Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
Kanishka (b. n.d.; d. n.d.) was the third emperor of the Kushan Empire (first century CE to third century CE). The dates for his accession are unclear, falling within a period between c. 78 to 144 CE. His reign is characterised as the height of the dynasty’s rule, spanning a territory that included parts of present-day Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India up to Benaras and Sanchi. Within Buddhist texts, he is cited as a notable patron of the religion.