King standing left beside altar, holding trident, Bactrian legend PAC KANHPKI / Mood-Goddess Mao standing left, large crescent on her shoulders, MAO in the right field, tamgha in the left field. 26mm, 16.91 grams. Mint of Taxila or Pushkalavati. Mitchiner ACW 3079-3081. SKU T595-51108
The Kushan Moon-Goddess Mao is derived from Zoroastrian Måŋha, the Avestan for "Moon, month", equivalent to Persian Mah (Old Persian maha). It is the name of the lunar deity in Zoroastrianism. This personification of the Moon is a goddess. Although Mah is not a prominent deity in the Avestan scripture, her crescent was an important symbol of royalty throughout the Parthian and Sassanid periods.
Kanishka I or Kanishka the Great, was an emperor of the Kushan dynasty in the second century (c.127–150 CE), is famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements. A descendant of Kujula Kadphises, founder of the Kushan empire, Kanishka came to rule an empire in Bactria extending to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain. He minted a large series of gold and copper coins depicting various Kushan deities.