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The Kushan
Kushan
Empire
Empire
(Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία Κοσσανῶν; Bactrian: Κυϸανο, Kushano; Sanskrit: कुषाण साम्राज्य Kuṣāṇa Samrajya; BHS: Guṣāṇa-vaṃśa; Chinese: 貴霜帝國; Parthian: Kušan-xšaθr[8]) was a syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. It spread to encompass much of Afghanistan,[9] present-day Pakistan
Pakistan
and then the northern parts of India
India
at least as far as Saketa
Saketa
and Sarnath
Sarnath
near Varanasi
Varanasi
(Benares), where inscriptions have been found dating to the era of the Kushan
Kushan
Emperor Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great.[10] Kanishka
Kanishka
was a great patron of Buddhism; however, as Kushans
Kushans
expanded southward toward the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
the deities of their later coinage came to reflect its new Hindu
Hindu
majority.[11][12] The Kushans
Kushans
were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation,[13][14] a possibly Iranic[15][16] or Tocharian,[17][18][19][20][21][22] Indo-European[21][23][24][25] nomadic people who migrated from Gansu
Gansu
and settled in ancient Bactria.[14] The Kushans
Kushans
possibly used the Greek language
Greek language
initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language.[3] Kanishka
Kanishka
sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar, Khotan
Khotan
and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara
Gandhara
to China
China
remained under Kushan
Kushan
control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram
Karakoram
and facilitating the spread of Mahayana
Mahayana
Buddhism
Buddhism
to China. The Kushan
Kushan
dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian
Sasanian
Persia, the Aksumite Empire
Aksumite Empire
and Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
of China. 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.[26] The Kushan
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
Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom
in the areas of Sogdiana, Bactria
Bactria
and Gandhara. In the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty also pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan
Kushan
and Kushano- Sasanian
Sasanian
kingdoms were eventually overwhelmed by invaders from the north, known as the Kidarites, and then the Hepthalites.[7]

Contents

1 Origins 2 Early Kushans 3 Diverse cultural influences 4 Territorial expansion 5 Main Kushan
Kushan
rulers

5.1 Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
(c. 30 – c. 80) 5.2 Vima Taktu or Sadashkana (c. 80 – c. 95) 5.3 Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
(c. 95 – c. 127) 5.4 Kanishka I
Kanishka I
(c. 127 – c. 140) 5.5 Vāsishka
Vāsishka
(c. 140 – c. 160) 5.6 Huvishka
Huvishka
(c. 160 – c. 190) 5.7 Vasudeva I
Vasudeva I
(c. 190 – c. 230)

6 Kushan
Kushan
deities 7 Kushans
Kushans
and Buddhism

7.1 Kushan
Kushan
art

8 Contacts with Rome 9 Contacts with China 10 Decline 11 Rulers 12 See also 13 Notes 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links

Origins[edit] Chinese sources describe the Guishuang (貴霜), i.e. the Kushans, as one of the five aristocratic tribes of the Yuezhi, with some people claiming they were a loose confederation of Indo-European peoples,[27] though many scholars are still unconvinced that they originally spoke an Indo-European language. As the historian John E. Hill has put it: "For well over a century ... there have been many arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Great Yuezhi
Yuezhi
or Da Yuezhi (大月氏), Kushans
Kushans
(貴霜), and the Tochari, and still there is little consensus".[28] The Yuezhi
Yuezhi
were described in the Records of the Great Historian
Records of the Great Historian
史記 and the Book
Book
of Han 漢書 as living in the grasslands of Gansu, in the northwest of modern-day China, until their King was beheaded by the Huns from Siberia (the Xiongnu
Xiongnu
匈奴) who were also in war with China, which eventually forced them to exile west in 176–160 BCE.[29] The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì (休密), Guìshuāng (貴霜), Shuāngmǐ (雙靡), Xìdùn (肸頓), and Dūmì (都密). The Yuezhi
Yuezhi
reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco- Bactria
Bactria
(in northern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Uzbekistan) around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu
Hindu
Kush and the Indus basin (in present-day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan), occupying the western part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Early Kushans[edit]

Head of a Kushan
Kushan
prince ( Khalchayan
Khalchayan
palace, Uzbekistan).

Some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans
Kushans
in the area of Bactria
Bactria
and Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal
Surkh Kotal
(a monumental temple), and in the palace of Khalchayan. Various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers,[30] and significantly men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan
Kushan
prince of Khalchayan[31] (a practice well attested in nomadic Central Asia). The Chinese first referred to these people as the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
and said they established the Kushan
Kushan
Empire, although the relationship between the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
and the Kushans
Kushans
is still unclear. On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans
Kushans
are known to have built fortresses.

The first known Kushan
Kushan
king Heraios
Heraios
(1-30 CE).

The earliest documented ruler, and the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan
Kushan
ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a "tyrant" in Greek on his coins, and also exhibits skull deformation. He may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan
Kushan
emperor Kujula Kadphises. Ban Gu's Book
Book
of Han tells us the Kushans
Kushans
(Kuei-shuang) divided up Bactria
Bactria
in 128 BC. Fan Ye's Book
Book
of the Later Han "relates how the chief of the Kushans, Ch'iu-shiu-ch'ueh (the Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
of coins), founded by means of the submission of the other Yueh-chih clans the Kushan
Kushan
Empire, known to the Greeks and Romans under the name of Empire
Empire
of the Indo-Scythians."[32] The Chinese Hou Hanshu
Hou Hanshu
後漢書 chronicles gives an account of the formation of the Kushan
Kushan
empire based on a report made by the Chinese general Ban Yong to the Chinese Emperor c. 125 AD:

More than a hundred years later [than the conquest of Bactria
Bactria
by the Da Yuezhi], the prince [xihou] of Guishuang (Badakhshan) established himself as king, and his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang (Kushan) King. He invaded Anxi (Indo-Parthia), and took the Gaofu (Kabul) region. He also defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda (Paktiya) and Jibin (Kapisha and Gandhara). Qiujiuque (Kujula Kadphises) was more than eighty years old when he died. His son, Yangaozhen [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
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. — Hou Hanshu[33][34]

Diverse cultural influences[edit]

Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
(narrow columns) with Kushan
Kushan
script (wide columns).

A Buddhist devotee in Kushan
Kushan
dress, Mathura, 2nd century. The Kushan dress is generally depicted as quite stiff, and it is thought it was often made of leather (Francine Tissot, "Gandhara").

In the 1st century BCE, the Guishuang (Ch: 貴霜) gained prominence over the other Yuezhi
Yuezhi
tribes, and welded them into a tight confederation under yabgu (Commander) Kujula Kadphises. The name Guishuang was adopted in the West and modified into Kushan
Kushan
to designate the confederation, although the Chinese continued to call them Yuezhi. Gradually wresting control of the area from the Scythian tribes, the Kushans
Kushans
expanded south into the region traditionally known as Gandhara (an area primarily in Pakistan's Pothowar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region but going in an arc to include the Kabul
Kabul
valley and part of Qandahar
Qandahar
in Afghanistan)[citation needed] and established twin capitals in Begram[35] and Peshawar, then known as Kapisa and Pushklavati respectively.

