Tetradrachm (King on elephant, w/Mao), Huvishka (152-180 AD), Kushan Empire

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King riding elephant right, PAONANA PAO OOhpKE NOPANO / Moon-Goddess Mao standing left, large crescent on her shoulders, MAO in the right field, tamgha in the left field. Mint of Taxila or Pushkalavati. 25mm, 14.84 grams. Mitchiner ACW #3209-3212. SKU T1364-50781

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.

Huvishka was the emperor of the Kushan Empire from about 150 CE until the succession of Vasudeva I about thirty years later. His rule was a period of consolidation for the Empire. Huvishka's territory encompassed Balkh in Bactria to Mathura in India, locations were it is known that he minted his coinage. His reign seems to have been essentially peaceful, consolidating Kushan power in northern India, and moving the center of the Kushan Empire to the southern capital city of Mathura.



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