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Pillars of Ashoka
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/24/21

-- Lumbini On Trial: The Untold Story: Lumbini Is An Astonishing Fraud Begun in 1896, by T. A. Phelps

-- The Piprahwa Deceptions: Set-ups and Showdown, by T.A. Phelps

-- An Altar of Alexander Now Standing at Delhi [REDUCED VERSION], by Ranajit Pal

-- An Altar of Alexander Now Standing at Delhi [EXPANDED VERSION], by Ranajit Pal

-- The Asoka Pillars: A Challenging Interpretation, by India International Centre

-- The True Chronology of Aśokan Pillars, by John Irwin

-- Discourse X. Delivered February 28, 1793, P. 192, Excerpt from "Discourses Delivered Before the Asiatic Society: And Miscellaneous Papers, on The Religion, Poetry, Literature, Etc. of the Nations of India", by Sir William Jones

-- Aramaic Inscription of Laghman [Ashokan Inscriptions], by Wikipedia
• Aramaic Inscription of Taxila, by Wikipedia
• Kandahar Aramaic inscription, by Wikipedia
• Aramaic Inscription of Laghman, by Wikiwand
• Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription, by Wikipedia
• Kandahar Greek Edicts of Ashoka, by Wikipedia
• Aramaic inscription, by Wikipedia

-- Ashoka, by Wikipedia

-- Edicts of Ashoka, by Wikipedia

-- James Prinsep, by Wikipedia
• Chapter 1. Discovering Ashoka, Excerpt from "Ashoka: The Great and Compassionate King", by Subhadra Sen Gupta

-- Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman, by Wikipedia

-- No. 51 – Sarnath Inscription of Kumaradevi, by Sten Konow, Epigraphia Indica

-- Rabatak inscription, by Wikipedia

-- Seleucus I Nicator, by Wikipedia

-- Menander I, by Wikipedia

-- Determination of the Date of the Mahabharata: The Possibility Thereof, [Reprinted from Vishveshvaramand Indological Journal, Vol. XIV (1976) pp. 48-56.], Excerpt, from Collected Papers on Jyotisha, by T.S. Kuppanna Sastry

-- Pataliputra, by Wikipedia

-- Arachosia, by Wikipedia

-- Tapa Shotor, by Wikipedia

-- Hadda, Afghanistan, by Wikipedia

-- Ai-Khanoum, by Wikipedia

-- Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, by Wikipedia

-- Greco-Buddhism, by Wikipedia


"Ashoka Pillar" redirects here. For the pillar in Delhi also known as Ashoka pillar, see Iron pillar of Delhi.

Image
Pillars of Ashoka
One of the Pillars of Ashoka, in Vaishali
Material: Polished sandstone
Period/culture: 3rd century BCE
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Known locations of the Pillars of Ashoka[1]

The pillars of Ashoka are a series of monolithic columns dispersed throughout the Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka during his reign from c.  268 to 232 BCE.[2] Ashoka used the expression Dhaṃma thaṃbhā (Dharma stambha), i.e. "pillars of the Dharma" to describe his own pillars.[3][4] These pillars constitute important monuments of the architecture of India, most of them exhibiting the characteristic Mauryan polish. Of the pillars erected by Ashoka, twenty still survive including those with inscriptions of his edicts. Only a few with animal capitals survive of which seven complete specimens are known.[5] Two pillars were relocated by Firuz Shah Tughlaq to Delhi.[6] Several pillars were relocated later by Mughal Empire rulers, the animal capitals being removed.[7] Averaging between 12 and 15 m (40 and 50 ft) in height, and weighing up to 50 tons each, the pillars were dragged, sometimes hundreds of miles, to where they were erected.[8]

The pillars of Ashoka are among the earliest known stone sculptural remains from India. Only another pillar fragment, the Pataliputra capital, is possibly from a slightly earlier date. It is thought that before the 3rd century BCE, wood rather than stone was used as the main material for Indian architectural constructions, and that stone may have been adopted following interaction with the Persians and the Greeks.[9] A graphic representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka from the column there was adopted as the official Emblem of India in 1950.[10]

All the pillars of Ashoka were built at Buddhist monasteries, many important sites from the life of the Buddha and places of pilgrimage. Some of the columns carry inscriptions addressed to the monks and nuns.[11] Some were erected to commemorate visits by Ashoka. Major pillars are present in the Indian States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and some parts of Haryana.

Ashoka and Buddhism

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Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath. Ashokan capitals were highly realistic and used a characteristic polished finish, giving a shiny appearance to the stone surface. 3rd century BCE.

Ashoka ascended to the throne in 269 BC inheriting the Mauryan empire founded by his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. Ashoka was reputedly a tyrant at the outset of his reign. Eight years after his accession he campaigned in Kalinga where in his own words, "a hundred and fifty thousand people were deported, a hundred thousand were killed and as many as that perished..." As he explains in his edicts, after this event Ashoka converted to Buddhism in remorse for the loss of life. Buddhism did not become a state religion but with Ashoka's support it spread rapidly. The inscriptions on the pillars set out edicts about morality based on Buddhist tenets.[12][13]

Construction

Possible sources of inspiration


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Sphinx of the Naxians, Delphi, c. 6th BCE.[14]

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Highly polished Achaemenid load-bearing column with lotus capital and animals, Persepolis, c. 5th-4th BCE.

See also: Mauryan polish

The traditional idea that all were originally quarried at Chunar, just south of Varanasi and taken to their sites, before or after carving, "can no longer be confidently asserted",[15] and instead it seems that the columns were carved in two types of stone. Some were of the spotted red and white sandstone from the region of Mathura, the others of buff-colored fine grained hard sandstone usually with small black spots quarried in the Chunar near Varanasi. The uniformity of style in the pillar capitals suggests that they were all sculpted by craftsmen from the same region. It would therefore seem that stone was transported from Mathura and Chunar to the various sites where the pillars have been found, and there was cut and carved by craftsmen.[16]

The pillars have four component parts in two pieces: the three sections of the capitals are made in a single piece, often of a different stone to that of the monolithic shaft to which they are attached by a large metal dowel. The shafts are always plain and smooth, circular in cross-section, slightly tapering upwards and always chiselled out of a single piece of stone. There is no distinct base at the bottom of the shaft. The lower parts of the capitals have the shape and appearance of a gently arched bell formed of lotus petals. The abaci are of two types: square and plain and circular and decorated and these are of different proportions. The crowning animals are masterpieces of Mauryan art, shown either seated or standing, always in the round and chiselled as a single piece with the abaci.[17][18] Presumably all or most of the other columns that now lack them once had capitals and animals. They are also used to commemorate the events of the Buddha's life.

Lion designs

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Vaishali lion of Ashoka.

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Assyrian relief of a lion at Nineveh (circa 640 BCE). Many stylistic elements (design of the whiskers, the eyes, the fur etc...) point to similarities.[19]

Currently seven animal sculptures from Ashoka pillars survive.[5][20] These form "the first important group of Indian stone sculpture", though it is thought they derive from an existing tradition of wooden columns topped by animal sculptures in copper, none of which have survived. It is also possible that some of the stone pillars predate Ashoka's reign.[21]

Origin

Western origin

Floral designs


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Abacus of the Allahabad pillar, with lotuses alternating with "flame palmettes" over a bead and reel pattern.

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A quite similar frieze from Delphi, 525 BCE.

There has been much discussion of the extent of influence from Achaemenid Persia,[22] where the column capitals supporting the roofs at Persepolis have similarities, and the "rather cold, hieratic style" of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka especially shows "obvious Achaemenid and Sargonid influence".[23] India and the Achaemenid Empire had been in close contact since the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley, from circa 500 BCE to 330 BCE.

Hellenistic influence has also been suggested.[24] In particular the abaci of some of the pillars (especially the Rampurva bull, the Sankissa elephant and the Allahabad pillar capital) use bands of motifs, like the bead and reel pattern, the ovolo, the flame palmettes, lotuses, which likely originated from Greek and Near-Eastern arts.[19] Such examples can also be seen in the remains of the Mauryan capital city of Pataliputra.

It has also been suggested that 6th century Greek columns such as the Sphinx of Naxos, a 12.5m Ionic column crowned by a sitted animal in the religious center of Delphi, may have been an inspiration for the pillars of Ashoka.[14] Many similar columns crowned by sphinxes were discovered in ancient Greece, as in Sparta, Athens or Spata, and some were used as funerary steles.[14] The Greek sphinx, a lion with the face of a human female, was considered as having ferocious strength, and was thought of as a guardian, often flanking the entrances to temples or royal tombs.[25]

Pillar as Dhvaja, military standard

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Heliodorus pillar in Vidisha, India, 2nd Century BCE

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Shunga horseman carrying portable garuda standard, Bharhut 2nd Century BCE

Indian origin

Some scholars such as John Irwin emphasized a reassessment from popular belief of Persian or Greek origin of Ashokan pillars. He makes the argument that Ashokan pillars represent Dhvaja or standard which Indian soldiers carried with them during battle and it was believed that the destruction of the enemy's dhvaja brought misfortune to their opponents. A relief of Bharhut stupa railing portrays a queenly personage on horseback carrying a Garudadhvaja.[26] Heliodorus pillar has been called Garudadhvaja, literally Garuda-standard, the pillar dated to 2nd century BC is perhaps the earliest recorded stone pillar which has been declared a dhvaja.[27]

Ashokan edicts themselves state that his words should be carved on any stone slab or pillars available indicating that the tradition of carving stone pillars was present before the period of Ashoka.

Jhon Irwin also highlights the fact that carvings on pillars such as Allahabad pillar was done when it had already been erected indicating its pre Ashokan origins.[28]

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Ashoka called his own pillars Silā Thabhe ([x], Stone Stambha, i.e. stone pillars). Lumbini inscription, Brahmi script.

Stylistic argument

Though influence from the west is generally accepted, especially the Persian columns of Achaemenid Persia, there are a number of differences between these and the pillars. Persian columns are built in segments whereas Ashokan pillars are monoliths, like some much later Roman columns. Most of the Persian pillars have a fluted shaft while the Mauryan pillars are smooth, and Persian pillars serve as supporting structures whereas Ashokan pillars are individual free-standing monuments. There are also other differences in the decoration.[29] Indian historian Upinder Singh comments on some of the differences and similarities, writing that "If the Ashokan pillars cannot in their entirety be attributed to Persian influence, they must have had an undocumented prehistory within the subcontinent, perhaps a tradition of wooden carving. But the transition from stone to wood was made in one magnificent leap, no doubt spurred by the imperial tastes and ambitions of the Maurya emperors."[30]

Whatever the cultural and artistic borrowings from the west, the pillars of Ashoka, together with much of Mauryan art and architectural prowesses such as the city of Pataliputra or the Barabar Caves, remain outstanding in their achievements, and often compare favourably with the rest of the world at that time. Commenting on Mauryan sculpture, John Marshall once wrote about the "extraordinary precision and accuracy which characterizes all Mauryan works, and which has never, we venture to say, been surpassed even by the finest workmanship on Athenian buildings".[31][32]

Complete list of the pillars

Five of the pillars of Ashoka, two at Rampurva, one each at Vaishali, Lauriya-Araraj and Lauria Nandangarh possibly marked the course of the ancient Royal highway from Pataliputra to the Nepal. Several pillars were relocated by later Mughal Empire rulers, the animal capitals being removed.[7]

The two Chinese medieval pilgrim accounts record sightings of several columns that have now vanished: Faxian records six and Xuanzang fifteen, of which only five at most can be identified with surviving pillars.[33] All surviving pillars, listed with any crowning animal sculptures and the edicts inscribed, are as follows:[17][34]

Complete standing pillars, or pillars with Ashokan inscriptions

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Geographical spread of known pillar capitals.

• Delhi-Topra, Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi (Pillar Edicts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII; moved in 1356 CE from Topra Kalan in Yamunanagar district of Haryana to Delhi by Firuz Shah Tughluq.[1]
• Delhi-Meerut, Delhi ridge, Delhi (Pillar Edicts I, II, III, IV, V, VI; moved from Meerut to Delhi by Firuz Shah Tughluq in 1356.[1]
• Nigali Sagar (or Nigliva, Nigalihawa), near Lumbini, Nepal. Pillar missing capital, one Ashoka edict. Erected in the 20th regnal year of Ashoka (c. 249 BCE).[1]
• Rummindei, near Lumbini, Nepal. Also erected in the 20th regnal year of Ashoka (c. 249 BCE), to commemorate Ashoka's pilgrimage to Lumbini. Capital missing, but was apparently a horse.[1]
• Allahabad pillar, Uttar Pradesh (originally located at Kausambi and probably moved to Allahabad by Jahangir; Pillar Edicts I-VI, Queen's Edict, Schism Edict).[1]
• Rampurva, Champaran, Bihar. Two columns: a lion with Pillar Edicts I, II, III, IV, V, VI; a bull without inscriptions. The abacus of the bull capital features honeysuckle and palmette designs derived from Greek designs.[1]
• Sanchi, near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, four lions, Schism Edict.[1]
• Sarnath, near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, four lions, Pillar Inscription, Schism Edict.[1] This is the famous "Lion Capital of Ashoka" used in the national emblem of India.
• Lauriya-Nandangarth, Champaran, Bihar, single lion, Pillar Edicts I, II, III, IV, V, VI.[1]
• Lauriya Araraj, Champaran, Bihar (Pillar Edicts I, II, III, IV, V, VI).[1]
• Vaishali, Bihar, single lion, with no inscription.[1]

The Amaravati pillar fragment is rather problematic. It only consists in 6 lines in Brahmi which are hardly decipherable. Only the word vijaya (victory) can be made out, arguably a word also used by Ashoka.[35] Sircar, who provides a detailed study, considers it as probably belonging to an Ashokan pillar.[36]

Complete standing pillars, or pillars with Ashokan inscriptions

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Vaishali

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Lauriya-Nandangarh

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Lauriya-Araraj

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Delhi-Meerut (originally from Meerut, broken in pieces during transportation).

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Delhi-Topra (originally from Topra Kalan).

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Allahabad (originally from Kosambi)

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Lumbini (broken in half). Capped for protection in the 20th century.

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Sarnath

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Sanchi

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Rampurva

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Nigali Sagar

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Fragment of pillar with inscription, Amaravati. Modern image 1, 2.[37]

Pillars without Ashokan inscriptions

There are also several known fragments of Ashokan pillars, without recovered Ashokan inscriptions, such as the Ashoka pillar in Bodh Gaya, Kausambi, Gotihawa, Prahladpur (now in the Government Sanskrit College, Varanasi[38]), Fatehabad, Bhopal, Sadagarli, Udaigiri-Vidisha, Kushinagar, Arrah (Masarh) Basti, Bhikana Pahari, Bulandi Bagh (Pataliputra), Sandalpu and a few others, as well as a broken pillar in Bhairon ("Lat Bhairo" in Benares)[39] which was destroyed to a stump during riots in 1908.[40] The Chinese monks Fa-Hsien and Hsuantsang also reported pillars in Kushinagar, the Jetavana monastery in Sravasti, Rajagriha and Mahasala, which have not been recovered to this day.[40]

Fragments of Pillars of Ashoka, without Ashokan inscriptions

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Kausambi

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Gotihawa

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Bodh Gaya (originally near Sujata Stupa, brought from Gaya in 1956).[41]

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Portion of an Ashokan pillar, found in Pataliputra.

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Bhawanipur Rupandehi.

The capitals (Top Piece)

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Abacus of the Allahabad pillar of Ashoka, the only remaining portion of the capital of the Allahabad pillar.

There are altogether seven remaining complete capitals, five with lions, one with an elephant and one with a zebu bull. One of them, the four lions of Sarnath, has become the State Emblem of India. The animal capitals are composed of a lotiform base, with an abacus decorated with floral, symbolic or animal designs, topped by the realistic depiction of an animal, thought to each represent a traditional directions in India.

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The horse motif on the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, is often described as an example of Hellenistic realism.[42]

Various foreign influences have been described in the design of these capitals.[43] The animal on top of a lotiform capital reminds of Achaemenid column shapes. The abacus also often seems to display some influence of Greek art: in the case of the Rampurva bull or the Sankassa elephant, it is composed of honeysuckles alternated with stylized palmettes and small rosettes.[44] A similar kind of design can be seen in the frieze of the lost capital of the Allahabad pillar. These designs likely originated in Greek and Near-Eastern arts.[45] They would probably have come from the neighboring Seleucid Empire, and specifically from a Hellenistic city such as Ai-Khanoum, located at the doorstep of India.[21] Most of these designs and motifs can also be seen in the Pataliputra capital.

The Diamond throne of Bodh Gaya is another example of Ashokan architecture circa 260 BCE, and displays a band of carvings with palmettes and geese, similar to those found on several of the Pillars of Ashoka.[46]

Chronological order

Based on stylistic and technical analysis, it is possible to establish a tentative chronological orders for the pillars. The earliest one seems to be the Vaishali pillar, with its stout and short column, the rigid lion and the undecorated square abacus. Next would follow the Sankissa elephant and the Rampurva bull, also not yet benefiting from Mauryan polish, and using a Hellenistic abacus of lotus and palmettes for decoration. The abacus would then adopt the Hamsa goose as an animal decorative symbol, in Lauria Nandangarh and the Rampurva lion. Sanchi and Sarnath would mark the culmination with four animals back-to-back instead of just one, and a new and sophisticated animal and symbolic abacus (the elephant, the bull, the lion, the horse alternating with the Dharma wheel) for the Sarnath lion.[47]

Other chronological orders have also been proposed, for example based on the style of the Ashokan inscriptions on the pillars, since the stylistically most sophisticated pillars actually have the engravings of the Edicts of Ashoka of the worst quality (namely, very poorly engraved Schism Edicts on the Sanchi and Sarnath pillars, their only inscriptions). This approach offers an almost reverse chronological order to the preceding one.[48] According to Irwin, the Sankissa elephant and Rampurva bull pillars with their Hellenistic abacus are pre-Ashokan. Ashoka would then have commissioned the Sarnath pillar with its famous Lion Capital of Ashoka to be built under the tutelage of craftsmen from the former Achaemenid Empire, trained in Perso-Hellenistic statuary, whereas the Brahmi engraving on the very same pillar (and on pillars of the same period such as Sanchi and Kosambi-Allahabad) was made by inexperienced Indian engravers at a time when stone engraving was still new in India.[48] After Ashoka sent back the foreign artists, style degraded over a short period of time, down to the time when the Major Pillar Edicts were engraved at the end of Ashoka's reign, which now displayed very good inscriptional craftsmanship but a much more solemn and less elegant style for the associated lion capitals, as for the Lauria Nandangarh lion and the Rampurva lion.[48]

Known capitals of the pillars of Ashoka

Ordered chronologically based on stylistic and technical analysis.[47]

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Vaishali lion

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Sankissa elephant.

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Rampurva zebu bull original (now in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi).

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Lauria Nandangarh lion.

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Rampurva lion.

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Four lions, once possibly crowned by a wheel, from Sanchi.

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The "Lion Capital of Ashoka", from Sarnath.

Of the Allahabad pillar, only the abacus remains, the bottom bulb and the crowning animal having been lost. The remains are now located in the Allahabad Museum.

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The elephant-crowned pillar of Ashoka at the Mahabodhi Temple, Gaya. Bharhut relief, 100 BCE.

A few more possibly Ashokan capitals were also found without their pillars:

• Kesariya (capital). Only the capital was found in the Kesaria stupa. It was discovered by Markham Kittoe in 1862, and said to be similar to the lion of the Lauriya Nandangarh pillar, except for the hind legs of the lion, which did not protrude beyond the abacus.[1] This capital is now lost.
• Udaigiri-Vidisha (capital only at the Udayagiri Caves, visible here).[1] Attribution to Ashoka however is disputed (ranging from the 2nd century BCE Sunga period,[49] to the Gupta period.[50]).

It is also known from various ancient sculptures (reliefs from Bharhut, 100 BCE), and later narrative account by Chinese pilgrims (5-6th century CE), that there was a pillar of Ashoka at the Mahabodhi Temple founded by Ashoka, that it was crowned by an elephant.[51]

The same Chinese pilgrims have reported that the capital of the Lumbini pillar was a horse (now lost), which, by their time had already fallen to the ground.[51]

Inscriptions

Main article: Edicts of Ashoka

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Ashoka also called his pillars "Dhaṃma thaṃbhā" ([x], Dharma stambha), i.e. "pillars of the Dharma". 7th Major Pillar Edict. Brahmi script.[3]

The inscriptions on the columns include a fairly standard text. The inscriptions on the columns join other, more numerous, Ashokan inscriptions on natural rock faces to form the body of texts known as the Edicts of Ashoka. These inscriptions were dispersed throughout the areas of modern-day Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan and represent the first tangible evidence of Buddhism. The edicts describe in detail Ashoka's policy of Dhamma, an earnest attempt to solve some of problems that a complex society faced.[52] In these inscriptions, Ashoka refers to himself as "Beloved servant of the Gods" (Devanampiyadasi). The inscriptions revolve around a few recurring themes: Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism, the description of his efforts to spread Buddhism, his moral and religious precepts, and his social and animal welfare program. The edicts were based on Ashoka's ideas on administration and behaviour of people towards one another and religion.

Alexander Cunningham, one of the first to study the inscriptions on the pillars, remarks that they are written in eastern, middle and western Prakrits which he calls "the Punjabi or north-western dialect, the Ujjeni or middle dialect, and the Magadhi or eastern dialect."[53] They are written in the Brahmi script.

Minor Pillar Edicts

Main article: Minor Pillar Edicts

These contain inscriptions recording their dedication, as well as the Schism Edicts and the Queen's Edict. They were inscribed around the 13th year of Ashoka's reign.

• Sanchi pillar (Schism Edict)
• Sarnath pillar (Schism Edict)
• Allahabad pillar (Schism Edict, Queen Edict, and also Major Pillar Edicts)
• Lumbini (Rummindei), Nepal (the upper part broke off when struck by lightning; the original horse capital mentioned by Xuanzang is missing) was erected by Ashoka where Buddha was born.
• Nigali Sagar (or Nigliva), near Lumbini, Rupandehi district, Nepal (originally near the Buddha Konakarnana stupa)

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Kosambi-Allahabad Schism Edict.

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Sanchi Schism Edict.

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Sarnath Schism Edit.

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Rummindei, in Lumbini.

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Nigali Sagar.

Major Pillar Edicts

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Fragment of the 6th Major Pillar Edict, from the Delhi-Meerut Pillar of Ashoka, British Museum.[54]

Main article: Major Pillar Edicts

Asoka's 6 Major Pillar Edicts have been found at Kausambhi (Allahabad), Topra (now Delhi), Meerut (now Delhi), Lauriya-Araraj, Lauriya-Nandangarh, Rampurva (Champaran), and a 7th one on the Delhi-Topra pillar.

These pillar edicts include:[55]

• I Asoka's principle of protection to people
• II Defines dhamma as minimum of sins, many virtues, compassion, liberality, truthfulness and purity
• III Abolishes sins of harshness, cruelty, anger, pride etc.
• IV Deals with duties of government officials
• V List of animals and birds which should not be killed on some days and another list of animals which cannot be killed on any occasion. Describes release of 25 prisoners by Asoka.
• VI Works done by Asoka for Dhamma Policy. He says that all sects desire both self-control and purity of mind.
• VII Testimental edict.

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Major Pillar Edicts I, II, III (Delhi-Topra)

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Major Pillar Edicts IV (Delhi-Topra)

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Major Pillar Edicts V-VII (Delhi-Topra)

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Major Pillar Edicts VII, second part (Delhi-Topra)

Description of the pillars

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Front view of the single lion capital in Vaishali.

Pillars retaining their animals

Main article: Lion Capital of Ashoka

The most celebrated capital (the four-lion one at Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh)) erected by Emperor Ashoka circa 250 BC. also called the "Ashoka Column" . Four lions are seated back to back. At present the Column remains in the same place whereas the Lion Capital is at the Sarnath Museum. This Lion Capital of Ashoka from Sarnath has been adopted as the National Emblem of India and the wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base was placed onto the centre of the flag of India.

The lions probably originally supported a Dharma Chakra wheel with 24 spokes, such as is preserved in the 13th century replica erected at Wat Umong near Chiang Mai, Thailand by Thai king Mangrai.[56]

Image
Image
Depiction of the four lions capital surmounted by a Wheel of Law at Sanchi, Satavahana period, South gateway of stupa 3.

The pillar at Sanchi also has a similar but damaged four-lion capital. There are two pillars at Rampurva, one with a bull and the other with a lion as crowning animals. Sankissa has only a damaged elephant capital, which is mainly unpolished, though the abacus is at least partly so. No pillar shaft has been found, and perhaps this was never erected at the site.[57]

The Vaishali pillar has a single lion capital.[58] The location of this pillar is contiguous to the site where a Buddhist monastery and a sacred coronation tank stood. Excavations are still underway and several stupas suggesting a far flung campus for the monastery have been discovered. The lion faces north, the direction Buddha took on his last voyage.[59] Identification of the site for excavation in 1969 was aided by the fact that this pillar still jutted out of the soil. More such pillars exist in this greater area but they are all devoid of the capital.

Pillar at Allahabad

Main articles: Allahabad pillar and Allahabad Stone Pillar Inscription of Samudra Gupta

In Allahabad there is a pillar with inscriptions from Ashoka and later inscriptions attributed to Samudragupta and Jehangir. It is clear from the inscription that the pillar was first erected at Kaushambi, an ancient town some 30 kilometres west of Allahabad that was the capital of the Koshala kingdom, and moved to Allahabad, presumably under Muslim rule.[60]

The pillar is now located inside the Allahabad Fort, also the royal palace, built during the 16th century by Akbar at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. As the fort is occupied by the Indian Army it is essentially closed to the public and special permission is required to see the pillar. The Ashokan inscription is in Brahmi and is dated around 232 BC. A later inscription attributed to the second king of the Gupta empire, Samudragupta, is in the more refined Gupta script, a later version of Brahmi, and is dated to around 375 AD. This inscription lists the extent of the empire that Samudragupta built during his long reign. He had already been king for forty years at that time and would rule for another five. A still later inscription in Persian is from the Mughal emperor Jahangir. The Akbar Fort also houses the Akshay Vat, an Indian fig tree of great antiquity. The Ramayana refers to this tree under which Lord Rama is supposed to have prayed while on exile.

Pillars at Lauriya-Areraj and Lauriya-Nandangarh

The column at Lauriya-Nandangarh, 23 km from Bettiah in West Champaran district, Bihar has single lion capital. The hump and the hind legs of the lion project beyond the abacus.[17] The pillar at Lauriya-Areraj in East Champaran district, Bihar is presently devoid of any capital.

Erecting the Pillars

The Pillars of Ashoka may have been erected using the same methods that were used to erect the ancient obelisks. Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehrner conducted several obelisk erecting experiments including a successful attempt to erect a 25ton obelisk in 1999. This followed two experiments to erect smaller obelisks and two failed attempts to erect a 25-ton obelisk.[61][62]

Rediscoveries

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Rediscovery of the Ashoka pillar in Sarnath, 1905.

A number of the pillars were thrown down by either natural causes or iconoclasts, and gradually rediscovered. One was noticed in the 16th century by the English traveller Thomas Coryat in the ruins of Old Delhi. Initially he assumed that from the way it glowed that it was made of brass, but on closer examination he realized it was made of highly polished sandstone with upright script that resembled a form of Greek. In the 1830s James Prinsep began to decipher them with the help of Captain Edward Smith and George Turnour. They determined that the script referred to King Piyadasi which was also the epithet of an Indian ruler known as Ashoka who came to the throne 218 years after Buddha's enlightenment. Scholars have since found 150 of Ashoka's inscriptions, carved into the face of rocks or on stone pillars marking out a domain that stretched across northern India and south below the central plateau of the Deccan. These pillars were placed in strategic sites near border cities and trade routes.

