Zoilos I

Attic-standard coin of Zoilos I (r.c. 130-120 BC).
Obv. Diademed and draped bust of Zoilos I.
Rev. Crowned Herakles holding wreath, with club over the arm and lion skin (type of Euthydemus II. Greek legend BASILEOS DIKAIU ZOILOU "King Zoilus the Just".

Zoilus I Dikaios ("The Just") was an Indo-Greek king who ruled between around 130-120 BC in Northern India and occupied the areas of the Paropamisadae and Arachosia previously held by Menander I.

Coin types of Zoilos I

Zoilos I uses a coin type similar to that of Euthydemus II, son of Demetrius: Crowned Herakles standing, holding a wreath or diadem in his right hand, and a club and the lion skin in his left hand.

His square coins are original in that they combine the club of Herakles with a Scythian-type bowcase (for a short recurve bow) inside a victory wreath, suggesting contacts or even an alliance with horse-mounted people originating from the steppes, possibly either the Scythians (future Indo-Scythians), or the Yuezhi who had invaded Greco-Bactria. This bow can be contrasted to the traditional Hellenistic long bow depicted on the coins of the eastern Indo-Greek queen Agathokleia.

The Indian-standard square coins of Zoilos I also bear the Pali title "Dharmikasa" ("Follower of the Dharma"), probably related to Buddhism, appearing for the first time on Indo-Greek coinage, simultaneously with the eastern king Strato I, son of Menander I.

Bilingual coin of Zoilos I (r.c. 130-120 BC).

Obv. Bust of Herakles. Greek legend BASILEOS DIKAIU ZOILOU "King Zoilus the Just"

Rev. Herakles club and a steppe-type recurve bow's bowcase on reverse, inside a victory wreath. Kharoshthi legend: MAHARAJASA DHARMIKASA JOILASA "King Zoilus, of the Dharma".

See also

  • Indo-Greek Kingdom
  • Greco-Buddhism


"The Greeks in Bactria and India" W.W. Tarn, Cambridge University Press


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