Bronze tetradrachm (w/goddess Nanaia), Kanishka (c.127-152 AD), Kushan Empire

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King standing left beside altar, holding trident, Bactrian legend PAC KANHPKI / Nimbate Goddess Nanaia standing right, NANA (not visible) in the left field, tamgha in the right field. 27mm, 16.29 grams. Mint of Taxila or Pushkalavati. Mitchiner ACW 3082ff. SKU T1210-50929

Nana was a Bactrian female divinity from ancient Bactria, a variation of pan-Asiatic Nana, a conflation of Sumero-Babylonian Inanna-Ishtar with a local divinity, in her Kushan form with the indigenous (Zoroastrian) Harahvati Aredvi Sura Anahita and Hindu deity of Durga, who also rides on lion. Her characteristics are martial, and she was typically depicted as a seated martial goddess, escorted by a lion. She was associated with fertility, wisdom and the rivers.

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.


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