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The Eastern Frontier: Kushano-Sasanian, Indo-Sasanian and Hunnic Issues


After Vasu Deva, the Kushan kingdom split in two, the western part becoming tributary to the Sasanian monarchy. Its rulers, styled Kushanshahs, reigned over Baktria, Gandhara, and the Kabul valley. Late in the third century, Khorasan was added to this dominion. The Kushanshahs were not perfectly obedient vassals, but were generally friendly to Persia.

In 350 this dominion was invaded by the Epthalites or White Huns, who were not contained until Shapur II  campaigned against them, and they then allied themselves with Shapur against Rome.

Kushano-SasanianT.gif (22489 bytes)
Kushano-Sasanian Dinar
Meanwhile the Kushanshah was losing Gandhara to the Kidarites, a Kushan dynasty that defeated Shapur in 357. The Kushanshah regime ended in 400 when the Epthalites occupied the Kabul valley. The Epthalites fell into decline in the sixth century, and in 560 the former Kushanshah dominion was conquered by an alliance of the Sasanians and the Turks.

The Epthalite territories east of the Indus gradually became Indian in character, although coinage of crude Indo-Sasanian types continued as late as 1300.


GbH6 2294 Kidara, Varo: AR 30 Drachm
Crowned bust facing slightly right
Rev. --
Fire-altar with 2 attendants
MACW 3621v; Gobl Hunnen II.6 typical central weakness, oth. nearly VF, good metal
This issue is normally unevenly struck with incompletely impressed devices
Very rare and seldom offered.

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