Oliver D. Hoover.
Handbook of coins of Bactria and ancient India.
CNG Numismatic group 2013.
This book is Volume 12 in the Handbook of Greek Coinage Series. It is writteh by Oliver D. Hoover, who is known for his work on Eastern Greek and Seleukid coinage, with a foreword by O. Bopearachchi.
The book starts with a general Preface by Scott VanHorn and Bradley R. Nelson. This is mainly about Greek coinage, but interesting to read. It has some usefull tables on different denominations and a part with examples of the different deities appearing on Greek coinage.
The second part is an Introduction to this volume, with some historic backgrounds and again some typical pictorial types and denomination and weight tables. Also this part defines the rarity scale which is used in the classification of each coin.
The third and biggest part is a more or less chronological catalog of the coinage of Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kings. The section on each ruler starts with a short introduction and historic background. Then examples are shown with photo's of the different coins issued under this ruler. The photos are of sufficient quality, however, not always of pristine specimen. There are no explanatory line drawings. With each coin there is a short description. This includes the legends, written out also in Greek, Kharoshti or Brahmi font. The discription includes the common classifications, here mainly limited to the Bopearachchi series classification. Different subtypes are not discussed.
A nice thing is that for several rulers also the contemporary imitations of their coinage by the Scythians, Yuezhi and Kushan get some attention.
A next, smaller part is devoted to the Indo-Scythian rulers. The quality of this is OK. Here the shown coins specimen are identified with the Senior classification number including subtype.
Even smaller sections give a short overview of contemporary coinage from Sogdiana and the Satrapal regions.
The last section of the book treats the Indigenous coinage of the Indian Janapada's, Cities and empires between 500 BC and 20 AD. It is not so complete as the Pieper catalog. However, it is a good introductory piece on the subject. I also found it easier to read than Pieper, as the introductory text on each Janapada is immediately followed by picture examples of its coinage. (In the Pieper book the catalog part is all put together, seperate from the introductory texts, in the last part of the book)
Is the book perfect ? No, reading more in detail i slowly start to notice little errors and editorial quirks. For example, the pictures of the spearthrower type silver drachms of Menander i think had some mix-up. On page 256, a paragraph suddenly ends in the middle of a sentence.
Is is a book i can recommend ? Yes, If you want one book on the coinage of the indo-greek and their successors, this one is very suited. The part on the Indigenous Indian coinage is a nice bonus.