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Huvishka (Kushan: Οοηϸκι, "Ooishki") was the emperor of the Kushan Empire from the death of Kanishka (assumed on the best evidence available to be in 140 CE) until the succession of Vasudeva I about forty years later. His rule was a period of retrenchment and consolidation for the Empire.

Huvishka
Kushan emperor
KushanCoinage2.jpg
Coin of Huvishka. Legend in Kushan language and Greek script (with the Kushan letter Ϸ "sh"): ϷΑΟΝΑΝΟϷΑΟ ΟΟΗϷΚΙ ΚΟϷΑΝΟ ("Shaonanoshao Ooishki Koshano"): "King of kings, Huvishka the Kushan".
Reign140–180 CE
PredecessorKanishka
SuccessorVasudeva I
Burial
DynastyKushan

Contents

ReligionEdit

Huvishka was the son of Kanishka. His reign is also known as the golden age of Kushan rule. The reign of Huvishka corresponds to the first known epigraphic evidence of the Buddha Amitabha, on the bottom part of a 2nd-century statue which has been found in Govindo-Nagar, and now at the Mathura Museum. The statue is dated to "the 28th year of the reign of Huvishka", and dedicated to "Amitabha Buddha" by a family of merchants. There is also some evidence that Huvishka himself was a follower of Mahāyāna Buddhism. A Sanskrit manuscript fragment in the Schøyen Collection describes Huvishka as one who has "set forth in the Mahāyāna."[1]

Compared to his predecessor Kanishka, Huvishka was worshipper of Shiva.[2]

 
Coin of Kushan ruler Huvishka (152-192 CE), featuring Maaseno, the incarnation of the Karttikeya of the Yaudheyas.

He also incorporates in his coins for the first and unique time in Kushan coinage the Hellenistic-Egyptian Serapis (under the name Σαραπο, "Sarapo"[3]), and the Goddess Roma (thought to represent "Roma aeterna"), under the name "Riom" (Greek: ΡΙΟΜ).[4]

Some of the coins of Huvishka also featured Maaseno on his coins, the Kushan incarnation of the Hindu god Karttikeya, or Skanda, whose epithet was "Mahasena".[citation needed] This god being particularly important to the Yaudheyas, it may have been incorporated into Kushan coinage when the Kushans expanded into Yaudheya territory in order to establish control of the Mathura area. It may also have been adopted as a way to appease the warlike Yaudheyas. In effect, the Kushans became the suzerains of the Yaudheyas in the area.[5][6][6]

CoinageEdit

One of the great remaining puzzles of Huvishka's reign is the devaluation of his coinage. Early in his reign the copper coinage plunged in weight from a standard of 16g to about 10-11g. The quality and weight then continued to decline throughout the reign until at the start of the reign of Vasudeva the standard coin (a tetradrachm) weighed only 9g. The devaluation led to a massive production of imitations, and an economic demand for the older, pre-devaluation coins in the Gangetic valley. However, the motivation (and even some of the details) of this devaluation are still unknown.

Huvishka

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Neelis, Jason. Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks. 2010. p. 141
  2. ^ "RELIGIONS IN THE KUSHAN EMPIRE" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2019. Also omitted is the ancient Iranian war god Oˇrlagno, whose place and function are occupied by a group of Indian war gods, Skando (Old Indian Skanda), Komaro (Old Indian Kumara), Maaseno (Old Indian Mahascna), Bizago (Old Indian Vi ¯ s´akha), and even Ommo (Old Indian Um ¯ a), the consort of Siva. Their use as reverse types of Huvishka I is clear evidence for the new trends in religious policy of the Kushan king, which was possibly influenced by enlisting Indian warriors into the Kushan army during the campaign against Pataliputra.
  3. ^ Serapis coin
  4. ^ Mario Bussagli, "L'Art du Gandhara", 225
  5. ^ Classical Numismatics Group [1]
  6. ^ a b Indian Sculpture: Circa 500 B.C.-A.D. 700, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pratapaditya Pal, University of California Press, 1986, p.78 [2]

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Kanishka
Kushan Ruler
140–183 CE
Succeeded by
Vasudeva I
Kushan Empire
Emperors, territories and chronology
Territories/
dates
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Balochistan
Paropamisadae
Arachosia
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130-230 CE

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Rudrasimha I
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Bagamira
Arjuna
Hvaramira
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Vāsishka (c. 140 – c. 160)
Huvishka (c. 160 – c. 190)
Vasudeva I (c. 190 – to at least 230)

230-280 CE

Samghadaman
Damasena
Damajadasri II
Viradaman
Yasodaman I
Vijayasena
Damajadasri III
Rudrasena II
Visvasimha

Miratakhma
Kozana
Bhimarjuna
Koziya
Datarvharna
Datarvharna

INDO-SASANIANS
Ardashir I, Sassanid king and "Kushanshah" (c. 230 – 250)
Peroz I, "Kushanshah" (c. 250 – 265)
Hormizd I, "Kushanshah" (c. 265 – 295)

Kanishka II (c. 230 – 240)
Vashishka (c. 240 – 250)
Kanishka III (c. 250 – 275)

280-300 Bhratadarman Datayola II

Hormizd II, "Kushanshah" (c. 295 – 300)

Vasudeva II (c. 275 – 310)
300-320 CE

Visvasena
Rudrasimha II
Jivadaman

Peroz II, "Kushanshah" (c. 300 – 325)

Vasudeva III
Vasudeva IV
Vasudeva V
Chhu (c. 310? – 325)

320-388 CE

Yasodaman II
Rudradaman II
Rudrasena III
Simhasena
Rudrasena IV

Shapur II Sassanid king and "Kushanshah" (c. 325)
Varhran I, Varhran II, Varhran III "Kushanshahs" (c. 325 – 350)
Peroz III "Kushanshah" (c. 350 –360)
HEPHTHALITE/ HUNAS invasions

Shaka I (c. 325 – 345)
Kipunada (c. 345 – 375)

GUPTA EMPIRE
Chandragupta I
Samudragupta


388-396 CE Rudrasimha III Chandragupta II
  1. ^ From the dated inscription on the Rukhana reliquary
  2. ^ An Inscribed Silver Buddhist Reliquary of the Time of King Kharaosta and Prince Indravarman, Richard Salomon, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 116, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1996), pp. 442 [5]
  3. ^ A Kharosthī Reliquary Inscription of the Time of the Apraca Prince Visnuvarma, by Richard Salomon, South Asian Studies 11 1995, Pages 27-32, Published online: 09 Aug 2010 [6]