The Kushan
Kushan
writing system used the Greek alphabet, with the addition of the letter Sho (associated with the Greek Sampi).

The Kushans
Kushans
adopted elements of the Hellenistic culture of Bactria. They adopted the Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
to suit their own language (with the additional development of the letter Þ "sh", as in "Kushan") and soon began minting coinage on the Greek model. On their coins they used Greek language
Greek language
legends combined with Pali legends (in the Kharoshthi script), until the first few years of the reign of Kanishka. After that date,[vague][when?][dubious – discuss] they used Kushan language legends (in an adapted Greek script), combined with legends in Greek (Greek script) and legends in Prakrit
Prakrit
( Kharoshthi
Kharoshthi
script). The Kushans
Kushans
"adopted many local beliefs and customs, including Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
and the two rising religions in the region, the Greek cults and Buddhism".[36] From the time of Vima Takto, many Kushans started adopting aspects of Buddhist culture, and like the Egyptians, they absorbed the strong remnants of the Greek culture of the Hellenistic Kingdoms, becoming at least partly Hellenised. The great Kushan
Kushan
emperor Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
may have embraced Saivism
Saivism
(a sect of Hinduism), as surmised by coins minted during the period. The following Kushan
Kushan
emperors represented a wide variety of faiths including Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and possibly Saivism. The rule of the Kushans
Kushans
linked the seagoing trade of the Indian Ocean with the commerce of the Silk Road
Silk Road
through the long-civilized Indus Valley. At the height of the dynasty, the Kushans
Kushans
loosely ruled a territory that extended to the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
through present-day Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
Pakistan
into northern India. The loose unity and comparative peace of such a vast expanse encouraged long-distance trade, brought Chinese silks to Rome, and created strings of flourishing urban centers. Territorial expansion[edit]

Kushan
Kushan
king or prince, Greco-Buddhist art
Greco-Buddhist art
of Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century CE.

Rosenfield notes that archaeological evidence of a Kushan
Kushan
rule of long duration is present in an area stretching from Surkh Kotal, Begram, the summer capital of the Kushans, Peshawar, the capital under Kanishka
Kanishka
I, Taxila, and Mathura, the winter capital of the Kushans.[37] Other areas of probable rule include Khwarezm[37] Kausambi (excavations of Allahabad University),[37] Sanchi
Sanchi
and Sarnath (inscriptions with names and dates of Kushan
Kushan
kings),[37] Malwa
Malwa
and Maharashtra,[38] Odisha
Odisha
(imitation of Kushan
Kushan
coins, and large Kushan hoards).[37]

Remains of a Kushan
Kushan
fortress in Sirsukh, Pakistan.

Kushan
Kushan
invasions in the 1st century CE had been given as an explanation for the migration of Indians from the Indian Subcontinent toward Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
according to proponents of a Greater India theory by 20th-century Indian nationalists. However, there is no evidence to support this hypothesis.[39] The recently discovered Rabatak inscription
Rabatak inscription
confirms the account of the Hou Hanshu, Weilüe, and inscriptions dated early in the Kanishka era (incept probably 127 CE), that large Kushan
Kushan
dominions expanded into the heartland of northern India
India
in the early 2nd century CE. The lines 4 to 7 of the inscription[40] describe the cities which were under the rule of Kanishka, among which six names are identifiable: Ujjain, Kundina, Saketa, Kausambi, Pataliputra, and Champa (although the text is not clear whether Champa was a possession of Kanishka
Kanishka
or just beyond it).[41][42][43] The Kushan
Kushan
state was bounded to the south by the Pārata state of Balochistan, western Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
was known for the kushan Buddhist city of Merv.[37] As late as the 3rd century AD, decorated coins of Huvishka
Huvishka
were dedicated at Bodh Gaya together with other gold offerings under the "Enlightenment Throne" of the Buddha, suggesting direct Kushan
Kushan
influence in the area during that period.[44] Northward, in the 2nd century AD, the Kushans
Kushans
under Kanishka
Kanishka
made various forays into the Tarim Basin, where they had various contacts with the Chinese. Both archaeological findings and literary evidence suggest Kushan
Kushan
rule, in Kashgar, Yarkand and Khotan.[45] Main Kushan
Kushan
rulers[edit]

Offerings found in Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya
under the "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", with an impression of an imitation of a coin of the Kushan emperor Huvishka, 2nd century CE. British Museum.

Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
(c. 30 – c. 80)[edit]

...the prince [elavoor] of Guishuang, named thilac [Kujula Kadphises], attacked and exterminated the four other xihou. He established himself as king, and his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang [Kushan] King. He invaded Anxi [Indo-Parthia] and took the Gaofu [Kabul] region. He also defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda [Paktiya] and Jibin [Kapisha and Gandhara]. Qiujiuque [Kujula Kadphises] was more than eighty years old when he died."Hou Hanshu[33]

These conquests probably took place sometime between 45 and 60 and laid the basis for the Kushan
Kushan
Empire
Empire
which was rapidly expanded by his descendants. Kujula issued an extensive series of coins and fathered at least two sons, Sadaṣkaṇa (who is known from only two inscriptions, especially the Rabatak inscription, and apparently never ruled), and seemingly Vima Takto. Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
was the great-grandfather of Kanishka. Vima Taktu or Sadashkana (c. 80 – c. 95)[edit] Vima Takto
Vima Takto
(Ancient Chinese: 閻膏珍 Yangaozhen) is mentioned in the Rabatak inscription
Rabatak inscription
(another son, Sadashkana, is mentioned in an inscription of Senavarman, the King of Odi). He was the predecessor of Vima Kadphises, and Kanishka
Kanishka
I. He expanded the Kushan
Kushan
Empire
Empire
into the northwest of the South Asia. The Hou Hanshu
Hou Hanshu
says:

"His son, Yangaozhen [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
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." — Hou Hanshu[33]

Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
(c. 95 – c. 127)[edit] Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
( Kushan
Kushan
language: Οοημο Καδφισης) was a Kushan
Kushan
emperor from around 90–100 CE, the son of Sadashkana and the grandson of Kujula Kadphises, and the father of Kanishka
Kanishka
I, as detailed by the Rabatak inscription. Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
added to the Kushan
Kushan
territory by his conquests in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and north-west Pakistan. He issued an extensive series of coins and inscriptions. He issued gold coins in addition to the existing copper and silver coinage. Kanishka I
Kanishka I
(c. 127 – c. 140)[edit]

Kanishka, Mathura
Mathura
art, Mathura
Mathura
Museum.

The rule of Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great, fifth Kushan
Kushan
king, who flourished for about 13 years from c. 127. Upon his accession, Kanishka
Kanishka
ruled a huge territory (virtually all of northern India), south to Ujjain
Ujjain
and Kundina and east beyond Pataliputra, according to the Rabatak inscription:

The Qila Mubarak
Qila Mubarak
fort at Bathinda, India
India
was built by Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great.

