Indo-Scythians

The foreign conquerors who supplanted the Greeks in north west belonged to three main groups - 1. Saka - the Scythians, 2. Pahlava - the Parthians, and 3. Yueh-Chih- the Kushanas. Sometime around 175 BC, the nomadic tribe Yueh-Chihs under pressure from Hsiang Nu confederation were pushed out of Kansu in China. The very movement displaced the steppe nomads to the upper Ili river area. As a result, Sakas had to migrate southward to Ki-pin. Between 138 - 124BC, they even caused acute disturbance to the Parthian kings - Phraates-II, Artabanus-II. Eventually the overflowing of tributaries of northern Kabul river made them to settle in what is todays parts of Afghanistan and North Pakistan. Gradually, Sakas extended their sway to the Indus valley and western India, which came to be styled Scythia by the Greek mariners and geographers. The dynasty founded by them is known as Indo-Scythian, though confusingly known as Scytho-Parthian, Indo-Parthian or even Pahlavas.

Sakas established several kingdoms in India. One of the first was founded by Vonones in what is today's northern Pakistan and part of Afghanistan. Vonones ruled the kingdom in association with his brother Spalahores. After Spalahore's death, Vonone's son ascended the throne. Spalarises became the last ruler of this Vonone's kingdom after Spalarises.

The earlier Sakas seems to have acknowledged the power of the local Greek ruler. But soon after the founding of Vonone's kingdom, another Saka named Maues (Moga) was strong enough to lay claim to supreme suzerainship. He laid the foundation of his kingdom south to Vonone's. His successor Azes-I ascended the throne in 58 BC, and ruled for many years. He extended his territory by absorbing that of Spalarises. It is not clear whether Spalarises was his dominion, as there were coins for a brief period issued with both the names engraved. His successors Azilises and Azes-II ruled the kingdom of Azes-I, after whom the sovereignty of Indian borderland passed into the hands of Pahlava ruler Gondophares, a Parthian.