Magi is a Latin word deriving from an Old
Persian term for the Zoroastrian priestly caste; the English word magic derives
from it. It is likely that the Magi were astrologers, highly regarded in that era. Scholars now believe the Magi were representatives of the Indo-Scythian ruler Azes, king of Bactria, in Central Asia, from 35 BC to AD 5—the time of Christ’s birth. Little is known of the great king; we are not sure if he is properly Azes I or Azes II. This remarkably well-preserved, 2000-year-old silver drachm depicts the king on horseback, and shows a standing figure of Zeus on the reverse. The obverse is written in Greek, and the reverse is in Indian script, making his coinage
among the earliest bilingual coins.