A. D. H. Bivar, A Current Position on Some Central and South Asian Chronologies

The paper, originally delivered as a lecture in 2000, surveys the evidence for the numerous era-datings found on the monuments of the region. It contends that understanding of the situation can now be simplified, and that after the innovative prolongation of the Seleucid Era of 312/311 B.C., only three main subsequent eras have to be recognized. These are the Era of the Patika Copper-plate, probably attributable to the Indo-Greek king Menander, and approximately fixed by W. W. Tarn at 155 B.C.; the Era of Azes, identical with that well-known as the Vikrama Era of 58 B.B.; and the long-disputed Era of Kanishka the Great, best placed in A.D. 128. Evidence in favour of this reconstruction is presented. The last equation has recently been substantially supported through a reinterpretation by H. Falk of a passage in the Yavanajataka, which indicates that the inaugural year of the “Second Kushan Era” was A.D. 227-228, consequently implying that the Era of Kanishka the Great began in A.D. 127-128



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