The Info List - Kujula Kadphises

Obv: Hermaios-style diademed bust. Corrupted Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΤΗΡΟΣΣΥ ΕΡΜΑΙΟΥ ("Basileos Sterossy Hermaiou"): "King Hermaeus, the Saviour". Rev: Herakles
standing with club and lion skin. Kharoṣṭhī
Kujula Kadphises
ruler of the Kushans, steadfast in the Law ("Dharma"). British Museum.

Reign 30 CE - 80 CE

Predecessor Heraios

Successor Vima Takto

Born c. 4 or 3 BCE Bactria

Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
( Kushan
language: Κοζουλου Καδφιζου, also Κοζολα Καδαφες; Kharoṣṭhī: Kujula Kasasa; Hindi: कुजला कडफिज़्स; Ancient Chinese: 丘就卻, Qiujiuque; reigned 30–80 CE, or 40-90 CE according to Bopearachchi.[1]) was a Kushan
prince who united the Yuezhi confederation during the 1st century CE, and became the first Kushan emperor. According to the Rabatak inscription, he was the great grandfather of the great Kushan
king Kanishka
I. He is considered as the founder of the Kushan


1 History

1.1 Chinese accounts 1.2 Genealogy according to the Rabatak inscription

2 Coinage

2.1 Greek script 2.2 "Buddha" coins 2.3 Roman-style coins

3 References

3.1 Bibliography

4 External links

History[edit] The origins of Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
are quite obscure, and it is usually considered he was a descendant of the Kushan
ruler Heraios, or possibly identical with him.[2] Interestingly however, Kujula shares his name (Kushan: Κοζουλου on some of his "Hermaeus" coins, or Κοζολα on his "Augustus" coins) with some of the last Indo-Scythian
rulers, such as Liaka Kusulaka
Liaka Kusulaka
(Greek: Λιακα Κοζουλο), or his son Patika Kusulaka, which might suggest some family connection.[3] Chinese accounts[edit]

Coin of Kujula Kadphises. Circa AD 30/50-80. Obv Laureate Julio-Claudian
style head right. Greek legend Greek legend around: ΚΟΖΟΛΑ ΚΑΔΑΦΕϹ XOPANOV ZAOOV. Rev Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
seated right, raising hand; tripartite symbol to left. Legend Khushanasa Yauasa Kuyula Kaphasa Sacha Dhramatidasa.

The rise of Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
is described in the Chinese historical chronicle, the Hou Hanshu:

More than a hundred years later, the prince [xihou] of Guishuang, named Qiujiuque [Kujula Kadphises], attacked and exterminated the four other xihou. He established himself as king, and his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang [Kushan] King. He invaded Anxi [Indo-Parthia], and took the Gaofu [Kabul] region. He also defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda [Paktiya] and Jibin [Kapisha and Gandhara]. Qiujiuque [Kujula Kadphises] was more than eighty years old when he died.[4]

In the process of their expansion eastward, Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
and his son Vima Takto
Vima Takto
seem to have displaced the Indo-Parthian
kingdom, established in northwestern India
by the Parthian Gondophares
since around 20CE:

His son, Yangaozhen [probably Vema Tahk(tu) or, possibly, his brother Sadaṣkaṇa], became king in his place. He defeated Tianzhu [North-western India] and installed Generals to supervise and lead it. The Yuezhi
then became extremely rich. All the kingdoms call [their king] the Guishuang [Kushan] king, but the Han call them by their original name, Da Yuezhi.[5]

This invasion of Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
is thought to have occurred during the reign of Abdagases
and Sases, the successors of Gondophares, after 45 CE. Genealogy according to the Rabatak inscription[edit]

Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
coin. Obv Helmeted soldier head right. Rev Warrior standing right, holding shield and spear.

The connection of Kujula with other Kushan
rulers is described in the Rabatak inscription, discovered in Rbatak, Afghanistan some years ago, which was written by Kanishka. Kanishka
makes the list of the kings who ruled up to his time: Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
as his great-grandfather, Vima Taktu
Vima Taktu
as his grandfather, Vima Kadphises
Vima Kadphises
as his father, and himself Kanishka:

And he [Kanishka] gave orders to make images of the same, (namely) of these gods who are written herein, and he gave orders to make (them) for these kings: for King Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
(his) great grandfather, and for King Vima Taktu
Vima Taktu
(his) grandfather, and for King Vima Kadphises (his) father, and for himself, King Kanishka.[6]


Left Silver denarius of Tiberius
(14-37 CE) found in India. Center Indian copy of the same, 1st century CE. Right Coin of Kushan
king Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
copying a coin of Augustus.

Most of Kujula's coins were Hellenic or Roman in inspiration. Some coins used the portrait, name and title of the Indo-Greek
king Hermaeus on the obverse, indicating Kujula's wish to relate himself to the Indo-Greek
king.[citation needed] Since the Kushans and their predecessors the Yuezhi
were conversant with the Greek language and Greek coinage, the adoption of Hermaeus cannot have been accidental: it either expressed a filiation of Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
to Hermaeus by alliance (possibly through Sapadbizes
or Heraios), or simply a wish to show himself as heir to the Indo-Greek
tradition and prestige, possibly to accommodate Greek populations.[citation needed] These coins bear the name of Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
in Kharoṣṭhī, with representations of the Greek demi-god Heracles
on the back[citation needed], and titles ("Yavugasa") presenting Kujula as a "ruler" (not actual king), and a probable Buddhist
("Dharmathidasa", follower of the Dharma).[citation needed] Later coins, possibly posthumous, did describe Kujula as "Maharajasa", or "Great King". Greek script[edit] The Greek script on the coins of Kujula (and all the Kushans with him) is barbarized. For example, ΣΤΗΡΟΣΣΥ on his Hermaeus coins is thought to be a deformation of ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ (Sotiros), the traditional title of Hermaeus on his coins. The Greek word for "king" is written ΒΑϹΙΛΕΩΣ, with both a lunate sigma (Ϲ) and a normal sigma (Σ) in the same word. The Kushans also added one character to the Greek script: it is the letter Ϸ, corresponding to the sound "Sh", as in "Kushan". "Buddha" coins[edit]