The Sanchi pillar was found in 1851 in excavations led by Sir Alexander Cunningham, first head of the Archaeological Survey of India. There were no surviving traces above ground of the Sarnath pillar, mentioned in the accounts of medieval Chinese pilgrims, when the Indian Civil Service engineer F.O. Oertel, with no real experience in archaeology, was allowed to excavate there in the winter of 1904–05. He first uncovered the remains of a Gupta shrine west of the main stupa, overlying an Ashokan structure. To the west of that he found the lowest section of the pillar, upright but broken off near ground level. Most of the rest of the pillar was found in three sections nearby, and then, since the Sanchi capital had been excavated in 1851, the search for an equivalent was continued, and the Lion Capital of Ashoka, the most famous of the group, was found close by. It was both finer in execution and in much better condition than that at Sanchi. The pillar appeared to have been deliberately destroyed at some point. The finds were recognised as so important that the first onsite museum in India (and one of the few then in the world) was set up to house them.[63]

Other Ashokan structures

The Buddha's Diamond Throne and the Pillars of Ashoka

Image
Discovery of Ashoka's Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya, near the spot of the Buddha's illumination and the Boddhi tree.

Image
Side decorative bands of the Diamond Throne (top) and the Sanchi pillar capital (bottom), both featuring geese and flame palmettes.

Image
Front decorative friezes of the Diamond Throne (top) and the Sankissa pillar capital (bottom), both alternating flame palmettes, rosettes and lotuses.

Stupas

Legend has it that Ashoka built 84,000 stupas commemorating the events and relics of Buddha's life. Some of these stupas contained networks of walls containing the hub, spokes and rim of a wheel, while others contained interior walls in a swastika (卐) shape. The wheel represents the sun, time, and Buddhist law (the wheel of law, or dharmachakra), while the swastika stands for the cosmic dance around a fixed center and guards against evil.[12][13]

"Diamond throne" in Bodh Gaya

Main article: Vajrasana, Bodh Gaya

Ashoka also built the Diamond Throne in Bodh Gaya, at the location where the Buddha had reached enlightenment some 200 years earlier.[64][65] This purely Buddhist monument to the Buddha is a thick slab of polished grey sandstone with Mauryan polish[66]

The sculpted decorations on the Diamond Throne clearly echoe the decorations found on the Pillars of Ashoka.[67] The Diamond Throne has a decorative band made of honeysuckles and geese, which can also be found on several of the Pillars of Ashoka,[46] such as the Rampurva capitals or the Sanchi capital.[66] The geese (hamsa) in particular are a very recurrent symbol on the pillars of Ashoka, and may refer to the devotees flocking to the faith.[65] The same throne is also illustrated in later reliefs from Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE.[68]

Similar pillars

The 6th century pillar at the tomb of Xiao Jing, or Emperor Jing of Western Liang, is similar to the Ashoka pillar.[69]

See also

• Related topics
o Ashoka's Major Rock Edicts
o Dhar iron pillar
o Iron pillar of Delhi
o List of Edicts of Ashoka
o Stambha
• Other similar topics
o Early Indian epigraphy
o Hindu temple architecture
o History of India
o Indian copper plate inscriptions
o Indian rock-cut architecture
o List of rock-cut temples in India
o Outline of ancient India
o South Indian Inscriptions
o Tagundaing

Notes

1. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Buddhist Architecture, Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010 p.36-40
2. Bisschop, Peter C.; Cecil, Elizabeth A. (May 2019). Copp, Paul; Wedemeyer, Christian K. (eds.). "Columns in Context: Venerable Monuments and Landscapes of Memory in Early India". History of Religions. University of Chicago Press for the University of Chicago Divinity School. 58 (4): 355–403. doi:10.1086/702256. ISSN 0018-2710. JSTOR 00182710. LCCN 64001081. OCLC 299661763.
3. Jump up to:a b Inscriptions of Asoka. New Edition by E. Hultzsch (in Sanskrit). 1925. p. 132, Edict No 7 line 23.
4. Skilling, Peter (1998). Mahasutras. Pali Text Society. p. 453. ISBN 9780860133209.
5. Jump up to:a b Himanshu Prabha Ray (7 August 2014). The Return of the Buddha: Ancient Symbols for a New Nation. Routledge. p. 123. ISBN 9781317560067.
6. India: The Ancient Past: A History of the Indian Subcontinent from c. 7000 BCE to CE 1200, Burjor Avari Routledge, 2016 p.139
7. Jump up to:a b Krishnaswamy, 697-698
8. "KING ASHOKA: His Edicts and His Times". http://www.cs.colostate.edu. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
9. India: The Ancient Past: A History of the Indian Subcontinent from c. 7000 BCE to CE 1200, Burjor Avari, Routledge, 2016 p.149
10. State Emblem, Know India india.gov.in
11. Companion, 430
12. Jump up to:a b Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Ancient India: Land Of Mystery (1994) p. 84-85,94-97
13. Jump up to:a b Oliphant, Margaret "The Atlas Of The Ancient World" 1992 p. 156-7
14. Jump up to:a b c "It can also be suggested that Lats topped by animals figures also have an ancestor in the sphinx-topped pillars of Greece of the Middle-Archaic period (c.580-40 B.C), Delphi Museum at Delphi, Greece, has an elegant winged sphinx figure sitting on an Ionic capital with side volutes." in Graeco-Indica, India's cultural contexts with the Greek world, Ramanand Vidya Bhawan, 1991, p.5
15. Harle, 22
16. Thapar, Romila (2001). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryan, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-564445-X, pp.267-70
17. Jump up to:a b c Mahajan V.D. (1960, reprint 2007). Ancient India, S.Chand & Company, New Delhi, ISBN 81-219-0887-6, pp.350-3
18. Companion,
19. Jump up to:a b Buddhist Architecture, by Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010 p.44
20. Rebecca M. Brown, Deborah S. Hutton. A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 423–429.
21. Jump up to:a b Boardman (1998), 15
22. Boardman (1998), 13
23. Harle, 22, 24, quoted in turn
24. A Comprehensive History Of Ancient India, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, 2003, p.87
25. Stewart, Desmond. Pyramids and the Sphinx. [S.l.]: Newsweek, U.S., 72. Print.
26. Irwin, John (1974). "'Aśokan' Pillars: A Reassessment of the Evidence-II: Structure". The Burlington Magazine. 116 (861): 712–727. ISSN 0007-6287. JSTOR 877843.
27. Agrawala, Vasudeva S. (1977). Gupta Art Vol.ii.
28. Irwin, John (1983). "The Ancient Pillar-Cult at Prayāga (Allahabad): Its Pre-Aśokan Origins". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 115 (2): 253–280. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00137487. ISSN 0035-869X. JSTOR 25211537.
29. Boardman (1998), 13-19
30. Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. p. 361. ISBN 9788131711200. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
31. The Early History of India by Vincent A. Smith
32. Annual report 1906-07 p.89
33. Ashoka, 2
34. Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. New Delhi: Pearson Education. p. 358. ISBN 978-81-317-1677-9.
35. Buddshit Architecture, Le Huu Phuoc, Grafikol 2009, p.169
36. Sircar, D. C. (1979). Asokan studies. pp. 118–122.
37. Sircar, D. C. (1979). Asokan studies. p. 118.
38. Mapio
39. Asoka by Radhakumud Mookerji p.85
40. Jump up to:a b Buddhist Architecture, Le Huu Phuoc, Grafikol 2009, p.40
41. Geary, David (2017). The Rebirth of Bodh Gaya: Buddhism and the Making of a World Heritage Site. University of Washington Press. p. 209 Note 1. ISBN 9780295742380.
42. A Brief History of India, Alain Daniélou, Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 2003, p.89-91 [1]
43. The pillars "owe something to the pervasive influence of Achaemenid architecture and sculpture, with no little Greek architectural ornament and sculptural style as well. Notice the florals on the bull capital from Rampurva, and the style of the horse of the Sarnath capital, now the emblem of the Republic of India." "The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity" by John Boardman, Princeton University Press, 1993, p.110
44. Le, Huu Phuoc (29 October 2017). Buddhist Architecture. Grafikol. ISBN 9780984404308. Retrieved 29 October 2017 – via Google Books.
45. Le, Huu Phuoc (29 October 2017). Buddhist Architecture. Grafikol. ISBN 9780984404308. Retrieved 29 October 2017 – via Google Books.
46. Jump up to:a b Buddhist Architecture, Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010 p.240
47. Jump up to:a b Le Huu Phuoc, Buddhist Architecture, p.42
48. Jump up to:a b c The True Chronology of Aśokan Pillars, John Irwin, Artibus Asiae, Vol. 44, No. 4 (1983), pp. 247-265 [2]
49. Story of the Delhi Iron Pillar, R. Balasubramaniam p.19
50. The Past Before Us, Romila Thapar p.361
51. Jump up to:a b Buddhist Architecture, Le Huu Phuoc, Grafikol 2009, pp 238-248
52. "The Ashokan rock edicts are a marvel of history".
53. Inscriptions of Ashoka by Alexander Cunningham, Eugen Hultzsch. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. Calcutta: 1877
54. "British Museum Highlights". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
55. Full texts, An English rendering by Ven. S. Dhammika, 1993
56. "Wat Umong Chiang Mai". Thailand's World. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
57. Companion, 428-429
58. "Destinations :: Vaishali".
59. "Destinations :: Vaishali ::Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation". bstdc.bih.nic.in. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
60. Krishnaswamy, 697-700
61. "NOVA Online - Mysteries of the Nile - August 27, 1999: The Third Attempt". http://www.pbs.org. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
62. Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Ramses II: Magnificence on the Nile (1993)p. 56-57
63. Allen, Chapter 15
64. A Global History of Architecture, Francis D. K. Ching, Mark M. Jarzombek, Vikramaditya Prakash, John Wiley & Sons, 2017 p.570ff
65. Jump up to:a b Buddhist Architecture, Huu Phuoc Le p.240
66. Jump up to:a b Alexander Cunningham, Mahâbodhi, or the great Buddhist temple under the Bodhi tree at Buddha-Gaya p.19 Public Domain text
67. Allen, Charles (2012). Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor. Little, Brown Book Group. p. 133. ISBN 9781408703885.
68. Mahâbodhi, Cunningham p.4ff Public Domain text
69. Buddhist Architecture by Huu Phuoc Le p.45

References

• Ashoka, Emperor, Edicts of Ashoka, eds. N. A. Nikam, Richard P. McKeon, 1978, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226586111, 9780226586113, google books
• Boardman, John (1998), "Reflections on the Origins of Indian Stone Architecture", Bulletin of the Asia Institute, pp. 15–19, 1998, New Series, Vol. 12, (Alexander's Legacy in the East: Studies in Honor of Paul Bernard), p. 13-22, JSTOR
• "Companion": Brown, Rebecca M., Hutton, Deborah S., eds., A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture, Volume 3 of Blackwell companions to art history, 2011, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, ISBN 1444396323, 9781444396324, google books
• Harle, J.C., The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, 2nd edn. 1994, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, ISBN 0300062176
• Krishnaswamy, C.S., Sahib, Rao, and Ghosh, Amalananda, "A Note on the Allahabad Pillar of Aśoka", The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No. 4 (Oct., 1935), pp. 697–706, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, JSTOR
• Falk, H. Asokan Sites and Artefacts: a A Source-book with Bibliography, 2006, Volume 18 of Monographien zur indischen Archäologie, Kunst und Philologie, Von Zabern, ISSN 0170-8864

Further reading

• Singh, Upinder (2008). "Chapter 7: Power and Piety: The Maurya Empire, c. 324-187 BCE". A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. New Delhi: Pearson Education. ISBN 978-81-317-1677-9.

External links

• Archaeological Survey of India
• British Museum, collections online
• Columbia University, New York - See "lioncapital" for pictures of the original "Lion Capital of Ashoka" preserved at the Sarnath Museum which has been adopted as the "National Emblem of India" and the Ashoka Chakra (Wheel) from which has been placed in the center of the "National Flag of India".

Edicts of Ashoka
(Ruled 269–232 BCE)
Regnal years
of Ashoka
Type of Edict
(and location of the inscriptions) Geographical location
Year 8 End of the Kalinga war and conversion to the "Dharma"


Bahapur

Gujarra

Saru Maru

Udegolam

Nittur

Maski

Siddapur

Brahmagiri

Jatinga

Pakilgundu

Rajula Mandagiri

Yerragudi

Sasaram

Rupnath

Bairat

Bhabru

Ahraura

Barabar

Taxila
(Aramaic)

Laghman
(Aramaic)

Maski
Palkigundu
Gavimath
Jatinga/Rameshwara

Rajula/Mandagiri
Brahmagiri
Udegolam
Siddapur
Nittur

Ahraura
Sasaram

Kandahar
(Greek and Aramaic)

Kandahar

Yerragudi

Girnar

Dhauli

Khalsi

Sopara

Jaugada

Shahbazgarhi

Mansehra

Sannati

Sarnath

Sanchi

Lumbini
Nigali Sagar

Nigali Sagar

Nandangarh

Kosambi

Topra

Meerut

Araraj

Araraj,Rampurva

Rampurva

Ai Khanoum
(Greek city)

Pataliputra

Ujjain
Location of the Minor Rock Edicts (Edicts 1, 2 & 3)
Other inscriptions often classified as Minor Rock Edicts.
Location of the Major Rock Edicts.
Location of the Minor Pillar Edicts.
Original location of the Major Pillar Edicts.
Capital cities
Year 10[1]
Minor Rock Edicts
Related events:
Visit to the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya
Construction of the Mahabodhi Temple and Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya
Predication throughout India.
Dissenssions in the Sangha
Third Buddhist Council
In Indian language: Sohgaura inscription
Erection of the Pillars of Ashoka
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription
(in Greek and Aramaic, Kandahar)

Minor Rock Edicts in Aramaic:
Laghman Inscription, Taxila inscription

Year 11 and later Minor Rock Edicts (n°1, n°2 and n°3)
(Panguraria, Maski, Palkigundu and Gavimath, Bahapur/Srinivaspuri, Bairat, Ahraura, Gujarra, Sasaram, Rajula Mandagiri, Yerragudi, Udegolam, Nittur, Brahmagiri, Siddapur, Jatinga-Rameshwara)

Year 12 and later[1]
Barabar Caves inscriptions
Major Rock Edicts

Minor Pillar Edicts
Major Rock Edicts in Greek: Edicts n°12-13 (Kandahar)

Major Rock Edicts in Indian language:
Edicts No.1 ~ No.14
(in Kharoshthi script: Shahbazgarhi, Mansehra Edicts
(in Brahmi script: Kalsi, Girnar, Sopara, Sannati, Yerragudi, Delhi Edicts)
Major Rock Edicts 1-10, 14, Separate Edicts 1&2:
(Dhauli, Jaugada)

Schism Edict, Queen's Edict
(Sarnath Sanchi Allahabad)
Lumbini inscription, Nigali Sagar inscription

Year 26, 27
and later[1]
Major Pillar Edicts

In Indian language:
Major Pillar Edicts No.1 ~ No.7
(Allahabad pillar Delhi pillar Topra Kalan Rampurva Lauria Nandangarh Lauriya-Araraj Amaravati)
Derived inscriptions in Aramaic, on rock:
Kandahar, Edict No.7[2][3] and Pul-i-Darunteh, Edict No.5 or No.7[4]

1. Jump up to:a b c Yailenko,Les maximes delphiques d'Aï Khanoum et la formation de la doctrine du dhamma d'Asoka, 1990, p. 243.
2. Inscriptions of Asoka de D.C. Sircar p. 30
3. Handbuch der Orientalistik de Kurt A. Behrendt p. 39
4. Handbuch der Orientalistik de Kurt A. Behrendt p. 39
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Shashigupta [Sasigupta] [Sisikottos] [Sisocostus] [Sandrocottus] [Chandragupta Maurya] [Moeris] [Meroes] [Maurya]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/30/21

The Greek writers relate that the father of Sandrocottus was a man of low origin, being the son of a barber, whom the queen had married after putting her husband the king to death. He is called by Diodorus Siculus (16.93, 94) Xandrames, and by Q. Curtius (9.2) Aggrammes, the latter name being probably only a corruption of the former. This king sent his son Sandrocottus to Alexander the Great, who was then at the Hyphasis, and he is reported to have said that Alexander might easily have conquered the eastern parts of India, since the king was hated on account of his wickedness and the meanness of his birth. Justin likewise relates, that Sandrocottus saw Alexander, and that having offended him, he was ordered to be put to death, and escaped only by flight. Justin says nothing about his being the king's son, but simply relates that he was of obscure origin, and that after he escaped from Alexander he became the leader of a band of robbers, and finally obtained the supreme power...The name of Sandrocottus is written both by Plutarch and Appian Androcottus without the sibilant, and Athenaeus gives us the form Sandrocuptus (Σανδρόκυπτθς), which bears a much greater resemblance to the Hindu name than the common orthography. (Plut. Alex. 62 ; Justin, 15.4 ; Appian, Syr. 55 ; Strab. xv. pp. 702, 709, 724 ; Athen. 1.18e.; Arrian, Arr. Anab. 5.6.2; Plin. H. N. 6.17.)

-- Sandrocottus, by William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Recounting the scenario after the Hyphasis mutiny (Arr. 5.25, Diod. 17.93-5, Curt. 9.2.1-3.19), Badian writes with an air of definiteness:
For the moment, he tried to use the weapon that had succeeded before. He withdrew to his tent, for three days. But this time it did not help. The men were determined, and as Coenus had made clear, they had the officers’ support. Alexander could not divide them. All that remained was to save face.

Badian not only finds Alexander in an awkward position, but also casually notes his subsequent declaration that he would go on nonetheless and his ordering of sacrifices for crossing the river. Alexander’s vow to fight against the Prasii in the face of stiff opposition from both the soldiers and officers does appear somewhat comical but here lies a trap—where was their capital Palibothra? Could it really have been at Patna, so far removed from the northwest—the centre of early India?...

Through the mist of vague reports and geographical misconceptions, it is difficult to probe into the Hyphasis revolt, which came as a serious jolt to Alexander. After this, even though there were safer routes, Alexander chose to return to Iran through the desert of Gedrosia, suffering heavy losses in soldiers and civilians from lack of water, food and the extreme heat. That the motive behind this voyage has appeared so perplexing is due to two crucial lapses—the false location of Palibothra, capital of the Prasii, and the concomitant failure to recognise the mysterious Moeris of Pattala who played a determinant role....

Image
Territory of Gedrosia, among the eastern territories of the Achaemenid Empire.

The reports of Alexander’s historians clearly indicate that southeast Iran was within Greater India in the fourth century BC. As Prasii was in the Gedrosia area, the question arises—did the army refuse to fight the Prasii or only to march eastwards?... if the reluctance was to confront the Prasii, it appears sensible due to their formidable strength. As Moeris had fought beside Porus, the Prasiian army cannot have been left intact, though it could still have been a fighting force. It is probable that Moeris and his agents fomented discord among Alexander’s officers and soldiers... From this point onwards, if not earlier, Eumenes, Perdikkas and Seleucus may have been in touch with Moeris.

Only Justin (Just. xii, 8) reports that Alexander had defeated the Prasii. Palibothra, the Prasiian capital was famous for peacocks....

Curiously, Arrian writes that Alexander was so charmed by the beauty of peacocks that he decreed the severest penalties against anyone killing them (Arrian, Indica, xv.218). The picture of Alexander amidst peacocks appears puzzling: where did he come across the majestic bird? Does this fascination lead us to Palibothra? The height of absurdity is reached when we are told that eighteen months after the battle with Porus, Alexander suddenly remembered his ‘victory over the Indians’ in the wilderness of Carmania and set upon to celebrate it with fabulous mirth and abandon. Surprisingly it did not jar with the common sense of anyone why this was not celebrated in India. The ‘victory over the Indians’ in southeast Iran can lead to only one judicious conclusion—this was India in the fourth century BC. Moreover, if Alexander had indeed defeated the Indians, who could have been their leader but Moeris or Maurya? This clearly indicates that Alexander had indeed conquered the Prasii in Gedrosia.

Bosworth writes that the name of the place where the victory was celebrated was Kahnuj...
As the winter deepened, Alexander approached the Carmanian capital, which Diodorus (xvii.106.4) names Salmus. It was, according to Nearchus (Arr. Ind. 33.7), five days' journey from the coast. The site remains a mystery, but it was probably at the western side of the valley of the Halil Rud, in the general vicinity of the modern town of Khanu. The army was in an area of relative plenty but close enough to the coast to receive news of the progress of Nearchus' fleet. There Alexander sacrificed to commemorate his Indian victory and the emergence from the Gedrosian desert, and he held a musical and athletic festival, a drunken and festive affair, notable for the general acclaim achieved by Alexander's favourite Bagoas when he entered the winning chorus.

-- A. B. Bosworth, Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great (Cambridge 1988), p. 150

Image
Kahnuj (Persian: كهنوج‎, also Romanized as Kahnūj) is a city and capital of Kahnuj County, Kerman Province, Iran.

Image
Patali (Persian: پاتلي‎, also Romanized as Pātalī; also known as Kheyrābād-e Pātelī) is a village in Jahadabad Rural District, in the Central District of Anbarabad County, Kerman Province, Iran.

It is therefore clear that Alexander did not run away from the Prasii, as Badian imagines, but had in fact pursued Moeris, their leader, through Gedrosia. The palace at Kahnuj where Alexander rejoiced must have been the fabled one which, according to Aelian, excelled those at Susa and Ekbatana (Aelian, xiii.18).

Nearchus certainly had other tasks than scientific fact-finding; the army was ordered to keep close to the shore and the navy moved in tandem. This orchestration and the large number of troops and horses on ships (quite unnecessary for a scientific mission) show that the navy was not only carrying provisions for the army which was engaged in a grim and protracted battle with a mighty adversary, but that the troops on the ships were also ready to support the army if needed. This is why the navy waited for twenty-four days near Karachi. The names Pataliputra and Pattala and Moeris and Maurya leave little to imagination.

Yet Badian fails to recognise that Moeris was Chandragupta Maurya of Prasii... Badian has no idea that the food crisis was due to the collusion of Alexander’s officers with Moeris. As a general, Alexander can hardly be blamed for imposing a levy in order to arrange for the supplies for his army; this is the reason why the people of Pattala had fled. In his unseemly haste to cast Alexander in a stereotype, Badian overturns the whole episode and goes on to compare him with Chengiz Khan.


-- An Altar of Alexander Now Standing at Delhi [EXPANDED VERSION], by Ranajit Pal

Shashigupta
Nationality: Paropamisadaen
Other names: Sisikottos; Sisocostus. Possibly Chandagupta.

Years active: 4th century BCE

Shashigupta IAST: Śaśigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] was a ruler of Paropamisadae (modern north-west Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan), between the Hindu Kush mountains and Indus Valley during the 4th century BCE. The name Shashigupta is a reconstruction of a hypothetical Indo-Aryan name, based on a figure named in ancient Greek and Roman sources as Sisikottos (Arrian),[1] and Sisocostus (Curtius).

The root shashi is equivalent to chandra ("moon") in Indian languages. Consequently, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] is often linked to various figures known as Chandragupta in ancient Indian sources. Both names mean "moon-protected". However, there is no consensus amongst modern scholars as to which of the historical Chadraguptas, if any, may be identified with Shashigupta.

Identification with figures in Indian sources

Sisikottos/Sisocostus appears twice in Arrian's Anabasis and once in Historiae Alexendri Magni by Curtius. Many scholars suggest that Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] was a ruler of some frontier hill state south of Hindukush,[2] it is however, more appropriate to call him a military adventurer or a corporation leader coming from the warlike background of the fierce Kshatriya clan of the Ashvakas from Massaga or Aornos (Pir-Sir) or some other adjacent territory of the Ashvakas. No ancient evidence is available which attests Shashigupta's royal background prior to his appointment by Alexander as ruler of the Ashvakas of the Aornos country.

There are at least four schools of thought regarding any connection to one of the Chandraguptas. Some scholars identify him with Chandragupta Maurya, while others say that Chandragupta Maurya was a separate figure with origins in Eastern India and a third school sees Shashigupta and Chandragupta as separate Paropamisadaen figures, both of whom had ties to separate branches of the Ashvakas.[3][4][5]

Early life

Nothing is known about early life of Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus]. He was presumably a military adventurer, a leader of corporation of professional soldiers (band of mercenary soldiers) whose main goals were economic and military pursuits.[citation needed]

In all probability, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] was a professional soldier and led a corporation of mercenary soldier to help Persians especially Bessus, the Iranian Satrap of Bactria but once his case was lost, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus], along with band of warriors (obviously as mercenary soldiers), threw his lot with the invaders and thereafter, rendered a great help to Alexander during latter's campaigns of Sogdiana and later also of the Kunar and Swat valleys.[citation needed]

As the Satrap of the eastern Ashvakas

In May 327 BCE, when Alexander the Great invaded the republican territories of the Alishang/Kunar, Massaga and Aornos on the west of Indus, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] had rendered great service to the Macedonian invader in reducing several Kshatriya chiefs of the Ashvakas of the Alishang/Kunar and Swat valleys. He appears to have done this in an understanding with Alexander that after the reduction of this territory, he would be made the lord of the country. And Arrian definitively confirms that after the reduction of the fort of Aornos in Swat where the Ashvakas had put up a terrible resistance, Alexander entrusted the command of this extremely strategic fort of Aornos to Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] and made him the Satrap of the surrounding country of the eastern Ashvakas.[6]

Shashigupta vs Meroes, the friend of Porus

Porus himself, mounted on a tall elephant, not only directed the movements of his forces but fought on to the very end of the contest; he then received a wound on his right shoulder, the only unprotected part of his body, all the rest of his person being rendered shot-proof by a coat of mail remarkable for its strength and closeness of fit; he now turned his elephant and began to retire. Alexander who had observed and admired his valour in the field was anxious to save his life and sent Taxiles after him on horseback to summon him to surrender; but the sight of this old enemy and traitor roused the indignation of the Paurava, who gave him no hearing and would have killed him, had not Taxiles instantly put his horse to the gallop and got beyond the reach of Porus’. Even this Alexander did not resent; he sent other messengers till at last Meroes (Maurya ?), an old friend of Porus, persuaded him to hear the message of Alexander.

-- Chapter II: Alexander's Campaigns in India, Excerpt from "Age of the Nandas and Mauryas", by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri


Towards the end of battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum), Arrian mentions a certain Meroes and attests him to be an Indian and an old friend of Porus (or Poros). Arrian further attests that he was finally chosen by Alexander to bring the fleeing Porus back for concluding peace treaty with Macedonian invader.[7] It is notable that at the time of Porus's war with Alexander, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus], the satrap of the eastern Ashvakas had very cordial relations with Porus. In fact, he was on good terms both with Porus as well as Alexander and was finally chosen by Alexander to effect peace negotiations between him (Alexander) and Porus when Taxiles i.e. the ruler of Taxila had failed in this endeavour. It is more than likely, as several scholars have speculated, that Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] may have alternatively been known also as Meroes (equivalent to the Sanskrit Maurya) after his native-land Meros (Mor or Mer in Prakrit, perhaps Mt Meru of Sanskrit texts).[8][9] Another possibility is that name Meroes (Maurya?) may have been derived from "Mer" (hill or mountain) or "Mera" (hillman) on account of the fact that Sisicottos or Shashigupta was obviously a hilllman or mountaineer.[citation needed]

It is said that India, being of enormous size when taken as a whole, is peopled by races both numerous and diverse, of which not even one was originally of foreign descent, but all were evidently indigenous; and moreover that India neither received a colony from abroad, nor sent out a colony to any other nation. The legends further inform us that in primitive times the inhabitants subsisted on such fruits as the earth yielded spontaneously, and were clothed with the skins of the beasts found in the country, as was the case with the Greeks; and that, in like manner us with them, the arts and other appliances which improve human life were gradually invented, Necessity herself teaching them to an animal at once docile and furnished not only with hands ready to second all his efforts, but also with reason and a keen intelligence.

