Dionysios Soter
Dyonisos Indo Greek coin.jpg
Coin of Dionysios Soter
Indo-Greek king
Reign65–55 BCE
Bornc. 86 BCE
Died55 BCE

Dionysios Soter (Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Σωτήρ; epithet means "the Saviour") was an Indo-Greek king in the area of eastern Punjab.[1]


According to Osmund Bopearachchi, he reigned c. 65–55 BCE and inherited the eastern parts of the kingdom of the important late ruler Apollodotus II. The kings share the same epithet and use the common reverse of fighting Pallas Athene, and it seems plausible that they were closely related, but relationships between the last Indo-Greek kings remain uncertain since the only sources of information are their remaining coins. R. C. Senior dates him approximately ten years later.

Earlier scholars like Professor Ahmad Hasan Dani have dated Dionysius much earlier, between the years 115 and 100 BCE, making him the ruler of the Swat and Dir Valleys and the weak successor of Polyxenos.

Dionysios was probably pressured by the invasions of the Indo-Scythians, and also had to deal with Hippostratos, a more important king who had inherited the western part of the kingdom of Apollodotus II.

Dionysios' name echoes the Olympic wine-god Dionysos, who according to Greek mythology was also an ancient king of India.

Coins of Dionysios

Coins of Dionysios.
Coins of Dionysios.
The "boxy" mint mark characteristic of later Indo-Greek kings was first used by Dionysios Soter.
The "boxy" mint mark characteristic of later Indo-Greek kings was first used by Dionysios Soter.

Dionysios was the first in the line of late kings who issued only silver drachms, but no tetradrachms, which was likely due to his limited resources. On their obverse is a diademed portrait of the king, with Athena Alkidemos on the reverse.

He also issued bronzes with Apollo on the reverse and a tripod on the obverse. Both these types were inherited from Apollodotus II. The quality of the portraits is inferior to most earlier kings. According to Bopearachchi, Dionysios inherited only the inferior celators of Apollodotus II, which he associates with mints in eastern Punjab.


One single coin of Dionysios Soter is known to have used the "boxy" mint-mark characteristic of the last Indo-Greek kings, down to Apollophanes, Strato II and Strato III, who used it exclusively of any other.[2] He is also the first king known to have used this mint-mark, which therefore came to be during his reign.[2]

See also


  1. ^ All that's known about him was that he died in an expedition to Kashmir.The Greeks in Bactria and India by William Woodthorpe Tarn p.318
  2. ^ a b Jakobsson, J (2010). "A Possible New Indo-Greek King Zoilos III, and an Analysis of Realism on Indo-Greek Royal Portraits". Numismatic Chronicle. JSTOR article


Le Roi Dionysos Le Sauveur

Preceded byApollodotus II Indo-Greek Ruler(in Eastern Punjab) 65 – 55 BCE Succeeded byZoilos II