Kushan Chronology


For a bibliography on the date of Kanishka refer to that page. 

On the subject of Azes there is very little that can be recommended. Any discussion on the Azes era depends upon taking certain other aspects of the chronology as fixed. Modern scholars now know that Kanishka came to the throne c.120 AD (not 78 AD), that there are two Kushan dating sequences, and that there clearly is an era attributed to Azes in the inscriptions. It is almost impossible to find an early discussion of the Azes era that does not depend on an assumption contrary to one of these. New scholarship will undoubtedly arise but at present (January 2005) the dissenting opinion of Cribb, and the translation of Salamon, are still not published.

On the subject of other Eras readers should consult Cribb (1999) and Salomon (2003).

Online Materials

A Summary of Nicholas Sims-Williams thoughts on the Bactrian documents which include a reasoning for the date of 233 AD: http://www.gengo.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~hkum/bactrian.html

Cribb (1999) is available online at http://www.grifterrec.com/y/cribb/ekk_cribb_01.html

Books & Articles

Basham, A L, "A New Study of the Saka-Kusana Period" BSOAS XV, 1953

Basham, A.L, Papers on the Date of Kaniska, Leiden-Brill, 1968

Bhandarkar, D R, CII vol.III: Inscriptions of the Early Gupta Kings, 1981

Bivar, A D H, "The Azes Era and the Indravarman Casket" SAA 1979

Cribb, J (1999) 'The Early Kushan Kings: New Evidence for Chronology' in Coins, Art, and Chronology: Essays in the Pre-Islamic History of the Indo-Iranian Borderlands (ed. Alram, M & Klimburg-Salter, D E), Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

Harmatta, J. "Languages and Literature in the Kushan Empire", History of Civilizations of Central Asia vol.II, UNESCO, 1994

Konow, S. CII vol. II: Kharoshthi Inscriptions with Exception of those of Asoka, 1929

Lahiri, B. 'The Malavas and Malava Vikrama Era' in Journal of Ancient Indian History, 1980-82, vol.XIII: 22-9

Lohuizen-de Leeuw, J.E. The Scythian Period: An Approach to the History, Art, Epigraphy and Paleography of North India from the 1st Century BC to the 3rd Century AD, 1949

Majumdar, R C "The Vikrama Samvat and Sakabda" in The Age of Imperial Unity, 1951

Marshall, J H "The Date of Kanishka" JRAS, pt. 2 1914

Narain, A.K. 'The Date of Kaniska' in Basham (1968)

Puri, B N Kusana Bibliography, Naya Prokash, Calcutta, 1977

Salomon, R Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages, Oxford University, 1998

Salomon, R (2003) 'Three Kharoshti Reliquary Inscriptions' in SRAA 9: 39-69

Salomon, R (forthcoming) 'The Indo-Greek Era of 186/5 BC in a Buddhist Reliquary Inscription' in Acts of the Colloqium 'Afghanistan, Meeting Point Between East and West' (ed. Bopearachchi, O), special volume Topoi orient-occident.

Senior, R.C. "The Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian King Sequences in the Second and First Century BC", ONS 179, 2004


For all inscriptions you should consult the list of preferred readings used on the Brief Guide to Kushan History.


Contents Page The Date of Kanishka Did Kanishka's era begin in 127AD? The Azes Era of 57 BC? The Second Kushan Century

Robert Bracey.