In the year one, it has been proclaimed unto India, unto the whole realm of the governing class, including Koonadeano (Kaundiny, Kundina) and the city of Ozeno (Ozene, Ujjain) and the city of Zageda (Saketa) and the city of Kozambo (Kausambi) and the city of Palabotro (Pataliputra) and so long unto (i.e. as far as) the city of Ziri-tambo (Sri-Champa). — Rabatak inscription, Lines 4–6

His territory was administered from two capitals: Purushapura (now Peshawar
Peshawar
in northwestern Pakistan) and Mathura, in northern India. He is also credited (along with Raja Dab) for building the massive, ancient Fort at Bathinda
Bathinda
(Qila Mubarak), in the modern city of Bathinda, Indian Punjab. The Kushans
Kushans
also had a summer capital in Bagram
Bagram
(then known as Kapisa), where the " Begram
Begram
Treasure", comprising works of art from Greece to China, has been found. According to the Rabatak inscription, Kanishka
Kanishka
was the son of Vima Kadphises, the grandson of Sadashkana, and the great-grandson of Kujula Kadphises. Kanishka’s era is now generally accepted to have begun in 127 on the basis of Harry Falk’s ground-breaking research.[46][47] Kanishka’s era was used as a calendar reference by the Kushans
Kushans
for about a century, until the decline of the Kushan
Kushan
realm. Vāsishka
Vāsishka
(c. 140 – c. 160)[edit] Vāsishka
Vāsishka
was a Kushan
Kushan
emperor who seems to have a 20-year reign following Kanishka. His rule is recorded as far south as Sanchi
Sanchi
(near Vidisa), where several inscriptions in his name have been found, dated to the year 22 (The Sanchi
Sanchi
inscription of "Vaksushana" – i. e. Vasishka Kushana) and year 28 (The Sanchi
Sanchi
inscription of Vasaska – i. e. Vasishka) of the Kanishka
Kanishka
era. Huvishka
Huvishka
(c. 160 – c. 190)[edit] Huvishka
Huvishka
(Kushan: Οοηϸκι, "Ooishki") was a Kushan
Kushan
emperor from about 20 years after the death of Kanishka
Kanishka
(assumed on the best evidence available to be in 140) until the succession of Vasudeva I about thirty years later. His rule was a period of retrenchment and consolidation for the Empire. In particular he devoted time and effort early in his reign to the exertion of greater control over the city of Mathura. Vasudeva I
Vasudeva I
(c. 190 – c. 230)[edit] Vasudeva I
Vasudeva I
(Kushan: Βαζοδηο "Bazodeo", Chinese: 波調 "Bodiao") was the last of the "Great Kushans." Named inscriptions dating from year 64 to 98 of Kanishka’s era suggest his reign extended from at least 191 to 225 AD. He was the last great Kushan
Kushan
emperor, and the end of his rule coincides with the invasion of the Sasanians as far as northwestern India, and the establishment of the Indo-Sasanians
Indo-Sasanians
or Kushanshahs in what is nowadays Afghanistan, Pakistan
Pakistan
and northwestern India
India
from around 240 AD. Kushan
Kushan
deities[edit]

Kumara/ Kartikeya
Kartikeya
with a Kushan
Kushan
devotee, 2nd century CE.

Kushan
Kushan
prince making a donation to a Boddhisattva.

The Kushan
Kushan
religious pantheon is extremely varied, as revealed by their coins that were made in gold, silver, and copper. These coins contained more than thirty different gods, belonging mainly to their own Iranic, Greek, and Indo-Aryan worlds as well. Kushan
Kushan
coins had images of Kushan
Kushan
Kings, Buddha, and figures from the Indo-Aryan and Iranian pantheons.[48] Greek deities, with Greek names are represented on early coins. During Kanishka's reign, the language of the coinage changes to Bactrian (though it remained in Greek script for all kings). After Huvishka, only two divinities appear on the coins: Ardoxsho and Oesho
Oesho
(see details below). The Iranic entities depicted on coinage include:

Αρδοχþο (ardoxsho, Ashi Vanghuhi) Aþαειχþo (ashaeixsho, Asha Vahishta) Αθþο (athsho, Atar) Φαρρο (pharro, Khwarenah) Λροοασπο (lrooaspa, Drvaspa) Μαναοβαγο, (manaobago, Vohu Manah) Μαο (mao, Mah) Μιθρο, Μιιρο, Μιορο, Μιυρο (mithro and variants, Mithra) Μοζδοοανο (mozdooano, Mazda *vana "Mazda the victorious?") Νανα, Ναναια, Ναναϸαο (variations of pan-Asiatic nana, Sogdian nny, Nana) Οαδο (oado Vata) Oαxþo (oaxsho, "Oxus") Ooρoμoζδο (ooromozdo, Ahura Mazda) Οραλαγνο (orlagno, Verethragna) Τιερο (tiero, Tir)

Representation of entities from Greek mythology and Hellenistic syncretism are:

Ηλιος (Helios), Ηφαηστος (Hephaistos), Σαληνη (Selene), Ανημος (Anemos). Further, the coins of Huvishka
Huvishka
also portray the demi-god erakilo Heracles, and the Egyptian god sarapo Sarapis

The Indic entities represented on coinage include:

Βοδδο (boddo, Buddha) Μετραγο Βοδδο (metrago boddo, bodhisattava Maitreya) Mαασηνo (maaseno, Mahasena) Σκανδo koμαρo (skando komaro, Skanda Kumara) þακαμανο Βοδδο (shakamano boddho, Shakyamuni Buddha) Οηϸο (oesho), long considered to represent Indic Shiva,[49][50][51] but also identified as Avestan
Avestan
Vayu conflated with Shiva.[52][53] Two copper coins of Huvishka
Huvishka
bear a 'Ganesa' legend, but instead of depicting the typical theriomorphic figure of Ganesha, have a figure of an archer holding a full-length bow with string inwards and an arrow. This is typically a depiction of Rudra, but in the case of these two coins is generally assumed to represent Shiva.

Images of Kushan
Kushan
worshippers

Kushan
Kushan
worshipper with Zeus/Serapis/Ohrmazd, Bactria, 3rd century CE.[54] 

Kushan
Kushan
worshipper with Pharro, Bactria, 3rd century AD.[54] 

Kushan
Kushan
worshipper with Shiva/Oesho, Bactria, 3rd century CE.[54] 

Deities on Kushan
Kushan
coinage

Mahasena on a coin of Huvishka 

Four-faced Oesho 

Rishti 

Manaobago 

Pharro 

Ardochsho 

Oesho
Oesho
or Shiva 

Oesho
Oesho
or Shiva
Shiva
with bull 

Skanda and Visakha 

Gold coin of Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great, with a depiction of the Buddha, with the legend "Boddo" in Greek script;Ahin Posh 

Herakles. 

Kushan
Kushan
Carnelian
Carnelian
seal representing the "ΑΔϷΟ" (adsho Atar), with triratana symbol left, and Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great's dynastic mark right 

Buddha 

Kushan
Kushan
coins showing half-length bust of Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
in various poses, holding mace-scepter or laurel branch in right hand; flames at shoulder, tamgha to right or left. On the other side of coin is a deity with a bull. Some consider the deity as Shiva
Shiva
because he is in ithyphallic state, holds a trident, and the Nandi bull is his mount, as in Hindu
Hindu
mythology.[50][51][55] Others suggest him as Oesho, Zoroastrian Vayu.

