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Indo-Greek dates again

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  • oliver.hoover@sympatico.ca
    A little while ago there was some discussion here about the possible use of the Seleucid Era for dates on certain Indo-Greek coins. I just recieved the latest
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 8, 2005
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      A little while ago there was some discussion here about the possible use of
      the Seleucid Era for dates on certain Indo-Greek coins. I just recieved the
      latest volume of Nomismatika Khronika 23 (2004) and though it worth
      reporting that on pp. 37-45 there is an article by Francois Widemann that
      discusses these very dates, but argues for the use of a Yavana Era
      chronology based on 186/5 BC.

      For what it's worth.

      Oliver D. Hoover
    • egil4870
      ... possible use of ... recieved the ... Widemann that ... Thanks for the info! Well, the dates on Bactrian kings which we discussed (Plato and Heliocles I)
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 11, 2005
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        --- In seleukids@yahoogroups.com, <oliver.hoover@s...> wrote:
        >
        > A little while ago there was some discussion here about the
        possible use of
        > the Seleucid Era for dates on certain Indo-Greek coins. I just
        recieved the
        > latest volume of Nomismatika Khronika 23 (2004) and though it worth
        > reporting that on pp. 37-45 there is an article by Francois
        Widemann that
        > discusses these very dates, but argues for the use of a Yavana Era
        > chronology based on 186/5 BC.
        >
        > For what it's worth.
        >
        > Oliver D. Hoover
        >

        Thanks for the info!
        Well, the dates on Bactrian kings which we discussed (Plato and
        Heliocles I) would be ca 138 and 129 if this era is correct. These
        dates are not unlikely - both are within a few years of
        Bopearachchi's dating.

        However, unlike the possible use of the Seleucid Era, it is not easy
        to make sense of why the dates are used. The Yavana era must have
        been invented by Demetrius I (the son of Euthydemus) or his close
        contemporaries, and those kings are generally thought to have been
        opposed to the house of Eucratides.

        So what we have are two Bactrian kings of the latter house who
        introduce the era on coins - without any precedents - half a century
        after its instigation.

        But OK, a theory could be constructed. During this time, the Bactro-
        Greek kingdom had become inferior in strength to the Indo-Greek
        kingdom under Menander I, and the era may have been an effort of the
        Bactrian kings to assert their suzerainity. So Plato's message may be
        interpreted as: "It was 47 years since my predecessors conquered
        India".

        As for Heliocles, he is thought to have reigned c 145-130 BCE. Why he
        strikes a unique date for one of the last years of his reign remains
        opaque.

        Oliver. Since you've read the article: what is Widemann's
        numismatical evidence for an era that starts 185/186 BCE?

        Best regards
        Jens Jakobsson
      • Oliver D. Hoover
        Jens, I haven t actually gotten around to reading it yet. I ll let you know once I get to it. Hopefully in a few days. Oliver D. Hoover ... From:
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 11, 2005
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          Jens,

          I haven't actually gotten around to reading it yet. I'll let you know once
          I get to it. Hopefully in a few days.

          Oliver D. Hoover

          -----Original Message-----
          From: seleukids@yahoogroups.com [mailto:seleukids@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of egil4870
          Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 7:57 PM
          To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [seleukids] Re: Indo-Greek dates again

          --- In seleukids@yahoogroups.com, <oliver.hoover@s...> wrote:
          >
          > A little while ago there was some discussion here about the
          possible use of
          > the Seleucid Era for dates on certain Indo-Greek coins. I just
          recieved the
          > latest volume of Nomismatika Khronika 23 (2004) and though it worth
          > reporting that on pp. 37-45 there is an article by Francois
          Widemann that
          > discusses these very dates, but argues for the use of a Yavana Era
          > chronology based on 186/5 BC.
          >
          > For what it's worth.
          >
          > Oliver D. Hoover
          >

          Thanks for the info!
          Well, the dates on Bactrian kings which we discussed (Plato and
          Heliocles I) would be ca 138 and 129 if this era is correct. These
          dates are not unlikely - both are within a few years of
          Bopearachchi's dating.

          However, unlike the possible use of the Seleucid Era, it is not easy
          to make sense of why the dates are used. The Yavana era must have
          been invented by Demetrius I (the son of Euthydemus) or his close
          contemporaries, and those kings are generally thought to have been
          opposed to the house of Eucratides.

          So what we have are two Bactrian kings of the latter house who
          introduce the era on coins - without any precedents - half a century
          after its instigation.

          But OK, a theory could be constructed. During this time, the Bactro-
          Greek kingdom had become inferior in strength to the Indo-Greek
          kingdom under Menander I, and the era may have been an effort of the
          Bactrian kings to assert their suzerainity. So Plato's message may be
          interpreted as: "It was 47 years since my predecessors conquered
          India".

          As for Heliocles, he is thought to have reigned c 145-130 BCE. Why he
          strikes a unique date for one of the last years of his reign remains
          opaque.

          Oliver. Since you've read the article: what is Widemann's
          numismatical evidence for an era that starts 185/186 BCE?

          Best regards
          Jens Jakobsson






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