Antimachus – II, the Sub-king under Menander

Written by Alok Mohan on April 30, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

Antimachus – II Nikephoros
Sub-king under Menander.

It has been assumed that Antimachus Nikephoros was the son of Antimachus Theos and Soter. His contemporaneity with Menander is proved by the discovery of his with almost new coins of Apollodotus and Menander in the great Bajaur hoard, This great hoard
of drachmae was discovered at Bajaur in Gandhara, and was published in 1929. Of the 969 coins found in it, Martin counted 95 of Apollodotus, 721 of Menander, 152 of Anti
machus, and one of Zoilus. Another hoard was found much earlier in 1877 in a village in Bundelkhand, south of the
Yamuna. It contained 33 coins of Apollodotus Soter, 40 of Menander, and 21 of Antimachus Il, together with 3 of
Eukratides. It could have given us the clue to his date.
Of Antimachus Son and grandson, who possibly could have inherited his name. only the former can fit in with this date and hence the conclusion that Antimachus II Nikephoros, was a son of Antimachus I Soter.
The very face of Menander’s smooth accession to the throne proves that he came of a royal family. This royal family was no other than that of Euthydemus is indicated, by the frequent appearance of Pallas on Menander’s coins. He seems to have inherited this device from Apollodotus, whose son, he most probably was.
The Milindapanho tells us that Menander was born at the village of Kalasi, in the dvipa of Alasanda. For the identification of Alasan dvipa scholars have put forth various suggestions.
It has been identified by Prof
Rapson’ with the dvipa or doab between the Panjshir and Kabul rivers, in which the ruins of Alexanders city have
been recognised near Charikar, a view with which Dr D. C Sircar concurs. Prof. Rapson says “Kalasi cannot
be identified but the dvipa of Alasanda is no doubt the district of the Alexandria-under-the-Caucasus, Alasanda of the Yonas, as it is called in the Mahavarmsa (XXIX 39)
Then Prof Rapson goes on to prove that the word dvipa is
used in the Milindapanho in the sense in which the Persian word doab is used i. e. the land lying between two rivers,
as for instance, the Rachna doab between the Ravi and the
Chenab is often called Sakala dvipa. There is no reason therefore,” asserts Prof. Rapson, why the term Alasandă
dvipa should not be applied to the country between the Panjshir and Kabul rivers, in which the ruins of Alexander’s city have been recognised near Charikar.
Some branch of the family of Euthydemus would
naturally be settled in the district” (namely of Alexanderia
under-the-Caucasus) which was strategically important as
constituting the connecting link between Bactria and India
and we may reasonably conclude that Menander, like Apollodotus, belonged to this branch. Dr. Rhys Davids
conjectures that Alasanda dvipa was a name given to an island, presumably in the Indus, All the scholars who have
devoted attention to the identification of Alasandi dvipa, whatever their difference of opinion regarding its exact location, are agreed that this Alasanda or Alexandria was
South of the Paropamisus or Hindu Koh.
If we accept Dr. Tarn’s chronology of Demetrius invasion, the latter crossed the Hindu Koh in 183 or 182 B. C. Full occupation of the Kabul valley, therefore, could not have taken place earlier than 181 or 180 B. C: and a branch of the family of Euthydemus could not have settled at Alexandria-under-the-Caucasus earlier than this date. The earliest date for the birth of Menander, who was born in this family, is thus brought as low as 180 BC
by Dr. Tarn’s own calculations. But there is no need to believe that Demetrius who started his in vasion about 192 BC took so many years in occupying Kapisa and the Kabul valley. He may, most probably, have finished this job in
less than a year. Kapisa at least, must have been occupied as early as 191 B.C. Apollodotus must have been charged immediately with the administration of this region as sub-
king. His jurisdiction was extended to the Kabul valley as soon as it was annexed. We have assigned to his rule in Kapisa and the Kabul valley a period of less than two years
after which he was put in charge of the expeditionary force
that penetrated to Madhyamika via Bharoch. This dating agrees with the evidence of his coins. His Kapisi coins, bearing the overstrike of Euktatides
indicate that he administered Kapisi for some time prior to the break through of Eukratides. This event occurred
about 170 B. C. It must have been during his short rule in this country that Menander was born. Thus Menander’s
birth can be dated some time between 191 and 189 B. C. This date agrees with the chronology of Menander’s early coins. The bust of king on these coins is that of a boy in his teens. He could have been appointed as sub-king about 174 B C when his father, Apollodotus,
succeeded to Demetrius kingdom. Born about 190 B. C. he was just sixteen, when he became his fathers sub-king. His early coins prove that he received the diadem during the life-time of his father. Otherwise we will have to assume for his birth a still later date, which will not agree with the rest of his chronology. His latest portraits are those of a man of about fifty. Since his reign çan not be fitted after 140 B. C, he can get his span of fifty years only if we
assume that he was born not later than 190 B. C.
The foregoing discussion disproves Dr. Tarn’s hypothesis, that Menander was a commoner and had risen to be Demetrius general by dint of his ability.
Even if we accept 166 B C to be the date of Demetrius death, as Dr. Tarn and others do, Menander, born about
190 B. C.was too young to participate in the former’s campaigns. Sir John Marshall has rightly contradicted Dr.
Tarn’s statement, viz. Menander was one of Demetrius generals and carved his own way to fortune before
marrying into the royal house. Had it been so, observes Sir Marshall, he must surely have been a man nearing
middle age at least, when he became king and minted coins of his own. On the contrary, however, his earliest
issues show him as a very young man, with an almost girlish countenance so much so that were it not for the ribons at the back of his neck and some other small details, his bust at

