17 Facts About Alchon Huns


The Alchon Huns Empire was the third of four major Huna states established in Central and South Asia.

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The Alchon were preceded by the Kidarites and succeeded by the Hephthalites in Bactria and the Nezak Huns in the Hindu Kush.

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The names of the Alchon Huns kings are known from their extensive coinage, Buddhist accounts, and a number of commemorative inscriptions throughout the Indian subcontinent.

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The Hunas are often linked to the Alchon Huns that invaded Europe from Central Asia during the same period.

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The Alchon have been labelled "Huns", with essentially the second meaning, as well as elements of the third.

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Name "Alchon Huns" generally given to them comes from the Bactrian legend of their early coinage, where they simply imitated Sassanian coins to which they added the name "alchono" in Bactrian script (a slight adaptation of the Greek script) and the tamgha symbol of their clan.

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Alchon Huns occupied Bactria circa 370 CE, chasing the Kidarites in the direction of India, and started minting coins in the style of Shapur II but bearing their name "Alchono".

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The Alchon Huns are sometimes said to have taken control of Kabul in 388.

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Alchon Huns initially issued anonymous coins based on Sasanian designs.

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Virtually all of the Alchon Huns coins found in the area of Taxila were found in the ruins of burned down monasteries, where apparently some of the invaders died alongside local defenders during the wave of destructions.

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The Alchon Huns invaded parts of northwestern India from the second half of the 5th century.

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Fact that the Alchon Huns issued gold coins, such as the Toramana issue, in addition to their silver and copper coins, suggest that their empire in India was quite rich and powerful.

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At the head of the Alchon Huns, Mihirakula is then recorded in Gwalior, Central India as "Lord of the Earth" in the Gwalior inscription of Mihirakula.

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Alchon Huns later spared Mihirakula's life on the intercession of his mother, as she perceived the Hun ruler "as a man of remarkable beauty and vast wisdom".

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The most significant cataloguing of the Alchon dynasty came in 1967 with Robert Gobl's analysis of the coinage of the "Iranian Huns".

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Significant contribution to our understanding of Alchon Huns history came in 2006 when Gudrun Melzer and Lore Sander published their finding of the "Talagan copper scroll", known as the "Schøyen Copper Scroll", dated to 492 or 493, that mentions the four Alchon Huns kings Khingila, Toramana, Javukha, and Mehama as donors to a Buddhist reliquary stupa.

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Later Alchon Huns coinage became original and differed from predecessors in that it was devoid of Iranian symbolism.

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