Coin of Kujula Kadphises. Obv Kujula seated cross legged facing, Kharoshti legend: Kuyula Kadaphasa Kushanasa. Rev Zeus on the reverse[citation needed], Greek legend: ΚΟΖΟΛΑ XOPANOY ZAOOY.

Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
Tetradrachm. Obv Brahma
bull standing right, with Buddhist
above. Blundered Greek legend. Rev Camel standing right. Kharoshthi legend Maharayasa Rayatirayasa Kuyula Kara Kapasa.

Some coins of Kujula also represent a cross-legged seated figure, formerly said to be one of the first known representations of the Buddha on a coin (Whitehead). Unfortunately, Whitehead's attribution of this coin to Kujula, and the claim that the seated figure on the obverse represents the Buddha, is now known to be incorrect. The correct attribution of this coin is to the Kushan
king Huvishka, who was Kujula's great-great-grandson.[citation needed] The obverse shows Huvishka
seated on a couch. The first known coins carrying a representation of the Buddha were issued by Kujula's Great-grandson (and Huvishka's father) Kanishka
I. Roman-style coins[edit]

Coin of Kujula Kadphises, in the style of the Roman emperor Augustus. Legend in Kushan
language, corrupted Greek script: ΚΟΖΟΛΑ ΚΑΔΑΦΕΣ ΧΟϷΑΝΟΥ ΖΑΟΟΥ ("Kozola Kadaphes Koshanou Zaoou"): "Kudjula Kadphises, ruler of the Kushans". British Museum.

Some fewer coins of Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
also adopted a Roman style, with effigies closely resembling Caesar Augustus, although all the legends were then associated with Kujula himself. Such influences are linked to exchanges with the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
around that date.


^ a b Osmund Bopearachchi, 2007, Some observations on the chronology of the early Kushans ^ Cribb, J. (1993), The Heraus coins: their attribution to the Kushan king Kujula Kadphises, c. AD 30-80. Essays in Honour of Robert Carson and Kenneth Jenkins, (edited by M. Price, A. Burnett, and R. Bland), London, 107-134. ^ Rapson, "Indian coins of the British Museum", p.cvi ^ Hill (2009), p. 29. ^ Hill (2009), p. 29. ^ Sims-Williams' "provisional translation" quoted in Hill (2009), p. 592.


"Catalogue of coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore. Vol. I Indo-Greek coins", Whitehead, Argonaut Inc. Publishers, Chicago. Chavannes, Édouard (1907). Les pays d'occident d'après le Heou Han chou. T’oung pao 8. pp. 149-244.  Hill, John E. 2004. The Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu. Draft annotated English translation.[1] Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, First to Second Centuries CE. BookSurge. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1. 

External links[edit]

Catalogue of coins of Kujula Kadphises

Preceded by: Heraios

(In Gandhara
and Punjab:) Indo-Parthian
king Gondophares Kushan
Ruler (30-80 CE) Succeeded by:

Vima Takto

Empire Emperors, territories and chronology

Territories/ dates Western India Western Pakistan Balochistan Paropamisadae Arachosia Bajaur Gandhara Western Punjab Eastern Punjab Mathura Pataliputra

Northern Satraps

25 BCE – 10 CE

dynasty of the APRACHARAJAS Vijayamitra (ruled 12 BCE - 15 CE)[1] Liaka Kusulaka Patika Kusulaka Zeionises Kharahostes (ruled 10 BCE– 10 CE)[2] Mujatria Strato II
Strato II
and Strato III Hagana


INDO-PARTHIAN KINGDOM Gondophares Indravasu INDO-PARTHIAN KINGDOM Gondophares Rajuvula

20-30 CE

Ubouzanes Pakores Vispavarma (ruled c.0-20 CE)[3] Sarpedones Bhadayasa Sodasa

30-40 CE

KUSHAN EMPIRE Kujula Kadphises Indravarma Abdagases ... ...

40-45 CE

Aspavarma Gadana ... ...

45-50 CE

Sasan Sases ... ...

50-75 CE

... ...

75-100 CE Indo-Scythian
dynasty of the WESTERN SATRAPS Chastana

Vima Takto ... ...

100-120 CE Abhiraka

Vima Kadphises ... ...

120 CE Bhumaka Nahapana PARATARAJAS Yolamira Kanishka
I Great Satrap Kharapallana and Satrap Vanaspara for Kanishka

130-230 CE

Jayadaman Rudradaman I Damajadasri I Jivadaman Rudrasimha I Isvaradatta Rudrasimha I Jivadaman Rudrasena I

Bagamira Arjuna Hvaramira Mirahvara

(c. 140 – c. 160) Huvishka
(c. 160 – c. 190) Vasudeva I
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)

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

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

GUPTA EMPIRE Chandragupta I
Chandragupta I

388-396 CE Rudrasimha III

Chandragupta II

^ From the dated inscription on the Rukhana reliquary ^ 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 [2] ^ 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