Kushans
Kushans
and Buddhism[edit]

Kanishka the Great
Kanishka the Great
inaugurates Mahayana
Mahayana
Buddhism. Illustration from 1910

Early Mahayana
Mahayana
Buddhist triad. From left to right, a Kushan
Kushan
devotee, Maitreya, the Buddha, Avalokitesvara, and a Buddhist monk. 2nd–3rd century, Gandhara

The Kushans
Kushans
inherited the Greco-Buddhist
Greco-Buddhist
traditions of the Indo-Greek Kingdom they replaced, and their patronage of Buddhist institutions allowed them to grow as a commercial power.[56] Between the mid-1st century and the mid-3rd century, Buddhism, patronized by the Kushans, extended to China
China
and other Asian countries through the Silk Road. Kanishka
Kanishka
is renowned in Buddhist tradition for having convened a great Buddhist council in Kashmir. Along with his predecessor in the region the Indo-Greek king Menander I
Menander I
(Milinda) and the Indian emperors Ashoka
Ashoka
and Harsha
Harsha
Vardhana, Kanishka
Kanishka
is considered by Buddhism
Buddhism
as one of its greatest benefactors. During the 1st century AD, Buddhist books were being produced and carried by monks, and their trader patrons. Also, monasteries were being established along these land routes that went from China
China
and other parts of Asia. With the development of Buddhist books, it caused a new written language called Gandhara. Gandhara
Gandhara
consists of eastern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and northern Pakistan. Scholars are said to have found many Buddhist scrolls that contained the Gandhari language.[57] The reign of Huvishka
Huvishka
corresponds to the first known epigraphic evidence of the Buddha Amitabha, on the bottom part of a 2nd-century statue which has been found in Govindo-Nagar, and now at the Mathura Museum. The statue is dated to "the 28th year of the reign of Huvishka", and dedicated to " Amitabha
Amitabha
Buddha" by a family of merchants. There is also some evidence that Huvishka
Huvishka
himself was a follower of Mahāyāna Buddhism. A Sanskrit
Sanskrit
manuscript fragment in the Schøyen Collection describes Huvishka
Huvishka
as one who has "set forth in the Mahāyāna."[58] Kushan
Kushan
art[edit]

Standing Female, 1st century CE Terracotta. This lively female figure comes from an area of Pakistan
Pakistan
where merchants from around the Mediterranean had long maintained trading posts. The area, known in antiquity as Gandhara, developed an unusual hybrid style of art and culture that was at once Hellenic and Indic. Brooklyn Museum

The art and culture of Gandhara, at the crossroads of the Kushan hegemony, continued the traditions of Greco-Buddhist art
Greco-Buddhist art
and are the best known expressions of Kushan
Kushan
influences to Westerners. Several direct depictions of Kushans
Kushans
are known from Gandhara, where they are represented with a tunic, belt and trousers and play the role of devotees to the Buddha, as well as the Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
and future Buddha Maitreya. During the Kushan
Kushan
Empire, many images of Gandhara
Gandhara
share a strong resemblance to the features of Greek, Syrian, Persian and Indian figures. These Western-looking stylistic signatures often include heavy drapery and curly hair,[59] representing a composite (the Greeks, for example, often possessed curly hair). In the iconography, they are never associated however with the very Hellenistic "Standing Buddha" statues, which might therefore correspond to an earlier historical period. Contacts with Rome[edit] Main article: Roman trade with India

Greco-Roman gladiator on a glass vessel, Begram, 2nd century

Several Roman sources describe the visit of ambassadors from the Kings of Bactria
Bactria
and India
India
during the 2nd century, probably referring to the Kushans.

Coin of the Roman Emperor Trajan, found together with coins of Kanishka the Great
Kanishka the Great
at the Ahin Posh
Ahin Posh
Monastery

Historia Augusta, speaking of Emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
(117–138) tells:

Reges Bactrianorum legatos ad eum, amicitiae petendae causa, supplices miserunt "The kings of the Bactrians sent supplicant ambassadors to him, to seek his friendship."

Also in 138, according to Aurelius Victor (Epitome‚ XV, 4), and Appian
Appian
(Praef., 7), Antoninus Pius, successor to Hadrian, received some Indian, Bactrian Hyrcanian
Hyrcanian
ambassadors.

"Precious things from Da Qin [the Roman Empire] can be found there [in Tianzhu or Northwestern India], as well as fine cotton cloths, fine wool carpets, perfumes of all sorts, sugar candy, pepper, ginger, and black salt." — Hou Hanshu[60]

The summer capital of the Kushan
Kushan
in Begram
Begram
has yielded a considerable amount of goods imported from the Roman Empire, in particular, various types of glassware. Contacts with China[edit]

Map showing the Eurasia in 2nd Century AD, Kushan
Kushan
shared a border with the Chinese empire of Han.

A bronze coin of Kanishka the Great
Kanishka the Great
found in Khotan, Tarim Basin

During the 1st and 2nd century, the Kushan
Kushan
Empire
Empire
expanded militarily to the north and occupied parts of the Tarim Basin, their original grounds, putting them at the center of the profitable Central Asian commerce with the Roman Empire. They are related to have collaborated militarily with the Chinese against nomadic incursion, particularly when they collaborated with the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
general Ban Chao
Ban Chao
against the Sogdians in 84, when the latter were trying to support a revolt by the king of Kashgar.[61] Around 85, they also assisted the Chinese general in an attack on Turpan, east of the Tarim Basin.

The Kushan
Kushan
Buddhist monk Lokaksema, first known translator of Buddhist Mahayana
Mahayana
scriptures into Chinese, c. 170.

In recognition for their support to the Chinese, the Kushans
Kushans
requested a Han princess, but were denied,[61][62] even after they had sent presents to the Chinese court. In retaliation, they marched on Ban Chao in 86 with a force of 70,000, but were defeated by a smaller Chinese force.[61][62] The Yuezhi
Yuezhi
retreated and paid tribute to the Chinese Empire
Empire
during the reign of emperor He of Han (89–106). Later, around 116, the Kushans
Kushans
under Kanishka
Kanishka
established a kingdom centered on Kashgar, also taking control of Khotan
Khotan
and Yarkand, which were Chinese dependencies in the Tarim Basin, modern Xinjiang. They introduced the Brahmi script, the Indian Prakrit
Prakrit
language for administration, and expanded the influence of Greco-Buddhist art
Greco-Buddhist art
which developed into Serindian art.

