Silver tetradrachm minted under Vonones, with the legend of his name and Spalahores
King of Sakastan
Reign57 BC–???

Spalahores, also spelled Spalohres or Spalahora, (Greek: Σπαλαχόρης Spalakhórēs; Σπαλύρις Spalýris,[1] ϹΠΑΛΥΡΙΟϹ Spalyrios (epigraphic); Kharosthi: 𐨭𐨿𐨤𐨫𐨱𐨆𐨪 Śpa-la-ho-ra, Śpalahora;[2] ruled circa 57-35 BCE), was an Iranian king who ruled Sakastan in the 1st-century BC.


Spalahores's name is attested on his coins in the Greek forms Spalakhórēs (Σπαλαχόρης) and Spalýris (Σπαλύρις),[1] and in the Kharosthi form Śpalahora (𐨭𐨿𐨤𐨫𐨱𐨆𐨪),[2] which are derived from the Saka name *Spalahaura, meaning "commander of the army".[3]


Before his rise to kingship, he served as a commander of his predecessor, Vonones, who had minted coins with his name and that of another commander, Spalirisos, who are both referred to as "brother of the king".[4] Scholars such as R.C. Senior and Khodadad Rezakhani consider Spalahores and Spalirisos to indeed be Vonones' brothers,[5][6] while others such as K.W. Dobbins argue that it was an honorific title given to them, whom he considered to be Saka satraps.[7][a]

A major argument against the proposal of a blood relationship between Vonones and the two commanders was due to both of them having Saka names, contrary to Vonones' Parthian name.[9] Saghi Gazerani has suggested that after the Arsacid re-conquest of Sakastan (sometime between 124–115 BC), which was given as a fiefdom to the Surenid general that led the expedition, the Surenids (who became independent after 88 BC) and Sakas became closely connected, presumably through alliances and intermarriages.[10] Indeed, Parthians and Sakas are often mixed up in Indian literature.[11] The mythological Iranian hero Rostam (who was from Sakastan), is mentioned in Iranian traditions as both Parthian and Saka, thus supporting this dual-identity.[11]

Spalahores' son and successor, Spalagadames, has been suggested by Rezakhani to be the same figure as the first Indo-Parthian king Gondophares (r. 19–46 CE).[12]


  1. ^ Rezakhani has additionally suggested that Spalahores may simply have been a military title used by Vonones.[8]


  1. ^ a b Barclay V. Head (1898). Ιστορια Των Νομισματων ητοι Εγχειριδιον Ελληνικης Νομισματικησ. En Athnais Typois P.D. Sakellariou, Bibliopleion K. Mpek. p. 454.
  2. ^ a b Gardner, Percy (1929). The Coins of the Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India in the British Museum. London: Gilbert & Rivington Ltd. pp. 98, 100. ISBN 978-0-900-83452-3.
  3. ^ Harmatta, János (1999). "Languages and scripts in Graeco-Bactria and the Saka Kingdoms". In Harmatta, János; Puri, B. N.; Etemadi, G. F. (eds.). History of civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. 2. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishing House. p. 410. ISBN 978-8-120-81408-0.
  4. ^ Gazerani 2015, p. 15.
  5. ^ Gazerani 2015, pp. 15–16.
  6. ^ Rezakhani 2017, p. 34 (see also note 20).
  7. ^ Gazerani 2015, p. 16 (see also note 18).
  8. ^ Rezakhani 2017, p. 34 (note 20).
  9. ^ Gazerani 2015, p. 16.
  10. ^ Gazerani 2015, p. 16–17.
  11. ^ a b Gazerani 2015, p. 17.
  12. ^ Rezakhani 2017, pp. 34, 37.


Preceded byVonones King of Sakastan 57 BC–??? Succeeded bySpalagadames