Strato II and III
|Reign||25 BCE – 10 CE|
Strato II "Soter" (Ancient Greek: Στράτων B΄ ὁ Σωτήρ, Strátōn B΄ ho Sotḗr; epithet means "the Saviour") was an Indo-Greek king. He ruled c. 25 BCE to 10 CE according to Bopearachchi. R. C. Senior suggests that his reign ended perhaps a decade earlier.
His territory was invaded by Rajuvula, Indo-Scythian king of Mathura, and he became the last of the Indo-Greek kings, together with his son Strato (III) Soter Philopator ("the father-loving"), who was included as joint regent on some of his coins and also issued coins on his own.
Coins of Strato II, III and Strato Dikaios
The chronology of the late Indo-Greek kingdom has been established by Bopearachchi and other scholars from numismatical evidence alone. The coins deteriorated continuously, the Strato coins being the most debased and crude in style, a striking contrast to earlier kings who struck some of the most beautiful coins of antiquity.
The decay was due to the increasing pressure of the Indo-Scythian nomads on the remaining Greek pockets, as well as their long isolation from the rest of the Hellenistic world.Subsequent Indo-Scythian rulers, such as Bhadayasa designed their coins in direct imitation of those of Strato II.
Strato II, III and Strato Dikaios struck debased silver drachms, which as mentioned portray Pallas on the reverse. Strato II appears as an old man with a sunken jaw on some of his coins, which is not surprising given that his grandson was co-regent.
Strato II also issued bronzes and even lead coins of the common type Apollo/tripod. On some of Strato II's silver drachms the letter sigma is written as C, a not uncommon trait on late Hellenistic coins in the east.
Notes and references
- R.C. Senior, Indo-Scythian coins and history. Volume IV. The Greek legend clearly implies that the two kings were father and son, and Senior dismisses the older reading "grandson" on the Kharosthi legend.
- Senior, ibid.
- Rapson, E.J. (1906). "Coins of the Graeco-Indian sovereigns agathokleia, Strato I Soter, and Strato II Philopator". Corolla Numismatica. Numismatic essays in honour of Barclay V. Head. With a portrait and eighteen plates. Oxford. At the Internet Archive.
- O. Bopearachchi, "Monnaies gréco-bactriennes et indo-grecques, Catalogue raisonné", Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1991, p.453
- Whitehead, R.B. (1914). Catalogue of coins in the Punjab museum, Lahore. I Indo-Greek Coins. Oxford. At the Internet Archive.
- (French) Straton II, roi indo-grec
25 BCE – 10 CE