Eastern Han
Eastern Han
inscriptions on lead ingot, using barbarous Greek alphabet in the style of the Kushans, excavated in Shaanxi, 1st-2nd century CE.[63]

The Kushans
Kushans
are again recorded to have sent presents to the Chinese court in 158–159 during the reign of emperor Huan of Han. Following these interactions, cultural exchanges further increased, and Kushan
Kushan
Buddhist missionaries, such as Lokaksema, became active in the Chinese capital cities of Loyang
Loyang
and sometimes Nanjing, where they particularly distinguished themselves by their translation work. They were the first recorded promoters of Hinayana and Mahayana
Mahayana
scriptures in China, greatly contributing to the Silk Road
Silk Road
transmission of Buddhism. Decline[edit]

Hormizd I Kushanshah
Hormizd I Kushanshah
(277-286 CE), king of the Indo-Sasanians, maintained Sasanian
Sasanian
rule in former Kushan
Kushan
territories of the northwest. Naqsh-e Rustam
Naqsh-e Rustam
Bahram II
Bahram II
panel.

After the death of Vasudeva I
Vasudeva I
in 225, the Kushan
Kushan
empire split into western and eastern halves. The Western Kushans
Kushans
(in Afghanistan) were soon subjugated by the Persian Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
and lost Sogdiana, Bactria
Bactria
and Gandhara
Gandhara
to them. The Sasanians deposed the Western dynasty and replaced them with Persian vassals known as the Kushanshas (also called Indo-Sasanians
Indo-Sasanians
or Kushano-Sasanians). The Eastern Kushan
Kushan
kingdom was based in the Punjab. Around 270 their territories on the Gangetic plain became independent under local dynasties such as the Yaudheyas. Then in the mid-4th century they were subjugated by the Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire
under Samudragupta. In 360 a Kidarite Hun named Kidara
Kidara
overthrew the Indo-Sasanians
Indo-Sasanians
and remnants of the old Kushan
Kushan
dynasty, and established the Kidarite Kingdom. The Kushan
Kushan
style of Kidarite coins indicates they claimed Kushan
Kushan
heritage. The Kidarite seem to have been rather prosperous, although on a smaller scale than their Kushan
Kushan
predecessors. These remnants of the Kushan
Kushan
empire were ultimately wiped out in the 5th century by the invasions of the Hephthalites, the Alchon Huns
Alchon Huns
and the Nezak Huns
Nezak Huns
in the northwest, and the rise of the Gupta empire
Gupta empire
in the east. Rulers[edit]

Listing of Kushan
Kushan
royal tamgas.

Heraios
Heraios
(c. 1 – 30), first Kushan
Kushan
ruler, generally Kushan
Kushan
ruling period is disputed Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
(c. 30 – c. 80) Vima Takto, (c. 80 – c. 95) alias Soter Megas or "Great Saviour." Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
(c. 95 – c. 127) the first great Kushan
Kushan
emperor Kanishka the Great
Kanishka the Great
(127 – c. 140) Vāsishka
Vāsishka
(c. 140 – c. 160) Huvishka
Huvishka
(c. 160 – c. 190) Vasudeva I
Vasudeva I
(c. 190 – to at least 230), the last of the great Kushan emperors Kanishka II
Kanishka II
(c. 230 – 240) Vashishka (c. 240 – 250) Kanishka III
Kanishka III
(c. 250 – 275) Vasudeva II
Vasudeva II
(c. 275 – 310)

Vasudeva III reported son of Vasudeva III, a King, uncertain.[64] Vasudeva IV reported possible child of Vasudeva III, ruling in Kandahar, uncertain.[64] Vasudeva V, or "Vasudeva of Kabul" reported possible child of Vasudeva IV, ruling in Kabul, uncertain.[64]

Chhu
Chhu
(c. 310? – 325?)[64] Shaka I
Shaka I
(c. 325 – 345)[64] Kipunada (c. 345 – 375)[64]

See also[edit]

Pre-Islamic period of Afghanistan Indo-Parthian Kingdom Kucha, another Tocharian-speaking kingdom (with a related etymology) History of Pakistan Mathura Taxila

Notes[edit]

Kushan
Kushan
devotee, Mathura.

