Saturday, March 1, 2014

Gondophernes: The Pahlava Ruler

Gondophernes was the most prominent ad famous of the Pahlava or Parthian rulers who ruled north-western part of India towards the end of the 1st century BC.  He was a great patron of India culture which can be gauged from the numerous coins found in the northwest of India. These coins also points to the wide extent of his suzerainty that included Kandhar, Kabul and Taxila.  Gondophernes was probably responsible for the defeat of Hermaeus, the last of the Greek rulers in India,  

Christian tradition has it that India’s first brush with Christianity took place during his reign by the efforts of the Christian apostle St. Thomas who is said to have visited his empire. However, truth of the legend does not find favour with some authorities who maintain that going by Gondophernes’ date he cannot be a contemporary of St. Thomas.
Gondophernes ruled for twenty years. His successors were weak and fought among themselves. Thus came the end of the Pahlava empire.

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