The men of greatest learning among the Indians tell certain legends, of which it may be proper to give a brief summary. They relate that in the most primitive times, when the people of the country were still living in villages, Dionusos made his appearance coming from the regions lying to the west, and at the head of a considerable army. He overran the whole of India, as there was no great city capable of resisting his arms. The heat, however, having become excessive, and the soldiers of Dionusos being afflicted with a pestilence, the leader, who was remarkable for his sagacity, carried his troops away from the plains up to the hills. There the army, recruited by the cool breezes and the waters that flowed fresh from the fountains, recovered from sickness. The place among the mountains where Dionusos restored his troops to health was called Meros; from which circumstance, no doubt, the Greeks have transmitted to posterity the legend concerning the god, that Dionusos was bred in his father's thigh.

Having after this turned his attention to the artificial propagation of useful plants, he communicated the secret to the Indians, and taught them the way to make wine, as well as other arts conducive to human well-being. He was, besides, the founder of large cities, which he formed by removing the villages to convenient sites, while he also showed the people how to worship the deity, and introduced laws and courts of justice. Having thus achieved altogether many great and noble works, he was regarded as a deity and gained immortal honours. It is related also of him that he led about with his army a great host of women, and employed, in marshalling his troops for battle, drums and cymbals, as the trumpet had not in his days been invented; and that after reigning over the whole of India for two and fifty years he died of old age, while his sons, succeeding to the government, transmitted the sceptre in unbroken succession to their posterity. At last, after many generations had come and gone, the sovereignty, it is said, was dissolved, and democratic governments were set up in the cities.

Such, then, are the traditions regarding Dionusos and his descendants current among the Indians who inhabit the hill-country [Librarian's Comment: Nysa, between the Cophen/Kabul and Indus rivers]. They further assert that Herakles also was born among them.
They assign to him, like the Greeks, the club and the lion's skin. He far surpassed other men in personal strength, and prowess, and cleared sea and land of evil beasts. Marrying many wives he begot many sons, but one daughter only. The sons having reached man's estate, he divided all India into equal portions for his children, whom he made kings in different parts of his dominions. He provided similarly for his only daughter, whom he reared up and made a queen. He was the founder, also, of no small number of cities, the most renowned and greatest of which he called Palibothra. He built therein many sumptuous palaces, and settled within its walls a numerous population. The city he fortified with trenches of notable dimensions, which were filled with water introduced from the river. Herakles, accordingly, after his removal from among men, obtained immortal honour; and his descendants, having reigned for many generations and signalized themselves by great achievements, neither made any expedition beyond the confines of India, nor sent out any colony abroad. At last, however, after many years had gone, most of the cities adopted the democratic form of government, though some retained the kingly until the invasion of the country by Alexander.

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle


After the assassination of Nicanor

A few months later when Alexander was still in Punjab and was engaged in war with the Glausais of Ravi/Chenab, the Ashvakas had assassinated Nicanor, the Greek governor of lower Kabul valley and also issued a threat to kill Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] if he continued to cooperate with the invaders. While Phillipos was appointed to Nicanor's place, no further reference to Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] by this name exists in classical sources. It appears likely that as a shrewd politician & statesman cum military general, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] had sensed the pulse of time and therefore, after deserting Alexander’ camp, he had thrown his lot with the emerging powerful group of insurgents. Thence afterward, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] seems to appear under an alternative name----Moeres or Moeris of the classical chroniclers. It is notable that Moeres, Moeris, Meris and Meroes are all equivalent terms.[10] Arrian writes Meroes [11] while Curtius spells it as Moeres or Moeris.[12] Chieftain Moeris of lower Indus delta (Patala) referenced by Curtius seems precisely to be the same person as Meroes of north-west, attested to be old friend of Porus by Arrian.[11] Alexander was apparently annoyed at this development and pursued Shashigupta who appears to have fled with his followers to lower Indus. He probably appears there as Moeres of Curtius, a chief of Patala.[12] It is but natural that after joining the band of insurgents, Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] alias Meroes or Moeres became a leader of the group of rebels and started his struggle for realizing his bigger goals for bigger regal power.[citation needed]

Shashigupta vs Chandragupta

Scholars like Dr H. C. Seth and Dr H. R. Gupta theorize that Shashigupta was another name for Chandragupta, although other scholars appear to have taken this theory lightly.[13][14]

According to these scholars, it is very conspicuous that Shashigupta (Sisikottos) and Chandragupta (Sandrokotos) both names literally mean "moon-protected". "Shashi" part of Shashigupta has exactly the same meaning in Sanskrit as the "Chandra" part of Chandragupta—both mean "the moon". Thus, the two names are exact synonyms.[15] Scholars say that it is not an uncommon practice in India to substitute one's given name with a synonym.[16] Thus, it appears very likely, as many[citation needed] scholars believe, that Chandragupta may have been an alternative name for Shashigupta and both names essentially refer to same individual. This view is further reinforced if we compare the early lives of Shashigupta and Chandragupta. Both men are equally remarkable, both are military adventurers par excellence, both are rebellious and opportunists, both are equally ambitious, both are far-sighted and shrewd statesmen, and lastly but more importantly, both emerge in history precisely at the same time and at the same place in north-west India. Plutarch's classic statement that Andrakottos had met Alexander in his youth days [17] probably alludes to the years when Sisikottos had gone to help Iranians against Alexander at Bactria in 329 BCE. J. W. McCrindle concludes from Plutarch's statement that Chandragupta was native of Punjab rather than Magadha.[18] Appian's statement: "And having crossed Indus, Seleucus warred with Androkottos, the king of the Indians, who dwelt about that river (the Indus)" [19] clearly shows that Chandragupta was initially a ruler of Indus country.[13] It was only after Chandragupta's war with Seleucus which took place in 305 BCE [20] and the defeat of the latter that Chandragupta appears to have shifted his capital and residence from north-west to Pataliputra—which was also the political headquarters of the regime he had succeeded to.

Dr Seth concludes: "If Chandragupta is identical to Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus], then we find no difficulty in assuming that he indeed belonged to the Kshatriya clan of the Ashvakas whose influence extended from the Hindukush to eastern Punjab at the time of Alexander's invasion. With Mauryan conquest of other parts of India, these Ashvakas settled in other parts of India as well. From Buddhist literature, we also read of southern Ashvakas (or Assakas or Asmakas) on the bank of river Godavary in Trans-Vindhya country. The Ashvakas are said to have belonged the great Lunar dynasty..... In the region lying between Hindukush and Indus, Alexander received terrible resistance from the Kshatriya tribe called Ashvakas".[21]

Some scholars believe that the insurgency against the Greek rule in north-west had first started probably in lower Indus.[22] If this is true, then Moeris of Patala may indeed have been the pioneer in this revolution and he may be assumed to be the same person as Meroes of north-west i.e. Chandragupta Maurya,[23] alternatively known also as Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus][24] originally a native of the Swat/Kunar valleys west of Indus. Other scholars like Dr B. M. Barua, Dr H. C. Seth etc. also identify Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] with Chandragupta. As noted above, Dr J. W. McCrindle calls Chandragupta a native of Panjab.[25] American archaeologist David B. Spooner thinks that Chandragupta was an Iranian who had established a dynasty in Magadha.[26] Based on the classical evidence, Dr H. R. Gupta thinks that Chandragupta as well as Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] both belonged to northwest frontiers and both, perhaps belonged to two different sections of the Ashvaka Kshatriyas.[27][28][29] Dr Chandra Chakravarti also relates Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] and Chandragupta to northwest frontiers and states that Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] belonged to Malkand whereas Chandragupta Maurya was a ruler of Ujjanaka or Uddyana (Swat) territory of the Ashvakas.[30]


Notes

1. Daniélou 2003, p. 79.
2. Cambridge History of Ancient India, ed . E.J. Rapson, p.314.
3. Proceedings, Volume 1, Punjabi University. Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, 1968, p - Page 33.
4. Punjab past and present: essays in honour of Dr. Ganda Singh, 1976, p 28, Harbans Singh, Norman Gerald Barrier - History.
5. Punjab revisited: an anthology of 70 research documents on the history and culture of undivided Punjab,1995, Ahmad Saleem - History.
6. Arrian's Anabasis, 1893, Book 4b, Ch xxx, and Book 5b, ch xx, E. J. Chinnock; The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, 1896, p 112, Dr John Watson M'Crindle; The History and Culture of the Indian People, 1969, p 49, Dr Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bhāratīya Itihāsa Samiti; Historiae Alexandri Magni, Book 8, Ch XI, Curtius.
7. Arrian Anabasis, 1893, Book 5b, Ch xviii,, E. J. Chinnock; The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, 1896, pp 108, 109, Dr John Watson M'Crindle; Political and Social Movements in Ancient Panjab, 1964, p 172, Dr Buddha Prakash.
8. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, 1936, p 164, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute - Indo-Aryan philology, Dr H. C. Seth; The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 673, India; Punjab History Conference, Second Session, 28–30 October 1966, Punjabi University Patiala, pp 32-35, Dr H. R. Gupta; The Indian Review, 1937, p 814, edited by G.A. Natesan - India.
9. IMPORTANT NOTE: Shashigupta [Sisikottos; Sisocostus] is called an Indian by Arrian. Arrian also calls the Ashvakas as an Indian. Arrian further calls Meroes also as an Indian and an old friend of Porus. In this context, it is worth remembering that while the Kamboja sections in Trans-Hindukush region were purely Iranians, those lying in the cis-Hindukush region are known to have been partly Iranian and partly under Indian culture. Thus, whereas the Kunar (Choaspes = river of good horses) section of the Ashvaka branch is known in classical writings as "Aspasioi" (from Iranian Aspa = horse), those living in the Swat (Suastos) valley were known as Assakenoi i.e. Ashvakas (from Sanskrit Asva = horse). The dividing line between Iran and India was approximately Panjkora (or Guraeus) river (See: The Pathans, 1958, p 55/56, Olaf Caroe). According to Paul Goukowsky, Iranian language was spoken on the north of Kunar whereas Pracrit on its south (Essai sur les origines du mythe d'Alexandre: 336-270 av. J. C., 1978, p 152, n 12, Paul Goukowsky). Thus, there should be no objection if Arrian calls the Assakenoi people as well as Sisicottos & Meroes, all as Indians (See: Arrain Anabasis, Book 4b, Ch xxx; Book 5b, Ch xviii, Book 5b, Ch xx).

But more important is the meaning at this time of the words 'India' and 'Indians' to Greeks of the East like Apollodorus and 'Trogus' source'. There is no direct evidence, but the evidence from analogy is too strong to be set aside. In Alexander's day the word 'Asia' was habitually used in the sense of the Persian empire,1 [By Alexander himself: Arr. Anab. I, 16, 7  (dedication in 334), 11, 14, 8 (political manifesto in 333, 'King of Asia'), Lindian Chronicle c. 103 (dedication in 330, 'Lord of Asia'), Arr. Anab. IV, 15 ,6 (in speaking, 329-8). By Nearchus: Arr. Ind. 35, 8 ('in possession of all Asia', 325). By others: Arr. Anab. III, 9, 6; 18, 11; 25, 3; Plut. Alex. 34; Ditt.3 303. Officially in 311: Diod. XIX, 105, I. In common parlance in 307-6: Ditt.3 326, I. 23.] that is, it was used as a political term and not merely as a geographical one. Some indeed knew that there were bits of the Asiatic continent, like the spice-land of Arabia, which were not within the Persian bounds; but such lands were shadowy things, outside the range of the politics of the day. When the Seleucid empire replaced the Persian, the word 'Asia' was transferred to signify that empire, though it was now well known that considerable sections of the continent were outside the Seleucid bounds: Seleucus was 'King of Asia',2 [App. Syr. [x].] and the term 'Stations of Asia'3 [Strabo xv, 723, [x]; see p. 55 n. 1.] applied to the Seleucid survey of their empire, and the title 'Saviour of Asia' given to Antiochus IV,1 [OGIS 253; see p. 195.] are sufficient proof. To Alexander, when he crossed the Hindu Kush, 'India' meant only the Indus country which Darius had ruled;2 [Tarn in CAH vi p. 402.] but since then Greek knowledge of India had been enormously enlarged by Megasthenes. But Megasthenes, though he knew of the existence of peninsular India, had only described the Mauryan empire of Chandragupta, and the only part of India with which Greeks had been in contact since Alexander's death was the Mauryan empire, just as the only part of Asia with which they had been in contact before Alexander's birth was the Persian empire; Southern India was as shadowy a land as Southern Arabia had been. It is therefore inconceivable that 'India' should not also have had a political meaning, just as 'Asia' had always had; as 'Asia' was used in the sense first of the Persian and then of the Seleucid empires, so 'India' must have been used in the sense of the Mauryan empire. Consequently when Trogus' well-informed source called Demetrius (the Greek equivalent of) Rex Indorum,3 [Justin XLI, 6, 4, Demetrii regis Indorum. Cf. Apollodorus' phrase (Strabo XI, 516), [x].] 'King of the Indians', he meant exactly what Alexander meant when in 330 he called himself 'Lord of Asia':4 [Lindian Chronicle c. 103.] Demetrius was monarch of the Mauryan empire. Alexander in 330 had not completed the conquest of the Persian empire, but he held the great centres, and after Gaugamela what was to come seemed a foregone conclusion. Similarly, Demetrius had not yet completed the conquest of the Mauryan empire, but with the three great centres in his hand what was to come might well seem a foregone conclusion also; the one statement was as true as the other.

-- Chapter IV: Demetrius and the Invasion of India, Excerpt from The Greeks in Bactria and India, by William Woodthorpe Tarn, 2010


10. Age of Nandas, and Mauryas, 1967, p 427, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri; Maurajya Samarajya Samsakrik Itihasa, 1972, B. P. Panthar; Alexander's Campaigns in Sind and Baluchistan and the Siege of the Brahminabad, 1975, p 26, Pierre Herman Leonard Eggermont; Indological Studies, 1977, p 100, University of Sindh, Institute of Sindhology.
11. Arrian's Anabasis, Book 5b, Ch xx.
12. Historiae Alexandri Magni, ix,8,29.
13. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona,1936, Vol xviii, part 2, pp 161, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Dr H. C. Seth.
14. Dr Seth writes: "The scholars have not treated the evidence from Appian with the attention it deserved. Appian (Syriakê, c. 55) was Syrian historian, whose references to Chandragupta (Androkottos) are worthy of greatest consideration because of the very intimate relations between Seleucus Nicator, the founder of Syrian empire and Chandragupta Maurya the founder of Indian empire. Speaking of Seleucus, Appian says: 'And having crossed Indus, he warred with Androkottos, the king of the Indians, who dwelt about that river (the Indus), until he entered into an alliance and marriage affinity with him'. This statement from Appian clearly shows that Chandragupta was initially a ruler of Indus country" (H. C. Seth, 1937, p. 161).
15. Chandragupta Maurya, 1969, p 8, Lallanji Gopal; The Indian Historical Quarterly, v.13, 1937, p 361; The Indian Review, 1937, p 814, edited by G.A. Natesan.
16. Did Candragupta Maurya belong to North-Western India?, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, 1936, p 163, Dr S. C. Seth; Was Chandragupta Maurya a Punjabi?, Punjab History Conference, Second Session, 28-30 October 1966, Punjabi University Patiala, p 32, Dr H. R. Gupta
17. Plutarch's Life of Alexander, Chapter LXII; The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, 1896, p 311, John Watson M'Crindle.
18. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, 1896, p 405, John Watson M'Crindle .
19. Appian's Roman History, XI.55 .
20. The Cambridge History of India, 1962, p 424, Edward James Rapson, Wolseley Haig, Richard Burn, Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler, Henry Dodwell; The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature, 1910, p 839, Edited by Hugh Chisholm; A History of Asia, 1964, p 149, Woodbridge Bingham - Asia History; Chronology of World History, 1975, p 69, G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville.
21. Did Candragupta Maurya belong to North-Western India?, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, 1936, Vol xviii, part 2, pp 158-164, Dr S. C. Seth.
22. Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 236, Dr H. C. Raychaudhury.
23. Studies in Indian History and Civilization, 1962, p 133, D Buddha Prakash; Studies in Alexander's Campaigns, 1973, p 40, Binod Chandra Sinha.
24. Poisoning of Alexander ( part 2 ), Newsfinder, History section, Dr Ratanjit Pal.
25. The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, 1896, p 405, John Watson M'Crindle
26. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1915, Part I, p 406, Part II, pp 416-17.
27. Was Chandragupta Maurya a Punjabi?, Punjab History Conference, Second Session, October 28-30, 1966, Punjabi University Patiala, p 32-35, Dr H. R. Gupta.
28. Punjab revisited: an anthology of 70 research documents on the history and culture of undivided Punjab, 1995, Ahmad Saleem - History.
29. Punjab past and present: essays in honour of Dr. Ganda Singh, 1976, p 28, Ganda Singh - History.
30. The Racial History of Ancient India, 1944, p 814, Chandra Chakraberty.

References

• Daniélou, Alain (2003) [1971], A Brief History of India, Inner Traditions, ISBN 978-1-59477-794-3
• Indian Historical Quarterly, vol.8 (1932), B. M. Barua
• Indian Culture, vol. X, p. 34, B. M. Barua
• The Zoroastrian period of Indian history, (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1915, 1915, (Pt. II), pp 406, 416-17, D.B. Spooner
• Invasion India by Alexander the Great, 1896, p 112, 405/408 J. W. McCrindle
• Did Candragupta Maurya belong to North-Western India?, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, 1936, Vol xviii, part 2, p 158-165, Dr S. C. Seth
• Was Chandragupta Maurya a Punjabi?, Punjab History Conference, Second Session, October 28-30, 1966, Punjabi University Patiala, p 32-35, Dr H. R. Gupta
• They Taught Lessons to Kings, Gur Rattan Pal Singh; Article in Sunday Tribune, January 10, 1999
• The Indian Review, 1937, p 814, edited by G. A. Natesan
• The Indian Historical Quarterly, 1963, p 361, India
• Indian Culture, 1934, p 305, Indian Research Institute- India
• Note on Saśigupta and Candragupta, The Indian Historical Quarterly/edited by Narendra Nath Law, Vol. XIII. Articles:, Miscellany,. Reprint. Delhi, Caxton, 1998, 39 Volumes
• Ashoka and His Inscriptions, 1968, p 51, Beni Madhab Barua, Ishwar Nath Topa
• Paradise of Gods, 1966, p 312, Qamarud Din Ahmed - West Pakistan (Pakistan)
• Poisoning of Alexander ( Part 2 ), Newsfinder, 2008, History Section, Dr Ratanjit Pal
• Age of Nandas, and Mauryas, 1967, p 427, K. A. Nilakanta Sastri
• Maurajya Samarajya Samsakrik Itihasa, 1972, B. P. Panthar
• Alexander's Campaigns in Sind and Baluchistan and the Siege of the Brahminabad, 1975, p 26, Pierre Herman Leonard Eggermont
• Indological Studies, 1977, p 100, University of Sindh, Institute of Sindology

See also

• Sophagasenus
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Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/24/21

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Daffy Duck: "This is preposterous"


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Pictured here is the Girnar Rock Edicts in Junagadh, Gujarat, photographed by D. H Sykes in 1869.

Located on the foothills of the Mount Girnar in Gujarat, the Girnar Rock Edicts, also known as the Junagadh Rock Inscriptions, are collections of 14 significant Prakrit edicts or inscriptions credited to Ashoka, the 3rd century Mauryan King. The Edicts address human and animal welfare, care for the learned, elderly, scholars, and communities, administrative changes for the people, tree planting, shelter, and medicinal herbs.

This rock also contains inscriptions from two other powerful kings. One belongs to the Western Kshatrapa ruler, Rudradaman I (c. 130 CE), on the restoration of a water reservoir. The other belongs to Gupta Emperor Skandagupta (5th century CE) on the repairs of Sudarshana Lake, among other things.

-- Empire of Faith: Into the realm of the Buddha & the Mauryas: Most Indians are familiar with the great emperors and exploits of the Mauryan empire. But until a few hundred years ago, their legacies lay buried in ruins, their faith forgotten by time. This is the story of their remarkable resurrection, by Diksha Ahire, June 14, 2021


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Jungadh rock inscription of Rudradaman I
The inscribed rock
Writing Sanskrit, Brahmi script
Created circa 150 AD
Place Junagadh, Gujarat
Present location near Girnar mountain
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Rudradaman inscription rock (India)

The Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman, also known as the Girnar Rock inscription of Rudradaman, is a Sanskrit prose inscribed on a rock by the Western Satraps ruler Rudradaman I. It is located near Girnar hill near Junagadh, Gujarat, India. The inscription is dated to shortly after 150 CE.[1] The Junagadh rock contains inscriptions of Ashoka (one of fourteen of the Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.[2]

Description

The inscription is found on a major rock to the east of the town of Junagadh in Kathiavad region of Gujarat, India. It is near the base of the Girnar mountain. The Rudradaman inscription is one of the three significant inscriptions found on the rock, dated to be the second in chronology. The oldest inscription is a version of Ashoka edicts, while the last and third inscription is of Skandagupta. The Rudradaman inscription is near the top, above the Ashoka edict.[3] It is dated to shortly after 150 CE.[1]

The inscription has twenty lines, of different lengths spread over about 5.5 feet high and 11 feet wide. The first sixteen lines are extensively damaged in parts and are incomplete, with evidence suggesting willful damage as well as natural rock peeling. The lost text constitutes about 15 percent of the total text. The last four are complete and in a good state of preservation.[3] According to Kielhorn, the alphabet is an earlier form of the "decidedly southern alphabet" of those found later in Gupta Empire and inscriptions of Skandagupta. The inscribed characters are about 7/8 inches in height.[3] The first eight lines offer a historical record of water management and irrigation conduits at the Sudarshana Lake from the era of Chandragupta Maurya (321-297 BCE) to the time when the inscription was written around 150 CE. The last twelve lines praise king Rudradaman I (literally, "garland of Rudra").[3][1][4]

The inscription is in Sanskrit language and entirely in prose. The text is generally in good standard classical Sanskrit but reflects much that is non-standard Sanskrit, according to Kielhorn. For example, it disregards the sandhi rules of the Sanskrit language "no less than 10 times", but some of these may have been "mere clerical errors". The text also has an "extreme dearth of verbal forms", states Kielhorn, a form that mirrors the classical prose writing style of the early era.[3] According to Salomon, noting Kielhorn and Renou's observations, "the language of the Junagadh inscription is not pure classical Sanskrit in the strictest sense of the term" and its orthography too is inconsistent about anusvara, visarga, notation of double consonants and the ḷ retroflex. These and other errors may reflect an influence of the less formal epic-vernacular style and the local dialect features, states Salomon. Nevertheless, beyond disregarding some of "the grammatical niceties of Paninian/classical Sanskrit", the inscription does closely approach the classical Sanskrit norms.
[1]

Inscription

James Prinsep, known for his work with the Brahmi script, first edited and translated this inscription in April 1838. It thereafter attracted a series of visits, revisions and scholarly publications, including those by Lassen, Wilson, Fleet and the significant work of Bhagvanlal Indraji and Bhau Daji in 1862. The edition and interpretation published by Bhau Daji was reviewed and revised further by Eggeling with collotype estampages by Burgess. Kielhorn's translation was published in the Epigraphia Indica Volume VIII, and the translation below is based on it.[3]

Translation

Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman

English translation


(Be it) accomplished!

(Line l.) This lake Sudarshana, from Girinagara [even a long distance?] …….. of a structure so well joined as to rival the spur of a mountain, because all its embankments are strong, in breadth, length and height constructed without gaps as they are of stone, [clay], …………. furnished with a natural dam, [formed by?]………………………….., and with well-provided conduits, drains and means to guard against foul matter,……………………three sections……………by............…….and other favours is (now) in an excellent condition.

(L. 3.) This same (lake) -on the first of the dark half of Margashirsha in the seventy-second -72nd - year of the king, the Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman whose name is repeated by the venerable, the son of . . . . . . . . . . . . , (and) son's son of the king, the Mahakshatrapa Lord Chashtana the taking of whose name is auspicious,…………. when by the clouds pouring with rain the earth had been converted as it were into one ocean, by the excessively swollen floods of the Suvarnasikata, Palasini and other streams of mount Urjayat the dam ………………, though proper precautions [were taken], the water- churned by a storm which, of a most tremendous fury befitting the end of a mundane period, tore down hill-tops, trees, banks, turrets, upper stories, gates and raised places of shelter - scattered, broke to pieces, [tore apart]…………………….. ……., -with stones, trees, bushes and creeping plants scattered about, was thus laid open down to the bottom of the river:-

(L. 7.) By a breach four hundred and twenty cubits long, just as many broad, (and) seventy-five cubits deep, all the water escaped, so that (the lake), almost like a sandy desert, [became] extremely ugly [to look at].

(L.8)……… for the sake of…………/ ordered to be made by the Vaishya Pushyagupta, the provincial governor of the Maurya king Chandragupta; adorned with conduits for Ashoka the Maurya by the Yavana king Tushaspha while governing; and by the conduit ordered to be made by him, constructed in a manner worthy of a king (and) seen in that breach, the extensive dam…………...

(L. 9.) ………..he who, because from the womb he was distinguished by the possession of undisturbed consummate Royal Fortune, was resorted to by all castes and chosen their lord to protect them; who made, and is true to, the vow to the latest breath of his life to abstain from slaying men, except in battles; who [showed] compassion …………… not failing to deal blows to equal antagonists meeting him face to face; who grants protection of life to people repairing to him of their own accord and those prostrating themselves before him;

...who is the lord of the whole of eastern and western Akaravanti (Akara: East Malwa and Avanti: West Malwa), the Anupa country, Anarta, Surashtra, Svabhra (northern Gujarat) Maru (Marwar), Kachchha (Cutch), Sindhu-Sauvira (Sindh and Multan districts), Kukura (Eastern Rajputana), Aparanta ("Western Border" - Northern Konkan), Nishada (an aboriginal tribe, Malwa and parts of Central India) and other territories gained by his own valour, the towns, marts and rural parts of which are never troubled by robbers, snakes, wild beasts, diseases and the like, where all subjects are attached to him, (and) where through his might the objects of [religion], wealth and pleasure [are duly attained];

...who by force destroyed the Yaudheyas who were loath to submit, rendered proud as they were by having manifested their 'title of' heroes among all Kshatriyas; who obtained good report because he, in spite of having twice in fair fight completely defeated Satakarni, the lord of Dakshinapatha, on account of the nearness of their connection did not destroy him; who [obtained] victory . . . . . . . .; who reinstates deposed kings;

...who by the right raising of his hand has earned the strong attachment of Dharma; who has attained wide fame by studying and remembering, by the knowledge and practice of, grammar, music, logic and other great sciences; who …… the management of horses, elephants and chariots, (the use of) sword and shield, pugilistic combat and other . … .. . . …. the acts of quickness and efficiency of opposing forces; who day by day is in the habit of bestowing presents and honours and eschewing disrespectful treatment; who is bounteous; whose treasury by the tribute, tolls and shares rightfully obtained overflows with an accumulation of gold, silver, diamonds, beryl stones and (other) precious things; who...........… prose and verse, which are clear, agreeable, sweet, charming, beautiful, excelling by the proper use of words and adorned; whose beautiful frame owns the most excellent marks and signs, such as (auspicious) length, dimension and height, voice, gait, colour, vigour and strength; who himself has acquired the name of Mahakshatrapa; who has been wreathed with many garlands at the svayamvaras of kings' daughters; -he, the Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman, in order to . . . . . . . . . . . cows and Brahmans for a thousand of years, and to increase his religious merit and fame, -without oppressing the inhabitants of the towns and country by taxes, forced labour and acts of affection -by (the expenditure of) a vast amount of money from his own treasury and in not too long a time made the dam three times as strong in breadth and length . . . . . . . . [on] all [banks] . . . . . . (and so) had (this lake) made (even) more beautiful to look at.


