Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Indo-Scythians are a branch of the Indo-European Sakas (Scythians), who migrated into Bactria, Sogdiana, Kashmir and finally into Arachosia and then India from the middle of the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century BCE.
Around 175 BCE, the Indo-European Yuezhi tribes who lived in the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang and Kansu areas) were defeated by the Xiongnu (Huns) tribes, and had to migrate towards the West into the Ili river area.
In the south, around 130 BCE, the Sakas entered the territory of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. They were soon displaced once again by the Yuezhi tribes who were fleeing from renewed attacks from the Xiongnu.
The presence of the Scythians in north-western India during the 1st century BC was contemporary with that of the Indo-Greek Kingdoms there, and it seems they initially recognized the power of the local Greek rulers. The coins of the Indo-Scythians displayed Greek legends and Greek divinities such as Zeus or Nike. However, towards the end of the 1st century BC it seems they finally controlled most of the territory under Azes II.
After the death of Aze II, the rule of the Indo-Scythians in northwestern India finally crumbled with the conquest of the Kushans, one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi who had lived in Bactria for more than a century, and were now expanding into India to create a Kushan Empire.
Soon after, the Parthians invaded from the west. Their leader Gondophares temporarily displaced the Kushans and founded the Indo-Parthian Kingdom that was to last towards the middle of the 1st century CE.
The Kushans ultimately regained northwestern India from around 75 CE, where they were to prosper for several centuries.
Main Indo-Scythian rulers
Maues, c. 90-60 BCE Coin
Vonones, c. 75-65 BCE Coin
Spalahores , c. 75-65 BCE Coin
Spalirises , c. 60-57 BCE Coin
Azes I, c. 57-35 BCE Coin
Azilises , c. 57-35 BCE Coin
Azes II, c. 35-12 BCE Coin
Zeionises, c.10 BCE-10 CE
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