In the late 5th century as the remnants of the Roman Empire were being wiped from existence by the Germanic kingdoms, the mighty Gupta Empire experienced its own share of troubles. Alchon huns had been raiding from the north for decades, and Skandagupta could barely keep his empire from splitting at the seams. With his death in 467, the empire began to crumble, and nominally tributary states began to assert autonomy and later independence. One of the more prominent examples was the Maitraka dynasty, centered at Valabhi, which controlled modern-day Gujarat and roughly the same territory as the Western Kshatrapas who had ruled less than a century prior. Their dynasty began in ca. 475 with the rise of the general Bhatarka, who claimed subservience to the Gupta dynasty as a formality, but ruled with complete autonomy. He began to issue silver drachms in the model of the Western Kshatrapas and Guptas, which no doubt probably both saturated the rich trading ports of Gujarat. Unlike the predominantly Buddhist Kshatrapas and the Vaishnavist Guptas, Bhatarka was a Shaivite, dedicated to the worship of Shiva, and as such opted to use the Trishula, or Trident of Shiva, as as central image of his drachms. After his death in 493, his successors decided to freeze Bhatarka's design in place, although over time it became increasingly stylized and debased. The Maitraka dynasty survived the collapse of the Gupta Empire, the expulsion of the Huns, the rapid expansion and collapse of Harsha's empire, the Arab invasions, and ultimately fell to the Chaulukya-Saindhava dynasties in about 783. During this time, a university was founded at Vallabhi which was internationally renowned, attracting pupils from as far away as China. Numismatically, the coinage of the Maitrakas is difficult to sort out due to the frozen legends. It is not known how long the coins were minted, or when they were ultimately abandoned for the Gadhaiya Paisa, which would dominate the region. They do however constitute the last issuance of the Indo-Greek drachm of c. 2g, first introduced by Apollodotus I in about 175 BC and continued through the reign of the Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians, Western Kshatrapas, and Guptas. The generally accepted reading is Rájño, Mahákshatrapasa Bhatarakasa Mahesara Śrí Śarvva Bhaṭṭárakasa, "King and Great Satrap, Bhatarka the Great King, the Lord, Devotee of Maheshwara" The coins: First, an exceptionally fine style, likely minted during the lifetime of Bhatarka, featuring extremely spread arms of the Trishula By contrast, this slightly later(?) one depicts the trishula more like a fork Some more in early style, my picks from a large lot purchased from CNG several years back Two intermediate styles, showing visible debasement and simplification of the motifs And finally the "latest" specimen I have, now almost completely copper with highly stylized designs Post anything related!