Plato (Greek: Πλάτων) was a Greco-Bactrian king who reigned for a short time in southern Bactria or the Paropamisade during the mid 2nd century BCE. The style of Plato's coins suggests that he was a relative — most likely a brother since Plato is a middle-aged man on his coins — of Eucratides the Great, whose rise to power is dated to around 170–165 BCE.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Bactria, or Bactriana, was a historical Iranian region in Central Asia. Bactria proper was north of the Hindu Kush mountain range and south of the Amu Darya river, covering the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. More broadly Bactria was the area north of the Hindu Kush, west of the Pamirs and south of the Tian Shan with the Amu Darya flowing west through the center.
Some of Plato's coins have inscriptions which may possibly be interpreted as dates using the Indo-Greek era which started around 186 BCE. In that case Plato ruled around 140 BCE. This matches the dating given by numismatician Bopearachchi, who places Plato between 145–140 BCE, since his coins are not found in the ruins of Ai Khanoum, a Bactrian city which was destroyed during the reign of Eucratides.
The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was, along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world, covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 to 125 BC. It was centered on the north of present-day Afghanistan. The expansion of the Greco-Bactrians into present-day eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan from 180 BC established the Indo-Greek Kingdom, which was to last until around 10 AD.
The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty which existed from 312 BC to 63 BC; Seleucus I Nicator founded it following the division of the Macedonian Empire vastly expanded by Alexander the Great. Seleucus received Babylonia and from there expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's near-eastern territories. At the height of its power, the Empire included central Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what is now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
Greco-Buddhism, or Graeco-Buddhism, is the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the 4th century BC and the 5th century AD in Bactria and the Indian subcontinent. It was a cultural consequence of a long chain of interactions begun by Greek forays into India from the time of Alexander the Great. The Macedonian satraps were then conquered by the Mauryan Empire, under the reign of Chandragupta Maurya. The Mauryan Emperor Ashoka would convert to Buddhism and spread the religious philosophy throughout his domain, as recorded in the Edicts of Ashoka. Following the collapse of the Mauryan Empire, Greco-Buddhism continued to flourish under the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Indo-Greek Kingdoms, and Kushan Empire. Buddhism was adopted in Central and Northeastern Asia from the 1st century AD, ultimately spreading to China, Korea, Japan, Siberia, and Vietnam.
Demetrius I, also called Dharmamita, was a Hellenistic king of Gandhara. He was the son of the Greco-Bactrian ruler Euthydemus I and succeeded him around 200 BC, after which he conquered extensive areas in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Menander I Soter was an Indo-Greek King of the Indo-Greek Kingdom who administered a large empire in the Northwestern regions of the Indian Subcontinent from his capital at Sagala. Menander is noted for having become a patron of Buddhism.
Eucratides I, sometimes called Eucratides the Great, was one of the most important Greco-Bactrian kings, descendants of dignitaries of Alexander the Great. He uprooted the Euthydemid dynasty of Greco-Bactrian kings and replaced it with his own lineage. He fought against the Indo-Greek kings, the easternmost Hellenistic rulers in northwestern India, temporarily holding territory as far as the Indus, until he was finally defeated and pushed back to Bactria. Eucratides had a vast and prestigious coinage, suggesting a rule of considerable importance.
Heliocles was a Greco-Bactrian king, relative and successor of Eucratides the Great, and probably the last Greek king to reign over the Bactrian country. His reign was a troubled one; according to Roman historian Justin, Eucratides was murdered by his son and co-ruler, though Justin fails to name the perpetrator. The patricide might have led to instability, even civil war, which caused the Indian parts of the empire to be lost to Indo-Greek king Menander I and southern Bactria to be lost to the Yuezhi.
Nicias was an Indo-Greek king who ruled in the Paropamisade. Most of his relatively few coins have been found in northern Pakistan, indicating that he ruled a smaller principate around the lower Kabul valley. He was possibly a relative of Menander I.
Theophilos was a minor Indo-Greek king who ruled for a short time in the Paropamisadae. He was possibly a relative of Zoilos I and is only known from coins. It is possible that some of Theophilos' coins in fact belong to another ruler, in Greek Bactria, during approximately the same period.
Dionysios Soter was an Indo-Greek king in the area of eastern Punjab.
Apollophanes Soter was an Indo-Greek king in the area of eastern and central Punjab in modern India and Pakistan.
Peucolaus Soter Dikaios was an Indo-Greek king who ruled in the area of Gandhara c. 90 BCE. His reign was probably short and insignificant, since he left only a few coins, but the relations of the latter Indo-Greek kings remain largely obscure.
