Dionysios Soter

Dionysios Soter
Indo-Greek king

Coin of Dionysios Soter
Reign 65–55 BCE

Dionysios Soter (Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Σωτήρ; epithet means "the Saviour") was an Indo-Greek king in the area of eastern Punjab.[1]


According to Osmund Bopearachchi, he reigned ca circa 65–55 BCE and inherited the eastern parts of the kingdom of the important late ruler Apollodotus II. The kings share the same epithet and use the common reverse of fighting Pallas Athene, and it seems plausible that they were closely related, but relationships between the last Indo-Greek kings remain uncertain since the only sources of information are their remaining coins. R. C. Senior dates him approximately ten years later.

Earlier scholars like Professor Ahmad Hasan Dani have dated Dionysius much earlier, between the years 115 and 100 BCE, making him the ruler of the Swat and Dir Valleys and the weak successor of Polyxenos.

Dionysius was probably pressured by the invasions of the Indo-Scythians, and also had to deal with Hippostratos, a more important king who had inherited the western part of the kingdom of Apollodotus II.

Dionysios' name echoes the Olympic wine-god Dionysos, who according to Greek mythology was also an ancient king of India.

Coins of Dionysios

Coins of Dionysios.

Dionysios was the first in the line of late kings who issued only silver drachms, but no tetradrachms, which was likely due to his limited resources. On their obverse is a diademed portrait of the king, with Athena Alkidemos on the reverse.

He also issued bronzes with Apollo on the reverse and a tripod on the obverse. Both these types were inherited from Apollodotus II. The quality of the portraits is inferior to most earlier kings. According to Bopearachchi, Dionysios inherited only the inferior celators of Apollodotus II, which he associates with mints in eastern Punjab.

Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings, territories and chronology
Based on Bopearachchi (1991)[2]
Greco-Bactrian kings Indo-Greek kings
West Bactria East Bactria Paropamisade
Arachosia Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab
326-325 BCE Campaigns of Alexander the Great in India
312 BCE Creation of the Seleucid Empire
305 BCE Seleucid Empire after Mauryan war
280 BCE Foundation of Ai-Khanoum
255–239 BCE Independence of the
Greco-Bactrian kingdom
Diodotus I
239–223 BCE Diodotus II
230–200 BCE Euthydemus I
200–190 BCE Demetrius I
190-185 BCE Euthydemus II
190–180 BCE Agathocles Pantaleon
185–170 BCE Antimachus I
180–160 BCE Apollodotus I
175–170 BCE Demetrius II
160–155 BCE Antimachus II
170–145 BCE Eucratides I
155–130 BCE Yuezhi occupation,
loss of Ai-Khanoum
Eucratides II
Heliocles I
Menander I
130–120 BCE Yuezhi occupation Zoilos I Agathokleia
120–110 BCE Lysias Strato I
110–100 BCE Antialcidas Heliokles II
100 BCE Polyxenos Demetrius III
100–95 BCE Philoxenus
95–90 BCE Diomedes Amyntas Epander
90 BCE Theophilos Peukolaos Thraso
90–85 BCE Nicias Menander II Artemidoros
90–70 BCE Hermaeus Archebius
Yuezhi occupation Maues (Indo-Scythian)
75–70 BCE Telephos Apollodotus II
65–55 BCE Hippostratos Dionysios
55–35 BCE Azes I (Indo-Scythian) Zoilos II
55–35 BCE Apollophanes
25 BCE – 10 CE Strato II and Strato III
Rajuvula (Indo-Scythian)
Bhadayasa (Indo-Scythian)

See also


  1. The Greeks in Bactria and India by William Woodthorpe Tarn p.318
  2. O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453


Preceded by:
Apollodotus II
Indo-Greek Ruler
(Eastern Punjab)
65–55 BCE
Succeeded by:
Zoilos II
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