^ "The Rabatak inscription
Rabatak inscription
claims that in the year 1 Kanishka
Kanishka
I's authority was proclaimed in India, in all the satrapies and in different cities like Koonadeano (Kundina), Ozeno (Ujjain), Kozambo (Kausambi), Zagedo (Saketa), Palabotro (Pataliputra) and Ziri-Tambo (Janjgir-Champa). These cities lay to the east and south of Mathura, up to which locality Wima had already carried his victorious arm. Therefore they must have been captured or subdued by Kanishka
Kanishka
I himself." "Ancient Indian Inscriptions", S. R. Goyal, p. 93. See also the analysis of Sims-Williams
Sims-Williams
and J.Cribb, who had a central role in the decipherment: "A new Bactrian inscription of Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great", in " Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology" No4, 1995–1996. Also Mukherjee B.N. "The Great Kushanan Testament", Indian Museum Bulletin. ^ The Kushans
Kushans
at first retained the Greek language
Greek language
for administrative purposes but soon began to use Bactrian. The Bactrian Rabatak inscription (discovered in 1993 and deciphered in 2000) records that the Kushan
Kushan
king Kanishka the Great
Kanishka the Great
(c. 127 AD), discarded Greek (Ionian) as the language of administration and adopted Bactrian ("Arya language"), from Falk (2001): "The yuga of Sphujiddhvaja and the era of the Kuṣâṇas." Harry Falk. Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology VII, p. 133. ^ a b The Bactrian Rabatak inscription
Rabatak inscription
(discovered in 1993 and deciphered in 2000) records that the Kushan
Kushan
king Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great (c. 127 AD), discarded Greek (Ionian) as the language of administration and adopted Bactrian ("Arya language"), from Falk (2001): "The yuga of Sphujiddhvaja and the era of the Kuṣâṇas." Harry Falk. Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology VII, p. 133. ^ André Wink, Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: The Slavic Kings and the Islamic conquest, 11th-13th centuries, (Oxford University Press, 1997), 57. ^ The Silk Road
Silk Road
in World History By Xinru Liu, Pg.61 [1] ^ Golden 1992, p. 56. ^ a b "Afghanistan: Central Asian and Sassanian Rule, ca. 150 B.C.-700 A.D." United States: Library of Congress Country Studies. 1997. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ The Dynasty Arts of the Kushans, University of California Press, 1967, p. 5 ^ http://www.kushan.org/general/other/part1.htm and Si-Yu-Ki, Buddhist Records of the Western World, (Tr. Samuel Beal: Travels of Fa-Hian, The Mission of Sung-Yun and Hwei-S?ng, Books 1–5), Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd. London. 1906 and Hill (2009), pp. 29, 318–350 ^ which began about 127 CE. "Falk 2001, pp. 121–136", Falk (2001), pp. 121–136, Falk, Harry (2004), pp. 167–176 and Hill (2009), pp. 29, 33, 368–371. ^ Grégoire Frumkin (1970). Archaeology in Soviet Central Asia. Brill Archive. pp. 51–. GGKEY:4NPLATFACBB.  ^ Rafi U. Samad (2011). The Grandeur of Gandhara: The Ancient Buddhist Civilization of the Swat, Peshawar, Kabul
Kabul
and Indus Valleys. Algora Publishing. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-0-87586-859-2.  ^ Runion, Meredith L. (2007). The history of Afghanistan. Westport: Greenwood Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-313-33798-7. The Yuezhi people conquered Bactria
Bactria
in the second century BCE. and divided the country into five chiefdoms, one of which would become the Kushan Empire. Recognizing the importance of unification, these five tribes combined under the one dominate Kushan
Kushan
tribe, and the primary rulers descended from the Yuezhi.  ^ a b Liu, Xinrui (2001). Adas, Michael, ed. Agricultural and pastoral societies in ancient and classical history. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-56639-832-9.  ^ Enoki, Koshelenko & Haidary 1994, pp. 171–191 ^ Girshman, Roman. "Ancient Iran: The movement of Iranian peoples". Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 29 May 2015. At the end of the 3rd century, there began in Chinese Turkistan a long migration of the Yuezhi, an Iranian people who invaded Bactria
Bactria
about 130 bc, putting an end to the Greco-Bactrian kingdom there. (In the 1st century bc they created the Kushān dynasty, whose rule extended from Afghanistan
Afghanistan
to the Ganges River and from Russian Turkistan to the estuary of the Indus.)  ^ Pulleyblank 1966, pp. 9–39 ^ Mallory 1989, pp. 59–60 ^ Mallory 1997, pp. 591–593 ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), pp. 270–297. ^ a b Loewe & Shaughnessy 1999, pp. 87–88 ^ Benjamin, Craig (October 2003). "The Yuezhi
Yuezhi
Migration and Sogdia". Transoxiana Webfestschrift. Transoxiana. 1 (Ēran ud Anērān). Retrieved 29 May 2015.  ^ "Zhang Qian". Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 29 May 2015.  ^ West 2009, pp. 713–717 ^ "They are, by almost unanimous opinion, Indo-Europeans, probably the most oriental of those who occupied the steppes." Roux, p.90 ^ Hill (2009), p. 36 and notes. ^ " Kushan
Kushan
Empire
Empire
(ca. 2nd century B.C.–3rd century A.D.) Thematic Essay Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History The Metropolitan Museum of Art". metmuseum.org. Retrieved 2015-10-23.  ^ Hill (2009), p. 311. ^ Loewe, Michael A.N. (1979). "Introduction". In Hulsewé, Anthony François Paulus. China
China
in Central Asia: The Early Stage: 125 BC – AD 23; an Annotated Translation of Chapters 61 and 96 of the History of the Former Han Dynasty. Brill. pp. 1–70. ISBN 978-90-04-05884-2.  pp. 23–24. ^ Lebedynsky, p. 62. ^ Lebedynsky, p. 15. ^ Grousset, Rene (1970). The Empire
Empire
of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. p. 32. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9.  ^ a b c Hill (2009), p. 29. ^ Chavannes (1907), pp. 190–192. ^ S. Frederick Starr, Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 53 ^ Starr, p. 53 ^ a b c d e f Rosenfield, p. 41. ^ For " Malwa
Malwa
and Maharashtra, for which it is speculated that the Kushans
Kushans
had an alliance with the Western Kshatrapas", see: Rosenfield, p. 41. ^ Hall, D.G.E. (1981). A History of South-East Asia, Fourth Edition. Hong Kong: Macmillan Education Ltd. p. 17. ISBN 0-333-24163-0.  ^ For a translation of the full text of the Rabatak inscription
Rabatak inscription
see: Mukherjee, B.N., "The Great Kushana Testament", Indian Museum Bulletin, Calcutta, 1995. This translation is quoted in: Goyal (2005), p.88. ^ For quotation: "The Rabatak inscription
Rabatak inscription
claims that in the year 1 Kanishka
Kanishka
I's authority was proclaimed in India, in all the satrapies and in different cities like Koonadeano (Kundina), Ozeno (Ujjain), Kozambo (Kausambi), Zagedo (Saketa), Palabotro (Pataliputra) and Ziri-Tambo (Janjgir-Champa). These cities lay to the east and south of Mathura, up to which locality Wima had already carried his victorious arm. Therefore they must have been captured or subdued by Kanishka
Kanishka
I himself."see: Goyal, p. 93. ^ See also the analysis of Sims-Williams
Sims-Williams
and J. Cribb, specialists of the field, who had a central role in the decipherment: "A new Bactrian inscription of Kanishka
Kanishka
the Great", in Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology No. 4, 1995–1996. pp.75–142. ^ Sims-Williams, Nicholas. "Bactrian Documents from Ancient Afghanistan". Archived from the original on 10 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  ^ British Museum
British Museum
display, Asian Art room. ^ The Sino-Kharosthi coins of Khotan
Khotan
part 2, Numismatic Chronicle (1984), pp.129-152., by Joe Cribb ^ Falk (2001), pp. 121–136. ^ Falk (2004), pp. 167–176. ^ Xinru Liu, The Silk Road
Silk Road
in World History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 47. ^ Sivaramamurti, p. 56-59. ^ a b Loeschner, Hans (2012) The Stūpa of the Kushan
Kushan
Emperor Kanishka the Great Sino-Platonic Papers, No. 227 (July 2012); page 11 ^ a b Bopearachchi, O. (2007). Some observations on the chronology of the early Kushans. Res Orientales, 17, 41-53 ^ Sims-Williams, Nicolas. "Bactrian Language". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 3. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.  ^ H. Humbach, 1975, p.402-408. K.Tanabe, 1997, p.277, M.Carter, 1995, p.152. J.Cribb, 1997, p.40. References cited in "De l'Indus à l'Oxus". ^ a b c Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition ^ Perkins, J. (2007). Three-headed Śiva on the Reverse of Vima Kadphises's Copper Coinage. South Asian Studies, 23(1), 31-37 ^ Xinru Liu, The Silk Road
Silk Road
in World History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 42. ^ Xinru Liu, The Silk Road
Silk Road
in World History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 58. ^ Neelis, Jason. Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks. 2010. p. 141 ^ Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham Museum of Art
(2010). Birmingham Museum of Art : guide to the collection. [Birmingham, Ala]: Birmingham Museum of Art. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-904832-77-5.  ^ Hill (2009), p. 31. ^ a b c de Crespigny, Rafe. (2007). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Koninklijke Brill. page 5-6. ISBN 90-04-15605-4. ^ a b Torday, Laszlo. (1997). Mounted Archers: The Beginnings of Central Asian History. Durham: The Durham Academic Press. page 393. ISBN 1-900838-03-6. ^ Joe Cribb, 1974, "Chinese lead ingots with barbarous Greek inscriptions in Coin Hoards" pp.76-8 [2] ^ a b c d e f The Glorious History of Kushana Empire, Adesh Katariya, 2012, p.69

References[edit]

