AE tetradrachm w/Shiva and bull, Vima Kadphises (c.100-128 AD), Kushan Empire

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Partial Greek inscription BACILEUC BACILEWN CWTHP MEGAC OOHMO KADFICHC, King standing left, altar and trident on left; club and tamgha on right. Greek legend / Shiva standing facing, holding trident; and the bull, right; Nandipada symbol in left field. Karosthi legend. 28mm, 16.56 grams. Kapisa or Taxila mint, Mitchiner ACW 3009ff. SKU T1294-50676

The Kushan Empire originally formed in the 1st century AD in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus River or Amu Darya in what is now northern Afghanistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. During the 1st and early 2nd centuries AD the Kushans expanded rapidly across the northern part of the Indian subcontinent at least as far as Saketa and Sarnath near Varanasi (Benares). The Kushan kings were a branch of the Yuezhi confederation (possibly intermarried with local families) and they had diplomatic contacts with Rome and Han China. While much philosophy, art, and science was created within its borders, the only textual record we have of the empire's history today comes from inscriptions and accounts in other languages, particularly Chinese. The empire declined from 3rd century and fell to the Sassanid empire and Gupta Empire.