< Back     Home     Next >
The Coin Galleries: Indo-Greeks: Agathocleia (Agathokleia)
Queen Regent to Strato I (c. 135-125 BCE)

It seems that Menander's natural heir may have been Strato I, but, from what the coins indicate, he was a minor at the time and his mother Agathocleia served as Queen Regent until he attained maturity. According to Bopearachchi, it is likely that Zoilus I took control of the western part of Menander's kingdom (the Kabul valley) and Agathocleia/Strato the eastern part, including Gandhara and Punjab. Agathocleia (also spelled Agathokleia) may have been Menander's wife or daughter or daughter-in-law. She is one of the very few women (as opposed to female deities, of which there are an abundance) ever depicted on Indian coins. The drachms and bronze coins name her in the obverse Greek legend and Strato on the reverse; the tetradrachms depict and name them both on the obverse, and name them both in the reverse Kharoshthi legend.

     
Agathocleia (with Strato I)

Agathocleia and Strato, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.67 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12h
Jugate diademed busts of king and queen right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΣTPATΩNOΣ / KAI AΓAΘOKΛEIAΣ
     (Basileos Soteros Stratanou kai Agathokleias ... of King Strato, the savior, and Agathocleia)
Seen from behind, Athena Alkidemos standing left, holding shield
     on outstretched left arm, hurling thunderbolt with right hand,
     monogram at left,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa stratasa / agathukreyae
Reference: MIG 305a, Bop 5A
The reverse on this coin follows directly from the reverse design of Menander's coinage. Although Bopearachchi lists this coin and the next later than the following ones in his catalogue, it seems possible that this was issued at the same time as the other coins, being the tetradrachm denomination. No other denomination of this type is known, nor is any tetradrachm of the following type known.

Agathocleia and Strato, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.94 gm. Diameter: 27 mm Die axis: 12h
Jugate diademed busts of king and queen right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΣTPATΩNOΣ / KAI AΓAΘOKΛEIAΣ
     (Basileos Soteros Stratanou kai Agathokleias ... of King Strato, the savior, and Agathocleia)
Seen from behind, Athena Alkidemos standing left, holding shield
     on outstretched left arm, hurling thunderbolt with right hand,
     monogram at left,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 306a, Bop 6A
On this coin, the word dhramikasa (the just) has been added to the titles on the reverse but ΔIKAIOY has not been added to the Greek legend on the obverse. Further, Agathokleia's name has been dropped from the reverse legend.

Agathocleia, Silver drachm
Weight: 2.20 gm. Diameter: 17 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of queen right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ ΘEOTPOΠOY / AΓAΘOKΛEIAΣ
     (Basilisses Theotropou Agathokleias ... of god-like Queen Agathocleia)
Diademed king walking right, holding bow, arrow and spear,
     monogram at right,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa / stratasa
     of King Strato, the savior, the just
Reference: MIG 303a, Bop 2A
Agathocleia must have been an ambitious woman ... she names herself "god-like" on her coins, a title used by no other Greek ruler. This coin appears to be the only Indian coin with a solo depiction on her own of a queen before the 18th century, when Portugal's Maria I was featured on the coins of Goa.

Agathocleia, Bronze Quadruple
Weight: 9.04 gm. Dimensions: 22 x 19 mm Die axis: 12h
Helmeted bust of Athena right, Greek legend on three sides:
     BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ / ΘEOTPOΠOY / AΓAΘOKΛEIAΣ
Nude Herakles seated left on a pile of rocks,
     holding club in right hand which he rests on another pile of rocks,
     Kharoshthi legend on three sides: maharajasa / tratarasa dhra / mikasa stratasa
Reference: MIG 307a, Bop 3A
The reverse of the bronze issue recalls the reverse of the coins of Euthydemus I Might Agathocleia have been descended from Euthydemus? The coins were issued from only one mint, as only one monogram is known for these coins.
© CoinIndia
All Rights Reserved Copyright Policy
< Back     Home     Next >