Summary of discussion from
NUMISM-L@VM.SC.EDU mailing list.
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 14:17:57 +0100
From: Erik Ovrevik
Subject: NUM: Who was "Sother Megas" ?
I would like to know the list members' opinion on who the emperor
known as "Sother Megas" really was. I just received Classical
Numismatic Group's latest list and on page 78 they write : " ...
Recent find in Kashmir have included a coin that also bears the name
in Kharosthi of Vema Takha, so that we now know Sother Megas true
(Oslo - Norway)
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 23:48:00 -0700
From: "T. K. Mallon"
Subject: NUM: Re: Who was "Soter Megas" ?
The coins with the legend 'Soter Megas' (the Great Savior) have
recently been attributed to the Kushan king Vima Taktu, grandfather of
Kanishka; this is based on a Bactrian inscription found in 1993 at
Rabatak near Surkh Kotal in Afghanistan and the work of Nicholas
Sims-Williams of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),
University of London, the details of which can be found at:
also, you can find a bit of info on Kushan coins, including those of
Vima Taktu at:
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 13:01:22 -0500
From: "Edgar L. Owen"
Subject: NUM: Soter Megas
Mitchner p. 397 of course says his name was probably Vashishka also
citing an inscription & two coins as evidence. Has this theory now
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 21:59:12 EST
From: Nupam P Mahajan
Subject: NUM: Soter Megas
Based on Rabtak inscription, a new chronology has been proposed by
Nicholas Sims-Williams and Joe Cribb. According to that Vima I Takto
(soter Megas), grandfather of Kanishka I (the great), ruled from 80-90
AD, while Vashishka ruled in 222-240 AD (or 242-260 AD).
In the same article, many of his coins are also discussed to
strengthen the hypothesis of Vima Takto (or Vima takshamasya) being
Soter Megas. His intitial, Kharoshti letter `vi' could be seen on
Soter Megas issues described in Gobl, 1993 (plate 40, #53, 56 and 57)
and also on coins shown in Mitchiner, #2915-2918 and 2921-2924.
Mitchiner propose name Vashishka (actually Vaheshasa in Kharoshti)
based on rare specimens where it can be read at the end of legends.
Although many of Soter Megas coins had `vi' as initials (why this fact
was overlooked is not very clear to me).
Dr. Nupam Mahajan
School of Medicine
UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 22:28:14 -0500
From: Sam Kazmi
Organization: The NumisART Galleries
Subject: NUM: Re: Soter Megas
Numismatically, and much of Indo-Greek/Kushan chronology is still
based on the numismatic evidence, it is widely accepted that "Soter
Megas" ruled before Vima Kadphises and Kanishka. This is partially
based on the linguistic changes from Greek to Bactrian on the coinage,
and on other known inscriptions.
We already know that the dynasty started with Kujula Kadphises, and
that Vima Kadphises was before Kanishka. Now we have the Rabatak
inscription providing a "new" name between Kujula and Vima Kadphises,
i.e. Vima Taktu, and giving his name not only as a king, but also as
Vima Kadphises' father and Kanishka's father.
Some scholars had previously raised the possibility of "another" Vima
as a few pieces of the puzzle did not quite fit to the known Vima
(Kadphises); e.g. the Dasht-e-Nawur inscription, etc. It is the first
time that we have proof of another Vima, and a chronological sequence
along with relationships.
So, while the Rabatak inscription does not name Vima Taktu as the
"Great Savior", numismatically speaking, in all probability he is the
The NumisART Galleries