this period might be mistaken for that of the virgin goddess
(Athena or Pallas) who is so often portrayed on his coins.
No doubt he was of blood royal, and was related to
Demetrius. Twice his name is mentioned after that of
Apollodotus in classical literature. Strabos gives the impression that the Bactrian Greek chiefs, Demetrius and Menander, belonged to the same family. The coinage of Menander,
as that of Apollodotus, covers the whole of the area left in the possession of Demetrius at the time of his death.
Everything indicates a natural and smooth succession from
Demetrius to Apollodotus and from the latter to Menander.
With the death of Demetrius and his sons, his direct line but for a daughter, became extinct and the legal title to the
Buthydemid throne came to Apollodotus, the senior most
living representative of that family. When the latter was killed his son Menander was raised to the throne in the natural course and Agathocleia, the youngest daughter of
Demetrius was married to him. Apollodotus seems to have
been killed in action against Vasumitra about 160 B. C. By this date Menander must have gained considerable
administrative experience. He must have been about thirty at this time. He must have issued his early coins
in Sind and in parts of western Gandhara, ie in the
country lying west of the Indus. These areas Pushyamitra and Eukratides had not, it seems penetrated.
Therefore. these must have been inherited by Menander from his father. The death of Agnimitra about 40 B. C. gave him an opportunity to reestablish his family in the western
Panjab. Menander and his son Strato inherited the title Soter from Apollodotus though in addition both of them

adopted new ones also. And they
copied his bust of king Pallas type. In fact this is Menander’s most common type. He did not copy the Apollo
tripod type of Apollodotus, probably because of the peculiarly personal significance which Apollodotus name
had given to that type. But Menander’s son, Strato I did adopt it. Dr. Tarn’s statement that the latter inherited
this type from his mother’s side seems far-fetched.
Provenance of coins also proves that Kapisa, Pushkalävati
Kabul, Arachosia and Drangiana were at one time or the other, the dominions of Apollodotus. His Apollo tripod”
type of copper coins were restruck by Eukratides with his own type in the kingdom of Kapisa (Kafiristan) situated
immediately to the south of the Hindu Koh. His silver coin types elephant indian bull and bull tripod, also locate Apollodotus for some time in Kapisa
Gandhara region.
Dr Tarns hypothesis has left another serious lacuna of which, he himself seems to be conscious. He states
” It was one thing for Demetrus to conter the royal title and a great measure of power upon Apollodotus, who was his brother or kinsman and quite another to confer that title upon a general, a thing as yet without any
precedent anywhere. Further he ventures to suggest that Demetrius rom sheer necessity made Menander
king, when he himself returned to fight Eukratides, though most probably Menander took the title himself
when Demetnius was killed in the usual form of a vote by his army. Ultimately D Tarn admits,we simply do not know when the most famous of the Yavanas
received, or assumed, the diadem. In other words, his theory fails to provide explanation for this fateful event. Why did the direct descendants of Euthydemus did not raise finger at the usurpation of their paternal
throne and why did they meekly submit to Menander’s leadership ? His theory fails to provide answer.
Hence our conclusion that Menander was the seniormost survivor amongst the Euthydemids, and assumed sovereignty among them, is right. That is why he ascended to the throne at a young age.
Another cause of his smooth change over was that his father,
Apollodotus, who succeeded Demetrius at the latters death about 174 B. C., and passed on the crown in due
course to Menander. Naturally, nobody would have disputed to the right of Menander to succeed his father.
Coins of Apollodotus and Menander are found from identical sites. Both were circulating in Barygaza
simultaneously in the time of the author of the Periplus
Apollodotus seems to have survived Demetrius by about
fifteen yeats. There is every reason to believe that he associated his son in government as sub-king during his
life time, although Menander was yet in his teens. The earliest coins of the latter belong to this period.
Menander s youthful portrait has come down to us through
a wonderfully well-preserved coin of his. Menander had attained the age of thirty about 160 B. C. when he was
called upon to assume full powers at the death in battle of Apollodotus.

References.
E.J. Rapson, C.H.I PL.VI.3
V.. Smith, I.M.C.,
Sec – 1, Page 29 no and Pl.VI.3.
R-B. Whitehead, I.M.C. Sec.I,
nos 557-70, and Pl.VII,
M.V.D. Mohan, Indo Greek Coins Page 188, Pl.III, 9.
Observations
Nike (Victory) holding palm in right hand and wreath in left hand
Circular continuous legend
King on prancing horse
circuiar continuous legend

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.