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Artemidoros Aniketos

Artemidoros Aniketos

The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death 85
The details
Biography

Artemidoros Aniketos (Greek: Ἀρτεμίδωρος ὁ Ἀνίκητος; epithet means "the Invincible") was a king who ruled in the area of Gandhara and Pushkalavati in modern northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A son of Maues?

Artemidoros has a Greek name and has traditionally been seen as an Indo-Greek king. His remaining coins generally feature portraits of Artemidoros and Hellenistic deities and are typical of Indo-Greek rulers, but on a coin described by numismatician R. C. Senior, Artemidoros seems to claim to be the son of the Indo-Scythian king Maues. Not only does this coin enable a closer dating of Artemidoros; it also sheds new light on the transient ethnic identities during the decline of the Indo-Greek kingdom.

While Maues was 'Great King of Kings', Artemidoros only styled himself King; it appears as though he ruled only a smaller part of his father's dominions. He was either challenged by or ruled in tandem with other kings such as Menander II, whose coins have been found alongside his, and Apollodotus II.

In a 2009 article however, Bopearachchi disputes the interpretation of the coin according to which Artemidoros would be son of Maues. The analysis of several similar coins in good condition and cleaned-up reveals that the obverse should be read rajatirajasa moasa putrasa ca artemidorosa, the ca meaning "and", which opens the way to a possible translation being "King of kings Maues, and the son of Artemidoros". This would suggest that the son of Artemidoros would have issued coins in the name of his father, recognizing at the same time the suzerainty of Maues. In that case, Artemidoros would have been a regular Indo-Greek king, whose son simply made a transition with the rule of Maues.

Time of rule

Bopearachchi has suggested a date of c. 85-80 BCE, but this was before the appearance of the Maues coin. Senior's dating is wider, c. 100–80 BCE, because Senior has given Maues an earlier date.

Coins

During the 1990s, several new types of Artemidoros' coins appeared, of variable quality. R. C. Senior has suggested that Artemidoros relied mostly on temporary mints, perhaps because he held no major cities. All his coins were Indian bilinguals.

Silver:

Obverse: diademed or helmeted bust of king. Reverse: Artemis facing left or right, Nike facing left or right, or king on horseback.

Artemis, the eponymous goddess of hunting, is seen using a curved bow, which may have been typical of Scythian tribes and further supports his affiliation with them.

Bronzes:

Artemis / humped bull or Artemis / lion.

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
Territories/
dates
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura
326-325 BCE Campaigns of Alexander the Great in India Nanda Empire
312 BCE Creation of the Seleucid Empire Creation of the Maurya Empire
305 BCE Seleucid Empire after Mauryan war Maurya Empire
280 BCE Foundation of Ai-Khanoum
255–239 BCE Independence of the
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Diodotus I
Emperor Ashoka (268-232)
239–223 BCE Diodotus II
230–200 BCE Euthydemus I
200–190 BCE Demetrius I Sunga Empire
190-185 BCE Euthydemus II
190–180 BCE Agathocles Pantaleon
185–170 BCE Antimachus I
180–160 BCE Apollodotus I
175–170 BCE Demetrius II
160–155 BCE Antimachus II
170–145 BCE Eucratides I
155–130 BCE Yuezhi occupation,
loss of Ai-Khanoum
Eucratides II
Plato
Heliocles I
Menander I
130–120 BCE Yuezhi occupation Zoilos I Agathokleia Yavanarajya
inscription
120–110 BCE Lysias Strato I
110–100 BCE Antialcidas Heliokles II
100 BCE Polyxenos Demetrius III
100–95 BCE Philoxenus
95–90 BCE Diomedes Amyntas Epander
90 BCE Theophilos Peukolaos Thraso
90–85 BCE Nicias Menander II Artemidoros
90–70 BCE Hermaeus Archebius
Yuezhi occupation Maues (Indo-Scythian)
75–70 BCE Vonones Telephos Apollodotus II
65–55 BCE Spalirises Hippostratos Dionysios
55–35 BCE Azes I (Indo-Scythians) Zoilos II
55–35 BCE Vijayamitra/ Azilises Apollophanes
25 BCE – 10 CE Gondophares Zeionises Kharahostes Strato II
Strato III
Gondophares (Indo-Parthian) Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)
Kujula Kadphises (Kushan Empire) Bhadayasa
(Indo-Scythian)
Sodasa
(Indo-Scythian)
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