Soter Megas

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
name. ..."
Erik Ovrevik
(Oslo - Norway)

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 23:48:00 -0700 From: "T. K. Mallon" Subject: NUM: Re: Who was "Soter Megas" ? dear erik, 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: tom mallon
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 been refuted? Edgar
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 21:59:12 EST From: Nupam P Mahajan Subject: NUM: Soter Megas Most likely. 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). Nupam 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 Soter Megas. Regards, Sam Kazmi The NumisART Galleries