The Rukhuna reliquary, also sometimes Rukhana reliquary, also described as the Bajaur reliquary inscription, is a Scythian reliquary which was dedicated and inscribed in 16 CE by Rukhuna, Queen of Indo-Scythian king Vijayamitra (ruled 12 BCE - 20 CE). The inscription on the reliquary, also called the Bajaur reliquary inscription, was published by Richard Salomon with a photograph in 2005, and gives a relationship between several eras of the period, and especially a confirmation of a Yavana era (Yoṇaṇa vaṣaye) in relation to the Azes era, that is "Azes era= Yavana era - 128 years".
|Material||Polished grey schist.|
The inscription is very useful to clarify relative chronologies during the period. The inscription reads:
|Original (Kharosthi)||Transliteration||English translation|
|𐨬𐨮𐨩𐨅 𐨯𐨟𐨬𐨁𐨭𐨩𐨅 𐩅 𐩃 𐩀 𐩀 𐩀 𐨀𐨁𐨭𐨿𐨤𐨪𐨯||vaṣaye sataviśaye 20 4 1 1 1 iśparasa||In the twenty-seventh - 27 - of the lord|
|𐨬𐨁𐨗𐨩𐨨𐨁𐨟𐨿𐨪𐨯 𐨀𐨤𐨕𐨪𐨗𐨯 𐨀𐨞𐨂𐨭𐨯𐨿𐨟𐨁𐨩𐨅 𐨩𐨅 𐨬𐨂𐨕𐨟𐨁 𐨀𐨩𐨯||Vijayamitrasa Apacarajasa aṇuśastiye ye vucati Ayasa||Vijayamitra's, king of Apraca, rule, which is called Azes'|
|𐨬𐨮𐨩𐨅 𐨟𐨿𐨪𐨅𐨯𐨟𐨟𐨁𐨨𐨀𐨅 𐩅 𐩅 𐩅 𐩄 𐩀 𐩀 𐩀 𐨩𐨆𐨞𐨞 𐨬𐨮𐨩𐨅 𐨀𐨅𐨐𐨡𐨂𐨭𐨟𐨁𐨨𐨩𐨅||vaṣaye tresatatimae 20 20 20 10 1 1 1 Yoṇaṇa vaṣaye ekaduśatimaye||seventy-third - 73 - year, in the two-hundred-and-first year of the Greeks -|
|𐩀 𐩀 𐩆 𐩀 𐨭𐨿𐨪𐨬𐨞𐨯 𐨨𐨯𐨯 𐨡𐨁𐨬𐨯𐨩𐨅 𐨀𐨛𐨨𐨩𐨅 𐨀𐨁𐨭 𐨡𐨁𐨬𐨯𐨎𐨨𐨁 𐨤𐨿𐨪𐨟𐨁𐨳𐨩𐨁𐨡𐨂 𐨠𐨂𐨬𐨅||2 100 1 Śravaṇasa masasa divasaye aṭhamaye iśa divasaṃmi pratiṭ́havidu thuve||201 - in the month of Śrāvaṇa, on the eighth day, on that day is established a Stupa|
|𐨪𐨂𐨑𐨂𐨞𐨩𐨅 𐨀𐨤𐨕𐨪𐨗𐨧𐨪𐨿𐨩𐨀𐨅 𐨬𐨁𐨗𐨩𐨨𐨁𐨟𐨿𐨪𐨅𐨞 𐨀𐨤𐨿𐨪𐨕𐨪𐨗𐨅𐨞 𐨀𐨁𐨎𐨡𐨿𐨪𐨬𐨪𐨿𐨨𐨅𐨞 𐨯𐨿𐨟𐨿𐨪𐨟𐨅𐨒𐨅𐨞 𐨯𐨧𐨪𐨿𐨩𐨪𐨅𐨱𐨁 𐨯𐨐𐨂𐨨𐨪𐨅𐨱𐨁||Rukhuṇaye Apacarajabharyae Vijayamitreṇa Apracarajeṇa Iṃdravarmeṇa strategeṇa sabharyarehi sakumarehi||by Rukhuṇa, wife of the king of Apraca, by Vijayamitra, king of Apraca, by general Indravarma, together with their wives and their sons.|
In Kharoshthi, the referential dates at the beginning of the inscription appear both in words and in numbers, together with the name of the era they are calculated in, and are given as follows:
"In the twenty-seventh - 27 - year in the reign of Lord Vijayamitra, the King of the Apraca"
ayasa vaṣaye tresa⟨*ta⟩timae 20 20 20 10 1 1 1
"in the seventy-third - 73 - year which is called "of Azes""
Yoṇaṇa vaṣaye ekaduśatimaye 2 100 1
"in the two hundred and first - 201 - year of the Yonas (Greeks)"
Śravaṇasa masasa divasaye aṭhamaye iśa divasaṃmi pratiṭ́havidu thuve Rukhuṇaye Apacarajabharyae Vijayamitreṇa Apracarajeṇa Iṃdravarmeṇa strategeṇa sabharyarehi sakumarehi
"on the eighth day of the month of Sravana; on this day was established [this] stupa by Rukhuna, the wife of the King of Apraca, [and] by Vijayamitra, the king of Apraca, [and] by Indravarma (Indravasu?), the commander (stratega), [together] with their wives and sons."