Avari, Burjor (2007). India: The Ancient Past. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35616-9.  Bopearachchi, Osmund (2003). De l'Indus à l'Oxus, Archéologie de l'Asie Centrale (in French). Lattes: Association imago-musée de Lattes. ISBN 2-9516679-2-2.  Chavannes, Édouard (1906). Trois Généraux Chinois de la dynastie des Han Orientaux. Pan Tch’ao (32–102 p.C.); – son fils Pan Yong; – Leang K’in (112 p.C.). Chapitre LXXVII du Heou Han chou''. T’oung pao 7.  Faccenna, Domenico (1980). Butkara I (Swāt, Pakistan) 1956–1962, Volume III 1 (in English). Rome: IsMEO (Istituto Italiano Per Il Medio Ed Estremo Oriente). Chavannes, Édouard (1907). Les pays d'occident d'après le Heou Han chou. T’oung pao 8. pp. 149–244.  Enoki, K.; Koshelenko, G. A.; Haidary, Z. (1 January 1994). "The Yu'eh-chih and their migrations". In Harmatta, János. History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The Development of Sedentary and Nomadic Civilizations, 700 B. C. to A. D. 250. UNESCO. pp. 171–191. ISBN 9231028464. Retrieved 29 May 2015.  Falk, Harry. 1995–1996. Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology IV. Falk, Harry. 2001. "The yuga of Sphujiddhvaja and the era of the Kuṣāṇas." Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology VII, pp. 121–136. Falk, Harry. 2004. "The Kaniṣka era in Gupta records." Harry Falk. Silk Road
Silk Road
Art and Archaeology X, pp. 167–176. Golden, Peter B. (1992). An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples. Harrassowitz Verlag.  Goyal, S. R. "Ancient Indian Inscriptions" Kusumanjali Book
Book
World, Jodhpur (India), 2005. Hill, John E. 2004. The Peoples of the West from the Weilüe 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE. Draft annotated English translation. [3] Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, First to Second Centuries CE. BookSurge. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.  Lebedynsky, Iaroslav (2006). Les Saces. Paris: Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-337-2.  Loewe, Michael; Shaughnessy, Edward L. (1999). The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-5214-7030-7. Retrieved 2013-11-01.  Mallory, J. P. (1989). In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 050005052X. Retrieved 29 May 2015.  Mallory, J. P. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1884964982. Retrieved 29 May 2015.  Mallory, J. P.; Mair, Victor H. (2000). "The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China
China
and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West". London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05101-1. . Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (1966). Chinese and Indo-Europeans. University of British Columbia, Department of Asian Studies. Retrieved February 14, 2015.  Rosenfield, John M. (1993). The Dynastic Art of the Kushans. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal. ISBN 81-215-0579-8.  Sivaramamurti, C. (1976). Śatarudrīya: Vibhūti of Śiva's Iconography. Delhi: Abhinav Publications.  Roux, Jean-Paul, L'Asie Centrale, Histoire et Civilization (French), Fayard, 1997, ISBN 978-2-213-59894-9 “Red Sandstone Railing Pillar.” The British Museum
British Museum
Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 1/2, 1965, pp. 64–64. www.jstor.org/stable/4422925. Masson, V. M. “The Forgotten Kushan
Kushan
Empire: New Discoveries at Zar-Tepe.” Archaeology, vol. 37, no. 1, 1984, pp. 32–37. www.jstor.org/stable/41728802. Hoey, W. “The Word Kozola as Used of Kadphises on Ku͟s͟hān Coins.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1902, pp. 428–429. www.jstor.org/stable/25208419. West, Barbara A. (January 1, 2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 1438119135. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 

Further reading[edit]

Benjamin, Craig (2007). The Yuezhi: Origin, Migration and the Conquest of Northern Bactria. ISD. ISBN 250352429X. Retrieved 29 May 2015.  Dorn'eich, Chris M. (2008). Chinese sources on the History of the Niusi-Wusi-Asi (oi)-Rishi (ka)-Arsi-Arshi-Ruzhi and their Kueishuang- Kushan
Kushan
Dynasty. Shiji
Shiji
110/Hanshu 94A: The Xiongnu: Synopsis of Chinese original Text and several Western Translations with Extant Annotations. Berlin. To read or download go to: [4] Foucher, M. A. 1901. "Notes sur la geographie ancienne du Gandhâra (commentaire à un chaptaire de Hiuen-Tsang)." BEFEO No. 4, Oct. 1901, pp. 322–369. Hargreaves, H. (1910–11): "Excavations at Shāh-jī-kī Dhērī"; Archaeological Survey of India, 1910–11, pp. 25–32. Harmatta, János, ed., 1994. History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations: 700 B.C. to A.D. 250. Paris, UNESCO
UNESCO
Publishing. Konow, Sten. Editor. 1929. Kharoshthī Inscriptions with Exception of those of Asoka. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. II, Part I. Reprint: Indological Book
Book
House, Varanasi, 1969. Lerner, Martin (1984). The flame and the lotus: Indian and Southeast Asian art from the Kronos collections. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0-87099-374-7.  Litvinsky, B. A., ed., 1996. History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume III. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750. Paris, UNESCO
UNESCO
Publishing. Liu, Xinru 2001 "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies." Journal of World History, Volume 12, No. 2, Fall 2001. University of Hawaii Press, pp. 261–292. [5]. Sarianidi, Viktor. 1985. The Golden Hoard of Bactria: From the Tillya-tepe Excavations in Northern Afghanistan. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York. Sims-Williams, Nicholas. 1998. "Further notes on the Bactrian inscription of Rabatak, with an Appendix on the names of Kujula Kadphises and Vima Taktu in Chinese." Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies Part 1: Old and Middle Iranian Studies. Edited by Nicholas Sims-Williams. Wiesbaden. 1998, pp. 79–93. Spooner, D. B. 1908–9. "Excavations at Shāh-jī-kī Dhērī."; Archaeological Survey of India, 1908–9, pp. 38–59. Watson, Burton. Trans. 1993. Records of the Grand Historian of China: Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
II. Translated from the Shiji
Shiji
of Sima Qian. Chapter 123: "The Account of Dayuan," Columbia University Press. Revised Edition. ISBN 0-231-08166-9; ISBN 0-231-08167-7 (pbk.) Zürcher, E. (1968). "The Yüeh-chih and Kaniṣka in the Chinese sources." Papers on the Date of Kaniṣka. Basham, A. L., ed., 1968. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 346–393. Kennedy, J. “The Later Kushans.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1913, pp. 1054–1064. www.jstor.org/stable/25189078. Rife, J. L. "The Making of Roman India
India
by Grant Parker (review)." American Journal of Philology, vol. 135 no. 4, 2014, pp. 672–675. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/ajp.2014.0046. Iloliev, A. "King of Men: ῾Ali ibn Abi Talib in Pamiri Folktales." Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies, vol. 8 no. 3, 2015, pp. 307–323. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/isl.2015.0036.

