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Kanishka

Kanishka (kənĭshˈkə) [key], fl. c.A.D. 120, king of Gandhara. He was the most powerful and renowned ruler of the Kushan dynasty, one of the five tribes of the Yüeh-chih who had divided (1st cent. B.C.) Bactria among them. Earlier Kushan kings had extended their dominion into N India, and Kanishka ruled over an empire that stretched from the Pamirs to Bengal. His capital was at Peshawar. A patron of Buddhism, he built many Buddhist monuments, helped found the Gandharan school of sculpture, and encouraged the spread of Buddhism to central Asia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Kanishka from Infoplease:

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: South Asian History: Biographies

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