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The Coin Galleries: Indo-Greeks: Strato I (c. 125-110 BCE)

As mentioned in the introduction to the coins of Agathocleis, Strato I may have been Menander's natural heir, who was a minor at the time that he inherited the throne, and whose mother Agathocleia served as Queen Regent until he attained maturity. His kingdom was in Gandhara and Punjab. His coins are interesting because they show a variety of legends and also different portraits, showing images of Strato as he aged from a boy to a man, including the first portraits of an Indo-Greek king wearing a beard.

     
Strato I

Strato I, Silver drachm
Weight: 2.41 gm. Diameter: 17 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of young king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
     (Basileos Soteros Stratanos ... of King Strato, the savior)
Seen from behind, Athena Alkidemos standing left, holding shield
     on outstretched left arm, hurling thunderbolt with right hand,
     monogram at right,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 308b, Bop 1B
The earliest coins of Strato alone show him as a boy in his teens and carry very simple legends.

Strato I, Bronze Quadruple
Weight: 8.63 gm. Dimensions: 20 x 18 mm Die axis: 12h
Bust of Herakles right, club on shoulder, Greek legend on three sides:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Winged Nike standing right, holding palm and wreath, monogram right,
     Kharoshthi legend on three sides: maharajasa / tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 333a, Bop 29C
Judging by the simple legends, this bronze must have been an early issue.

Strato I, Bronze Quadruple
Weight: 7.67 gm. Dimensions: 20 x 18 mm Die axis: 12h
Bust of Herakles right, club on shoulder, Greek legend on three sides:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Winged Nike standing right, holding palm and wreath, monogram right,
     Kharoshthi legend on three sides: maharajasa / tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG ---, Bop --- (unlisted monogram)
The monogram on this coin, although known for other coins of Strato, is unlisted in Mitchiner and Bopearachchi for this coin type.

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 10.06 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed and helmeted bust of young king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ KAI ΔIKAIOY; / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
     (Basileos Soteros kai Dikaiou Stratanos ... of King Strato, the savior and the just)
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 --- (see 317 for type), Bop 23C
Here the title "the just" has been added to the legend. Bopearachchi lists this coin much later in the sequence, but the youthfulness of the portrait seems to point to a relatively early date for this type.

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 8.29 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of young king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΔIKAIOY / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
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 320 var, Bop 9 var
Here the word "and" has been dropped from the Greek legend and the king is shown bare- headed. The monogram on this coin is unrecorded for this type, although it is known from other Strato types. The coin shows signs of having a high copper content below the surface.

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 8.56 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of young king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΔIKAIOY / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Athena Alkidemos standing facing, holding shield
     on outstretched left arm, hurling thunderbolt with right hand,
     monogram at left,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 324, Bop 13
Here Athena is shown facing.

Strato I, Silver drachm
Weight: 2.12 gm. Diameter: 18 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of young king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΔIKAIOY / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Athena Alkidemos standing facing, holding shield
     on outstretched left arm, hurling thunderbolt with right hand,
     monogram at left,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 325, Bop 14B
The drachm denomination of the previous type. These types with Athena facing are very rare.

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.40 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed and helmeted bust of king left, seen from behind,
     holding spear, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΔIKAIOY; / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
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 327A, Bop 16A

Strato I, Bronze Quadruple
Weight: 8.71 gm. Dimensions: 23 x 19 mm Die axis: 12h
Bust of Herakles right, club on shoulder, Greek legend on three sides:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩT / HPOΣ ΔIKAIOY / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Winged Nike standing right, holding palm and wreath, monogram right,
     Kharoshthi legend on three sides: maharajasa / tratarasa dhrami / kasa stratasa
Reference: MIG 334a, Bop 30A
This bronze adds the "the just" title to the earlier type..

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.67 gm. Diameter: 28 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed, bearded bust of king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΔIKAIOY; / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Seen from behind, Athena Alkidemos standing right, holding shield
     on outstretched left arm, hurling thunderbolt with right hand,
     monogram at left,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa tratarasa dhramikasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG --- (unlisted), Bop 11A
A most interesting portrait as it shows the king bearded. Perhaps Strato wanted to display his manhood now that he was a full-grown man. An unusual aspect of the reverse is that Athena faces right rather than the usual left.

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.84 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12:30h
Diademed, bearded bust of king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΔIKAIOY; / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
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
Reference: MIG 328 (unlisted monogram), Bop 8A
Another coin with the bearded portrait (in fact the same die as the previous coin). Athena is back to facing left on the reverse, but a curious anomaly is that it drops the title "the just" (dhramikasa) from the reverse Kharoshthi legend, even though ΔIKAIOY is still present on the obverse.

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.46 gm. Diameter: 26 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
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 pracachasa tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 330a, Bop 26A
Strato is now a middle-aged man with prominent jowls. The legends on this coin replace the title "the just" with the title "the manifest." While his mother only called herself "god-like," Strato seems to be declaring himself a god with this title.

Strato I, Silver drachm
Weight: 2.18 gm. Diameter: 18 mm Die axis: 12h
Diademed bust of king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
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 pracachasa tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 331a, Bop 27A

Strato I, Silver tetradrachm
Weight: 9.51 gm. Diameter: 27 mm Die axis: 12:30h
Diademed, helmeted bust of king right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
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 pracachasa tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 332a, Bop 28A

Strato I, Bronze Quadruple
Weight: 10.46 gm. Dimensions: 22 x 22 mm Die axis: 12h
Apollo standing facing, holding bow and arrow, Greek legend on three sides:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠI / ΦANOYΣ ΣΩTH / POΣ ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Within dotted border, tripod, monogram at right,
     Kharoshthi legend on three sides: maharajasa / pracachasa trata / rasa stratasa
Reference: MIG 336a, Bop 31 type
This appears to be the main bronze type during the late phase coinage with the EΠIΦANOYΣ legend. There are no known coins of the Herakles type with this legend. This specimen has a monogram at right on the reverse but no Kharoshthi letter at left. Bopearachchi lists this monogram only in conjunction with a Kharoshthi letter at left (types A and B). Mitchiner lists this type but does not illustrate it.

Strato I, Bronze Quadruple
Weight: 9.62 gm. Diameter: 24 mm Die axis: 12h
Bust of Apollo right, Greek legend around:
     BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠI ΦANOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ / ΣTPATΩNOΣ
Bow and quiver with strap,
     Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa pracachasa tratarasa / stratasa
Reference: MIG 335b, Bop 32B
An unusual bronze in round format. The bow and arrow were the attributes of Apollo.
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