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Culture Late Vedic Period Late Vedic Period (Brahmin ideology)[a] Painted Grey Ware culture

Late Vedic Period (Kshatriya/Shramanic culture)[b] Northern Black Polished Ware

Pre-history

 6th century BC Gandhara Kuru-Panchala Magadha

Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes)

Culture Persian-Greek influences "Second Urbanisation" Rise of Shramana
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movements Jainism
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- Buddhism
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- Ājīvika
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Pre-history

 5th century BC (Persian rule)

Shishunaga dynasty

Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes)

 4th century BC (Greek conquests) Nanda empire

HISTORICAL AGE

Culture Spread of Buddhism Pre-history Sangam period (300 BC – 200 AD)

 3rd century BC Maurya Empire Early Cholas Early Pandyan Kingdom Satavahana dynasty Cheras 46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

Culture Preclassical Hinduism[c] - " Hindu
Hindu
Synthesis"[d] (ca. 200 BC - 300 AD)[e][f] Epics - Puranas
Puranas
- Ramayana
Ramayana
- Mahabharata
Mahabharata
- Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
- Brahma Sutras - Smarta Tradition Mahayana
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Buddhism Sangam period (continued) (300 BC – 200 AD)

 2nd century BC Indo-Greek Kingdom Shunga Empire Maha-Meghavahana Dynasty

Early Cholas Early Pandyan Kingdom Satavahana dynasty Cheras 46 other small kingdoms in Ancient Thamizhagam

 1st century BC

 1st century AD

Indo-Scythians Indo-Parthians

Kuninda Kingdom

 2nd century Kushan
Kushan
Empire

 3rd century Kushano- Sasanian
Sasanian
Kingdom Kushan
Kushan
Empire Western Satraps Kamarupa
Kamarupa
kingdom Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture "Golden Age of Hinduism"(ca. AD 320-650)[g] Puranas Co-existence of Hinduism
Hinduism
and Buddhism

 4th century Kidarites Gupta Empire Varman dynasty

Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Kadamba Dynasty Western Ganga Dynasty

 5th century Hephthalite Empire Alchon Huns Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Vishnukundina

 6th century Nezak Huns Kabul
Kabul
Shahi

Maitraka

Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes) Badami Chalukyas Kalabhra dynasty Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras)

Culture Late-Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(ca. AD 650-1100)[h] Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta
- Tantra Decline of Buddhism
Buddhism
in India

 7th century Indo-Sassanids

Vakataka dynasty Empire
Empire
of Harsha Mlechchha dynasty Adivasi
Adivasi
(tribes) Pandyan Kingdom(Under Kalabhras) Pandyan Kingdom(Revival) Pallava

 8th century Kabul
Kabul
Shahi

Pala Empire Pandyan Kingdom Kalachuri

 9th century

Gurjara-Pratihara

Rashtrakuta dynasty Pandyan Kingdom Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai

10th century Ghaznavids

Pala dynasty Kamboja-Pala dynasty

Kalyani Chalukyas Medieval Cholas Pandyan Kingdom(Under Cholas) Chera Perumals of Makkotai Rashtrakuta

References and sources for table

References

^ Samuel ^ Samuel ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Michaels (2004) p.39 ^ Hiltebeitel (2002) ^ Micheals (2004) p.40 ^ Michaels (2004) p.41

Sources

Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press  Hiltebeitel, Alf (2002), Hinduism. In: Joseph Kitagawa, "The Religious Traditions of Asia: Religion, History, and Culture", Routledge  Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism. Past and present, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press 

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Lists

Empires

largest

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Kushan
Kushan
Empire Emperors, territories and chronology

Territories/ dates Western India Western Pakistan Balochistan Paropamisadae Arachosia Bajaur Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura Pataliputra

INDO-SCYTHIAN KINGDOM INDO-GREEK KINGDOM Indo-Scythian Northern Satraps

25 BCE – 10 CE

Indo-Scythian dynasty of the APRACHARAJAS Vijayamitra (ruled 12 BCE - 15 CE)[1] Liaka Kusulaka Patika Kusulaka Zeionises Kharahostes (ruled 10 BCE– 10 CE)[2] Mujatria Strato II
Strato II
and Strato III Hagana

10-20CE

INDO-PARTHIAN KINGDOM Gondophares Indravasu INDO-PARTHIAN KINGDOM Gondophares Rajuvula

20-30 CE

Ubouzanes Pakores Vispavarma (ruled c.0-20 CE)[3] Sarpedones Bhadayasa Sodasa

30-40 CE

KUSHAN EMPIRE Kujula Kadphises Indravarma Abdagases ... ...

40-45 CE

Aspavarma Gadana ... ...

45-50 CE

Sasan Sases ... ...

50-75 CE

... ...

75-100 CE Indo-Scythian dynasty of the WESTERN SATRAPS Chastana

Vima Takto ... ...

100-120 CE Abhiraka

Vima Kadphises ... ...

120 CE Bhumaka Nahapana PARATARAJAS Yolamira Kanishka
Kanishka
I Great Satrap Kharapallana and Satrap Vanaspara for Kanishka
Kanishka
I

130-230 CE

Jayadaman Rudradaman I Damajadasri I Jivadaman Rudrasimha I Isvaradatta Rudrasimha I Jivadaman Rudrasena I

Bagamira Arjuna Hvaramira Mirahvara

Vāsishka
Vāsishka
(c. 140 – c. 160) Huvishka
Huvishka
(c. 160 – c. 190) Vasudeva I
Vasudeva I
(c. 190 – to at least 230)

230-280 CE

Samghadaman Damasena Damajadasri II Viradaman Yasodaman I Vijayasena Damajadasri III Rudrasena II Visvasimha

Miratakhma Kozana Bhimarjuna Koziya Datarvharna Datarvharna

INDO-SASANIANS Ardashir I, Sassanid king and "Kushanshah" (c. 230 – 250) Peroz I, "Kushanshah" (c. 250 – 265) Hormizd I, "Kushanshah" (c. 265 – 295)

Kanishka II
Kanishka II
(c. 230 – 240) Vashishka (c. 240 – 250) Kanishka III
Kanishka III
(c. 250 – 275)

280-300 Bhratadarman Datayola II

Hormizd II, "Kushanshah" (c. 295 – 300)

Vasudeva II
Vasudeva II
(c. 275 – 310)

300-320 CE

Visvasena Rudrasimha II Jivadaman

Peroz II, "Kushanshah" (c. 300 – 325)

Vasudeva III Vasudeva IV Vasudeva V Chhu
Chhu
(c. 310? – 325)

320-388 CE

Yasodaman II Rudradaman II Rudrasena III Simhasena Rudrasena IV

Shapur II
Shapur II
Sassanid king and "Kushanshah" (c. 325) Varhran I, Varhran II, Varhran III
Varhran III
"Kushanshahs" (c. 325 – 350) Peroz III "Kushanshah" (c. 350 –360) HEPHTHALITE/ HUNAS invasions

Shaka I
Shaka I
(c. 325 – 345) Kipunada (c. 345 – 375)

GUPTA EMPIRE Chandragupta I
Chandragupta I
Samudragupta

388-396 CE Rudrasimha III

Chandragupta II

Authority control

NDL: 00567066

^ From the dated inscription on the Rukhana reliquary ^ An Inscribed Silver Buddhist Reliquary of the Time of King Kharaosta and Prince Indravarman, Richard Salomon, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 116, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1996), pp. 442 [6] ^ A Kharosthī Reliquary Inscription of the Time of the Apraca Prince Visnuvarma, by Richard Salomon, South Asian Studies 11 1995, Pages 27-32, Published onlin

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