gupta emperor Skandagupta had repelled a _Hūna_ invasion in 455 before the Hephthalite clan came along. These attacks on the Guptas were therefore probably made by the predecessors of the Hephthalites, the Kidarites .

was invaded during the 5th century by a people known in the Indian Subcontinent as the _ Hunas _ – possibly an alliance broader than the Hephthalites and/or Xionites. The _Hunas_ were initially defeated by Emperor Skandagupta of the Gupta Empire . By the end of the 5th century, however, the _Hunas_ had overrun the part of the Gupta Empire that was to their southeast and had conquered Central and North India
. Gupta Emperor Bhanugupta defeated the Hunas under Toramana in 510. The _Hunas_ were driven out of India
by the kings Yasodharman and Narasimhagupta , during the early 6th century.

The Hephthalites had their capital at _Badian_, modern Kunduz , but the emperor lived in the capital city for just three winter months, and for the rest of the year, the government seat would move from one locality to another like a camp. The Hephthalites continued the pressure on ancient India's northwest frontier and broke east by the end of the 5th century, hastening the disintegration of the Gupta Empire . They made their capital at the city of _Sakala_, modern Sialkot in Pakistan
, under their Emperor Mihirakula . But later the Huns were defeated and driven out of India
by the Indian kings Yasodharman and Narasimhagupta in the 6th century.


A number of groups in Afghanistan
and India
may be partly descended from the Ephthalites.

* Karluks: The ' Karluks ' or Qarlughids reported from near Ghazni in the thirteenth century may have arisen from the Ephthalites. Others say they were Khalachs, the names being similar in Arabic. * Khalachs: The Khalachs or Khalaj people are first mentioned in the 7th-9th centuries in the area of Kabul and Gazni. They spoke Turkic, possibly arose from the Ephthalites and later probably merged into the Ghilzai Pashtuns. Their descendents may have founded the Khilji dynasty (1290) and the Lodi dynasty (1451) of the Delhi Sultanate. * Abdal is a name associated with the Ephthalites. It is an alternate name for the Äynu people of the Tarim Basin and appears as a sub-tribe of the Chowdur Turkmen, Kazakhs and Volga
Bulgars. * Duranni: The Durrani
of Afghanistan
were called Abdali before 1747. * Rajputs: The Rajputs may have begun as a mixture of Ephthalites and Gujars . One of their clans is called 'Hun' as in Sveta Huna.

The Pashtuns began as a union of largely East-Iranian tribes which became the initial ethnic stratum of the Pashtun ethnogenesis , dates from the middle of the first millennium CE and is connected with the dissolution of the Epthalite (White Huns) confederacy. Of the contribution of the Epthalites (White Huns) to the ethnogenesis of the Pashtuns we find evidence in the ethnonym of the largest of the Pashtun tribe unions, the Abdali ( Durrani
after 1747) associated with the ethnic name of the Epthalites — Abdal. The Siah-posh , the Kafirs (Nuristanis) of the Hindu Kush , called all Pashtuns by a general name of Abdal still at the beginning of the 19th century.


* Huna people * Kidarites (Red Huns) * Alchon Huns * Kushan Empire * Xionites * Nezak Huns


