Heliodorus (votive erector)


Heliodorus (votive erector)

Heliodorus a Greek ambassador of the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas to the court of the Sunga king Bhagabhadra erected the famous votive Heliodorus pillar around 110 BCE in central India in Vidisha near modern Besnagar.

The pillar was surmounted by a sculpture of Garuda and was apparently dedicated by Heliodorus to the god Vasudeva in front of the temple of Vasudeva.

Possibly he is the same Heliodorus as Heliodorus minister of Seleucus IV Philopator ca. 175 BC (living in the same time period and having the same rank).

There is an inscription on the pilar:

"This Garuda-column of Vasudeva (Visnu), the god of gods, was erected here by Heliodorus, a worshiper of Visnu, the son of Dion, and an inhabitant of Taxila, who came as Greek ambassador from the Great King Antialkidas (Antialcidas) to King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the savior, then reigning prosperously in the fourteenth year of his kingship."

(Transliteration and translation of this ancient Brahmi inscription was published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (London: JRAS, Pub., 1909, pp. 1053-54.)


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