Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian Coinage, volume 1: The Early Indo-Greeks and Their Antecedants by Michael Mitchiner
Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian Coinage, volume 1: The Early Indo-Greeks and Their Antecedants : Alexander the Great, the satraps of Egypt, Babylon, Ecbatana, Bactra and Kapisa: the Seleucids circa 330 to 150 BC
by Michael Mitchiner
Hawkins Publications, 1975, 101 pages
Part of Michael Mitchiner's 9 volume series on Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian Coinage.
Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian Coinage - Author's Introduction
This study commences at the time when Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire and extended the Greek world as far as the Punjab. The traditional Persian practice of permitting provincial governors (Satraps) to issue their own coins has produced an interesting series of satrapal coins extending from Egypt and Babylon to the Kabul valley where Alexander's father-in-law Oxyartes struck a few coins while satrap during the 320's BC. The more homogeneous coinage of the succeeding Seleucid Empire came to an end, so far as the eastern provinces were concerned, when they declared their independence during the 250's BC.
The Indo-Greeks rose to prominence as they re-conquered southern provinces whose ownership had passed from Alexander and Seleucos to the Indian King Chandragupta Maurya. The Golden Age of the Indo-Greek king forfeited what little remained of former glory to a pincer movement between Kushans moving down from the north and Scythians expanding their holdings in Pakistan.
The Scythians whom had reached Afghanistan during the migration of the 130's BC settled much of the Afghan plateau during ensuing decades. Those who moved furthest organised themselves into a SE. Afghan kingdom ruled by Vonones and acquired a local heritage of Indo-Greek culture. Under new leaders these Indo-Scythians moved further and took much of northern Afghanistan away for the Indo-Greeks during the 1st century BC. Administrative de-centralisation, which had earlier been an asset to the Indo-Greeks, led to the downfall of the Indo-Scythian realm which, fragmented among increasingly powerful satraps, became easy prey to Kushan and Indo-Parthian expansion.