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The KUSHANO-SASSANIDS (also called KUSHANSHAS or INDO-SASSANIANS) were a branch of the Sassanid
Sassanid
Persians who established their rule in Bactria
Bactria
and in northwestern Pakistan
Pakistan
during the 3rd and 4th centuries at the expense of the declining Kushans
Kushans
. They captured the provinces of Sogdiana
Sogdiana
, Bactria
Bactria
and Gandhara
Gandhara
from the Kushans
Kushans
, following the fall of the Kushan
Kushan
dynasty in 225 CE. The Sasanians established governors for the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
, who minted their own coinage and took the title of Kushanshas, ie "Kings of the Kushans". They are sometimes considered as forming a "sub-kingdom" inside the Sasanian Empire . This administration continued until 360-370 CE, when the Kushano-Sasanians lost their territories to the invading Kidarites Huns. Thereafter the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
roughly stopped at Merv
Merv
. Later, the Kidarites
Kidarites
were in turn displaced by the Hephthalites . The Sasanians were able to re-establish some authority after they destroyed the Hephthalites with the help of the Turks in 565, but their rule collapsed under Arab attacks in the mid 7th century.

The Kushanshas
Kushanshas
are mainly known through their coins. Their coins were minted at Kabul
Kabul
, Balkh
Balkh
, Herat
Herat
, and Merv
Merv
, attesting the extent of their realm.

A rebellion of Hormizd I Kushanshah (277-286 CE), who issued coins with the title Kushanshahanshah ("King of kings of the Kushans"), seems to have occurred against contemporary emperor Bahram II (276-293 CE) of the Sasanian Empire, but failed.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 First Kushano- Sassanid
Sassanid
period * 1.2 Second Indo- Sassanid
Sassanid
period

* 2 Religious influences * 3 Artistic influences * 4 Main Indo- Sassanid
Sassanid
rulers * 5 Coinage * 6 References * 7 See also * 8 Sources * 9 External links

HISTORY

FIRST KUSHANO-SASSANID PERIOD

The Sassanids, shortly after victory over the Parthians , extended their dominion into Bactria
Bactria
during the reign of Ardashir I
Ardashir I
around 230 CE, then further to the eastern parts of their empire in western Pakistan
Pakistan
during the reign of his son Shapur I
Shapur I
(240–270). Thus the Kushans
Kushans
lost their western territory (including Bactria
Bactria
and Gandhara
Gandhara
) to the rule of Sassanid
Sassanid
nobles named Kushanshahs or "Kings of the Kushans". Hormizd I Kushanshah on the Naqsh-e Rustam
Naqsh-e Rustam
Bahram II panel.

The Kushano-Sasanians under Hormizd I Kushanshah seem to have led a rebellion against contemporary emperor Bahram II (276-293 CE) of the Sasanian Empire, but failed. According to the Panegyrici Latini (3rd-4th century CE), there was a rebellion of a certain Ormis (Ormisdas) against his brother Bahram II , and Ormis was supported the people of Saccis ( Sakastan
Sakastan
). Hormizd I Kushanshah issued coins with the title Kushanshahanshah ("King of kings of the Kushans") , probably in defiance of imperial Sasanian rule.

Around 325, Shapur II
Shapur II
was directly in charge of the southern part of the territory, while in the north the Kushanshahs maintained their rule until the rise of the Kidarites
Kidarites
.

The decline of the Kushans
Kushans
and their defeat by the Kushano-Sassanids led to the rise of the Kidarites
Kidarites
and then the Hephthalites who conquered Bactria
Bactria
and Gandhara, thus replacing the Kushano-Sassanids, until the arrival of Islam
Islam
to Pakistan
Pakistan
.

SECOND INDO-SASSANID PERIOD

The Hephthalites dominated the area until they were defeated in 565 AD by an alliance between the Gokturks
Gokturks
and Sassanids
Sassanids
, and some Indo- Sassanid
Sassanid
authority was re-established. The Kushano-Hephthalites were able to set up rival states in Kapisa
Kapisa
, Bamiyan , and Kabul
Kabul
. The 2nd Indo- Sassanid
Sassanid
period ended with the collapse of Sassanids
Sassanids
to the Rashidun Caliphate
Rashidun Caliphate
in the mid 7th century. Sind remained independent until the Arab invasions of India in the early 8th century. The Kushano- Hephthalites or Turkshahis were replaced by the Shahi in the mid 8th century.

RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES

Coin of the last Kushano-Sasanian ruler Bahram Kushanshah (circa 350-365 CE) in Kushan
Kushan
style. Obv: King Varhran I with characteristic head-dress. Rev: Shiva
Shiva
with bull Nandi , in Kushan
Kushan
style.

The prophet Mani (210–276), founder of Manichaeism
Manichaeism
, followed the Sassanids' expansion to the east, which exposed him to the thriving Buddhist
Buddhist
culture of Gandhara
Gandhara
. He is said to have visited Bamiyan , where several religious painting are attributed to him, and is believed to have lived and taught for some time. He is also related to have sailed to the Indus valley area of Pakistan
Pakistan
in 240 or 241, and to have converted a Buddhist
Buddhist
King, the Turan
Turan
Shah of India.

On that occasion, various Buddhist
Buddhist
influences seem to have permeated Manichaeism: " Buddhist
Buddhist
influences were significant in the formation of Mani's religious thought. The transmigration of souls became a Manichaean belief, and the quadripartite structure of the Manichaean community, divided between male and female monks (the 'elect') and lay follower (the 'hearers') who supported them, appears to be based on that of the Buddhist
Buddhist
sangha "

ARTISTIC INFLUENCES

The Indo- Sassanids
Sassanids
traded goods such as silverware and textiles depicting the Sassanid
Sassanid
emperors engaged in hunting or administering justice. The example of Sassanid
Sassanid
art was influential on Kushan
Kushan
art, and this influence remained active for several centuries in the northwest South Asia.

MAIN INDO-SASSANID RULERS

Kushano-Sasanian ruler Ardashir I
Ardashir I
Kushanshah , circa 230-250 CE. Merv
Merv
mint.

Based on coinage, a list of the Kushanshah rulers can be established:

* Ardashir I
Ardashir I
Kushanshah (230-?) * Ardashir II Kushanshah (?-245) * Peroz I Kushanshah (245-270) * Hormizd I Kushanshah (270-295), rebelled against Bahram II of Iran. * Hormizd II Kushanshah (295-300) * Peroz II Kushanshah (300-325) * Bahram Kushanshah (325-350), also named Varahran

COINAGE

Wikimedia Commons has media related to KUSHANO-SASANIAN KINGDOM .

The Indo- Sassanids
Sassanids
created an extensive coinage with legend in Brahmi , Pahlavi or Bactrian , sometimes inspired from Kushan
Kushan
coinage, and sometimes more clearly Sassanid.

The obverse of the coin usually depicts the ruler with elaborate headdress and on the reverse either a Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian
fire altar, or Shiva with the bull Nandi .

*

Ardashir I
Ardashir I
Kushanshah in the name of Kushan
Kushan
ruler Vasudeva I , circa 230-245 CE. *

Indo- Sassanid
Sassanid
coin. *

A gold Indo- Sassanid
Sassanid
coin. *

Hormizd I Kushanshah with mention of Mazda and Anahita
Anahita
. Merv
Merv
mint.

REFERENCES

* ^ Encyclopedia Iranica * ^ A B C D E F G The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 3, E. Yarshater p.209 ff * ^ A B C The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila, Michael Maas, Cambridge University Press, 2014 p.284 ff * ^ Sasanian Seals and Sealings, Rika Gyselen, Peeters Publishers, 2007, p.1 * ^ Encyclopedia Iranica * ^ Encyclopedia Iranica * ^ CNG Coins * ^ Richard Foltz , Religions of the Silk Road, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 * ^ Richard Foltz , Religions of the Silk Road, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 * ^ History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Ahmad Hasan Dani, B. A. Litvinsky, Unesco p.105 * ^ Numismatic Evidence for Kushano-Sasanian Chronology Joe Cribb 1990 p.171 * ^ CNG Coins * ^ CNG Coins

SEE ALSO

HISTORY OF AFGHANISTAN

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2200–1800 BC

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247 BC–224 AD

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180–130 BC

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20 BC – 50? AD

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230–651

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380–560

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484–711

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