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The Coin Galleries: Bactria: Eucratides II

Eucratides II (also spelled Eukratides) may have been another son of Eucratides I, although we have no direct evidence of this. He was one of three kings (Plato and Heliocles I being the others) who seemed to succeed Eucratides I in quick succession in Bactria, north of the Hindu Kush mountains. Heliocles appears to have been the last of the three, since his coinage was imitated extensively by the Scythian nomads who undoubtedly overthrew the Greeks in Bactria. If we accept the theory of A.K. Narain that plato was the son of Eucratides I who murdered his father, then Eucratides II would have followed him, and this might explain his use of the title "Soter" (or Savior) on his coins ... perhaps he was saving Bactria from a tyrant and parricide (Plato) and restoring some sort of order. Regardless, we can say that Eucratides II had a brief rule, although perhaps a little longer than Plato, as a few more coins and coin types are known for Eucratides II. He ruled only in Bactria, as all his known coins conform to the Attic weight standard that was used only north of the Hindu Kush.

Eucratides II

Bactria: Eucratides II, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.79 gm., Diam: 31 mm., Die axis: 11 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Nude Apollo standing facing, holding arrow in right hand, bow in left,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ // EYKPATIΔOY
     (photo courtesy CNG)

Bactria: Eucratides II, Silver drachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 4.21 gm., Diam: 21 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, dotted border around /
Nude Apollo standing facing, holding arrow in right hand, bow in left,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ // EYKPATIΔOY
     (photo courtesy CNG)

Bactria: Eucratides II, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.99 gm., Diam: 33 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Nude Apollo standing facing, holding arrow in right hand, bow in left,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ EYKPATIΔOY
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