Coin of Eukratides I

170–145 BCE
Diameter: 3.4 cm (1 5/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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After Alexander of Macedon succeeded in conquering Egypt and Persia in 331 BC, his ambition to rule the known world led him further east across Bactria in Afghanistan, through the Hindu Kush mountain pass, and into India. There he succeeded in defeating all the local kings of the region until his men, on the brink of mutiny, insisted that they return to Greece. Alexander left governors in charge of his territories, and after his death in 323 BC, his governors became independent kings, establishing Hellenistic cities and a Greek cultural base in the region, which lasted for almost 200 years.

The king of Greek descent who ruled over territories in Afghanistan and Pakistan depicted himself with the brimmed military helmet with the bull's ear and horn of Poseidon, worn by generals from Macedon, the northern Greek country from which Alexander came. After his death, Alexander's vast empire that stretched from Macedon across Egypt and Persia all the way to the Indus River was divided among military leaders in his army.

On the reverse side of this coin are the twins Castor and Pollux riding horseback with long spears. These twins were sons of Zeus. Since Alexander considered himself to be an offspring of Zeus, Eukratides referenced his link to Alexander by including them on his coin.
Coin of Eukratides I

Coin of Eukratides I

170–145 BCE

Afghanistan, Bactria, Eucratides I (171–145 BCE)

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