(L. 16.) When in this matter the Mahakshatrapa's counsellors and executive officers, who though fully endowed with the qualifications of ministers, were averse to a task (regarded as) futile on account of the enormous extent of the breach, opposed the commencement (of the work), (and) when the people in their despair of having the dam rebuilt were loudly lamenting, (the work) was carried out by the minister Suvishakha, the son of Kulaipa, a Pahlava, who for the benefit of the inhabitants of the towns and country had been appointed by the king in this government to rule the whole of Anarta and Surashtra, (a minister) who by his proper dealings and views in things temporal and spiritual increased the attachment (of the people), who was able, patient, not wavering, not arrogant, upright (and) not to be bribed, (and) who by his good government increased the spiritual merit, fame and glory of his master.

— Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman[5][6]


Significance

The inscription is significant as a historical record of public works in ancient India, nearly 500 years before the inscription was created. It mentions the construction of a water reservoir named Sudarshana nearby, during the reign of the Maurya Empire founder Chandragupta Maurya by Vaishya Pushyagupta.[3] Later, during the reign of Ashoka, it mentions a Yavana king named Tushaspha building conduits.[6] According to Dilip Chakrabarti, a professor of South Asian archaeology at the Cambridge University, the inscription is an evidence of historical record keeping tradition in ancient India because Rudradaman otherwise would not have known the names of people involved in the project in 4th-century BCE, or who later worked on the water reservoir in following centuries, before Rudradaman promoted his Sanskrit inscription in 150 CE.[4]

The Junagadh rock inscription also highlights an eulogy-style Sanskrit from the 2nd-century. It is the first long inscription in fairly standard Sanskrit that has survived into the modern era. According to Salomon, the inscription "represents a turning point in the history of epigraphic Sanskrit. This is the first long inscription recorded entirely in more or less standard Sanskrit, as well as the first extensive record in the poetic style. Although further specimens of such poetic prasastis in Sanskrit are not found until the Gupta era, from a stylistic point of view Rudradaman's inscription is clearly their prototype".[1][7] The Western Satraps successors of Rudradaman, however, were not influenced by this inscription's literary style, but preferred a less formal hybrid Sanskrit language.[1]


The inscription also is significant in recording that the modern era town of Junagadh has ancient roots and it was known as Girinagara in the 2nd-century CE. The mountain Girnar used to be called Urjayat then.[3]

Gallery

The inscription of Rudradaman, its rubbings and coins

Image
Complete rubbing

Image
The right portion

Image
Silver coin of Rudradaman, claiming that he defeated Vashishtiputra Satakarni.

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Rudradaman I coin, with corrupted Greek legend, at the British Museum.

See also

• Hathibada Ghosundi Inscriptions
• Nanaghat inscription
• Vasu Doorjamb Inscription

References

1. Salomon, Richard (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the other Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford University Press. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-19-535666-3.
2. Artefacts of History: Archaeology, Historiography and Indian Pasts, Sudeshna Guha, SAGE Publications India, 2015 p.50
3. F. Kielhorn, Junagadh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman, Epigraphia Indica, Volume VIII, No. 6, pages 36-49
4. Dilip K. Chakrabarti (1999). India, an Archaeological History: Palaeolithic Beginnings to Early Historic Foundations. Oxford University Press. pp. 294–295. ISBN 978-0-19-564573-6.
5. Epigraphia Indica, Vol. VIII. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1905-6, 45-49
6. "Junagadh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman", Project South Asia.Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
7. Ichimura, Shōhei (2001). Buddhist Critical Spirituality: Prajñā and Śūnyatā. Motilal Banarsidass Publisher. p. 45. ISBN 9788120817982.

*************************

Rudradaman I
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/25/21

Image
Rudradāman I
Western Satrap
Rudradāman I coin, with corrupted Greek legend. British Museum.
Reign: 130–150 CE
Image
Silver coin of Rudradāman I.
Obv: Bust of Rudradāman, with corrupted Greek legend "OVONIΛOOCVΛCHΛNO".
Rev: Three-arched hill or Chaitya with river, crescent and sun. Brahmi legend: "Rajno Ksatrapasa Jayadamasaputrasa Rajno Mahaksatrapasa Rudradamasa": "King and Great Satrap Rudradaman, son of King and Satrap Jayadaman". 16 mm, 2.0 grams.


Rudradāman I (r. 130–150) was a Śaka ruler from the Western Kshatrapas dynasty. He was the grandson of the king Caṣṭana.[1] Rudradāman I was instrumental in the decline of the Sātavāhana Empire.[2] Rudradāman I took up the title of Maha-kshtrapa ("Great Satrap"), after he became the king and then strengthened his kingdom.

Reign

As a result of his victories, Rudradāman regained all the former territories previously held by Nahapana, except for the southern territory of Poona and Nasik.[3] The indigenous Nagas also were aggressive toward Śaka kshatrapas. Sātavāhana dominions were limited to their original base in the Deccan and eastern central India around Amaravati:[2]

"Rudradaman (...) who is the lord of the whole of eastern and western Akaravanti (Akara: East Malwa and Avanti: West Malwa), the Anupa country, Anarta, Surashtra, Svabhra (northern Gujarat) Maru (Marwar), Kachchha (Cutch), Sindhu-Sauvira (Sindh and Multan districts), Kukura (Eastern Rajputana), Aparanta ("Western Border" - Northern Konkan), Nishada (an aboriginal tribe, Malwa and parts of Central India) and other territories gained by his own valour, the towns, marts and rural parts of which are never troubled by robbers, snakes, wild beasts, diseases and the like, where all subjects are attached to him, (and) where through his might the objects of [religion], wealth and pleasure [are duly attained]".

— Junagadh rock inscription.[4] Geographical interpretations in parenthesis from Rapson.[5]


War with the Yaudheyas

Rudradāman conquered the Yaudheya tribes in present day Haryana, as described in the Girnar rock inscription of Rudradaman. Rudradaman refers to the Yaudheyas as a militant republic of kshatriyas that confronted him as opposed to submitting:[6]

"Rudradaman (...) who by force destroyed the Yaudheyas who were loath to submit, rendered proud as they were by having manifested their' title of' heroes among all Kshatriyas."

— Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman[4]


However, the Yaudheyas soon reestablished themselves as independent. Within the next century the warlike Yaudheyas became more powerful. The Yaudheyas were then conquered by the Kushan Empire, who were the suzerains of the Western Kshatrapas, until ultimately by the Gupta Empire.

Wars with the Satavahana Dynasty

Rudradāman fought many battles against the Sātavāhanas (or the Āndhras) and Vashishtiputra Satakarni, the son of the Āndhra king Pulamayi, in an effort to end the hostilities, married the daughter of Rudradāman.[2] The inscription relating the marriage between Rudradāman's daughter and Vashishtiputra Satakarni appears in a cave at Kanheri:

"Of the queen ... of the illustrious Satakarni Vasishthiputra, descended from the race of Karddamaka kings, (and) daughter of the Mahakshatrapa Ru(dra)....... .........of the confidential minister Sateraka, a water-cistern, the meritorious gift.

— Kanheri inscription of Rudradaman I's daughter".[7]


Rudradaman maintained matrimonial relationships with Sātavāhanas and conceded the country of Aparanta to Vashishtiputra Satakarni, his son-in-law and younger son of Gautamiputra Satakarni, as dowry. In spite of the matrimonial link, at least two wars took place between them wherein he defeated Sātavāhanas but spared the life of Satakarni (probably, Vashishtiputra Satakarni), essentially because of their relationship.[2][8] However, it is not known who was the aggressor in either of the wars and whether there were more wars between them.

"Rudradaman (...) who obtained good report because he, in spite of having twice in fair fight completely defeated Satakarni, the lord of Dakshinapatha, on account of the nearness of their connection did not destroy him."

— Junagadh rock inscription[4]


Image
Andhau stone inscription of the time of Rudradāman, Śaka Year 52 (130 CE). The inscription reads: "In the year fifty-two, 50, 2; on the second day of the dark half of Phaguna, of (the reign of) the king Rudradāman, son of Jayadaman, (who was the grandson) of the king Caṣṭana, son of Ysamotika, (this) staff was raised in memory of Rishabhadeva, son of Sihila, of the Opasati gotra, by (his) brother, Madana, son of Sihila."[9]

Image
Genealogical stone inscription of Rudradāman: "Ghsamotika, his son rajan mahakshatrapa svamin Caṣṭana, his son rajan svamin Jayadāman, and his son rajan svamin Rudradaman." Khavada , Kutch district.[10]

Other details

Image
The Junagadh rock contains inscriptions by Ashoka (fourteen of the Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradāman I and Skandagupta.

Image
A portion of the Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman.

The Sanskrit Junagadh inscription dated 150 CE[11] credits Rudradāman I with supporting the cultural arts and Sanskrit literature and repairing the dam built by the Mauryans. He in fact repaired the embankments of the lake Sudarśana, which was constructed by the Mauryas for checking floods.

Rudradāman is also known as the king who was ruling when the Greek writer Yavanesvara translated the Yavanajataka from Greek to Sanskrit, which influenced astrology in India.[11]

While most of the scholars, following Rapson believe that Rudradāman ruled from Ujjain, there is no such evidence to support this. In fact, there is evidence to prove the contrary:[citation needed]

1. Jain sources mention that after Nahapana (40 years) and Gardabhilas (15 years), Śakas will rule Ujjain but for only four years. Caṣṭana no doubt has ruled Ujjain but he must have ruled it only for four years. His son Jayadāman (a Kshatrapa as against Caṣṭana being a Mahaksatrapa) was an ineffectual king and lost most of the territory won by Caṣṭana. This must have included all important Ujjain as well.

2. Natural History of Claudius Ptolemy in 160 CE record Caṣṭana as the king of Avanti while it is known that it is Rudradāman who was ruling between 130 and 150 CE. Ptolemy was obviously referring only to the last best known ruler and if Rudradāman was ruling Avanti, he would have mentioned him, since he was certainly well known through his conquests.

3. Truly speaking, Rudradāman made no reference to Avanti. He said he conquered Eastern and Western Akaravanti (Eastern Malwa) - Western Akaravanti being land lying east to Bhopal, which does not include any western part of Malwa or Avanti. Akaravanti, earlier called as Sudarsana, comprised only Eastern Malwa. Western Akaravanti does not refer to Avanti.

Notes

1. Page 9, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 7, Asiatic Society of Bombay, Publisher: The Society, 1867, Original from Harvard University, Digitized 14 Jun 2008
2. Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. p. 381. ISBN 9788131716779.
3. Rapson
4. "Source". Projectsouthasia.sdstate.edu. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
5. Rapson, "Indian coins of the British Museum" p.lx
6. Rosenfield, "The dynastic art of the Kushans", p132
7. Burgess, James; Bühler, Georg (1883). Report on the Elura cave temples and the Brahmanical and Jaina caves in western India; completing the results of the fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons' operations of the Archaeological survey, 1877-78, 1878-79, 1879-80. Supplementary to the volume on "The cave temples of India.". London, Trübner & Co. p. 78.
8. Sircar, Dineschandra (1971). Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 228. ISBN 9788120806900.
9. Thomas, F. w (1921). Epigraphia Indica Vol.16. p. 24.
10. Indian Archaeology 1960-61 a Review. p. 44, item 22.
11. "Source". Groups.mcs.st-and.ac.uk. Archived from the originalon 30 September 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2008.

References

• Todd, James - The Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Rajputana Publications, 1942
• Michell, George - PRINCELY RAJASTHAN - Rajput Palaces and Mansions, Oriental Books, 1992
• Rosenfield, "The dynastic art of the Kushans"
• Divatia, N. B. (1993). Gujarati Language and Literature. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 81-206-0648-5.
• Buddhist critical spirituality: Prajñā and Śūnyatā, by Shōhei Ichimura, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers (2001), ISBN 81-208-1798-2

External links

• Coins of the Western Satraps
• Coins of Rudradaman I
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Bindusara
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/26/21



Image
A silver coin of 1 karshapana of the Maurya empire, period of Bindusara Maurya about 297-273 BC, workshop of Pataliputra. Obv: Symbols with a Sun Rev: Symbol Dimensions: 14 x 11 mm Weight: 3.4 g.

2nd Mauryan emperor
Reign: c. 297 – c. 273 BCE
Coronation: c. 297 BCE
Predecessor: Chandragupta Maurya (father)
Successor: Ashoka (son)
Died: c. 273 BCE
Issue: Susima, Ashoka, Dhrupad, Vitashoka, and 98 sons (according to mahawansa)
Dynasty: Maurya
Father: Chandragupta Maurya
Mother: Durdhara (according to Jain tradition)

Bindusara (r. c. 297 – c. 273 BCE), also Amitraghāta or Amitrakhāda (Sanskrit for "slayer of enemies" or “devourer of enemies”) [1][2] or Amitrochates (Greek: Ἀμιτροχάτης)[2] was the second Mauryan emperor of India.

"Strabo (p. 70) says, 'Generally speaking, the men who have hitherto written on the affairs of India were a set of liars, — Deimachos holds the first place in the list, Megasthenes comes next; while Onesikritos and Nearchos, with others of the same class, manage to stammer out a few words (of truth). Of this we became the more convinced whilst writing the history of Alexander. No faith whatever can be placed in Deimachos and Megasthenes. They coined the fables concerning men with ears large enough to sleep in, men without any mouths, without noses, with only one eye, with spider legs, and with fingers bent backward. They renewed Homer's fables concerning the battles of the cranes and pygmies, and asserted the latter to be three spans high. They told of ants digging for gold, and Pans with wedge-shaped heads, of serpents swallowing down oxen and stags, horns and all, — meantime, as Eratosthenes has observed, accusing each other of falsehood. Both of these men were sent as ambassadors to Palimbothra, — Megasthenes to Sandrokottos, Deimachos to Amitrochados his son, — and such are the notes of their residence abroad, which I know not why, they thought fit to leave.

-- Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian; Being a Translation of the Fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes Collected by Dr. Schwanbeck, and of the First Part of the Indika of Arrian, by J.W. McCrindle, M.A.


... called by Strabo Allitrochades, and by Athenaios (xiv. 67), Amitrochates,1 [The passage states that Amitrochates, the king of the Indians, wrote to Antiochos asking that king to buy and send him sweet wine, dried figs, and a sophist; and that Antioches replied: We shall send you the figs and the wine, but in Greece the laws forbid a sophist to be sold. Athenaios quotes Hegesander as his authority.]

-- The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great as described by Arrian Q. Curtius Diodorus Plutarch and Justin: Being Translations of Such Portions of the Works of These and Other Classical Authors as Describe Alexander's Campaigns in Afghanistan the Panjab Sindh Gedrosia and Karmania With An Introduction Containing a Life of Alexander Copious Notes Illustrations Maps and Indices, by J.W. McCrindle M.A., Late Principal of the Government College Patna and Fellow of the Calcutta University Member of the General Council of the University of Edinburgh

Ath. 14.67
Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists
C. D. Yonge, B.A., Ed.

Now with respect to dried figs. Those which came from Attica were always considered a great deal the best. Accordingly Dinon, in his History of Persia, says—“And they used to serve up at the royal table all the fruits which the earth produces as far as the king's dominions extend, being brought to him from every district as a sort of first-fruits. And the first king did not think it becoming for the kings either to eat or drink anything which came from any foreign country; and this idea gradually acquired the force of a law. For once, when one of the eunuchs brought the king, among the rest of the dishes at dessert, some Athenian dried figs, the king asked where they came from. And when he heard that they came from Athens, he forbade those who had bought them to buy them for him any more, until it should be in his power to take them whenever he chose, and not to buy them. And it is said that the eunuch did this on purpose, with a view to remind him of the expedition against Attica.” And Alexis, in his Pilot, says—
Then came in figs, the emblem of fair Athens,
And bunches of sweet thyme.

And Lynceus, in his epistle to the comic poet, Posidippus, says—“In the delineation of the tragic passions, I do not think that Euripides is at all superior to Sophocles, but in dried figs, I do think that Attica is superior to every other country on earth.” And in his letter to Diagoras, he writes thus:—"But this country opposes to the Chelidonian dried figs those which are called Brigindaridæ, which in their name indeed are barbarous, but which in delicious flavour are not at all less Attic than the others. And Phœnicides, in his Hated Woman, says—
They celebrate the praise of myrtle-berries,
Of honey, of the Propylæa, and of figs;
Now these I tasted when I first arrived,
And saw the Propylæa; yet have I found nothing
Which to a woodcock can for taste compare.

In which lines we must take notice of the mention of the [p. 1044] woodcock. But Philemon, in his treatise on Attic Names, says that “the most excellent dried figs are those called Aegilides; and that Aegila is the name of a borough in Attica, which derives its name from a hero called Aegilus; but that the dried figs of a reddish black colour are called Chelidonians.” Theopompus also, in the Peace, praising the Tithrasian figs, speaks thus—

Barley cakes, cheesecakes, and Tithrasian figs.

But dried figs were so very much sought after by all men, (for really, as Aristophanes says—
There's really nothing nicer than dried figs;)

that even Amitrochates, the king of the Indians, wrote to Antiochus, entreating him (it is Hegesander who tells this story) to buy and send him some sweet wine, and some dried figs, and a sophist; and that Antiochus wrote to him in answer, "The dried figs and the sweet wine we will send you; but it is not lawful for a sophist to be sold in Greece. The Greeks were also in the habit of eating dried figs roasted, as Pherecrates proves by what he says in the Corianno, where we find—

But pick me out some of those roasted figs.

And a few lines later he says—
Will you not bring me here some black dried figs
Dost understand? Among the Mariandyni,
That barbarous tribe, they call these black dried figs
Their dishes.

I am aware, too, that Pamphilus has mentioned a kind of dried figs, which he calls προκνίδες.

-- Athenaeus. The Deipnosophists. Or Banquet Of The Learned Of Athenaeus. London. Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden. 1854.

"Amitrochates," Excerpt from Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Volume 41, Issue 2, pp. 423-426
April 1909

AMITROCHATES

In the course of determining the exact date of Buddha's death, Dr. Fleet1 [JRAS., 1909, p. 24.] has adopted as the Sanskrit equivalent of Amitrochates or Amitrochades, the Greek version of the name or title by which they knew Candragupta's [Sandrocottus's !!!] son, Amitrakhada, rather than the conventional Amitraghata,2 [For the variants of the name, cf. Vincent Smith, Early History of India,2, p. 138; the identification with Amitraghata was made by Lassen. See also Franke, Pali und Sanskrit, p. 71.] on the ground that this word has not yet been established as a personal name by any Indian or Ceylonese books or inscriptions, while Amitrakhada is found as an epithet of Indra.

Now it is clear that the Greek version may quite well represent either of these names, and that any choice between them must rest on their intrinsic merits, which seem to me to tell very much in favour of Amitraghata. It is true that Amitrakhada is found in RV., x, 152, 1, and A V. (Paipp.), i, 20, 4,3 [The ordinary recension has amitrasahah instead. The use of hanyate in the next half-verse is noteworthy (na yasya hanyate sakha na jiyate kada cana).] and Vrtrakhada in three passages, RV., iii, 45, 2 (= Samaveda, ii, 1069); 51, 9, which is cited, and khada explained as anta in Aitareya Brahmana, v, 10, 12; and x, 65, 10. In the former instances the epithet applies to Indra, and in the latter to Brhaspati, who has no doubt borrowed it from Indra.4 [Cf. Macdonell, Vedic Mythology, p. 103; Hopkins, Religions of India, p. 136.]

These passages prove beyond doubt that in the received text of the Rgveda Samhita, Amitrakhada and Vrtrakhada had obtained entrance as epithets of Indra. But it will be ...


In Classical sources Bindusara is known as Amitrochates, which appears to be a Greek version of the Sanskrit amitrakhada (eater of foes) or amitraghata (slayer of foes). [Strabo, II, Fragment 29, p. 70.) Strabo refers to Deimachus being sent by Antiochus I as his ambassador to Amitrochates the son of Sandrocottus. Pliny speaks of another envoy who was sent by the king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (185-247 B.C.). [Hist. Nat., Book IV, c. 17, (21).] ... Atheneus of the third century A.D. writes that according to Hegesander, Amitrochates wrote to Antiochus I of Syria and asked for some sweet wine, dried figs, and a sophist to be sent to the Indian court. [Atheneus, III, 444 and XIV, 652-3.)]

Early Buddhist sources do not have much to say on Bindusara. This may have been due to the king's lack of enthusiasm about Buddhism ...

-- Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, by Romila Thapar


He was the son of the dynasty's founder Chandragupta and the father of its most famous ruler Ashoka. Bindusara's life is not documented as well as the lives of these two emperors: much of the information about him comes from legendary accounts written several hundred years after his death.

Bindusara consolidated the empire created by his father. The 16th century Tibetan Buddhist author Taranatha credits his administration with extensive territorial conquests in southern India, but some historians doubt the historical authenticity of this claim.


Background

Ancient and medieval sources have not documented Bindusara's life in detail. Much of the information about him comes from Jain legends focused on Chandragupta and the Buddhist legends focused on Ashoka. The Jain legends, such as Hemachandra's Parishishta-Parvan were written more than a thousand years after his death.[3] Most of the Buddhist legends about Ashoka's early life also appear to have been composed by Buddhist writers who lived several hundred years after Ashoka's death, and are of little historical value.[4] While these legends can be used to make several inferences about Bindusara's reign, they are not entirely reliable because of the close association between Ashoka and Buddhism.[3]

Buddhist sources that provide information about Bindusara include Divyavadana (including Ashokavadana and Pamsupradanavadana), Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Vamsatthappakasini (also known as Mahvamsa Tika or "Mahavamsa commentary"), Samantapasadika, and the 16th century writings of Taranatha.[5][6][7] The Jain sources include the 12th century Parishishta-Parvan by Hemachandra and the 19th century Rajavali-Katha by Devachandra.[8][9] The Hindu Puranas also mention Bindusara in their genealogies of Mauryan rulers.[10] Some Greek sources also mention him by the name "Amitrochates" or its variations.[11][8]

Early life

Parents


Bindusara was born to Chandragupta, the founder of the Mauryan Empire. This is attested by several sources, including the various Puranas and the Mahavamsa.[12]

The Dipavamsa, on the other hand, names Bindusara as the son of the king Shushunaga.[5]

Shishunaga (c. 413 – 395 BCE) was the founder of the Shishunaga dynasty of the Magadha Empire in the present day northern India. Initially, he was an amatya (official) of the Magadha empire under the Haryanka dynasty. He was placed on the throne by the people who revolted against the Haryanka dynasty rule. The Puranas tell us that he placed his son at Varanasi and himself ruled from Girivraja (Rajagriha). He was succeeded by his son Kalashoka (Kakavarna).

-- Shishunaga, by Wikipedia


The prose version of Ashokavadana states that Bindusara was the son of Nanda and a 10th-generation descendant of Bimbisara. Like Dipavamsa, it omits Chandragupta's name altogether. The metrical version of Ashokavadana contains a similar genealogy with some variations.[5]

Chandragupta had a marriage alliance with the Seleucids, which has led to speculation that Bindusara's mother might have been Greek or Macedonian. However, there is no evidence of this.[13] According to the 12th century Jain writer Hemachandra's Parishishta-Parvan, the name of Bindusara's mother was Durdhara.[9]

Names

The name "Bindusara", with slight variations, is attested by the Buddhist texts such as Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa ("Bindusaro"); the Jain texts such as Parishishta-Parvan; as well as the Hindu texts such as Vishnu Purana ("Vindusara").[14][15] Other Puranas give different names for Chandragupta's successor; these appear to be clerical errors.[14] For example, the various recensions of Bhagavata Purana mention him as Varisara or Varikara. The different versions of Vayu Purana call him Bhadrasara or Nandasara.[10]

The Mahabhashya names Chandragupta's successor as Amitra-ghata (Sanskrit for "slayer of enemies").[6] The Greek writers Strabo and Athenaeus call him Allitrochades and Amitrochates respectively; these names are probably derived from the Sanskrit title. In addition, Bindusara was given the title Devanampriya ("The Beloved of the Gods"), which was also applied to his successor Ashoka.[2] The Jain work Rajavali-Katha states that his birth name was Simhasena.[8]

Both Buddhist and Jain texts mention a legend about how Bindusara got his name. Both accounts state that Chandragupta's minister Chanakya used to mix small doses of poison in the emperor's food to build his immunity against possible poisoning attempts. One day, Chandragupta, not knowing about the poison, shared his food with his pregnant wife. According to the Buddhist legends (Mahavamsa and Mahavamsa Tikka), the queen was seven days away from delivery at this time. Chanakya arrived just as the queen ate the poisoned morsel. Realizing that she was going to die, he decided to save the unborn child. He cut off the queen's head and cut open her belly with a sword to take out the foetus. Over the next seven days, he placed the foetus in the belly of a goat freshly killed each day. After seven days, Chandragupta's son was "born". He was named Bindusara, because his body was spotted with drops ("bindu") of goat's blood.[16] The Jain text Parishishta-Parvan names the queen as Durdhara, and states that Chanakya entered the room the very moment she collapsed. To save the child, he cut open the dead queen's womb and took the baby out. By this time, a drop ("bindu") of poison had already reached the baby and touched its head. Therefore, Chanakya named him Bindusara, meaning "the strength of the drop".[9]

Family

The prose version of Ashokavadana names three sons of Bindusara: Sushima, Ashoka and Vigatashoka. The mother of Ashoka and Vigatashoka was a woman named Subhadrangi, the daughter of a Brahmin of the Champa city. When she was born, an astrologer predicted that one of her sons would be a king, and the other a religious man. When she grew up, her father took her to Bindusara's palace in Pataliputra. Bindusara's wives, jealous of her beauty, trained her as the royal barber. Once, when the Emperor was pleased with her hairdressing skills, she expressed her desire to be a queen. Bindusara was initially apprehensive about her low class, but made her the chief queen after learning about her Brahmin descent. The couple had two sons: Ashoka and Vigatashoka. Bindusara did not like Ashoka because his "limbs were hard to the touch".[17]

Another legend in Divyavadana names Ashoka's mother as Janapadakalyani.[18] According to the Vamsatthappakasini (Mahavamsa Tika), the name of Ashoka's mother was Dhamma.[19] The Mahavamsa states that Bindusara had 101 sons from 16 women. The eldest of these was Sumana, and the youngest was Tishya (or Tissa). Ashoka and Tishya were born to the same mother.[12]

Reign

Historian Upinder Singh estimates that Bindusara ascended the throne around 297 BCE.[6]

Territorial conquests

The 16th century Tibetan Buddhist author Taranatha states that Chanakya, one of Bindusara's "great lords", destroyed the nobles and kings of 16 towns and made him master of all the territory between the western and the eastern seas (Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal). According to some historians, this implies conquest of Deccan by Bindusara, while others believe that this only refers to suppression of revolts.[6]

Sailendra Nath Sen notes that the Mauryan empire already extended from the western sea (beside Saurashtra) to the eastern sea (beside Bengal) during Chandragupta's reign. Besides, Ashoka's inscriptions found in southern India do not mention anything about Bindusara's conquest of Deccan (southern India). Based on this, Sen concludes that Bindusara did not extend the Mauryan empire, but managed to retain the territories he inherited from Chandragupta.[20]

K. Krishna Reddy, on the other hand, argues that Ashoka's inscriptions would have boasted about his conquest of southern India, had he captured Deccan. Reddy, therefore, believes that the Mauryan empire extended up to Mysore during Bindusara's reign. According to him, the southernmost kingdoms were not a part of the Mauryan empire, but probably acknowledged its suzerainty.[21]

Alain Daniélou believes that Bindusara inherited an empire that included the Deccan region, and made no territorial additions to the empire. Daniélou, however, believes that Bindusara brought the southern territories of the Cheras, the Cholas and the Satyaputras under nominal Mauryan control, although he could not overcome their armies. His theory is based on the fact that the ancient Tamil literature alludes to Vamba Moriyar (Mauryan conquest), although it does not provide any details about the Mauryan expeditions. According to Daniélou, Bindusara's main achievement was organization and consolidation of the empire he inherited from Chandragupta.[22]

Territorial evolution of Magadha and the Maurya Empire between 600 and 180 BCE, including possible expansion under Bindusara prior to 273 BCE.

