To my considerable regret, I've lately been too busy with personal negotium to post much — I'm never too busy to spend too much money on stuff I don't need, though. In that vein, I present my recentest acquisition, from last month's Roma auction: Eucratides I Megas, c. 170-145BC: O: draped, cuirassed, diademed, helmeted bust right, bead-and-reel border / the Dioscuri mounted right, each holding lance and palm, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΕΥΚΡΑΤΙΔΟΥ, monogram in right field. Seller's photo. Absolutely impeccable style on this one, I feel — the portrait lacks the charming cragginess of some specimens but it's quite perfectly rendered to my eyes. This will be a very short post because I think one would have to be rather brave, or foolhardy, to venture much about this fellow — for all his numismatic fame his biography is (to put it mildly) fairly obscure. He was, we can say for certain, a powerful monarch of the Bactrians. His dates, as conventionally given, are circa 170 to 145 BC. The date of his accession comes from the brief, confused account of his reign given by the late Roman historian Justin. The end date comes from archaeology — excavations at what is thought to have been his capital city turned up an object dated to year 24 of someone's reign (and surely only he was so long-lasting) in the destruction stratum. So start at about 170 and count forwards about 25 years. He was a successful general and a minor collateral member of the Seleucid dynasty, or of the Euthydemid dynasty, or both, or neither. He launched a coup against the ruling Euthydemid king (Demetrius I, or Demetrius II, or someone else), made himself master of Bactria, and from there pushed into India. In India he may have fought the famous Menander I Soter: if he did, he was either beaten by him, or was forced to retire back into Bactria to confront rebellions and foreign invasions there. In the end, he was killed and posthumously humiliated by his own son (Eucratides II, or Plato, or Heliocles I, or none of these), or possibly by the son of one of his rivals (Demetrius II, avenging Demetrius I?), or that story may be a fantasy and he died in a completely different way. His capital was, or wasn't, the city of Eucratidea, which was, or wasn't, the same city as the ephemeral Alexandria on the Oxus, which is or isn't the same site as the modern Ai-Khanoum. Excavations there turned up the "year 24" fragment mentioned above. Moving back into the present day, the packaging this came in was sehr swanky: And this is the end of my ramble. Post your Graeco-Bactrians or Graeco-Indians or whatever works for you (or, in the spirit of this history, post something else entirely, or nothing) Edit: quote in the title is from Frank Holt, I forgot to mention — his Lost World of the Golden King is a highly informative (and frequently amusing) trip through the relevant scholarship.