might have lost his hold over the northern or north-western parts of India.
Most of his coins exhibit on the reverse the figure of the Indian god Siva,
attended by his bull Nandi. After ruling for a period of about 25 years,
Vasudeva’s reign ended in or about AD 220.
The history of the Kushanas after Vasudeva is shrouded in obscurity in
the absence of any literary and archaeological evidence. The dismemberment
of the mighty Kushana empire was hastened by the Persian invasions. The
rising Sassanian power undoubtedly dealt a fatal blow to the Kushana power
in the northern and western parts of India.
One of the causes of the downfall of the Kushanas was the rise of
independent republics like the Yaudheyas, Kunindas and Malavas in the
beginning of third century AD who partitioned among themselves territories
formerly held by the Kushanas. The Kushana rule in parts of the Yamuna
valley was supplanted by that of the Nagas, the latter holding sway over
Padmavati, Mathura and a few other places in central India.
In the latter part of the fourth century AD the Kushanas came to acquire a
new designation, Kidara and these Kidara-Kushanas ruled in parts of the
Punjab, north-western India and Kashmir. It is impossible to arrange the
names of their rulers chronologically, to ascertain the exact periods of their
rule and the extent of the territories over which they ruled. But they had to
and they did rule under the suzerainty of the Sassanids.
Importance of Kushana Rule
The age of the Kushanas is an important epoch in Indian history. The
Kushanas built up an empire which embraced not only the whole of north
India but also territories far beyond the Indian borderland. Their vast empire
comprised a variety of nationalities. The Kushanas succumbed to the cultural
influence of the Hellenistic Greek and of the Indians. This interaction
fostered the development of two schools of art in India, one in Gandhara and
the other at Mathura.
Inheriting the Hellenistic monetary technique, the Kushana coinage
initiated the Roman style and execution and became influenced by Indian art
and tradition. The Kushana coinage not only influenced the Gupta coinage
but also those of the Yaudheyas, Chedis, Gahadavalas and some other Indian