BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Demetrios I Aniketos. Circa 200-185 BC
BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Demetrios I Aniketos. Circa 200-185 BC. AR Tetradrachm (33mm, 17.00 g, 12h). Diademed and draped bust right, wearing elephant skin headdress / Herakles standing facing, crowning himself, holding club and lion skin; monogram to inner left. Bopearachchi 1F; cf. Bopearachchi & Rahman 124 (fourrée); SNG ANS 190. Near EF, minor spots of roughness on obverse. Struck on a broad flan.
Ex: CNG 93 5/22/2013
The unusual elephant headdress worn by Demetrius recalls that of Alexander the Great on early tetradrachms of Ptolemaic Egypt, referring to his conquests in northern India. Demetrius campaigned in India while serving a long apprenticeship under his father, Euthydemus I, as recorded on a dedicatory stone recently discovered north of Ai Khanoum in Afghanistan. After succeeding to the throne, he launched an invasion of Northern India that extended Greek control into modern Pakistan. The historian Strabo claims "more tribes were subdued by [Demetrius] than Alexander." He apparently made Taxila in the Punjab his capital, and during his reign the Greco-Bactrian kingdom seems to have reached its greatest extent. The cause of his death is unknown. His son Euthydemos II seems to have reigned for a short time before his kingdom fragmented, with his ministers and/or relations Agathocles, Antimachus, and Panteleon claiming portions of it.