Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Art Online. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 09 April 2020

Kushana [Kuṣāṇa; Kushan]locked

  • J. Marr


[Kuṣāṇa; Kushan]

Central Asian dynasty that ruled portions of Afghanistan and India during the first three centuries ad. As part of a tribal confederacy known to the Chinese as Yueh-chih, the Kushanas migrated from Gansu Province in the 2nd century bc west towards Transoxiana, dislodging the Shakas from Bactria (for the Chinese sources, see Basham, pp. 247–58, 346–90). Soon after the beginning of the 1st century ad, the Kushanas gained ascendancy over the other Yuezhi groups. The first king, Kujula Kadphises, and his successor Vima Kadphises, extended Kushana rule southwards to Kabul, Kashmir and the Indian subcontinent. Under the third king, Kanishka I, the Kushanas reached their greatest power. The kingdom extended as far as Varanasi in the east and Sanchi in the south, with capitals at Peshawar (anc. Purushapura) and Mathura. Kanishka’s date of accession is uncertain but most probably falls between ad 78 and 144. An era established in the first year of his reign provides a chronological framework for subsequent kings. From inscriptional evidence, the era appears to have remained in use for 141 years in Gandhara and the Punjab and 157 years in Mathura, the earliest example being a Buddha image, dated year 2, from Kausambi....

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.