* ^ _A_ _B_ Bivar, A. D. H. "HEPHTHALITES". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 8 March 2017. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Chinese Travelers in Afghanistan". _Abdul Hai Habibi _. alamahabibi.com. 1969. Retrieved August 9, 2012. * ^ Sardonyx seal * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ A.Kurbanov "THE HEPHTHALITES-ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL ANALYSIS" 2010 * ^ _A_ _B_ _Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early medieval India_. André Wink, p. 110. E. J. Brill. * ^ _A_ _B_ The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila, Michael Maas p.287 * ^ Ancient History of Central Asia by Adesh Katariya p.169 * ^ CNG Coins * ^ Kurbanov, p164; Merv p167. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila by Michael Maas p.287 * ^ CNG Coins * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Ahmad Hasan Dani, B. A. Litvinsky, Unesco
p.38 sq * ^ Zeimal 1996 , p. 130. * ^ Iaroslav Lebedynsky, "Les Nomades", p172. * ^ British Museum
British Museum
notice * ^ The war is variously dated. 560-65 (Gumilyov,1967); 555 (Stark,2008, Altturkenzeit,210); 557 (Iranica,Khosrow ii); 558-61 (Iranica.hephthalites); 557-63 (Baumer, Hist.Cent.Asia,2,174) ; 557-61 (Sinor,1990, Hist Inner Asia,301; 560-563 (UNESCO,Hist.civs.c.a.,iii,143); 562-65 (Christian, hist. russia,mongolia,c.a.,252); ca 565 (Grousset,Empire Steppes, 1970,p82); 567 (Chavannes,1903, Documents, 236+229) * ^ The Huns by Hyun Jin Kim, Routledge p.56 * ^ Enoki, K. "The Liang shih-kung-t'u on the origin and migration of the Hua or Ephthalites," _Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia_ 7:1–2 (December 1970):37–45 * ^ History of Buddhism
in Afghanistan, Alexander Berzin, Study Buddhism * ^ CNG Coins * ^ M. A. Shaban, "Khurasan at the Time of the Arab Conquest", in _ Iran
and Islam_, in memory of Vlademir Minorsky, Edinburgh University Press, (1971), p481; ISBN 0-85224-200-X . * ^ "The White Huns – The Hephthalites", Silk Road * ^ Enoki Kazuo, _"On the nationality of White Huns"_, 1955 * ^ _A_ _B_ David Christian _A History of Russia, Inner Asia and Mongolia_ (Oxford: Basil Blackwell) 1998 p248 * ^ _A_ _B_ "White Huns", _Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia_ * ^ _A_ _B_ Enoki, Kazuo: "On the Nationality of the White Huns", _Memoirs of the Research Department of the Tokyo Bunko_, 1959, No. 18, p. 56. Quote: "Let me recapitulate the foregoing. The grounds upon which the White Huns are assigned an Iranian tribe are: (1) that their original home was on the east frontier of Tokharestan; and (2) that their culture contained some Iranian elements. Naturally, the White Huns were sometimes regarded as another branch of the Kao-ch’e tribe by their contemporaries, and their manners and customs are represented as identical with those of the T’u-chueh, and it is a fact that they had several cultural elements in common with those of the nomadic Turkish tribes. Nevertheless, such similarity of manners and customs is an inevitable phenomenon arising from similarity of their environments. The White Huns could not be assigned as a Turkish tribe on account of this. The White Huns were considered by some scholars as an Aryanized tribe, but I would like to go further and acknowledge them as an Iranian tribe. Though my grounds, as stated above, are rather scarce, it is expected that the historical and linguistic materials concerning the White Huns are to be increased in the future and most of the newly-discovered materials seem to confirm my Iranian-tribe theory." here (PDF) http://www.azargoshnasp.net/history/Hephtalites/enokihephtalites.pdf. Retrieved 1 April 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) or "Hephtalites" or "On the Nationality of the Hephtalites". * ^ _A_ _B_ Xavier Tremblay, _Pour une histore de la Sérinde. Le manichéisme parmi les peoples et religions d’Asie Centrale d’aprés les sources primaire_, Vienna: 2001, Appendix D «Notes Sur L'Origine Des Hephtalites», pp. 183–88 «Malgré tous les auteurs qui, depuis KLAPROTH jusqu’ ALTHEIM in SuC, p113 sq et HAUSSIG, _Die Geschichte Zentralasiens und der Seidenstrasse in vorislamischer Zeit_, Darmstadt, 1983 (cf. n.7), ont vu dans les White Huns des Turcs, l’explication de leurs noms par le turc ne s’impose jamais, est parfois impossible et n’est appuyée par aucun fait historique (aucune trace de la religion turque ancienne), celle par l’iranien est toujours possible, parfois évidente, surtout dans les noms longs comme _Mihirakula_, _Toramana_ ou _γοβοζοκο_ qui sont bien plus probants qu’ _αλ_- en _Αλχαννο_. Or l’iranien des noms des White Huns n’est pas du bactrien et n’est donc pas imputable à leur installation en Bactriane Une telle accumulation de probabilités suffit à conclure que, jusqu’à preuve du contraire, les Hepthalites étaient des Iraniens orientaux, mais non des Sogdiens.» Available here (PDF) http://www.azargoshnasp.net/history/Hephtalites/hephtalitetremblay.pdf. Retrieved 1 April 2017. Missing or empty title= (help ) or here * ^ Denis Sinor, "The establishment and dissolution of the Türk empire" in Denis Sinor, "The Cambridge history of early Inner Asia, Volume 1", Cambridge University Press, 1990. p. 300:"There is no consensus concerning the Hephthalite language, though most scholars seem to think that it was Iranian." * ^ Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin, Congrès International d&Etud. _Études mithriaques: actes du 2e Congrès International, Téhéran, du 1er au 8 september 1975_. p 293. Retrieved 2012-9-5. * ^ Janos Harmatta, "The Rise of the Old Persian Empire: Cyrus the Great," AAASH (Acta Antiqua Acadamie Scientiarum Hungaricae 19, 197, pp. 4–15. * ^ CNG Coins * ^ West 2009 , pp. 274–277 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ Unesco