Kushan History Kushan History

Chronology of Kushan History

If you like lists of dates, this page is for you. Dates in Kushan history are very ambiguos, so I guarantee nothing.

The Kings and Princes

Major Events

  • c.209BCMao-tun kills his father and gains control of the Hsiung-nu
  • c.320 BC, Alexander conquers the Persian empire but dies shortly afterwards leaving his empire to his generals (the Diadochi).
  • 304 BC, Seleucos signs a peace treaty with Chandrgaupta Maurya.
  • 281 BC, The Greeks cede the Punjab and Afghanistan after the death of Seleucos I Nikator.
  • c.250 BC, Bactria secedes from the Seleucid empire and the Parthians invade Persia. 1
  • c.200 BC, Mao-tun defeats the Yu-Chi, possibly bringing them into alliance with the Hsiung-nu.
  • 176 BC, The king of the Yu-Chi is killed by the yu-hsien-wang, sent by Mao-tun, who reports that "All the people who draw bows have been united into one family".
  • c.140 BC, The Yu-chi are attacked and defeated by the Hsiung-nu again.
  • c.130 BC, The Yu-Chi overrun Bactria and settle as five tribes. 2
  • c.120 BC, Menander, the most famous of the Indo-Greek kings is engaged in wars against opponents in the Kabul valley.
  • c.75 BC, Maeus begins a dynasty of Indo-Parthian Kings.
  • 58 BC, Azes the first begins an era at the date of his ascension.
  • c.30BC, 'Heraios' or Sanab becomes Kushan Yabgu (Prince)
  • c.10AD, Kajula Kadphises becomes Kushan Yabgu
  • c.20 BC, The last Greek king Hermaues dies, and his tiny kingdom becomes the last of Alexanders successor states to come under foreign domination. 3
  • c.30 AD, Kajula Kadphises unite all the tribes of the Yu-Chi and become the first of the Kushan emperors.
  • c.60 AD, Wima Taktu becomes the second Kushan emperor.
  • c.80 AD, Wima Kadphises becomes the third Kushan emperor.
  • c.115 AD, Kanishka the fourth Kushan emperor ascends the throne. (For a taste of the debate on this date see the section The date of Kanishka.
  • c.60 AD, Vima Takto the son of Kajula becomes the second Kushan emperor.
  • 1st Century ADThe artistic schools of Mathura and Gandhara develop the first images of the Buddha
  • c.68 AD, Wima Taktu using the name Soter Megas (Great Saviour) conquers northern India.
  • c.80 AD, Wima Kadphises the son of Vima Takto ascends the throne.
  • c.80 AD, Marriage alliance between Kushans and the royal family of Sogdia
  • 84AD, An envoy from the Kushans asking for marriage to a Han princess is refused.
  • c.90 AD, Kushan emperors begin to encroach on the Han sphere of influence in the Western Regions.
  • c.115 AD, Kanishka becomes Kushan emperor.
  • c.116 AD, Kushans put a puppet king on the throne of Ch'en-p'an.
  • c.120AD, The first image of the Buddha on a coin appears on the coins of Kanishka.
  • c.139 AD, Vasishka becomes emperor, and rules for only a few years.
  • c.143 AD, Huvishka becomes Kushan emperor.
  • c.155 AD, Kanishka II joint ruler? usurper?
  • c.180 AD, Vasudeva becomes the first Kushan to take an Indian name and the last of the great Kushan emperors.
  • 2nd Century AD, Asvagosha writes a number of important Buddhist works and fourth great Buddhist council is held.
  • 224 AD, Ardashir the first becomes the first king of the Sasanid empire.
  • 240 AD, Shapur the first becomes Sasanian emperor.
  • c.213, Kanishka II (Kanishka III?) becomes Kushan emperor at Mathura.
  • c.232, Vasishka II becomes Kushan emperor at Mathura.
  • c.246, Vasudeva II becomes Kushan emperor at Mathura.
  • c.256, Kanishka III (Kanishka IV?) becomes Kushan emperor at Mathura
  • c.213 AD, Vasudeva dies and the Kushan empire is divided into a western and eastern half.
  • c.224-240 AD, The Sasanians invade Bactria and Northern India.
  • c.270, Kushan control of the Gangetic plain is lost.
  • 277-286 AD, Hormizd I Kushanshah launches a rebellion against Bahram II of Iran.
  • 307-379 AD Shapur II, Sasanid Emperor.
  • 359 AD, A Kidarite Kushan fights alongside Shapur, against Rome, at Amida.
  • c.360 AD, The last Kushanshah Varahran II is overwhelmed by the Kidarites.