King Lysias

King Lysias

Lysias Anicetus (Lysias the Invincible) was an Indo-Greek king.

Time of reign

According to numismatist Bopearachchi, Lysias was a close successor to Menander I and Zoilos I, and therefore may have ruled around 130-120 BCE. R.C. Senior suggests a similar date.

Bopearachchi suggests that Lysias' territory covered the areas of the Paropamisade and Arachosia, but his coins have been found in the Punjab and it is possible that Lysias ruled most of the Indo-Greek territory for a period, though perhaps in cooperation with Antialcidas, with whom he shared most of his monograms.

Lysias apparently claimed to be a descendant of Demetrius, using a similar reverse of Heracles crowning himself, Demetrius' epithet "Invincible", and sometimes the elephant crown always worn by this king. A similar reverse was also used by Zoilus I, who may have ruled some decade earlier and was likely an enemy of Menander.

Lysias rule seems to have begun after the murder of Menander's infant son Thrason, and since his coins do not resemble Menander's it seems as though he, just as Zoilus, belonged to a competing line. Despite his magnificent coinage, his policies were probably rather defensive. The Bactrian kingdom had recently fallen to invading nomads and though the Indo-Greeks managed to avoid the same fate, they became isolated from the Hellenistic world.

Coin types

Lysias issued a number of bilingual Indian coins. On his silver portrait types he appears either diademed or dressed in various types of head-gear worn by earlier kings: the elephant scalp of Demetrios I, a bull's horns helmet or Corinthian helmet with scales, and the Greek flat hat "kausia". He also appeared throwing a spear.

The reverse is always Herakles crowning himself, and holding his club, with the new addition of a palm to signify victory.

He also issued a series of Attic tetradrachms, and even smaller denominations (a hemidrachm is known) for circulation in Bactria.

His Indian type square bronzes show a bust of Herakles/elephant.

"Mule coins" (overstrikes)

There is a bronze which features the obverse of Lysias and the reverse of Antialcidas. This was interpreted by Tarn and other earlier scholars as though the two kings might have forged some kind of alliance, but later, a bronze with the opposite arrangement was found.

The modern view is that these coin were "mules;" in other words, an impoperly overstruck issue of one of the pertinent rulers. While not signs of an alliance, they still suggest that Lysias' and Antialcidas' reigns were adjacent.

ee also

* Indo-Greek Kingdom
* Greco-Buddhism
* Indo-Scythians


* "The Greeks in Bactria and India" W.W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press

External links

* [ Coins of Lysias]
* [ More coins of Lysias]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • LYSIAS° — (d. 162 B.C.E.), Syrian general during the Hasmonean War. When in the spring of 165 B.C.E. Antiochus IV went on an expedition to the east he appointed Lysias ruler of the western sector of the Seleucid empire, from the Euphrates to the border of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lysias — The general in charge of the Seleucid army against the Jews (1 Macc. 3:32 ff.) who was defeated at Bethsura (1 Macc. 4:34 ff.) and who was killed by order of King Demetrius (1 Macc. 7:2–4) …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Demetrios III — For the Seleucid ruler, see Demetrius III Eucaerus Demetrios III Indo Greek king Copper coins of Demetrius Aniketos. Obv: Bust of king, wearing an elephant s scalp, with Greek legend: BASILEOS ANIKIT …   Wikipedia

  • Antialcidas — [ thumb|200px|Silver tetradrachm of King Antialcidas (r.c. 115 100 BCE). Obv: Bust of Antialcidas wearing aegis and holding a spear, with Greek legend BASILEOS NIKEPHOROU ANTIALKIDOU (Coin) of victorious King Antialcidas . Rev: Zeus with lotus… …   Wikipedia

  • Judas Maccabeus — Infobox Military Person name= Judas Maccabeus lived= caption= nickname= placeofbirth= Modiin, Judea placeofdeath= Elasa, near modern day Ramallah allegiance= Hasmonean branch= Maccabees serviceyears= 167 BCE 160 BCE rank= unit= commands= battles …   Wikipedia

  • JUDAH MACCABEE — JUDAH MACCABEE, one of the great warriors of history, who laid the foundation of the future Hasmonean state. Judah, the third son of mattathias the Hasmonean, assumed leadership of the revolt against antiochus Epiphanes in accordance with the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Menander I — Indo Greek king Silver coin of Menander. Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΕΝΑΝΔΡΟΥ (BASILEOS SOTEROS MENANDROU) lit. Of Saviour King Menander . British Museum. Reign …   Wikipedia

  • The Machabees —     The Machabees     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Machabees     (Gr. Hoi Makkabaioi; Lat. Machabei; most probably from Aramaic maqqaba= hammer ).     A priestly family which under the leadership of Mathathias initiated the revolt against the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • 162 BC — NOTOC EventsBy Placeeleucid Empire* The Maccabees, under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus, continue their struggle against the Seleucids and persecute the Hellenising faction in Judea. * Seleucid forces still control the Acra, a strong fortress… …   Wikipedia

  • Theramenes — (d. 404 BC, Greek: Polytonic|Θηραμένης) was an Athenian statesman, prominent in the final decade of the Peloponnesian War. He was particularly active during the two periods of oligarchic government at Athens, as well as in the trial of the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”