Silver coins issued by Heraus in the Greco-Bactrian style has his bust in the obverse. King is shown wearing diadem (depicts - King of Kings). The reverse bears the effigy of king on a horseback, crowned by winged victory.
The commoner type of Kujula Kadphises coins (all copper) have king's head on obverse, probably copied from the earlier Roman emperor Augustus modelled after the coins of Indo-Greeks showing a strong Roman influence. The coin reverse carried the symbol of camel or the humped bull topped by Nandipada symbol and has inscriptions either "The Great King, King of Kings, the son of Heaven" or Kujula Kadphises in Kharoshthi. A coin generally ascribed to Kujula, shows a man with a humped bull identified as Lord Siva. Camel would have probably symbolized the home land of Kushanas (Central Asia).
Vima's coins are very individualistic. They consisted of gold and copper with Vima's profile on obverse. He is depicted in a standing pose holding a trident (symbol of Poseidon) and a club (symbol of Heracles and Verethragna) near an altar with his right hand placing an offering. The portrait of the king is most realistic with full beard, a big nose, wearing a conical helmet, a long over-coat and 'Gilgit' boots. The royal costume reveals that he is an alien conqueror while compared with the dress of central asiatic horse riding nomads. The image of the king sacrificing at an altar represents King as a soul of official piety like that of Parthians in Iran. On some of his coin issues, the image reveals shoulder flames representing super human qualities of the king. Vima was a staunch devotee of Siva which can be evidenced by his epithet 'Mahisvarasa' and also by the representation of Siva on his coins. One can see Vima in his coins with a trident, a axe (battle axe?), a club and a goad which were the principal attributes of Kushana coins.
Kanishka-I adopted Standing King formula of Vima on the obverse but with Zoroastrian deities or Buddha on the reverse each named in Bactrian using greek legend. Huvishka's coins depicted his bust rather than the full profile on the obverse. The portrait on the obverse is either half or quarter in length, but with varieties of head dress and costumes. In his coinage, he is either seated cross-legged or riding an elephant (king on elephant derived from Vima's coinage). Both Kanishka and Huvishka's face shows small circular projections on the cheeks, probably a physical sign of talent (a symbol of xvarnah - iranian perspective). The later Kushana kings Vasudeva-I and his successors returned back with the Standing King (Sacrificing King) formula of Kanishka-I on the obverse of their coins. The effigy of the God Oesho (Siva) were as on Vima Kadphises's coins.
LAST UPDATED 1st Nov 2001
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