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Area: Indo-Scythian
Ruler: Azes II 'The Great King'
Reigned: 35 BC - 5 BC
Denomination: AR Drachm
Obverse: King right on horseback with whip. "ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΜΕΤΓΑΛΟΥ AZOY" "The Great King of Kings Azes"
Reverse: Zeus standing left. Kharoshti legend "MAHARAJASA RAJADIRAJASA MAHATASA AYASA" "The Great King of Kings Azes".
Reference: BMC 25?
Weight: 2.1 gms
Diameter: 15 mm

SCYTHIANS

'Scythians' was the name given by ancient Greek writers to a group of Indo-European nomadic tribes who occupied Central Europe and Asia in the 8th century BC. The name was used for the Scythians proper, or Scolots, who inhabited the area, called Scythia, north of the Black Sea, between the Carpathian Mountains and the Don River, in what is now Moldova, Ukraine, and eastern Russia, and for all the nomadic tribes who inhabited the steppes between what is now Hungary to the mountains of Turkestan. The tribes are believed to have migrated to these areas from the region of the Altai Mountains, on the border of China, during the 8th century BC. Their speech was a form of Iranian, one of the branches of the Indo-European languages. Scythians kept herds of horses, cattle, and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons, and were famed for their horsemanship and skill as archers. They developed a rich culture characterized by opulent tombs of Scythian kings and nobles, and bronze and gold objects of outstanding technical and artistic skill.

In the early 7th century BC the Scythians advanced south of the Caspian Sea and invaded the kingdom of Media, but they were expelled in 625 by King Cyaxares. Shortly after the mid-4th century BC the Scythians on the plains to the north of the Black Sea were subdued and largely exterminated by the Sarmatians, who then gave their name to the region. In the 2nd century BC the Scythian tribes of Central Asia invaded the Parthian Empire, southeast of the Caspian Sea. About 130 BC they advanced eastwards into the kingdom of Bactria, in the region of modern Afghanistan, and in the 1st century BC they invaded western and northern India, where they remained powerful for five centuries.

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