AE tetradrachm (w/fire god Athsho), Kanishka (c.127-152 AD), Kushan Empire

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King standing left beside altar, holding trident, Bactrian legend PAC KANHPKI / Nimbate Fire-God Athsho standing left, wearing a long cape and holding a wreath, AΘPO in the right field, tamgha in the left field. 26mm, 15.60 grams. Mint of Taxila or Pushkalavati. Mitchiner ACW 3082-3083. SKU T212-50975

Athsho was a Kushan god of fire derived from Atar, Atash, or Azar - the Zoroastrian concept of holy fire. Athsho is also linked with the Greek god Hephaistos, the great Olympian god of fire, metalworking, stonemasonry. The cult of Athsho may have been prevalent in North-eastern Iran and Mid Persia.

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.