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Ancient Indo-Parthian drachm of Gondophares (20-50 AD), Indo-Parthian Kingdom in North India

Ancient Indo-Parthian drachm of Gondophares (20-50 AD), Indo-Parthian Kingdom in North India

Diademed and bearded bust, right. corrupt Greek legend / Pallas standing right with thunderbolt and shield. Karosthi legend and control marks. Brown patina. 12mm, 2.46 g. Pieper 290-295; Senior ISCH 222.

The Indo-Parthian Kingdom was established during the 1st century BC, by a Parthian leader named Gondophares, in an area covering today's Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India. Gondophares I was representative of the House of Suren in Balochistan as well as founder and first king of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom and dynasty. He seems to have ruled c. 20–10 BCE according to modern research, and was originally likely a relative or vassal of the Apracas, ruling in Apracapura (Bajaur, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan) and down in to Sistan (Balochistan). The name of Gondaphares was translated in Armenian in "Gastaphar", and then in Western languages into "Gaspard". He may be the "Gaspard, King of Persia", who, according to apocryphal texts and eastern Christian tradition, was one of the three Biblical Magi who attended the birth of Christ. Through this interaction and association, Gaspard was adopted by the Europeans (and in Western tradition) as a male first name. A number of Indo-Parthian Kings issued coins, and while the larger tetradrachms are well-catalogued and studied, the small crude drachms are pretty obscure.

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