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Magadha (pre-expansion) c. 600 BCE

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Bimbisara c. 500 or 400 BCE

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Ajatashatru c. 460 or 380 BCE

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Shishunaga Dynasty before 345 BCE

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Nanda Dynasty 345 to 321 BCE

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Chandragrupta Maurya 321 BCE

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Chandragrupta Maurya 317 BCE

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Chandragrupta Maurya 303 BCE

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Chandragrupta or Bindusara before 273 BCE

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Ashoka Maurya 260 BCE

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Pushyamitra Shunga 180 BCE


Takshashila revolt

The Mahavamsa suggests that Bindusara appointed his son Ashoka as the viceroy of Ujjayini.[12] Ashokavadana states that Bindusara sent Ashoka to lay siege to Takshashila. The Emperor refused to provide any weapons or chariots for Ashoka's expedition. The devatas (deities) then miraculously brought him soldiers and weapons. When his army reached Takshashila, the residents of the city approached him. They told him that they only opposed Bindusara's oppressive ministers; they had no problem with the Emperor or the prince. Ashoka then entered the city without opposition, and the devatas declared that he would rule the entire earth one day. Shortly before Bindusara's death, there was a second revolt in Takshashila. This time, Sushima was sent to quell the rebellion, but he failed in the task.[17]

Ministers

The Rajavali-Katha states that Chandragupta's prime minister Chanakya accompanied him to the forest for retirement, after handing over the administration to Bindusara.[23] However, the Parishishta-Parvan states that Chanakya continued to be Bindusara's prime minister. It mentions a legend about Chanakya's death: Chanakya asked the emperor to appoint a man named Subandhu as one of his ministers. However, Subandhu wanted to become a higher minister and grew jealous of Chanakya. So, he told Bindusara that Chanakya had cut open the belly of his mother. After confirming the story with the nurses, Bindusara started hating Chanakya. As a result, Chanakya, who was already a very old man by this time, retired and decided to starve himself to death. Meanwhile, Bindusara came to know about the detailed circumstances of his birth, and implored Chanakya to resume his ministerial duties. When Chanakya refused to oblige, the Emperor ordered Subandhu to pacify him. Subandhu, while pretending to appease Chanakya, burned him to death. Shortly after this, Subandhu himself had to retire and become a monk due to Chanakya's curse.[9][24]

Ashokavadana suggests that Bindusara had 500 royal councillors. It names two officials – Khallataka and Radhagupta – who helped his son Ashoka became the emperor after his death.[17]

Foreign relations

Bindusara maintained friendly diplomatic relations with the Greeks. Deimachos of Plateia was the ambassador of Seleucid emperor Antiochus I at Bindusara's court.[25][20][26] Deimachos seems to have written a treatise entitled "On Piety" (Peri Eusebeias).[27] The 3rd century Greek writer Athenaeus, in his Deipnosophistae, mentions an incident that he learned from Hegesander's writings: Bindusara requested Antiochus to send him sweet wine, dried figs and a sophist.[11] Antiochus replied that he would send the wine and the figs, but the Greek laws forbade him to sell a sophist.[28][29][30] Bindusara's request for a sophist probably reflects his intention to learn about the Greek philosophy.[31]

Diodorus states that the king of Palibothra (Pataliputra, the Mauryan capital) welcomed a Greek author, Iambulus. This king is usually identified as Bindusara.[20] Pliny states that the Egyptian king Philadelphus sent an envoy named Dionysius to India.[31][32] According to Sailendra Nath Sen, this appears to have happened during Bindusara's reign.[20]

Religion

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An inscription at Temple 40 in Sanchi suggests Bindusura may have been connected to its construction and to Buddhism.[33] 3rd century BCE

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Conjectural reconstruction of timber-built Temple 40 in Sanchi.

The Buddhist texts Samantapasadika and Mahavamsa suggest that Bindusara followed Brahmanism, calling him a "Brahmana bhatto" ("votary of the Brahmanas").[7][34] According to the Jain sources, Bindusara's father Chandragupta adopted Jainism before his death. However, they are silent on Bindusara's faith, and there is no evidence to show that Bindusara was a Jain.[35] A fragmentary inscription at Sanchi, in the ruins of the 3rd century BCE Temple 40, perhaps refers to Bindusara, which might suggest his connection with the Buddhist order at Sanchi.[6][33]

Some Buddhist texts mention that an Ajivika astrologer or priest at Bindusara's court prophesied the future greatness of the prince Ashoka.[36] The Pamsupradanavadana (part of Divyavadana) names this man as Pingalavatsa.[37] The Vamsatthappakasini (the Mahavamsa commentary) names this man as Janasana, based on a commentary on Majjhima Nikaya.[7]

The Divyavadana version states that Pingalavatsa was an Ajivika parivrajaka (wandering teacher). Bindusara asked him to assess the ability of the princes to be the next emperor, as the two watched the princes play. Pingalavatsa recognized Ashoka as the most suitable prince, but did not give a definitive answer to the Emperor, since Ashoka was not Bindusara's favourite son. He, however, told Queen Subhadrangi of Ashoka's future greatness. The Queen requested him to leave the kingdom before the Emperor forced him to provide an answer. Pingalavatsa returned to the court after Bindusara's death.[36]

The Mahavamsa commentary states that Janasana (also Jarasona or Jarasana) was the Queen's kulupaga (ascetic of the royal household). He had been born as a python during the period of Kassapa Buddha, and had become very wise after listening to the discussions of the bhikkhus. Based on his observations of the Queen's pregnancy, he prophesied Ashoka's future greatness. He appears to have left the court for unknown reasons. When Ashoka grew up, the Queen told him that Janasana had forecast his greatness. Ashoka then sent a carriage to bring back Janasana, who was residing at an unnamed place far from the capital, Pataliputra. On the way back to Pataliputra, he was converted to Buddhism by one Assagutta.[36]

Based on these legends, scholars such as A. L. Basham conclude that Bindusara patronized the Ajivikas.[36][6]

Death and succession

Historical evidence suggests that Bindusara died in the 270s BCE. According to Upinder Singh, Bindusara died around 273 BCE.[6] Alain Daniélou believes that he died around 274 BCE.[22] Sailendra Nath Sen believes that he died around 273-272 BCE, and that his death was followed by a four-year struggle of succession, after which his son Ashoka became the emperor in 269-268 BCE.[20]

According to the Mahavamsa, Bindusara reigned for 28 years, while according to the Puranas, he ruled for 25 years.[38] The Buddhist text Manjushri-Mula-Kalpa claims that he ruled for 70 years, which is not historically accurate.[39]

All sources agree that Bindusara was succeeded by his son Ashoka, although they provide varying descriptions of the circumstances of this succession. According to the Mahavamsa, Ashoka had been appointed as the viceroy of Ujjain. On hearing about his father's fatal illness, he rushed to the capital, Pataliputra. There, he killed his 99 brothers (leaving only Tishya), and became the new emperor.[12]

According to the prose version of Ashokavadana, Bindusara's favourite son Sushima once playfully threw his gauntlet at the prime minister, Khallataka. The minister thought that Sushima was unworthy of being an emperor. Therefore, he approached the 500 royal councillors, and suggested appointing Ashoka as the emperor after Bindusara's death, pointing out that the devatas had predicted his rise as the universal ruler. Sometime later, Bindusara fell sick and decided to hand over the administration to his successor. He asked his ministers to appoint Sushima as the emperor, and Ashoka as the governor of Takshashila. However, by this time, Sushima had been sent to Takshashila, where he was unsuccessfully trying to quell a rebellion. When the Emperor was on his deathbed, the ministers suggested appointing Ashoka as the temporary emperor, and re-appointing Sushima as the emperor after his return from Takshashila. However, Bindusara became angry when he heard this suggestion. Ashoka then declared that if he was meant to be Bindusara's successor, the devatas would appoint him as the emperor. The devatas then miraculously placed the royal crown on his head, while Bindusara died. When Sushima heard this news, he advanced towards Pataliputra to claim the throne. However, he died after being tricked into a pit of burning charcoal by Ashoka's well-wisher Radhagupta.[17][3]

The Rajavali-Katha states that Bindusara retired after handing over the throne to Ashoka.[23]

References

1. Chattopadhyaya, Sudhakar (1977). Bimbisāra to Aśoka: With an Appendix on the Later Mauryas. Roy and Chowdhury. p. 98.
2. "According to the Jaina and the Buddhist traditions Chandragupta had many sons and Bindusara was chosen to succeed him. He also had the title 'Devanampriya'. The Greeks call him Amitrachates, the Sanskrit equivalent of Amitragatha" Murthy, H. V. Sreenivasa (1963). A History of Ancient India. Bani Prakash Mandir. p. 120.
3. Singh 2008, p. 331-332.
4. Srinivasachariar 1974, pp. lxxxvii-lxxxviii.
5. Srinivasachariar 1974, p. lxxxviii.
6. Singh 2008, p. 331.
7. S. M. Haldhar (2001). Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka (c. 300 BC to C. 600 AD). Om. p. 38. ISBN 9788186867532.
8. Daniélou 2003, p. 108.
9. Motilal Banarsidass (1993). "The Minister Cāṇakya, from the Pariśiṣtaparvan of Hemacandra". In Phyllis Granoff (ed.). The Clever Adulteress and Other Stories: A Treasury of Jaina Literature. Translated by Rosalind Lefeber. pp. 204–206. ISBN 9788120811508.
10. Guruge 1993, p. 465.
11. Kosmin 2014, p. 35.
12. Srinivasachariar 1974, p. lxxxvii.
13. Arthur Cotterell (2011). The Pimlico Dictionary of Classical Civilizations. Random House. p. 189. ISBN 9781446466728.
14. Vincent Arthur Smith (1920). Asoka, the Buddhist emperor of India. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 9788120613034.
15. Rajendralal Mitra (1878). "On the Early Life of Asoka". Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Asiatic Society of Bengal: 10.
16. Trautmann, Thomas R. (1971). Kauṭilya and the Arthaśāstra: a statistical investigation of the authorship and evolution of the text. Brill. p. 15.
17. Eugène Burnouf (1911). Legends of Indian Buddhism. New York: E. P. Dutton. pp. 20–29.
18. Singh 2008, p. 332.
19. Sastri 1988, p. 167.
20. Sen 1999, p. 142.
21. K Krishna Reddy (2005). General Studies History. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill. p. A42-43. ISBN 9780070604476.
22. Daniélou 2003, p. 109.
23. B. Lewis Rice (1889). Epigraphia Carnatica, Volume II: Inscriptions and Sravana Belgola. Bangalore: Mysore Government Central Press. p. 9.
24. Hemachandra (1891). Sthavir̂aval̂i charita, or, Pariśishtaparvan. Translated by Hermann Jacobi. Calcutta: Asiatic Society. pp. 67–68.
25. Mookerji, Radhakumud (1966). Chandragupta Maurya and His Times. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 38. ISBN 9788120804050.
26. Talbert, Richard J. A.; Naiden, Fred S. (2017). Mercury's Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 9780190663285.
27. Erskine, Andrew (2009). A Companion to the Hellenistic World. John Wiley & Sons. p. 421. ISBN 9781405154413.
28. Mookerji 1988, p. 38.
29. J. C. McKeown (2013). A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Cradle of Western Civilization. Oxford University Press. p. 99. ISBN 9780199982110.
30. Athenaeus (of Naucratis) (1854). The Deipnosophists, or, Banquet of the learned of Athenaeus. III. Literally Translated by C. D. Yonge, B. A. London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 1044. Original Classification Number: 888 A96d tY55 1854. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013.
31. Irfan Habib & Vivekanand Jha 2004, p. 20.
32. India, the Ancient Past, Burjor Avari, p.108-109
33. Singh, Upinder (2016). The Idea of Ancient India: Essays on Religion, Politics, and Archaeology(in Arabic). SAGE Publications India. ISBN 9789351506454.
34. Beni Madhab Barua (1968). Asoka and His Inscriptions. 1. The New Age. p. 171.
35. Kanai Lal Hazra (1984). Royal patronage of Buddhism in ancient India. D.K. p. 58.
36. Basham, A.L. (1951). History and Doctrines of the Ājīvikas (2nd ed.). Luzac & Company. pp. 146–147. ISBN 81-208-1204-2.
37. Guruge 1993, p. 27.
38. Romila Thapar 1961, p. 13.
39. Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya (1977). Bimbisāra to Aśoka: With an Appendix on the Later Mauryas. Roy and Chowdhury. p. 102.
40. Sukanya Verma (24 October 2001). "Asoka". rediff.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017.
41. "Happy Birthday Sameer Dharamadhikari", The Times of India, 25 September 2015, archivedfrom the original on 17 May 2017
42. "Avneet Kaur joins 'Chandra Nandni' opposite Siddharth Nigam". ABP Live. 10 August 2017. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017.

Bibliography

• Daniélou, Alain (2003). A Brief History of India. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-59477-794-3.
• Guruge, Ananda W. P. (1993). Aśoka, the Righteous: A Definitive Biography. Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Information. ISBN 978-955-9226-00-0.
• Kosmin, Paul J. (2014), The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in Seleucid Empire, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-72882-0
• Mookerji, Radha Kumud (1988) [first published in 1966], Chandragupta Maurya and his times (4th ed.), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0433-3
• Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1988). Age of the Nandas and Mauryas. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 9788120804661.
• Sen, Sailendra Nath (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. ISBN 9788122411980.
• Singh, Upinder (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0.
• Srinivasachariar, M. (1974). History of Classical Sanskrit Literature. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 9788120802841.
• Irfan Habib; Vivekanand Jha (2004). Mauryan India. A People's History of India. Aligarh Historians Society / Tulika Books. ISBN 978-81-85229-92-8.
• Romila Thapar (1961). Aśoka and the Decline of the Mauryas. Oxford University Press.
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Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
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Accessed: 9/25/21

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Names, routes and locations of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Ancient Greek: [x], Períplous tē̂s Erythrâs Thalássēs, modern Greek Períplous tis Erythrás Thalássis), also known by its Latin name as the Periplus Maris Erythraei, is a Greco-Roman periplus written in Koine Greek that describes navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice Troglodytica along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, including the modern-day Sindh region of Pakistan and southwestern regions of India. The text has been ascribed to different dates between the first and third centuries, but a mid-first century date is now the most commonly accepted. While the author is unknown, it is clearly a first hand description by someone familiar with the area and is nearly unique in providing accurate insights into what the ancient Hellenic world knew about the lands around the Indian Ocean.

Name

Main articles: Periplus and Erythraean Sea

A periplus (Greek: [x], períplous, lit. "a sailing-around") is a logbook recording sailing itineraries and commercial, political, and ethnological details about the ports visited. In an era before maps were in general use, it functioned as a combination atlas and traveller's handbook.

The Erythraean Sea (Greek: Ἐρυθρὰ Θάλασσα, Erythrà Thálassa, lit. "the Red Sea") was an ancient geographical designation that always included the Gulf of Aden between Arabia Felix and the Horn of Africa and was often extended (as in this periplus) to include the present-day Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean as a single maritime area.

Date and authorship

The 10th-century Byzantine manuscript which forms the basis of present knowledge of the Periplus attributes the work to Arrian, but apparently for no better reason than its position beside Arrian's much later Periplus of the Black Sea.

One historical analysis, published by Schoff in 1912, narrowed the date of the text to AD 59–62,[1] in agreement with present-day estimates of the middle of the 1st century.[citation needed] Schoff additionally provides an historical analysis as to the text's original authorship,[2] and arrives at the conclusion that the author was a "Greek in Egypt, a Roman subject".[3] By Schoff's calculations, this would have been during the time of Tiberius Claudius Balbilus (who coincidentally also was an Egyptian Greek).

John Hill maintains that "the Periplus can now be confidently dated to between AD 40 and 70 and, probably, between AD 40 and 50."[4]

Schoff continues by noting that the author could not have been "a highly educated man" as "is evident from his frequent confusion of Greek and Latin words and his clumsy and sometimes ungrammatical constructions".[5] Because of "the absence of any account of the journey up the Nile and across the desert from Coptos", Schoff prefers to pinpoint the author's residence to "Berenice rather than Alexandria".[5]

Synopsis

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1597 map depicting the locations of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.

The work consists of 66 sections, most of them about the length of a long paragraph. For instance, the short section 9 reads in its entirety:

From Malao (Berbera) it is two courses to the mart of Moundou, where ships anchor more safely by an island lying very close to the land. The imports to this are as aforesaid [Chapter 8 mentions iron, gold, silver, drinking cups, etc.], and from it likewise are exported the same goods [Chapter 8 mentions myrrh, douaka, makeir, and slaves], and fragrant gum called mokrotou (cf. Sanskrit makaranda). The inhabitants who trade here are more stubborn.[6]


In many cases, the description of places is sufficiently accurate to identify their present locations; for others, there is considerable debate. For instance, "Rhapta" is mentioned as the farthest market down the African coast of "Azania", but there are at least five locations matching the description, ranging from Tanga to south of the Rufiji River delta. The description of the Indian coast mentions the Ganges River clearly, yet after that it is ambiguous, describing China as a "great inland city Thina" that is a source of raw silk.

The Periplus says that a direct sailing route from the Red Sea to the Indian peninsula across the open ocean was discovered by Hippalus (1st century BC).

Many trade goods are mentioned in the Periplus, but some of the words naming trade goods are found nowhere else in ancient literature, leading to guesswork as to what they might be. For example, one trade good mentioned is "lakkos chromatinos". The name lakkos appears nowhere else in ancient Greek or Roman literature. The name re-surfaces in late medieval Latin as lacca, borrowed from medieval Arabic lakk in turn borrowed from Sanskritic lakh, meaning lac i.e. a red-coloured resin native to India used as a lacquer and used also as a red colourant.[7] Some other named trade goods remain obscure.

Himyarite kingdom and Saba

Main articles: Himyarite Kingdom and Sabaeans

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Coin of the Himyarite Kingdom, southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, in which ships stopped when passing between Egypt and India. This is an imitation of a coin of Augustus, 1st century

Ships from Himyar regularly travelled the East African coast. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea describes the trading empire of Himyar and Saba, regrouped under a single ruler, "Charibael" (probably Karab'il Watar Yuhan'em II), who is said to have been on friendly terms with Rome:

23. And after nine days more there is Saphar, the metropolis, in which lives Charibael, lawful king of two tribes, the Homerites and those living next to them, called the Sabaites; through continual embassies and gifts, he is a friend of the Emperors.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §23.[8]


Frankincense kingdom

The Frankincense kingdom is described further east along the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, with the harbour of Cana (South Arabic Qana, modern Bir Ali in Hadramaut). The ruler of this kingdom is named Eleazus, or Eleazar, thought to correspond to King Iliazz Yalit I:

27. After Eudaemon Arabia there is a continuous length of coast, and a bay extending two thousand stadia or more, along which there are Nomads and Fish-Eaters living in villages; just beyond the cape projecting from this bay there is another market-town by the shore, Cana, of the Kingdom of Eleazus, the Frankincense Country; and facing it there are two desert islands, one called Island of Birds, the other Dome Island, one hundred and twenty stadia from Cana. Inland from this place lies the metropolis Sabbatha, in which the King lives. All the frankincense produced in the country is brought by camels to that place to be stored, and to Cana on rafts held up by inflated skins after the manner of the country, and in boats. And this place has a trade also with the far-side ports, with Barygaza and Scythia and Ommana and the neighboring coast of Persia.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §27


Somalia

Main articles: Opone and Malao (ancient)

Ras Hafun in northern Somalia is believed to be the location of the ancient trade centre of Opone. Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Persian Gulf pottery has been recovered from the site by an archaeological team from the University of Michigan. Opone is in the thirteenth entry of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which in part states:

And then, after sailing four hundred stadia along a promontory, toward which place the current also draws you, there is another market-town called Opone, into which the same things are imported as those already mentioned, and in it the greatest quantity of cinnamon is produced, (the arebo and moto), and slaves of the better sort, which are brought to Egypt in increasing numbers; and a great quantity of tortoiseshell, better than that found elsewhere.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §13[9]


In ancient times, Opone operated as a port of call for merchants from Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, Persia, Yemen, Nabataea, Azania, the Roman Empire and elsewhere, as it possessed a strategic location along the coastal route from Azania to the Red Sea. Merchants from as far afield as Indonesia and Malaysia passed through Opone, trading spices, silks and other goods, before departing south for Azania or north to Yemen or Egypt on the trade routes that spanned the length of the Indian Ocean's rim. As early as AD 50, Opone was well known as a center for the cinnamon trade, along with the trading of cloves and other spices, ivory, exotic animal skins and incense.

The ancient port city of Malao, situated in present-day Berbera in north central Somaliland, is also mentioned in the Periplus:

After Avalites there is another market-town, better than this, called Malao, distant a sail of about eight hundred stadia. The anchorage is an open roadstead, sheltered by a spit running out from the east. Here the natives are more peaceable. There are imported into this place the things already mentioned, and many tunics, cloaks from Arsinoe, dressed and dyed; drinking-cups, sheets of soft copper in small quantity, iron, and gold and silver coin, not much. There are exported from these places myrrh, a little frankincense, (that known as far-side), the harder cinnamon, duaca, Indian copal and macir, which are imported into Arabia; and slaves, but rarely.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §8[10]


Aksum Empire

Main article: Kingdom of Aksum

Image
Coins of king Endybis, AD 227–235. British Museum. The left one reads in Greek "[x]", "King of Axum". The right one reads in Greek: "[x]", "King Endybis".

Aksum is mentioned in the Periplus as an important market place for ivory, which was exported throughout the ancient world:

From that place to the city of the people called Auxumites there is a five days' journey more; to that place all the ivory is brought from the country beyond the Nile through the district called Cyeneum, and thence to Adulis.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §4


According to the Periplus, the ruler of Aksum was Zoscales, who, besides ruling in Aksum also held under his sway two harbours on the Red Sea: Adulis (near Massawa) and Avalites (Assab). He is also said to have been familiar with Greek literature:

These places, from the Calf-Eaters to the other Berber country, are governed by Zoscales; who is miserly in his ways and always striving for more, but otherwise upright, and acquainted with Greek literature.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §5[11]


Rhapta

Main article: Rhapta

Image
Supposed location of Rhapta in Africa

Recent research by the Tanzanian archaeologist Felix A. Chami has uncovered extensive remains of Roman trade items near the mouth of the Rufiji River and the nearby Mafia island, and makes a strong case that the ancient port of Rhapta was situated on the banks of the Rufiji River just south of Dar es Salaam.

The Periplus informs us that:

Two runs beyond this island [Menuthias = Zanzibar?] comes the very last port of trade on the coast of Azania, called Rhapta ["sewn"], a name derived from the aforementioned sewn boats, where there are great quantities of ivory and tortoise shell.[12]


Chami summarizes the evidence for Rhapta's location as follows:

The actual location of the Azanian capital, Rhapta, remains unknown. However, archaeological indicators reported above suggest that it was located on the coast of Tanzania, in the region of the Rufiji River and Mafia Island. It is in this region where the concentration of Panchaea/Azanian period settlements has been discovered. If the island of Menuthias mentioned in the Periplus was Zanzibar, a short voyage south would land one in the Rufiji region. The 2nd-century geographer Ptolemy locates Rhapta at latitude 8° south, which is the exact latitude of the Rufiji Delta and Mafia Island. The metropolis was on the mainland about one degree west of the coast near a large river and a bay with the same name. While the river should be regarded as the modern Rufiji River, the bay should definitely be identified with the calm waters between the island of Mafia and the Rufiji area. The peninsula east of Rhapta would have been the northern tip of Mafia Island. The southern part of the bay is protected from the deep sea by numerous deltaic small islets separated from Mafia Island by shallow and narrow channels. To the north the bay is open to the sea and any sailor entering the waters from that direction would feel as if he were entering a bay. Even today the residents identify these waters as a bay, referring to it as a 'female sea', as opposed to the more violent open sea on the other side of the island of Mafia.[13]


In recent years, Felix Chami has found archaeological evidence for extensive Roman trade on Mafia Island and, not far away, on the mainland, near the mouth of the Rufiji River, which he dated to the first few centuries. Furthermore, J. Innes Miller points out that Roman coins have been found on Pemba island, just north of Rhapta.[14]

Nevertheless, Carl Peters has argued that Rhapta was near modern-day Quelimane in Mozambique,[15] citing the fact that (according to the Periplus) the coastline there ran down towards the southwest. Peters also suggests that the description of the "Pyralaoi" (i.e., the "Fire people") – "situated at the entry to the [Mozambique] Channel" – indicates that they were the inhabitants of the volcanic Comoro Islands. He also maintains that Menuthias (with its abundance of rivers and crocodiles) cannot have been Zanzibar; i.e., Madagascar seems more likely.

The Periplus informs us that Rhapta, was under the firm control of a governor appointed by Arabian king of Musa, taxes were collected, and it was serviced by "merchant craft that they staff mostly with Arab skippers and agents who, through continual intercourse and intermarriage, are familiar with the area and its language".[12]

The Periplus explicitly states that Azania (which included Rhapta) was subject to "Charibael", the king of both the Sabaeans and Homerites in the southwest corner of Arabia. The kingdom is known to have been a Roman ally at this period. Charibael is stated in the Periplus to be "a friend of the (Roman) emperors, thanks to continuous embassies and gifts" and, therefore, Azania could fairly be described as a vassal or dependency of Rome, just as Zesan is described in the 3rd-century Chinese history, the Weilüe.[8][16]

Bharuch

Main article: Bharuch

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Location of Barygaza in India.

Image
Coin of Nahapana (AD 119–124).
Obv: Bust of king Nahapana with a legend in Greek script "[x]", transliteration of the Prakrit Raño Kshaharatasa Nahapanasa: "King Kshaharata Nahapana".