Epander was one of the Indo-Greek kings. He may have been a relative of Menander I, and the findplaces of his coins seem to indicate that he ruled in the area of Punjab.
Diomedes Soter was an Indo-Greek king. The places where his coins have been found seem to indicate that his rule was based in the area of the Paropamisadae, possibly with temporary dominions further east. Judging from their similar portraits and many overlapping monograms, the young Diomedes seems to have been the heir of Philoxenus, the last king to rule before the kingdom of Menander I finally fragmented.
Demetrius II was a Greco-Bactrian/Indo-Greek king who ruled briefly during the 2nd century BC. Little is known about him and there are different views about how to date him. Earlier authors such as Tarn and Narain saw him as a son and sub-king of Demetrius I, but this view has now been abandoned.
Demetrius III Aniketos is an Indo-Greek king who reigned in the area of Gandhara and Punjab.
Heliocles II Dikaios is thought to have been one of the later Indo-Greek kings and a relative of the Bactrian king Heliocles I. Bopearachchi and R. C. Senior seem to agree that he ruled ca 95–80 BCE.
Amyntas Nikator was an Indo-Greek king. His coins have been found both in eastern Punjab and Afghanistan, indicating that he ruled a considerable territory.
Eucratides II or Eukratides II was a Greco-Bactrian king who was a successor and probably a son of Eucratides I. It seems likely that Eucratides II ruled for a relatively short time after the murder of his namesake, until he was dethroned in the dynastic civil war caused by the same murder:
Antimachus II Nikephoros was an Indo-Greek king. He ruled a vast territory from the Hindu-Kush to the Punjab around 170 BCE. He was almost certainly the eponymous son of Antimachus I, who is known from a unique preserved tax receipt. Bopearachchi dated Antimachus II to 160–155 BCE on numismatical grounds, but changed this to 174–165 BCE after the tax receipt was revealed to synchronise his reign with that of Antimachus I. R. C. Senior has not dated Antimachus II but thinks that his coins were possibly Indian issues of Antimachus I, despite their different epithets and coin types.
The History of the Indo-Greek Kingdom covers a period from the 2nd century BCE to the beginning of the 1st century CE in northern and northwestern India. There were over 30 Indo-Greek kings, often in competition on different territories. Many of them are only known through their coins.
The Yavana Era, Yona Era or Yonana was a computational era used in the Indian subcontinent from the 2nd century BCE for several centuries thereafter. It is thought that the era started around 186 BCE, and corresponds to accession to the Greco-Bactrian throne of Demetrius, who is said to have initiated the Indo-Greek conquest of parts of Northwestern South Asia.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
| Greco-Bactrian Ruler |
(Bactria or its tributaries)
|Greco-Bactrian kings||Indo-Greek kings|
|West Bactria||East Bactria|| Paropamisade ||Arachosia||Gandhara||Western Punjab||Eastern Punjab||Mathura|
|326-325 BCE||Campaigns of Alexander the Great in India||Nanda Empire|
|312 BCE||Creation of the Seleucid Empire||Creation of the Maurya Empire|
|305 BCE||Seleucid Empire after Mauryan war||Maurya Empire|
|280 BCE||Foundation of Ai-Khanoum|
|255–239 BCE||Independence of the|
|Emperor Ashoka (268-232)|
|239–223 BCE||Diodotus II|
|230–200 BCE||Euthydemus I|
|200–190 BCE||Demetrius I||Sunga Empire|
|190-185 BCE||Euthydemus II|
|185–170 BCE||Antimachus I|
|180–160 BCE||Apollodotus I|
|175–170 BCE||Demetrius II|
|160–155 BCE||Antimachus II|
|170–145 BCE||Eucratides I|
|155–130 BCE|| Yuezhi occupation,|
loss of Ai-Khanoum
| Eucratides II |
|130–120 BCE||Yuezhi occupation||Zoilos I||Agathokleia|| Yavanarajya|
|120–110 BCE||Lysias||Strato I|
|110–100 BCE||Antialcidas||Heliokles II|
|100 BCE||Polyxenos||Demetrius III|
|90–85 BCE||Nicias||Menander II||Artemidoros|
|Yuezhi occupation||Maues (Indo-Scythian)|
|75–70 BCE||Vonones||Telephos||Apollodotus II|
|55–35 BCE||Azes I (Indo-Scythians)||Zoilos II|
|55–35 BCE||Vijayamitra/ Azilises||Apollophanes|
|25 BCE – 10 CE||Gondophares||Zeionises||Kharahostes|| Strato II |
|Gondophares (Indo-Parthian)||Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)|
|Kujula Kadphises (Kushan Empire)|| Bhadayasa |
| Sodasa |