A splendid heroic portrait of Eukratides I
Lot 1583
BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Eukratides I, circa 170-145 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 31 mm, 17.00 g, 12 h), Aï Khanoum (?). Diademed and heroically nude bust of Eukratides I to left, wearing Macedonian helmet adorned with bull's horn and ear and brandishing spear in his right hand. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOΥ / EΥKΡATIΔOΥ The Dioskouri galloping to right, each holding spear and palm frond; to lower right, monogram. Bopearachchi 8B. HGC 12, 132. MIG 179a. A bold and attractive example of this impressive issue with a splendid heroic portrait. Light deposits, otherwise, good very fine.


With Eukratides I, we are for once lucky in finding more than very brief mentions about the Greco-Baktrian Kingdom in western historiography. A passage from the Roman historian Justin refers to his campaigns in India, in the course of which Eukratides prevailed over a certain 'Demetrios, King of India' (Justin XLI 6): this must be either Demetrios I or Demetrios II. The victor pushed the boundaries of the Greco-Baktrian Kingdom to their greatest extent and adopted the title 'Great King', but when he was returning home from India, he was killed by his unnamed son and co-ruler - perhaps Eukratides II, Heliokles or Plato. Whoever the offender was, the patricide must have resulted from bitter hate, as Justin reports that the murderer 'drove his chariot through his [father's] blood, and ordered his body to be cast out unburied'.
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Closing time: 22-May-21, 23:11:00 CEST
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