Trade with the Indian harbour of Barygaza is described extensively in the Periplus. Nahapana, ruler of the Indo-Scythian Western Satraps is mentioned under the name Nambanus,[17] as ruler of the area around Barigaza:

41. Beyond the gulf of Baraca is that of Barygaza and the coast of the country of Ariaca, which is the beginning of the Kingdom of Nambanus and of all India. That part of it lying inland and adjoining Scythia is called Abiria, but the coast is called Syrastrene. It is a fertile country, yielding wheat and rice and sesame oil and clarified butter, cotton and the Indian cloths made therefrom, of the coarser sorts. Very many cattle are pastured there, and the men are of great stature and black in color. The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §41[18]


Under the Western Satraps, Barigaza was one of the main centres of Roman trade in the subcontinent. The Periplus describes the many goods exchanged:

49. There are imported into this market-town (Barigaza), wine, Italian preferred, also Laodicean and Arabian; copper, tin, and lead; coral and topaz; thin clothing and inferior sorts of all kinds; bright-colored girdles a cubit wide; storax, sweet clover, flint glass, realgar, antimony, gold and silver coin, on which there is a profit when exchanged for the money of the country; and ointment, but not very costly and not much. And for the King there are brought into those places very costly vessels of silver, singing boys, beautiful maidens for the harem, fine wines, thin clothing of the finest weaves, and the choicest ointments. There are exported from these places spikenard, costus [Saussurea costus], bdellium, ivory, agate and carnelian, lycium, cotton cloth of all kinds, silk cloth, mallow cloth, yarn, long pepper and such other things as are brought here from the various market-towns. Those bound for this market-town from Egypt make the voyage favorably about the month of July, that is Epiphi.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §49.[19]


Goods were also brought down in quantity from Ujjain, the capital of the Western Satraps:

48. Inland from this place and to the east, is the city called Ozene, formerly a royal capital; from this place are brought down all things needed for the welfare of the country about Barygaza, and many things for our trade: agate and carnelian, Indian muslins and mallow cloth, and much ordinary cloth.

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §48.[20]


Early Chera, Pandyan, and Chola kingdoms

See also: Chera Dynasty, Early Pandyan Kingdom, Muziris, and Economy of ancient Tamil country

Image
Location of Muziris in India.

The lost port city of Muziris (near present day Kodungallur) in the Chera kingdom, as well as the Early Pandyan Kingdom are mentioned in the Periplus as major centres of trade, pepper and other spices, metal work and semiprecious stones, between Damirica and the Roman Empire.

According to the Periplus, numerous Greek seamen managed an intense trade with Muziris:


Then come Naura (Kannur) and Tyndis, the first markets of Damirica or Limyrike, and then Muziris and Nelcynda, which are now of leading importance. Tyndis is of the Kingdom of Cerobothra; it is a village in plain sight by the sea. Muziris, of the same kingdom, abounds in ships sent there with cargoes from Arabia, and by the Greeks; it is located on a river (River Periyar), distant from Tyndis by river and sea five hundred stadia, and up the river from the shore twenty stadia. Nelcynda is distant from Muziris by river and sea about five hundred stadia, and is of another Kingdom, the Pandian. This place also is situated on a river, about one hundred and twenty stadia from the sea ...

— The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 53–54


Damirica or Limyrike is Tamilagam (Tamil தமிழகம்) – the "Tamil country". Further, this area served as a hub for trade with the interior, in the Gangetic plain:

Besides this there are exported great quantities of fine pearls, ivory, silk cloth, spikenard from the Ganges, malabathrum from the places in the interior, transparent stones of all kinds, diamonds and sapphires, and tortoise-shell; that from Chryse Island, and that taken among the islands along the coast of Damirica (Limyrike). They make the voyage to this place in a favorable season who set out from Egypt about the month of July, that is Epiphi.

— The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 56


Indo–China border

The Periplus also describes the annual fair in present-day Northeast India, on the border with China.

Every year there turns up at the border of Thina a certain tribe, short in body and very flat-faced ... called Sêsatai ... They come with their wives and children bearing great packs resembling mats of green leaves and then remain at some spot on the border between them and those on the Thina side, and they hold a festival for several days, spreading out the mats under them, and then take off for their own homes in the interior.

— Periplus, §65[21]


Sêsatai are the source of malabathron.[22] Schoff's translation mentions them as Besatae: they are a people similar to Kirradai and they lived in the region between "Assam and Sichuan".

The [? locals], counting on this, then turn up in the area, collect what the Sêsatai had spread out, extract the fibers from the reeds, which are called petroi, and lightly doubling over the leaves and rolling them into ball-like shapes, they string them on the fibers from the reeds. There are three grades: what is called big-ball malabathron from the bigger leaves; medium-ball from the lesser leaves; and small-ball from the smaller. Thus three grades of malabathron are produced, and then they are transported into India by the people who make them.

— Periplus, §65[21]


Remains of the Indo-Greek kingdom

Main article: Indo-Greek Kingdom

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The Periplus explains that coins of the Indo-Greek king Menander I were current in Barigaza.

The Periplus claims that Greek buildings and wells exist in Barigaza, falsely attributing them to Alexander the Great, who never went this far south. [NO CITATION!] This account of a kingdom tracing its beginnings to Alexander's campaigns and the Hellenistic Seleucid empire that followed:

The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza. In these places there remain even to the present time signs of the expedition of Alexander, such as ancient shrines, walls of forts and great wells.

— Periplus, §41


The Periplus further claims to the circulation of Indo-Greek coinage in the region:

To the present day ancient drachmae are current in Barygaza, coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander, Apollodorus [sic] and Menander.

— Periplus, §47[23]


The Greek city of Alexandria Bucephalous on the Jhelum River is mentioned in the Periplus, as well as in the Roman Peutinger Table:

The country inland of Barigaza is inhabited by numerous tribes, such as the Arattii, the Arachosii, the Gandaraei and the people of Poclais, in which is Bucephalus Alexandria

— Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, §47[23]


Manuscripts

The Periplus was originally known only through a single manuscript dating from the 14th or 15th century, now held by the British Museum.[24] This edition proved to be a corrupt and error-ridden copy of a 10th-century Byzantine manuscript in minuscule hand. The 10th-century manuscript placed it beside Arrian's Periplus of the Black Sea and (apparently mistakenly) also credited Arrian with writing it as well. The Byzantine manuscript was taken from Heidelberg to Rome during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), then to Paris under Napoleon after his army's conquest of the Papal States in the late 1790s, then returned to Heidelberg's University Library in 1816[25] where it remains.[26]

Editions

The British manuscript was edited by Sigmund Gelen (Czech: Zikmund Hruby z Jeleni) in Prague[27] and first published by Hieronymus Froben in 1533. This error-ridden text served as the basis for other editions and translations for three centuries,[28] until the restoration of the original manuscript to Heidelberg in 1816.[25][29][30][31]

Schoff's heavily annotated 1912 English translation[32] was itself based on a defective original;[33] as late as the 1960s, the only trustworthy scholarly edition was Frisk's 1927 French study.[34][33]

See also

• Agatharchides, author of On the Erythraean Sea
• Silk Road
• Indo–Roman relations
• Indo-Roman trade relations
• Ancient Greece–Ancient India relations

References

Citations


1. Schoff (1912), pp. 7–15.
2. Schoff (1912), pp. 15–16.
3. Schoff (1912), p. 6.
4. Hill (2009), p. xvi & notes on pp. 244-245.
5. Schoff (1912), p. 16.
6. Huntingford, G.W.B., ed. (1980). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, by an unknown author: With some Extracts from Agatharkhides 'On the Erythraean Sea'. London: Hakluyt Society. ISBN 978-0-904180-05-3.
7. Sino-Iranica by Berthold Laufer, year 1919, page 476, footnote 9. Also A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, by Yule and Burnell, year 1903, page 499.
8. Schoff (1912), §23.
9. Schoff (1912), §13.
10. Schoff (1912), §8.
11. Schoff (1912), §5.
12. Casson (1989), p. 61.
13. Chami (2002), p. 20.
14. Miller (1969).
15. Peters, C., 1902. "The Eldorado of the Ancients", pages 312–319, 347. London: Pearson and Bell
16. Hill (2004), Section 15
17. "History of the Andhras" Archived 2007-03-13 at the Wayback Machine by Durga Prasad
18. Schoff (1912), §41.
19. Schoff (1912), §49.
20. Schoff (1912), §48.
21. Casson (1989), pp. 51–93.
22. Casson (1989), pp. 241–242.
23. Schoff (1912), §47.
24. BM Add 19391 9r-12r.
25. Jump up to:a b Schoff (1912), pp. 7, 17.
26. CPG 398: 40v-54v.
27. "viaLibri Resources for Bibliophiles" Archived 2013-02-22 at archive.today
28. Vincent (1800).
29. Dittrich (1849).
30. Müller (1855).
31. Dittrich (1883).
32. Schoff (1912).
33. Eggermont (1960), p. 96.
34. Frisk (1927).

Bibliography

• Brodersen, Kai (2021), Periplus Maris Erythraei. Zweisprachige Ausgabe., Opuscula 3 (in Greek and German), Speyer: KDV, ISBN 9783939526476.
• Casson, Lionel, ed. (1989), The Periplus Maris Erythraei: Text With Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, Princeton: Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-04060-5.
• Chami, Felix A. (2002), "The Graeco-Romans and Paanchea/Azania: Sailing in the Erythraean Sea", Red Sea Trade and Travel, London: The British Museum.
• Dihle, A. (1965), Umstrittene Daten: Untersuchungen zum Auftreten der Griechen am Roten Meer, Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Forschung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln: Westdeutscher Verlag. (in German)
• Dittrich, Heinrich Theodor, under the pseudonym B. Fabricius, ed. (1849), Arriani Alexandrini Periplus Maris Erythraei (in Latin), Dresden: H.M. Gottschalk
• Dittrich, Heinrich Theodor, under the pseudonym B. Fabricius, ed. (1883), Der Periplus des Erythräischen Meeres von einem Unbekannten (in Greek and German), Leipzig: Veit & Co.
• Eggermont, Pierre Herman Leonard (1968), "The Date of the Periplus Maris Erythraei", Papers on the Date of Kaniṣka Submitted to the Conference on the Date of Kaniṣka, London, 20–22 April, 1960, Oriental Monograph Series, Vol. IV, Leiden: Brill, pp. 94–96.
• Frisk, Hjalmar, ed. (1927), Le Périple de la Mer Erythrée suivi d'une Étude sur la Tradition et la Langue, Göteborgs Högskolas Årsskrift, No. 33, Göteborg. (in French)
• Hill, John E. (2004), "The Peoples of the West" from the Weilüe, Section 15.
• Hill, John E. (2009), Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty 1st to 2nd Centuries CE, BookSurge Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.
• Huntingford, G.W.B., ed. (1980). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, by an unknown author: With some Extracts from Agatharkhides 'On the Erythraean Sea'. London: Hakluyt Society. ISBN 978-0-904180-05-3.
• Miller, J. Innes (1969), "The Cinnamon Route", The Spice Trade of The Roman Empire: 29 B.C. to A.D. 641, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-814264-1.
• Müller, Karl, as Carolus Mullerus, ed. (1855), "Anonymi Periplus Maris Erythraei", Geographi Graeci Minores, Vol. I, Paris: Ambrose Firmin Didot, pp. xcv–cxi & 257–305. (in Greek) & (in Latin)
• Schoff, Wilfred Harvey, ed. (1912), The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century, New York: Longmans, Green, & Co., ISBN 978-81-215-0699-1
• Vincent, William, ed. (1800), The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, Containing an Account of the Navigation of the Ancients, from the Sea of Suez to the Coast of Zanguebar, Vols. I & II, London .

External links

• Schoff's 1912 text at the University of Washington, emended with additional commentary, spellings, and translations from Casson's edition
• Schoff's 1912 text at Fordham University's Ancient History Sourcebook
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Lion Capital of Ashoka
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/25/21

Image
The original Lion Capital. Minus the inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, this has been adopted as the National Emblem of India, seen from another angle, showing the horse on the left and the bull on the right of the Ashoka Chakra in the circular base on which the four Indian lions are standing back to back. On the side shown here there are the bull and elephant; a lion and a bull occupies the other place. The wheel "Ashoka Chakra" from its base has been placed onto the centre of the National Flag of India. Sarnath Museum.

The Lion Capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four Asiatic lions standing back to back, on an elaborate base that includes other animals. A graphic representation of it was adopted as the official Emblem of India in 1950.[1] It was originally placed on the top of the Ashoka pillar at the important Buddhist site of Sarnath by the Emperor Ashoka, in about 250 BCE during his rule over the Maurya Empire.[2] The pillar, sometimes called the Aśoka Column, is still in its original location, but the Lion Capital is now in the Sarnath Museum, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Standing 2.15 metres (7 feet) high including the base, it is more elaborate than the other very similar surviving capitals of the pillars of Ashoka bearing the Edicts of Ashoka that were placed throughout India several of which feature single animals at the top; one other damaged group of four lions survives, at Sanchi.[3]

The capital is carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, and was always a separate piece from the column itself. It features four Asiatic Lions standing back to back. They are mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels. The whole sits upon a bell-shaped lotus. The capital was originally crowned by a 'Wheel of Dharma' (Dharmachakra popularly known in India as the "Ashoka Chakra"), with 24 spokes, of which a few fragments were found on the site.[4] A 13th-century replica of the Sarnath pillar and capital in Wat Umong near Chiang Mai, Thailand built by King Mangrai, preserves its crowning Ashoka Chakra or Dharmachakra.[5] The wheel on the capital, below the lions, is the model for the one in the flag of India.

Art history

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The horse motif on the capital.

Currently seven animal sculptures from Ashoka pillars survive.[6][7] These form "the first important group of Indian stone sculpture", though it is thought they derive from an existing tradition of wooden columns topped by animal sculptures in copper, none of which have survived. There has been much discussion of the extent of influence from Achaemenid Persia, where the column capitals supporting the roofs at Persepolis have similarities, and the "rather cold, hieratic style" of the Sarnath sculptures especially shows "obvious Achaemenid and Sargonid influence".[8]

Very similar four, lion sculptures are on the capitals of the two columns supporting the south torana of the Ashokan or Satavahana enclosure wall round the Great Stupa at Sanchi. Like other Ashoka pillars, the one at Sarnath was probably erected to commemorate a visit by the emperor.

Rediscovery

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The Lion Capital on the ground at Sarnath, probably 1904–05

Image
Ashok Stambha replica, Wat Umong, Thailand, 13th century

There was no surviving traces above ground of the Sarnath pillar, mentioned in the accounts of medieval Chinese pilgrims, when the Indian Civil Service engineer F. O. Oertel, with no real experience in archaeology, was allowed to excavate there in the winter of 1904–05. He first uncovered the remains of a Gupta shrine west of the main stupa, overlying an Ashokan structure. To the west of that he found the lowest section of the pillar, upright but broken off near ground level. Most of the rest of the pillar was found in three sections nearby, and then, since the Sanchi capital had been excavated in 1851, the search for an equivalent was continued, and it was found close by. It was both finer in execution and in much better condition than that at Sanchi. The pillar appeared to have been deliberately destroyed at some point. The finds were recognised as so important that the first onsite museum in India (and one of the few then in the world) was set up to house them.[9]

The Lion Capital served as the pedestal of a large stone Dharma-chakra with 32 spokes, which was found broken into pieces.[10] This Dharma-chakra was intended by three Constituent Assembly to be the symbol of India. However, mistakenly the smaller dhakrachakra with 24 spokes became the symbol. The mistake was pointed out to Jawaharlal Nehru, by Radha Kumud Mukherjee, historian, scholar and Rajya Sabha Member during Jawaharlal Nehru's administration; however, Nehru decided to stick with the 24-spoke wheel.[11] The symbol for the Supreme Court of India preserves the image of dharma-chakra on top of the Lion Capital.

Symbolism

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The second stamp of independent India and the first for domestic use.[12][13]

What is being preached may be symbolised by the group of four lions of the capital. A group of four lions joined back to back symbolizes a group of four things of equal importance. The lion is frequently used as a symbol of the Buddha, as at Sanchi, and the animals on the abacus below also have symbolic meaning in Buddhism.[9] The capital is clearly Buddhist and Mauryan in origin and thus probably symbolizes the spread of Dharma, and perhaps the extent of the Maurya Empire in all directions, or four parts of the empire. Alternatively, the group of four lions and bell jointly symbolize preaching of 'the Four Noble Truths' of Buddhism to all; those that emphasize the Middle Path. The symbol U with a vertical line placed symmetrically inside it symbolizes 'The Middle Path'. The Middle Path is the fundamental philosophy of Buddhism, the Buddhist Dharma.

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National Emblem of India

A further clue could be the cylindrical portion of the Lion Capital. On the wall of the cylinder the bull, the horse, the Lion and the Elephant all in the moving position are being placed in between the Chakras. These could symbolize Bull, Lion, Horse and Elephant rolling the Chakras.

A study of the ancient coins and other archaeological finds of India and Sri Lanka reveals the fact that Buddha had been symbolized with a Horse, Lion, Bull, Elephant and a pair of feet. The Tamil epic Manimekalai mentions worship of a pair of feet. Pairs of feet made of stone had been discovered in Jaffna Peninsula, Anuradhapura and in a number of places of Tamil Nadu.In a number of Buddhist inscriptions of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, a pair of feet had been symbolized with a pair of fish or a pair of conch shells. In this way the symbols sculpted in the cylindrical portion of the Lion Capital represents Buddha rolling the Dhamma Chakra; that is, Preaching the Dhamma.

As Theravada Buddhism rejects symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, the Lion Capital may be claimed as one of the finest sculptures of the main tradition that developed into Mahayana Buddhism several centuries later.[citation needed]

Government act

Whenever the emblem is used by state governments or any other government body, the words Satyameva Jayate ("Truth alone triumphs") in Devanagari script (सत्यमेव जयते) must be used right under the emblem as per the statute, State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.[14]

Similarities with the Sanchi capital

See also: Pillars of Ashoka

Image
Image
The capital of the Sanchi pillar of Ashoka, as discovered (left), and simulation of original appearance (right). Sanchi Museum.[15] 250 BCE.[16]

A pillar of finely polished sandstone, one of the Pillars of Ashoka, was also erected on the side of the main Torana gateway at Sanchi. The bell-shaped capital consists of four lions, which probably supported a Wheel of Law.[17] The capital is located at the nearby Sanchi Archaeological Museum. The capital is rather similar to the Sarnath capital, except that it is surmounted by an abacus and a crowning ornament of four lions, set back to back, the whole finely finished and polished to a remarkable luster from top to bottom. The abacus is adorned with four flame palmette designs separated one from the other by pairs of geese, symbolical perhaps of the flock of the Buddha's disciples. The lions from the summit, though now quite disfigured, still testify to the skills of the sculptors.[18]

Notes

1. State Emblem, Know India india.gov.in
2. "Sarnath site". Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 2 October2014.
3. Harle, 24
4. Allen, caption at start of Chapter 15
5. "Wat Umong Chiang Mai". Thailand's World. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
6. Himanshu Prabha Ray. The Return of the Buddha: Ancient Symbols for a New Nation. Routledge. p. 123.
7. Rebecca M. Brown, Deborah S. Hutton. A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 423–429.
8. Harle, 22, 24, quoted in turn; Companion, 429-430
9. Allen, Chapter 15
10. Vasudeva S. Agrawala (March 1964), "The Heritage of Indian Art: A Pictorial Presentation". Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting
11. Dola Mitra (18 January 2016). "32 Spokes Of Wisdom". Outlook India.
12. India Postage Stamps 1947-1988.(1989) Philately branch, Department of Posts, India.
13. Souvenir sheet of the Independence series of stamps, Indian Posts, 1948
14. "Has Telangana government got the emblem wrong?". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
15. Drawing reconstruction by F.C. Maisey for reference
16. Described in Marshall p.25-28 Ashoka pillar.
17. Buddhist Architecture by Huu Phuoc Le p. 155
18. Marshall, "A Guide to Sanchi" p.90ff Public Domain text

References

• Allen, Charles, Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor, 2012, Hachette UK, ISBN 1408703882, 9781408703885, google books
• "Companion": Brown, Rebecca M., Hutton, Deborah S., eds., A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture, Volume 3 of Blackwell companions to art history, 2011, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, ISBN 1444396323, 9781444396324, google books
• Harle, J.C., The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, 2nd edn. 1994, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, ISBN 0300062176

External links

• Blog with excellent photos
• For Pictures of the famous original "Lion Capital of Ashoka" preserved at the Sarnath Museum which has been adopted as the "National Emblem of India" and the Ashoka Chakra (Wheel) from which has been placed in the center of the "National Flag of India" - See "lioncapital" from Columbia University Website, New York, USA
• National symbols of India
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:48 am

Datta dynasty
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/20/21



Image
Coin of Ramadatta. Obv. Elephant facing. Rev. Standing figure with symbols.

Image
Coin of Sivadatta, minted in Almora. Obv: railing with symbol between the posts. Obv: Sivadatasa, uncertain central symbol, margin: deer and tree within railing.

The Datta dynasty is a dynasty of ruler who flourished in the northern India in the areas of Mathura and Ayodhya around the 1st century BCE – 1st century CE. [History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.170.] They are named after the "-datta" ending of their name, and essentially only known through they coins. It is thought that they replaced the Deva dynasty, which had originated with the rise of Sunga Empire Pushyamitra, and that they were in turn replaced by the Mitra dynasty.

The known Datta rulers are: [Dimensions of Human Cultures in Central India, A. A. Abbasi, Sarup & Sons, 2001, p.145-146]

• Seshadatta
• Ramadatta
• Sisuchandradatta
• Sivadatta.

The coins of Ramadatta usually represent a Lakshmi standing, and facing elephants. [Dimensions of Human Cultures in Central India, A. A. Abbasi, Sarup & Sons, 2001, p.145-146] In the archaeological excavations of Sonkh, near Mathura, the earliest coins of the Northern Satraps level were those of Hagamasha and Ramadatta. [Hartel, Herbert (2007). On The Cusp Of An Era Art In The Pre Kuṣāṇa World. BRILL. p. 324. ("This item is no longer available. Items may be taken down for various reasons, including by decision of the uploader or due to a violation of our Terms of Use," i.e. CONTENT REMOVED!) (On the Cusp of an Era: Art in the Pre-Kuṣāṇa World. Edited by Doris Meth Srinivasan. Leiden: Brill, 2007. 402 pp. $264.00 (cloth). Cambridge University Press.)]

The Northern Satraps (Brahmi: [x], Kṣatrapa, "Satraps" or [x], Mahakṣatrapa, "Great Satraps"), or sometimes Satraps of Mathura, or Northern Sakas, are a dynasty of Indo-Scythian rulers who held sway over the area of Eastern Punjab and Mathura after the decline of the Indo-Greeks, from the end of the 1st century BCE to the 2nd century CE. They are called "Northern Satraps" in modern historiography to differentiate them from the "Western Satraps", who ruled in Gujarat and Malwa at roughly the same time and until the 4th century CE. They are thought to have replaced the last of the Indo-Greek kings in the Eastern Punjab, as well as the Mitra dynasty and the Datta dynasty of local Indian rulers in Mathura.

The Northern Satraps were probably displaced by, or became vassals of, the Kushans from the time of Vima Kadphises, who is known to have ruled in Mathura in 90–100 CE, and they are known to have acted as Satraps and Great Satraps in the Mathura region for his successor Kanishka (127–150 CE).


Northern Satrap rulers

In central India, the Indo-Scythians are thought to have conquered the area of Mathura over Indian kings, presumably the Datta dynasty, around 60 BCE. Due to being under the scrutiny of the Kushan Empire, as a satrapy and not wholly independent, they were called the Northern Satraps. Some of their first satraps were Hagamasha [Hagamasha, from Saka *Frakāmaxša "whose chariot proceeds in front", was an Indo-Scythian Northern Satrap (ruled in Mathura in the 1st century BCE, probably after 60 BCE). In the archaeological excavations of Sonkh, near Mathura, the earliest coins of the Kshatrapa levels were those of Hagamasha.] and Hagana [Hagana, (from Saka *Frakāna "leader, chief") was an Indo-Scythian Northern Satrap (ruled in Mathura in the 1st century BCE, probably after 60 BCE)], they were in turn followed by Rajuvula [Rajuvula from Saka *Rāzavara, meaning "ruling king") was an Indo-Scythian Great Satrap (Mahākṣatrapa), one of the "Northern Satraps" who ruled in the area of Mathura in the northern Indian Subcontinent in the years around 10 CE] who gained the title Mahakshatrapa or great satrap. However, according to some authors, Rajuvula may have been first.

Image
Coin of satrap Hagamasha. Obv. Horse to the left. Rev. Standing figure with symbols, legend Khatapasa Hagāmashasa. 1st century BCE.

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Joint coin of Hagana and Hagamasha. Obv.: Horse to left. Rev. Thunderbolt, legend Khatapāna Hagānasa Hagāmashasa. 1st century BCE.

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Coin of Sodasa [son of Rajuvula, the Great Satrap of the region from Taxila to Mathura], early 1st century CE. The coinage of Sodasa is cruder and of local content: it represents a Lakshmi standing between two symbols on the obverse with an inscription around Mahakhatapasa putasa Khatapasa Sodasasa "Satrap Sodassa, son of the Great Satrap". On the reverse is a standing Abhiseka Lakshmi (Lakshmi standing facing a Lotus flower with twin stalks and leaves) anointed by two elephants sprinkling water, as on the coins of Azilises.

-- Northern Satraps, by Wikipedia


Section III. The Kings of the North, Excerpt from ART. XXIX.—The Conquests of Samudra Gupta
by Vincent A. Smith, M.B.A.S., Indian Civil Service.



SECTION III.—THE KINGS OF THE NORTH.

Having completed his enumeration of the temporary conquests in the south, our chronicler returns to the subject of the more permanent conquests in Northern India, which had already been briefly touched upon in the poetical introduction to the inscription.

In line 21 the writer records that the emperor "abounded in majesty that had been increased by violently exterminating

Rudradeva,
Matila,
Nagadatta,
Candravarman,
Ganapati Naga,
Nagasena,
Acyuta,
Nandin,
Balavarman,

and many other kings of the land of Aryavarta."

The name Aryavarta is well known to be the equivalent of the modern Hindustan, or India north of the Narmada river. The language of the record plainly indicates that in this vast region the kings named were thoroughly vanquished, and that their dominions were included in the conqueror's empire.

Unfortunately, the historical documents for the early history of Northern India are so few and meagre that it is at present impossible to identify most of the kings named in the inscription. The names of their kingdoms are not stated.

Acyuta was probably, for the reasons given above (ante, p. 862), a king of Ahichatra in Panchala, the modern Rohilkhand. Nagasena is mentioned along with Acyuta in the early part of the inscription, and the two princes may be supposed to have been neighbours. Nagasena may perhaps have been a member of the same dynasty as Virasena of earlier date, whose coins are tolerably common in the North-Western Provinces and the Panjab.1 [1 "Coins of Ancient India," p. 89; "Catalogue of Coins in Lahore Museum," part iii, 128 ; " Catalogue of Coins in Indian Museum," iii, 32.] Nagadatta may belong to the same dynasty as Ramadatta and Purusadatta, whose coins are obscurely connected with those of the Northern Satraps.2 [2 "Coins of Ancient India," p. 88; J.R.A.S. for July, 1894, p. 541; "Catalogue of Coins in Lahore Museum," iii, 122; "Catalogue of Coins in Indian Museum," iii, 31.]

Candravarman is probably the Maharaja of that name whose fame is preserved by a brief inscription on the rock at Susunia in the Bankura District of Bengal, seventeen miles SSW. from the Raniganj railway station.3 [3 Proc. A.S.B. for 1895, p. 177.]

Concerning the identity of Rudradeva, Matila, Nandin, and Balavarman, I am at present unable to offer even a conjecture.

