Kushan Empire

30–375 AD empire in Central and South Asia

The Kushan Empire was first formed in the early 1st century AD. It was located in Afghanistan, most of Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and parts of northwest India.[4][5]

Kushan Empire
Kushan territories (full line) and maximum extent of Kushan dominions under Kanishka (dotted line), according to the Rabatak inscription.[1]
Kushan territories (full line) and maximum extent of Kushan dominions under Kanishka (dotted line), according to the Rabatak inscription.[1]
Common languagesPali Prakrit
Hinduism [2]
• c. 60-c. 80
Kujula Kadphises
• 350–375
Historical eraClassical Antiquity
• Kujula Kadphises unites Yuezhi tribes into a confederation.
• Subjugated by the Gupta Empire.
CurrencyKushan Drachm
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Maurya Empire
Gupta Empire
Sassanid Empire
Today part of Afghanistan

The Kushan were a branch of the Yuezhi confederation.[6][7] Previously a nomadic people living in eastern Central Asia, the Yuezhi moved southwest and settled in ancient Bactria.[7]

  1. "The Rabatak inscription claims that in the year 1 Kanishka I's authority was proclaimed in India, in all the satrapies and in different cities like Koonadeano (Kundina), Ozeno (Ujjain), Kozambo (Kausambi), Zagedo (Saketa), Palabotro (Pataliputra) and Ziri-Tambo (Janjgir-Champa). These cities lay to the east and south of Mathura, up to which locality Wima had already carried his victorious arm. Therefore they must have been captured or subdued by Kanishka I himself." "Ancient Indian Inscriptions", S. R. Goyal, p. 93. See also the analysis of Sims-Williams and J.Cribb, who had a central role in the decipherment: "A new Bactrian inscription of Kanishka the Great", in "Silk Road Art and Archaeology" No4, 1995–1996. Also Mukherjee B.N. "The Great Kushanan Testament", Indian Museum Bulletin.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bopearachchi 2007, p. 45.
  3. Golden 1992, p. 56.
  4. Hill (2009), pp. 29, 318–350
  5. The Dynasty Arts of the Kushans, University of California Press, 1967, p. 5
  6. Runion, Meredith L. (2007). The history of Afghanistan. Westport: Greenwood Press. p. 46. ISBN 9780313337987. The Yuezhi people conquered Bactria in the second century B.C.E. and divided the country into five chiefdoms, one of which would become the Kushan Empire. Recognizing the importance of unification, these five tribes combined under the one dominate Kushan tribe, and the primary rulers descended from the Yuezhi.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Liu, Xinrui (2001). Adas, Michael (ed.). Agricultural and pastoral societies in ancient and classical history. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. p. 156. ISBN 9781566398329.