This dedication also indicates that King Vijayamitra and his wife Rukhuna were followers of Buddhism.
Since Vijamitra is said to have ruled 27 years already, his reign started in 12 BCE, and ended probably a few years after the dedication took place, around 20 CE.
Similar examples of reliquariesEdit
Another similar example: the Bimaran casket. This reliquary is inscribed on the outside, rather than the inside.
- Salomon, Richard (2005). A New Inscription dated in the "Yona" (Greek) Era of 186/5 B.C. Brepols. pp. 359–400. ISBN 978-2-503-51681-3.
- Des Indo-Grecs aux Sassanides: données pour l'histoire et la géographie historique, Rika Gyselen, Peeters Publishers, 2007, p.109 
- Mac Dowall, David W. (2007). The Eras of Demetrius, Eucratides and Azes. Peeters Publishers. pp. 103–110. ISBN 9782952137614.
- Baums, Stefan. (2012). Catalog and Revised Text and Translations of Gandhāran Reliquary Inscriptions. Gandhāran Buddhist Reliquaries. D. Jongeward. Seattle, University of Washington Press
- "Afghanistan, carrefour en l'Est et l'Ouest" p.373. Also Senior 2003
- Des Indo-Grecs aux Sassanides, Rika Gyselen, Peeters Publishers, 2007, p.103 
- "Silk Road Art and Archaeology". Journal of the Institute of Silk Road Studies, Kamakura. The Institute. 9: 49. 2003.
- Baums, Stefan. 2012. “Catalog and Revised Texts and Translations of Gandharan Reliquary Inscriptions.” In David Jongeward, Elizabeth Errington, Richard Salomon and Stefan Baums, Gandharan Buddhist Reliquaries. Gandharan Studies, Volume 1, pp. 200–51. Seattle: Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project.
- Fussman, Gérard. The riddle of the ancient eras is not yet solved (PDF). p. 242.
- Fussman, Gérard. The riddle of the ancient eras is not yet solved (PDF). pp. 239–259.
- Falk, Harry (2015). Buddhistische Reliquienbehälter aus der Sammlung Gritli von Mitterwallner. p. 135.
- Baums, Stefan. 2012. “Catalog and Revised Texts and Translations of Gandharan Reliquary Inscriptions.” In: David Jongeward, Elizabeth Errington, Richard Salomon and Stefan Baums, Gandharan Buddhist Reliquaries, pp. 212–213, Seattle: Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project (Gandharan Studies, Volume 1).
- Baums, Stefan, and Andrew Glass. 2002– . Catalog of Gāndhārī Texts, nos. CKI 405
- Senior, R.C. (2006). Indo-Scythian coins and history. Volume IV. Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. ISBN 0-9709268-6-3.
- Richard SALOMON, "A New Inscription dated in the "Yona" (Greek) Era of 186/5 B.C." in Afghanistan, ancien carrefour entre l'est et l'ouest, O. Bopearachchi, M.-F. Boussac (eds.), 2005, ISBN 978-2-503-51681-3 Languages: French, English