The only name among the nine names in the list which can be identified with certainty is that of Ganapati Naga. Cunningham has shown that this prince must be one of the dynasty of seven or nine Nagas, whose capital was Narwar, between Gwaliar and Jhansi. Although the coins of Ganapati, which have been found in thousands, do not bear the word Naga, there can be no doubt that they were issued by a member of the Naga dynasty. Their practical identity in type and style with the coins which bear the names of the Maharajas Skanda Naga, Brhaspati Naga, and Deva Naga leaves no room for scepticism. The coins of all these Naga kings are found at Narwar.1 [Cunningham, "Reports," ii, 307-310; "Coins of Mediaeval India,"pp. 21-4.] The language of the inscription which describes Ganapati as one of the kings who were "violently exterminated" induces me to consider him the last of his dynasty.

The "kings of the forest countries" (1. 21), who were compelled to become the servants of the conqueror, and are associated in the text with the "kings of Aryavarta," were no doubt the chiefs of the Gonds and other wild tribes north of the Narmada. To this day there is a large extent of forest country north of the Narmada in Bundelkhand, Central India, and the Central Provinces.

The position of the southern forest kingdom of Mahakantaraka has been discussed above (ante, p. 866).


Excerpt from Art. XVIII. The Northern Kshatrapas
by Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji, Ph.D., M.R.A.S.
Edited by E. J. Rapson, M.A., M.R.A.S., Late Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge.
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1894
Pg. 525

P. 541

Art. XVIII .—The Northern Kshatrapas. By Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji, Ph.D., M.R.A.S. Edited by E. J. Rapson, M.A., M.R.A.S., Late Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge.  

Editor’s Preface.

[Since the publication in this Journal of Pandit Bhagvanlal’s article on the Western Kshatrapas, a period of no less than four years has elapsed. The delay in issuing this, the final portion of his notes, is due to the fact that a study of these notes convinced me of the impossibility of publishing them in anything like their original form; and my task was postponed, until Dr. Buhler most generously undertook to revise the most important part of the Pandit’s work, viz. that which deals with the inscriptions engraved on the Lion Capital. Dr. Buhler’s results, which are published in another article in the present number, have enabled me to deal with the rest of the work. While I have been obliged to omit some portions and to correct others, I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to give a concise and connected exposition of the Pandit’s own views.

One of the omissions which I have made needs a few words of explanation. All friends of the Pandit will remember that, among his coins, there was a specimen in gold on which he laid the greatest value, and from the evidence of which he made some important historical deductions. In the following article no mention of this coin will be found. There can be no doubt that the Pandit was mistaken in regarding it as a genuine specimen. Its falsity, which is proved by the strongest evidences of fabric and inscriptions, was fully recognised by the greatest of all Indian numismatists, the late Sir Alexander Cunningham, and appears to me to be absolutely beyond question. The coin itself may be seen among the selected specimens from the Pandit’s collection in the British Museum.

The Pandit’s manuscript "will now be entrusted to the care of the Librarian of the Royal Asiatic Society.—E. J. Rapson.]


The Datta rulers are never mentioned as "king" or Raja on their coins, suggesting that they may only have been local rulers subservient to another king. Since the Indo-Greeks were in control of Mathura around the same time frame (150–50 BCE) according to the Yavanarajya inscription, it is thought that there may have been a sort of tributary relationship between the local Datta or Mitra dynasty and the Indo-Greek kings.[History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.8–10] Alternatively, the Datta and Mitra dynasties of rulers may simply have replaced Indo-Greek rule in the region, before the advent of the Indo-Scythian Northern Satraps and then the Kushans.
Image
"Alternatively, the Datta and Mitra dynasties of rulers may simply have replaced Indo-Greek rule in the region, before the advent of the Indo-Scythian Northern Satraps and then the Kushans." -- How to Get Your Foot in the Door of Indian History ("Myths R Us")

Image
Coin of Uttamadatta.

Image
Coin of Purushadatta.

Image
Coin of Ramadatta.

References

1. History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.170 [1] (History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura, CA. 150 BCE-100 CE (Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology), by Sonya Rhie Quintanilla (Author). Amazon $254.69.)
2. Dimensions of Human Cultures in Central India, A. A. Abbasi, Sarup & Sons, 2001, p.145-146 [2]
3. Hartel, Herbert (2007). On The Cusp Of An Era Art In The Pre Kuṣāṇa World. BRILL. p. 324. (On the Cusp of an Era: Art in the Pre-Kuṣāṇa World. Edited by Doris Meth Srinivasan. Leiden: Brill, 2007. 402 pp. $264.00 (cloth). Cambridge University Press.)
4. History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE, Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, BRILL, 2007, p.8–10 [3] (Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology), by Sonya Rhie Quintanilla (Author). Amazon $254.69.)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:36 am

Coins of Ancient India From the Earliest Times Down to the Seventh Century A.D.
by Major-General Sir Alexander Cunningham, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., R.E.
1891

[SEARCH: "DATTA" = 2 REFERENCES]

1st Reference:

Ayodhya. Plate IX.

Ayodhya, the ancient kingdom of Rama, is now known by the shorter name of Oudh (or Awadh). The old capital of Ayodhya is still known as Ajudhya, and there all the coins in the accompanying Plate IX. were obtained. A few coins of this class have been published by Mr. Carnac, in the Bengal Asiatic Society's Journal for 1880, Plates XVI. and XVII., but without any notice of their findspots. Amongst them is a new type of Visakha Deva, which I have given in Plate IX., fig. 7.

Image
Plate IX., fig. 7.

In my account of Ayodhya47 [Archaeol. Survey of India, i. 818.] I have identified it with the Visakha of the Chinese pilgrim, Hwen Thsang, and I have suggested that this name was perhaps derived from the famous lady Visakha, the daughter of the rich merchant Dhananjaya, of Sakata or Ayodhya. On some of the oldest coins of Ajudhya will be found the names of Dhana-deva and Visakha Datta [VISAKHA-DEVA?], which may very plausibly be connected with those of the rich merchant and his daughter. The coins are certainly not older than the second century B.C., but, as both names were popular, they would probably be repeated in many families of Ayodhya. The coins themselves do not present any traces of Buddhism except the Bodhi tree and the combined symbol of the Tri-ratna and Dharma-chakra. But neither do they show any special traces of Brahmanism, except in the names of Siva and Vayu.

2nd Reference

Siva-Datta.

Image
Plate IX., Fig. 10

Plate IX., Fig. 10. AE. 0-6. Weight 24 grains.

Obv. — Elephant moving to l., towards symbol on pillar. Indian legend, Siva-datasa.

Rev. — Tree inside railing.

*************************

Coins of Ancient India: Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta
Volume 1
by Vincent A. Smith, M.A. F.R.N.S., M.R.A.S., I.C.S. Retd.
1906/1972

[SEARCH: "DATTA" = 37 REFERENCES]

1st Reference:

Section VI. LOCAL COINS OF NORTHERN INDIA

INTRODUCTION


The four groups of coins described in this Part have been classed together as being severally assignable to fairly definite localities in Northern India. The coins of each group are found predominantly in the districts named, and are not common elsewhere. The first definite step in such localization of the ancient coinages was taken by the publication in 1891 of Coins of Ancient India by Sir Alexander Cunningham, the greatest Indian numismatist since James Prinsep. Sir Alexander's unique experience extending over considerably more than half a century enabled him to accumulate a mass of knowledge, both general and special, concerning all classes of Indian coins, which nobody can hope to rival. Although he published comparatively few details about the provenance, or find-spots, of individual coins, his general statements on the subject are of the highest value. His announcement, for instance, that all the coins figured in Plate IX of the work above referred to were obtained at Ajodhya, furnishes a secure basis for the classification of many pieces which would otherwise embarrass the numismatist. In the same way the assignment of the other classes of coins treated in this section to Avanti, Kosam, and Taxila respectively rests primarily upon Sir Alexander Cunningham's unequalled personal knowledge of the distribution of Indian coins. As Professor Rapson has pointed out, the hope of further advance in our knowledge of the ancient currencies of India depends largely on recognition of the local limits of each class of coin. It is very unfortunate that the recorded information about the find-spots of coins is so scanty, but it is some satisfaction to be able to assign even a few groups to their proper local position. Coins of copper, including bronze of sorts, do not, as a rule, wander very far from their place of issue, and, inasmuch as nearly all the ancient Indian coins may be classed under the heading ‘copper’, evidence of their provenance goes a long way towards determining approximately the locality of their mints.  

AJODHYA

The ancient city of Ajodhya on the Ghaghra (Gogra) river to the east of the province of Oudh is famous in Hindu legend as the capital of Rama, but is now a comparatively unimportant town, except as a place of pilgrimage. It has been overshadowed, and, to a large extent, replaced by the modern city of Faizabad (Fyzabad), N. lat. 26°46’ 45”, E. long. 82°11’40”, a few miles distant, built in no small degree from the materials of Rama’s capital. Coins obtained at Fyzabad may be considered as coming mostly from Ajodhya. The ancient history of Ajodhya is lost, and the attempts of the local Brahmans to supply the loss are worthless. No independent record exists of any of the Rajas whose coins are described in the following pages, and we can only guess their age by considering the style of the coins and the script of the legends. Cunningham held that the most ancient coins, those of Dhanadeva and Visikhadeva, are ‘certainly not older than the second century B.C.’, and this determination may be accepted, so far as the inscribed coins are concerned. Of course many of the punch-marked and cast coins without legends may be much older. The coins of both — Visikhadeva and Dhanadeva were simply cast in moulds, and evidently are of much the same date. Either prince may be regarded as the predecessor of the other. The coins, Nos. 8-11, doubtfully ascribed to Sivadatta, are also cast; as are the curious little pieces, Nos. 12 and 13 (PL XIX, 14), exhibiting the fish, svastika, ‘taurine, and an object which seems to me to be intended for a steelyard balance, but is described by Cunningham as an axe.

2nd Reference:

CATALOGUE: COINS OF AJODHYA, FROM ABOUT 150 B.C. TO 100 A.D.

Serial No. / Museum / Metal, Weight, Size / Obverse / Reverse


...

(?) KING SIVA-DATTA

8 / A.S.B. / AE pale bronze rect. 16-7-65 x -55 / Elephant moving l. towards a tree or symbol in railing. Br. legend above, (Siva ?)datas. / Sundry symbols, including a form of the ‘Ujjain symbol’ ; ‘the central device may be a degraded form of the goddess seated on lotus (cp. C. A. I., Pl. IX, 10, 11).

9 / A.S.B. / AE pale bronze or brass rect. 36-7-65 x -56 / Similar; in worse condition. / Defaced.

10 / A.S.B. / AE brass rectang. 22-6 -62 x -53 / Similar; legend illegible. / Similar to No. 8; but the central device is reduced to mere lines.

11 / A.S.B. / AE brass rect. 44-3 -6 / Ditto; ditto. / Ditto; ditto; a thicker coin (Nos. 8-11 are cast coins like those of Dhanadeva, but in poor condition, and perhaps later in date).


3-18 References

SECTION IX. THE RAJAS AND SATRAPS OF MATHURA AND VIRASENA

INTRODUCTION

THE RAJAS AND SATRAPS OF MATHURA


Recent research has disclosed the names of a large number of early Rajas ruling either at Mathura (Muttra, N. lat. 27°30'13”, E. long. 77°43’45”), or over territories in the immediate neighbourhood of that ancient city. The Rajas whose coins are described in the catalogue are Balabhuti, Purushadatta, Bhavadatta (unpublished), Uttamadatta, Ramadatta, Gomitra, Vishnumitra, Brahmamitra, and ? Surya (Suya). There is also a doubtful name (uncertain, No. 1) which may be Ghosha. Other names known are Seshadatta, Kamadatta, Sivadatta, and Sisuchandradatta or -chandrata (?) (J. R.A.S, 1900, pp. 109-15). Cunningham knew of only three specimens of Balabhuti; four more are now described, and three bad specimens have been excluded. The coins of Purushadatta also are rare. Carlleyle found a specimen at Bhuila Dih in Basti District, U.P., to the east of Oudh (Reports, xii. 145, 164). Bhavadatta is new, but see J.R.A.S., 1900, p. 113. Three are now added to the five specimens of Uttamadatta previously known. The coins of Ramadatta are fairly common. Carlleyle found examples associated with coins of the satraps Ranjubula and Sodasa at Indor Khera in the Bulandshahr District, U.P. (Reports, xii, 43).

The coins of Gomitra, Vishnumitra, Brahmamitra, and Sirya (Suya) are scarce, but sometimes obtainable at Mathura. They are, I think, later than those of the princes previously named.

Probably all these Rajas, some of whom may have been contemporary with each other, are earlier than the foreign satraps with Persian names. The most ancient of the satraps seem to be Hagana and Hagimasha, presumably brothers, who introduced a reverse device of a horse. The coins of Hagamasha as satrap alone are fairly common, and it would appear that he was the younger brother and survivor of Hagana. He seems to have been directly followed by Ranjubula or Rajuvula, who struck hemidrachmae in base silver, resembling and associated with the coins of Strato II, as well as bronze coins after the manner of the Rajas: Sodasa was undoubtedly the son of Ranjubula, and if we knew the era of the date 72 on his Mathura inscription the chronology would be clear. The Mathura satraps were intimately associated with the satraps of Taxila, whose few coins are not represented in this catalogue.

The satraps of both Taxila and Mathura by their use of a Persian title and by their names plainly show their connexion with the Persian or Parthian empire; and their rule was, I believe, a consequence of the conquest of the kingdom of Taxila by the Parthian king Mithradates I in or about 138 B.C. Ranjubula and Sodasa may be placed, according to my view, in the last quarter of the second century B.C., somewhere about 125-100 B.C., and the date 72 of Sodasa’s inscription must be interpreted accordingly. But this theory of the chronology is not universally accepted. Cunningham obtained thirteen coins of Ranjubula at Sultanpur in the Jalandhar (Jullunder) District, Panjab (Reports, xiv. 57). His coins have been procured also at Sankisa in the Farrukhabad District, U.P., and, in association with those of his son Sodasa, at Padham in the adjoining District of Mainpuri (Reports, xi. 25, 38). The distribution of the coins of Ranjubula led Cunningham to believe that his dominions included a large portion of north-western India, extending from Kangra, at the foot of the Himalayas, to Multan in one direction, and to Mathura in the other (Reports, iii. 41). But this estimate may be considered somewhat excessive.

The printed notices of the coins of the Rajas and Satraps of Mathura have been indicated sufficiently above and in the catalogue. The position of the satraps in relation to the Parthian empire has been discussed briefly (p. 21) in my essay entitled ‘The Indo-Parthian Dynasties, from about 120 B.C. to 100 A.D.’ (Z.D.M.G., January, 1906).

VIRASENA

The coins of this ruler are most readily procured in the Mathura bazaar, where Cunningham obtained about a hundred. Carlleyle got thirteen at Indor Khera in the Bulandshahr District, while Mr. Burn and others have collected them in the Etah (Ita) District, as well as at Kanauj and other places in the neighbouring Farrukhabad District. It is clear, therefore, that Virasena ruled in the Central Doab, between the Ganges and Jumna. His coins are scarcer in the Panjab. Four specimens are in Rodgers’ collection at Lahore, and I formerly possessed an exceptionally minute one (diam. ‘3), which came from the Panjab. The commonest variety consists of the small rectangular pieces about -45 in diam., with a palm-tree on obverse and the rude outline of a crowned female figure on the reverse. Sometimes the reverse is blank. The variety with the name only in an incuse on obverse, and blank or animal reverse (Catal. Nos. 1-3) seems to be rare, and has not been published previously. I am disposed to think that the coins of this class were issued by an earlier homonymous king. Mr. Burn has one round coin of Virasena, but I have seen only the rectangular pieces. Mr. Burn found a brief inscription with the name Virasena in the year 1896 at Jankhat in the south of the Farrukhabad District, which probably refers to the Raja who issued the ‘palm-tree’ coins. I read the date on a rough copy as 113 Grishma (i.e. hot season), which probably indicates that the record is dated in the year 113 of the era used by the Kushan kings, which, according to my view, began about 120 A.D. If so, the date of the inscription would be about 335 A.D. The characters of the legends on the ‘palmtree’ coins may be as late, although they look rather earlier. Mr. Burn was inclined to read the date of the inscription as 13; but, apparently, that would fall in the reign of Kanishka, and it is unlikely that he would have allowed Virasena to coin extensively in a province adjoining the Panjab.

See C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 18; Carlleyle in Reports, xiv. 41; Rapson and Burn in J.R.A.S., 1900, pp. 115, 552.

CATALOGUE

RAJAS OF MATHURA, ABOUT SECOND CENTURY B.C.

Serial No. / Museum / Metal, Weight, Size / Obverse / Reverse


BALABHUTI

1 / I.M. / AE 84.7 -7 / Figure facing front, r. hand raised; early Br. legend on upper margin, [Ra]jno Balabhutisa / Rows of dots (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 8). 

2 / I.M. / AE 72.7 -7 / Ditto; ditto; a symbol to l. of figure / Obscure, defaced.

3 / I.M. / AE 72 -73 / Ditto; ditto; the symbol to l. is [x], and to r. [x] / Two rows of dots and (?).

4 / I.M. / AE 81 -62 / Device defaced; legend, [Ba]labhutisa / Defaced; thick coin.

PURUSHADATTA

1 / I.M. / AE 99 -8 / Device defaced; early Br. legend, Purushadatasa. / Defaced (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 17).

2 / I.M. / AE brass 79-5 -7 / Standing figure; symbol to r.; legend, [Pu]rushadatasa. / Apparently elephant l., with two rows of dots above (Pl. XXII, 10).  


BHAVADATTA

1 / A.S.B. / AE brass 100-5 -8 / Traces of standing figure and same symbols as on coins of Balabhuti. Two-line Br. legend, (1) Rajno, (2) Bhavadatasa (much worn, but reading certain, (1) [x] (2) [x]).
Image
/ Elephant moving r. (Unpublished; cp. J.R.A.S., 1900, p. 113, fig. 13; with elephant l., but probably same legend.)


UTTAMADATTA

1 / A.S.B./ AE brass 69 -7 / Standing figure, with r. hand raised, as usual in this class; to l. a conventional tree. Legend, Raja (not Rajnno) Utamadatasa. / Elephant in high relief, moving r. (Pl. XXII, 11; also in J.R.A.S., 1900, p. 109, fig. 8).

2 / I.M. / AE copper 55-8 -7 / Standing figure; Utamadatasa. / Defaced.

3 / I.M. / AE copper 54 -63 / Ditto; [U]tamadatasa. / Elephant moving r.


RAMADATTA

1 / I.M. / AE 108-2 -82 / Usual standing figure; early Br. legend in large characters, (Ra)madatasa. / Obscure; should be three elphants with riders (Pl. XXII, 12).

2 / I.M. / AE 104 -85 / Similar; legend complete. / Defaced.

3 / I.M. / AE 94-5 -87 / Similar; Rama(data)sa. / Ditto; two rows of dots.

4 / I.M. / AE 95 -82 / Similar; kamada[tasa]; tree l. / Trident; dots above

5 / I.M. / AE 104 -88 / Similar; the figure stands on a low railing or pedestal; Rama(da)tasa. / Two rows of dots above, apparently indicating the heads of elephants.

6 / A.S.B./ AE imperfect -88 / Similar; Rama. / Similar, defaced; a protuberance left in casting.

7 / A.S.B. / AE 90-5 -87 / Similar; traces of legend. / Obscure

8 / A.S.B. / AE 71 -7 / Similar; datasa. / Ditto; worn smooth.

Doubtful

9 / I.M. / AE 95-2 -93 / Standing figure countersunk in oblong incuse r.; an obscure symbol in shallow square incuse 1. / Defaced; cast.

10 / I.M. / AE 108-3 -82 / Similar to No. 9; but oblong incuse l., and figure radiate; no second incuse. / Defaced; cast.

11 / I.M. / AE 85-6 -78 / Similar, but the single oblong incuse is r. / Ditto; apparently an elephant’s head and trunk in centre.

GOMITRA

1 / A.S.B. / AE oblong 98 -75 x -6 / The usual standing figure; tree l.; another symbol r. Br. legend above, Gomitrasa, indistinct.1 / Obscure; cast (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 11; J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 554, fig. 11).

2 / A.S.B. / AE brass circular / Similar / Defaced; thick, die-struck

VISHNUMITRA

1 / A.S.B./ AE copper / Usual standing figure and tree. Legend, Vishnumitrasa, indistinct. / Worn smooth (J.R.A.S., ut sup., Fig. 12).

BRAHMAMITRA

1 /A.S.B./ AE copper -92 -75 / Usual standing figure and tree. Legend, imperfect, Brahmamitrasa. / Apparently blank; a protuberance left in casting.

2 / A.S.B. / AE 89 -3 -7 / Similar / Traces of a device.

3 / A.S.B. / AE 65-5 -65 / Ditto / Apparently blank. (All very poor; see C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 12.)

UNCERTAIN

1 / I.M. / AE 17-8 -6 / Standing figure, very rude. Legend seems to include [bhaga]vate gh[o]- satha (?). / Horse moving l.; thin coin.

2 / I.M. / AE 99 -8 / Usual standing figure; rajno; possibly Gomitra. / Defaced.

3 / A.S.B. / AE brass 113-3 -8 / Usual figure; ‘Ujjain symbol’ r.; legend illegible. / Probably three elephants.

4 / I.M. / AE 86-2 -7 / Usual figure; (data) maharajasa. / Defaced.

5 / I.M. / AE 65-2 -7 / Ditto; traces of maharajasa. / Three figures, each with four dots for upper parts, possibly elephants facing.

6 / I.M. / AE 67-8 -65 / Ditto; rajasa. / Apparently elephants facing.

7 / I.M. / AE 30 -47 / Device uncertain. Legend perhaps [Bha]vada-tasa. / Defaced.

8 / I.M. / AE brass 95-5 -7 / Usual figure. Legend probably Suya (Surya) mitasa. / Defaced.

1 It is possible to read these legends either as -mitrasa or -mitasa, ta being sometimes written with a downward prolongation on right side.  

SATRAPS OF MATHURA, about 125 To 80 B.C. Copper or brass

HAGANA AND HAGAMASHA


1 / A.S.B. / AE 54-8 -65 / Three-line legend (1) Khatapana (2) Haganasa (3) Hagamashasa, ‘[Coin] of the satraps Hagana and Hagamasha’; at top, female figure parallel with legend; at r. side, thunderbolt (vajra). / Horse left; worn (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 7.

2 / A.S.B. / AE 56-8 -65 / Similar; not quite complete. / Ditto; ditto.

3 / A.S.B. / AE 54-3 -73 / Ditto ; ditto; also a tree-like symbol below legend. / Ditto; horse well preserved.

4 / I.M. / AE 84 -7 / Ditto; ditto; ditto. / Ditto; worn.

5 / I.M. / AE 60 -73 / Ditto; ditto; ditto. / Ditto.

6 / I.M. / AE 28 -65 Ditto; defaced, only Khatapa legible / Horse r., with man in front; thin coin.

HAGAMASHA ALONE

1 / I.M. / AE 91-3 -77 / Figure standing on pedestal, nearly as on coins of the Rajas; tree-like symbol in r. field. Marginal Br. legend, Khatapasa Hagamashasa, ‘[Coin] of the satrap Hagamisha.’ / / Horse l. (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 6).

2 / A.S.B. / AE 64-5 -67 / Similar; legend incomplete. / Ditto.

3. A.S.B. / AE 74-3 -77 / Similar; much damaged. / Ditto; worn.

4. A.S.B. / AE 76-3 -8 / Ditto; ditto / Ditto; ditto.

5 / I.M. / AE 19-7 -65 / Ditto; traces of legend, thunderbolt r. / Ditto; ditto; thin coin (may belong to Hagana and Hagamasha).

6 / I.M. / AE 59-7 / Similar to No. 1; damaged / As No.1; worn.

7 / I.M. / AE 74-1 -72 / Ditto; ditto. / Ditto; horse r.

8 / I.M. / AE 57 -85 / Ditto; legend almost complete. / Ditto; horse l.

9 / I.M. / AE 45-2 -8 / Ditto; -tapasa legible. / Ditto; horse r.

10 / A.S.B./ AE brass 44-5 -63 / Ditto; -gamasha legible. / Ditto; ditto.

RANJUBULA (RAJUVULA), ABOUT 110 B.C. Silver, base

1 / I.M. / AE 38-5 -58 / Head of satrap diad. r., as on coins of Strato II; corrupt Greek legend. / Pallas l., holding aegis in l. hand, hurling thunderbolt with r. Kh. legend, mahachatrapasa, and ha in l. field; name lost (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 2,3, J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 547, fig. 2, 3).

2 / I.M. / AE 34 -53 / Ditto. / Ditto; ditto; character in r. field.

Copper (bronze)

3 / I.M. / AE 45-3 -62 / Standing female, as on coins of the Rajas, Br. marginal legend, [Mahakhatapasa] Rajuvulusa, [Coin] of the great satrap Rajuvula.’ / Defaced (C.A.I., P1.VIII, 4; J.R.A.S., ut sup., fig. 4).

SODASA, SON OF RANJUBULA Copper (bronze)

1 / A.S.B. / AE 24-5 -58 / Standing female and tree-like symbol r., as on coins of the Rajas. Br. marginal legend, [Mahakhatapasa putasa khatapasa So]da-sasa; ‘[Coin] of the satrap S., son of the great satrap.’ / Defaced; traces of Lakshmi and elephants (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 5; J.R.A.S., ut sup., fig. 5, 6).

2 / A.S.B. / AE 29 -63 / Similar; dasasa legible svastika at end of legend. / Ditto.

3 / A.S.B. / AE 98-8 -7 / Similar; mahakhatapasa legible. / Lakshmi with elephants pouring water over her (Pl. XXII. 13).

4 / A.S.B. / AE 74-5 -75 / Similar; khatapasa putasa khatapasa So. / Ditto; nearly defaced.

5 / I.M. / AE 49-4 -63 / Standing female as usual. Br. legend arranged parallel to figure, r., khatapasa; l., [So]dasasa. / Ditto; very rude (unpublished variety of obv.).

6 / I.M. / AE 45 -7 / Standing female as usnal./ Marginal legend, Khatapasa (Sodasasa).1 / Defaced.

VIRASENA, A KING IN THE GANGETIC DOAB, (?) ABOUT 300 A.D.

Copper, rectangular, die-struck


1 / I.M. / AE 29 -6 / Virasena in early Br. script, in shallow incuse at top; rest blank. / (?) an animal; worn (Pl. XXII, 14).

2 / A.S.B, / AE 34 -6 / Ditto; worn. / Apparently the hind part of a bull.

3 / I.M. / AE 22 -42 / senasa only in shallow incuse at top; rest blank. / Apparently blank; (resembles some Malava coins). 2

4 / A.S.B./ AE 32-8 -65 / Above, V[ i]rasenasa; below, palm-treé and ornaments. / Rude standing figure; r. hand raised, l, hand on hip; worn (C.A.I., Pl. VIII, 18).

5 / I.M. / AE 24-2 -52 x -45 / Similar / Rude sketch of standing female, with rayed crown (Pl. XXII, 15).

6 / A.S.B./ AE 28-7 -5 x -45 / Similar; a senasa. / Apparently blank.

7 / I.M. / AE 19-7 -46 / Similar; Virasenasa. / Rude female figure, apparently seated l.

8 / I.M. / AE 14.5 -45 / Ditto; ditto. / Indication of crowned female.

9 / A.S.B./ AE 24-1 -45 / Ditto; ra senasa. / Ditto.

10 / I.M. / AE 21.3 -45 x -4 / Ditto; Virasenasa; the ornaments at lower corners are a form of ‘taurine’. / Ditto.

11 / A.S.B./ AE 21 -45 / Ditto; ra senasa. / Almost defaced.

12 / I.M. / AE 21-3 -45 x -4 / Ditto; Virasena. / Indication of crowned female.

13 / I.M. / AE 20-7 -47 / Ditto; V[ i]ras[e]nasa. / Ditto.

14 / I.M. / AE 22 -45 / Ditto; s[e]nasa, / Ditto. +45

1 On these coins Khatapasa may be read as Khatrapasa.
2 Nos. 1-3, as remarked in the Introduction, may be of earlier date than the others. 

19-21 References

SECTION X: UNASSIGNED MISCELLANEOUS ANCIENT COINS OF NORTHERN INDIA

INTRODUCTION


The simple process of making coins by casting in a mould seems to be little inferior in antiquity in India to that of stamping bars or ingots. Comparatively few of the numerous cast coins of ancient India are blank on the reverse. Most of them have a device or legend, or both, on each face, and were made by joining two moulds together. All the cast coins are of copper, including in that term various alloys. The most ancient examples probably are to be found among the rude pieces which are abundant in Oudh, Benares, and the neighbouring districts.

Cunningham considered the chaitya and tree coin of C.A.I., Pl. 1, 29, to be ‘rather rare’; but I should be disposed to call it ‘rather common’. Six examples of it have been catalogued, ranging in weight from 27-5 to 61 grains. No. 16 with the legend Kumhama is novel, and I cannot explain the meaning of the word. No. 19 is the largest rectangular cast coin that I have seen.

The circular cast coins, no doubt, were, to a large extent, contemporary with the rectangular ones. The types ‘chaitya and elephant’ and ‘chaitya and bull’ served as models for the much improved anonymous coins struck by some of the Western Satraps between 225 and 236 A.D. (C.M.I, p. 7, with correction of date of No. 10 from 129 to 158, Rapson); and this fact helps us to fix a posterior limit for the cast coinage in Ujjain and the neighbourhood. Of course, in different parts of India the practice varied greatly, and the old-fashioned methods of coining must have lingered in some places longer than in others; but in the Panjab and upper Gangetic provinces the cast coins are, I should think, probably all earlier than 100 A.D. They must have been driven out of circulation largely by the abundant copper issues of the Kushan kings. In Malwa (Avanti, Ujjain), as remarked above, the cast coinage may have lasted until 200 A.D., or even a little later.

The anonymous coins apparently die-struck include one silver specimen of minute size. The rest are all copper or brass. The metal has not been analysed, and by ‘brass’ I mean an alloy that looks like brass—it may be a pale bronze. The lead coins, Nos. 15-21, ranging in weight from 43-5 to 68-2 grains, are too rude to admit of exact description or reproduction. There is nothing to indicate their age. Some specimens formerly in my cabinet were believed to come from the ancient site Atranji Khera in the Etah (Ita) District, U.P. Those catalogued may come from the same place, which was inspected by Cunningham ‘Reports, i. 269; xi. 15).

The inscribed circular coins, mostly die-struck (class IV), comprise many remarkable pieces, some of whish seam to be unpublished. The script on the coins of Brahmamitra and Gomitra (Nos. 1, 2), appears to be nearly, if not quite, as old as that of the Asoka edicts. The names recur in the series of the Rajas of Mathura (ante, Sect. IX) at a later date. Carlleyle ‘picked up’ a specimen of Jyeshthadattadeva’s coinage at the extremely ancient site of Bairint in the Benares District (Reports, xxii. 15), which may be the coin catalogued (No. 3). I do not know of any other specimen. The coin (No. 4) on which I read Kavirasa jaya, with jaya written reversed, also appears to be unique. Other examples of reversed legends occur in the Malava class (ante, Sect. VII). The little piece (No. 17) with blank rev. and Depha on obv. is very curious, and I cannot guess the meaning of the word. The Devasa class (separately numbered) is puzzling. The coins are common in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, and a good specimen which I formerly possessed came from Kosam in the Allahabad District. The upper characters look like numerals in the old notation. The reading devasa is due to Prof. Rapson. The first character, being peculiar in form, has been read generally as Ne, but De appears to be the correct reading. There is nothing to indicate who Deva was.

CATALOGUE

I. RECTANGULAR CAST COINS, EARLY

Serial No. / Museum / Metal, Weight, Size / Obverse / Reverse

Copper

(1) AS C.A.I., Pl. I, 28


1/ I.M. / AE 59-7 -6] Tree in railing: chaitya; square cross; and a form of 'taurine'. / Elephant l.; triangular-headed symbol; ‘taurine’ (PL. XXII, 16).

2. I.M. / AE 64 -58 / Similar. / Similar.

3 / I.M. / AE 41 -58 / Similar to No. 1. / As No.1; with svastika.

4 / AS.B. / AE 62-5 -65 / Ditto. / Elephant l.; square cross; triangular-headed symbol.

5 / I.M. / AE -- -58 / Ditto; worn. / As No. 3, but differently arranged: a protuberance left in casting.

6 / A.S.B./ AE -- -6 / Ditto; ditto. / Similar; with bar -37 long attached.

7 / A.S.B. / AE -- -57 / Ditto; fairly good. / Ditto; with protuberance.

8 / A.S.B. / AE 29-6 -5 / Ditto; corroded. / Ditto; corroded.

9 / A.S.B. / AE 13 -37 / Ditto; ditto. / Ditto; ditto.

(2) AS C.A.I., Pl. I, 29

10 / I.M. / AE -- -55 / Tree with ovate-lanceolate leaves / Chaitya of three arches, with crescent above; protuberance from casting,

11 / I.M. / AE 58 -5 / Ditto. / Ditto (Pl. XXII, 17).

12 / I.M. / AE 61 -5 / Ditto. / Ditto.

13 / I.M. / AE 53-2 -55 / Ditto. / Ditto.

14 / A.S.B. / AE 56-3 -5 / Ditto. / Ditto.

15 / I.M. / AE 27-5 -45 / Ditto. / Ditto.

(3) VARIOUS

a. Inscribed


16 / I.M. / AE 40 -57 x -45 / Tree l. Legend in large letters Kunhama, with apparently ya above. / A (?) tiger springing l. (Pl. XXII, 18).

17 / I.M. / AE 9-4 -45 / Snake below; obscure symbols, and remains of legend including yo. / Elephant l., and (?) tree; thin coin, probably from eastern districts.

18 / I.M. / AE 16-7 -5 x -42 / Solar symbol; traces of legend / Humped bull l.

18a / A.S.B. / AE -- hexagonal -55 / Elephant l; above, Br. legend, bhaga ... / Tree and (?).

b. Not inscribed

19 / A.S.B./ AE 139-6 1-1 / Humped bull standing l in a square; row of symbols above, svastika, &c. / Circle inside square, containing vase on stand with streamers and (?) flowers. Remarkable for large size (Pl. XXII, 19).

20 / I.M. / AE 118-3 -7 x -55 / Lion or tiger l., facing a bunch of three stems (? fire) springing from the ground, and beyond it the triangular-headed symbol common on ancient coins. / Blank.

21 / I.M. / AE 72-7 -52 / Humped bull l,, with crescent in front. / Ditto.

22 / I.M. / AE 80-6 -5 x -5 / Similar to No. 21, but no distinct objects in front of animal. / Ditto.

23 / I.M. / AE 23-8 -4 x -35 / A sort of ‘taurine’ in high relief. / Ditto.

24 / I.M. / AE 24-3 -4 / Ditto. / Ditto.

25 / I.M. / AE 18 -37 x -32 / Ditto / Ditto (These three coins have a button of metal from the casting at the back.)

26 / I.M. / AE 19-7 -30 / Rude human figure l. with r. hand raised; (?) traces of legend r. / Two pellets in relief (possibly Malava; Pl. XXIII, 1).

27 / A.S.B. / AE 38-5 -7 / Obscure symbols in a curved frame. / Obscure symbols with long straight lines.

28 / I.M. / AE 52-8 -6 / Tree in railing, in circle of which a snake is the base. / Elephant l., facing a symbol.

29 / I.M. / AE 35 -5 / Square cross. / Elephant r.

30 / I.M. / AE 21-7 -5 / Ditto. / Ditto.

31 / A.S.B. / AE -- -58 / Three-arched chaitya, crescent above. / Elephant l.; corroded.

32 / I.M. / AE brass 60-7 -65 / Three-arched chaitya, with crescent above, standing under an arch. / Humped bull r. with tail raised, and feet tied together, facing a railing with (?) tree in it, on which (?) a bird pecking the bull (Pl. XXIII, 2).

33 / I.M. / AE 15 -45 / Tree in railing; St. Andrew’s cross with balls at ends of arms; square cross. / Humped bull l.; svastika above.

34 / I.M. / AE 6-8 -45 / Similar, but partly defaced. / Similar, but mostly defaced.

35 / I.M. / AE 23-7 -47 / Ditto; ditto. / Ditto; fairly good; an object before bull.

36 / A.S.B. / AE 45-5 -5 / Solar symbol composed of ‘taurines’ and broad arrow-heads attached to central boss. / Svastika opening to r.

37 / A.S.B. / AE 30-5 -5 / Sundry indescribable symbols. / Svatika opening r., with 'taurines' at the extremities.

38 / A.S.B. / AE 47 -5 / Ditto. / Ditto; thick coin (Nos. 36038 are in very shallow relief).

39 / A.S.B. / AE 15-5 -36 / Indistinct marks. / incised rectangle. (Perhaps should be classed as 'punch-marked'.

40 / I.M. / AE 54-5 -67 x -5 / Rude solar symbol of boss and crescents. / Blank; very rough.

41 / A.S.B. / AE 13-6 -64 x -4 / Lion standing l., facing tree; svastika above. / Elephant l., facing post; doubtful traces of legend above; (?) Taxila; thin coin.

II. ANONYMOUS CIRCULAR CAST COINS, PROBABLY ALL BEFORE 200 A.D.

Copper

(1) Chaitya and elephant type (C.A.I., Pl. 1, 25) [/b]

1 / I.M. / AE 47 -55 / Three-arched chaitya, with crescent above. / Elephant l.

2 / I.M. / AE 33-7 -55 / Ditto. / Ditto.

3 / A.S.B. / AE 37-3 -55 / Ditto. / Ditto.

4 / A.S.B. / AE 34 -55 / Ditto. / Ditto.

5 / A.S.B. / AE 28-8 -52 / Ditto. / Ditto.

6 / I.M. / AE 13-6 -47 / Ditto. / Ditto (Pl. XXIII, 3).

7 / I.M. / AE -- -5 / Ditto. / Ditto; two coins joined by bar left in casting.

8 / I.M. / AE 26 -55 / Ditto. / Elephant r.

(2) Chaitya and bull type (C.A.I., Pl. I, 26)

9 / I.M. / AE 63 -65 / Three-arched chaitya, with crescent above; a ‘taurine’ symbol on each side. / Large-horned bull r.; triskelis above.

(3) Chaitya and lion type (C.A.I., Pl. I, 27)

10 / I.M. / AE 63-8 -6 / Three-arched chaitya, with crescent and ‘taurines’, as in bull type. / Lion moving l. towards triangular-headed symbol.

11 / I.M. / AE 67-1 -57 / Ditto. / Ditto.

12 / I.M. / AE 73-2 -57 / Ditto. / Ditto.

13 / I.M. / AE 53 -57 / Ditto / Ditto.

14 / I.M. / AE 16-8 -45 / Ditto. / Ditto.

15 / I.M. / AE 23-5 -53 / Ditto. / Lion r.

(4) Various

16 / A.S.B./ AE 91 -7 / Rayed sun. / Quadruped l.; much worn.

17 / A.S.B. / AE 68 -65 / Ditto. / Quadruped r.; ditto.

18 / I.M. / AE 37-5 -55 / Six-spoked wheel. / Obscure.

19 / I.M. / AE brass 66 -76 / Rayed sun above low enclosure. / Bull r.; very rough.

20 / I.M. / AE 64 -7 / Tree in railing; square cross, &c. / Elephant l.; solar symbol; chaitya, and triangular-headed symbol.

21 / A.S.B./ AE 14 -47 / Tree in railing, as on coins of Kosam; ‘Ujjain symbol’ r. / Blank.

22 / A.S.B. / AE 27-7 -55 / Humped bull l. / (?) Antelope r.; corroded.

23 / I.M. / AE 23-8 -47 / Three-arched chaitya. / Quadruped l.

24 / I.M. oval 29-3 -75 x -5 / A curious object in high relief. / (?) Bull’s face (Pl. XXIII, 4).

III. APPARENTLY DIE-STRUCK, NOT INSCRIBED [ Silver

1 / I.M. / AE 22-7 -4 / Quadruped (? horse) r. / Blank.

Copper or brass

2 / A.5.B./ AE square 58-3 -67 / Solar symbol consisting of boss with broad arrowheads and crescents, in incuse made by circular die. / Svastika with curved limbs (? Ujjain).

3 / I.M. /AE square 17 -42 / ‘Ujjain symbol’ of four circles without connecting cross; (?) lion; struck by circular die. / Quadruped l., facing a post (? Ujjain).
 
4 / I.M. / AE 14 -42 / Three-arched chaitya with crescent . / 'Taurine' (seems to be die struck).

5 / A.S.B. / AE 71-8 -78 / 'Taurine' in small incuse; rest blank. / Apparently blank; worn.

6 / I.M. / AE hexagonal 47-2 -87 / cup-mark surrounded by six others similar. / Apparently blank.

7 / I.M. / AE hexagonal 60-8 -75 / Ditto. / Ditto.

8 / I.M. / AE hexagonal 17-5 -35 x -45 / Similar, with incised rays connecting the marks. / Ditto.

9 / I.M. / AE 49-5 -73 / Trident with curved sides. / Cross in wheel (?Taxila).

10 / I.M. / AE 27-9 -67 / Similar. / Star with curved rays filling the field (? Taxila); worn.

11 / A.S.B. / AE brass 45-2 -7 / Sun with numerous rays filling the field. / Same as obv.; (?) traces of legend; worn smooth.

12 / I.M. / AE 85-5 -85 / Lion standing r. / Humped bull standing r.; worn.

13 / I.M. / AE 32 -62 / Tree in railing; 'taurine', &c. / Elephant moving r. (? Audumbara).

14 / I.M. / AE 67-7 -7 / Elphant r., very rude. / Obscure lines; worn.

Lead

15 / I.M. / L. 56 -54 / Convex, with obscure indescribable mark. / Flat, with obscure lines.

16 / I.M. / L. 63-2 -58 / Similar. / Similar.

17 / I.M. / L. 60-5 -55 / Ditto. / Ditto.

18 / I.M. / L. 54-5 -55 / Ditto. / Ditto.

19 / I.M. / L. 47 -57 / Ditto. / Ditto.

20. /I.M. / L. 53 -52 / Ditto. / Ditto.

21 / I.M. / L. 43-5 -45 / Ditto. / Ditto.

IV. INSCRIBED, CIRCULAR, VARIOUS,

MOSTLY DIE-STRUCK

Copper or brass

(1) Various


1 / A.S.B. / AE 84-5 -7 / In circular incuse, tree in railing, triangular-headed symbol r. ; ‘Ujjain symbol’; below in Br. of about 200 B.C. Brahma-mitasa, ‘[Coin] of Brahmamitra.’ / Tree-like symbol in railing; (?) Kosam (Pl. XXIII, 5).

2 / A.S.B. / AE brass 64 -77 / In square incuse, tree in railing l.; ‘Ujjain symbol’ in centre; triangular-headed symbol r.; below in Br. of about 200 B.C. (Go)mitasa, ‘[Coin] of Gomitra.’ / Tree in railing and traces of Br. legend beginning with Gomi in shallow squre incuse; allied to No. 1 (Pl. XXIII,, 6).

3 / I.M. / AE 32-5 -6 / In oblong incuse, early Br. legend, Jyeshthadattade[va], or possibly, datta-sya. / Traces of elephant standing r.; resembles some of the early Malava coins; see Reports, XXII, 115 (Pl. XXIII, 7).

4 / A.S.B. / AE 50-8 -75 / Humped bull standing r.; below, early Br. legend, Kavirasa; below, jaya, reversed; and (?)a character; ‘Victory to Kavira’: raised rim. / Defaced (unpublished) (Pl. XXIII, 8).

5 / A.S.B. / AE brass 81-3 -65 / Solar symbol, two trees in railings, ‘Ujjain symbol,’ &c.; above in early Br., mitasa or shatasa. / Open lotus flower; thick coin.

6 / I.M. / AE 24 -45 / Tree in railing; snake on end, r. / Bull l. (? Kosam or Ajodhya).

7 / A.S.B. / AE 24-4 -52 / Peculiar object springing from railing; Br. na r. / Asokan ja (?) (Pl. XXIII, 9).

8 / A.S.B. / AE oval 71-7 -85 x -75 / Tree in railing and other obscure symbols; Br. legend l., apparently chija. / Lion r.; railing above, and traces of marginal Br. legend (Pl. XXIII, 10).

9 / A.S.B. / AE 3-7 -35 / Large characters, which look like charéja, or charaju. / Br. la in centre of field (Pl. XXIII, 11).

10 / A.S.B. / AE 61-7 -53 / In circular incuse, tree in railing; obscure Br. marginal legend including yana, (?) traya nagasa. / Lion standing r.; disk above.

11 / A.S.B. / AE 53-1 -55 / Similar to No. 10. Legend, ratha yana-gicha-m[ i]ta[sa] (?). / Lion standing r.; squre (? ba) over his back; marginal legend in large character, ya (Pl. XXIII, 12).

12 / I.M. / AE 24-3 -55 / Tree in railing l.; thunderbolt (vajra) r.; traces of marginal legend. / Tree in railing, and obscure symbols; marginal Br. legend, (?)gabhemanapa (or -ha), of which bha and na are certain (Pl. XXIII, 13).

13 / I.M. / AE imperfect -5 / Thunderbolt (vajra) in centre, standing figure r.; Br. legend l., (?) mabhada, or (?) mitasa. / Peculiar symbol (Pl. XXIII, 14).

14 / I.M. / AE oval 15-9 -6 x -5 / Tree in railing; Br. na legible. / Three-arched chaitya with large ornament on top.

15 / A.S.B. / AE 17 -47 / Peculiar symbol; traces of Br. marginal legend. / Bull standing l.; thin coin; worn.

16 / I.M. / AE 24-7 -45 / Bull l.; traces of legend below. / Obscure symbol.

17 / I.M. / AE 17-3 -4 / Depha in large early Br., filling field, [x]; worn. / Blank (? Malava).

18 / I.M. / AE 22 -4 / Uncertain large characters. / Quadruped l.; corroded.

19 / I.M. / AE 20-5 -57 / Branching tree in railing; to l., early Br. napa (or -sa). / Obscure, (?) lion r.; thin coin, possibly Audumbara; in bad condition.

20 / I.M. / AE 20 -37 / Uncertain. / Uncertain (antiquity doubtful).

(2) With legend, DEVASA, probably of Kosam

1 / I.M. / AE brass 29-7 -55 / Tree in railing, as on Kosam coins; below, in early Br., [De]vasa; l. of tree a character, seemingly the ancient 20, and r., 7; all in square incuse. / Rude bull, apparently l.; probably cast (Pl. XXIII, 15).

2 / I.M. / AE brass 20 -5 / Similar; but the figure to l. of tree is looped, and seems to be 6; all in incuse. / Bull r.; cast.

3 / I.M. AE brass 35-6 -6 / Similar; no figure to r.; that 1. seems to be 20 as on No. 1; legend imperfect. / Ditto.

4 / I.M. / AE brass 26 -46 / Ditto; ditto; Deva. / Elephant standing r. (Pl. XXIII, 16).

5 / I.M. / AE brass 16-5 -45 / Ditto; characters beside tree illegible; Devasa; no incuse. / Bull r.; defaced.

6 / A.S.B. / AE brass 64-8 -76 / Square frame with low railing as base, enclosing legend Devasa in large letters, and above, an altar-like object. / Ditto; uncertain object above; worn smooth on both sides.

7 / A.S.B. / AE brass 74 -67 / Similar; legend mostly lost; a stumpy tree above; the figure 7 to r., figure to l. wanting. / Bull r.; protuberance left in casting.

8 / A.S.B. / AE brass 68-5 -67 / Ditto; ditto; ditto. / Bull r.; five-branched object (? tree) above; hammered edges apparently.

22-25 References

Bhavadatta, r., pp. 190, 193...

Purushadatta, r., pp. 190-192...

Sivadatta, r., pp. 144, 149...

Uttamadatta, r., pp. 190,193..

26-29 References

SECTION XX. THE NORTH-EASTERN FRONTIER KINGDOMS; ASSAM AND MINOR STATES

INTRODUCTION


It is unnecessary to discuss in this place the meagre data available for the reconstruction of the ancient history of the kingdom of Kamarupa, which corresponded roughly with the modern province of Assam (Asam). The early rulers of the country have not left any numismatic memorials. The modern history of Assam begins with the invasion of the Ahoms, who are ‘the descendants of those Shans who, under the leadership of Chukapha, crossed the Patkoi [mountains] about 1228 A.D. (or just about the time when Kublai Khan was establishing his power in China) and entered the upper portion of the province, to which they have given their name. The Ahoms were not apparently a very large tribe, and they consequently took some time to consolidate their power in Upper Assam. They were engaged for several hundred years in conflict with the Chutiyas and Kacharis, and it was not till 1540 A.D. that they finally overthrew the latter, and established their rule as far as the Kallang [river near Gauhati]. . . . Subsequently the Koch kingdom [further west] was divided into two parts, and as its power declined that of the Ahoms increased, and the Rajas of Jaintia, Dimarua, and others, who had formerly been feudatories of Biswa Singh, acknowledged the suzerainty of the Ahoms, The Musalmans on several occasions invaded their country, but never succeeded in permanently annexing it.... In 1663 A.D. Mir Jumla invaded the country with a large army, and after some fighting took the capital. [But difficulties ensued, which made] him ‘glad to patch up a peace..... The Ahoms then took Gauhati and ... defeated another Musalmain army. The Ahoms were then [about 1670 A.D.] at the height of their power; all the minor rulers of the country acknowledged their supremacy. ... But even then the decline was at hand. They had for some time hankered after Hinduism, and the Rajas had for years been in the habit of taking a Hindu as well as a Shan name. Eventually Rudra Singh, alias Chukrungpha, who became king in 1695, [and is regarded by many as the greatest of all the Ahom kings] resolved to make a public profession of Hinduism, ... but died in 1714 while still unconverted. His son, Sib Singh [Siva sinha], succeeded him, and became a disciple of Krishna-ram [the Sakta Gosain of Nadia]. In his reign the seeds of future dissensions were sown by the persecution of the Moamarias, while the pride of race, which had hitherto sustained the Ahoms, began to disappear.... Patriotic feeling soon disappeared, and the country was filled with dissensions.... Captain Welsh was deputed by Lord Cornwallis to help the King Gauri-nath Singh, who was then being besieged at Gauhati, and with his aid he was once more freed from his enemies. At this juncture Sir John Shore succeeded to the Governor-Generalship, and one of his first acts was to recall Welsh (1794 A.D.), after whose departure the country was given again over to anarchy. The aid of the Burmese was then invoked (1816 A.D.), and the latter remained in the country until 1824, when they were driven out by our troops, and the country was annexed’ [early in 1825].1 [Grierson (quoting Gait), Linguistic Survey of India, vol. ii, p. 61, with additions in brackets.] An Ahom Raja however continued to exist for some time longer, and in 1844 the last of the royal line did good service by arranging for the publication of a history of his country, which had always been careful to preserve its annals.

The foregoing summary of the history will serve, with little additional explanation, to render intelligible the fine series of coins now catalogued. A list of the Rajas will be found in Prinsep’s Useful Tables, copied into Duff's Chronology of India, and corrected by Gait (Report on the Progress of Historical Research in Assam, Shillong, Secretariat Printing Office, 1897). The blue-book last named gives complete references to all publications on the subject of Assamese history, which has recently been treated in detail by Mr. Gait in his work entitled A History of Assam (Calcutta, Thacker Spink, 1905), which also deals with the neighbouring minor states.

The initial syllable of the Shan names of the kings is generally given as Chu, but Babu Golap Chandra Barua, the Ahom translator, transliterates it as Su ([x]) in his account of the Ahom coins (J.A.S.B., Part I, 1895, p. 286, Pl. XXVII). The six coins described by the Babu and Mr. Gait are all included in this catalogue, with the addition of two specimens of Supatpha or Gadadhar simha from the Indian Museum cabinet. The earlier Rajas seem to have issued coins inscribed with legends in the Ahom language and character only, but Raja Pramatha simha, alias Sunenpha, used both Ahom and Sanskrit. The catalogue includes one of his coins with Ahom and eight with Sanskrit legends. The Ahom language, which is now almost extinct, is a member of the group of Northern Shan (Sham or Tai) languages, and is written in a peculiar character, ultimately derived from the Pali. In the work above cited Dr. Grierson has supplied ample materials for the study of the Ahom language and alphabet, but his vocabulary fails to include the words in the coin legends. The readings of those legends in the catalogue are given on the authority of Babu Golap Chandra Barua.

The coins of the dynasty are all octagonal, except a few of the smallest, which are circular or oval,1 [The prevailing shape is supposed to have been suggested by a statement in the Jogini Tantra which describes the Ahom country as octagonal (Gait, History, p. 97).] and certain square pieces struck by Queen Pramathesvari and Rajesvara simha, which bear Persian legends. Rajesvara simha also struck coins of the usual octagonal shape with Persian legends. These Assamese coins with Persian legends, although struck in considerable numbers, have become known only recently.2 [Mr. H.N. Wright kindly examined the coins with Persian legends, which were received in May, 1906.] The larger pieces are of thick, solid fabric, and are said to be of good metal. Most of them are in silver, but some are gold. The legends are well executed, and those in the Sanskrit language usually are inscribed in the Bengali script. They are intensely devotional in expression, the commonest formula describing the Raja as a bee feeding on the nectar from the feet of Siva or some other deity of the Hindu pantheon. Poetical words, such as aravinda for ‘lotus’ and makaranda for ‘nectar’, are sometimes substituted for the more common equivalents kamala and amrita. The Ahom legends of Supatpha or Gadadhar sitha express devotion to the tribal god Leidan, who was identified with the Hindu Indra or Purandara. The legend on the coin of Suklenmun represents the Raja as praying to the Almighty (tara).

The coins, the heaviest of which weighs 176-7 grains, appear to be intended for rupees of about 175 grains each, or for fractions of a rupee. The smallest is a tiny silver piece of Gaurinatha, -22 inch in diameter, and weighing only 4-2 grains; but small as it is, the Raja's name is distinctly legible (Pl. XXIX, 8). The gold coins are struck to the same weight standard as those in silver. Most of the coins are dated in the Saka era, and some show the regnal year in addition.

The coinage of the minor states may be dismissed briefly. The small principality of Jayantapura, now known as the Jaintia Parganas to the north-east of the Sylhet District, was annexed in 1835 owing to the abduction of four British subjects for use as human sacrifices to Kali. Its rare coinage is represented by four specimens in the Indian Museum (Pl. XXIX, 13,14), one of which is dated in 1630 Saka = 1708 A,D., and the three others are dated 1653 S. = 1781 A.D. One duplicate of the latter date has not been catalogued. The coins are exceptionally broad, and bear legends similar to those of the Assamese coinage. Mr. Gait has recorded that ‘a number of new Jaintia coins were brought to light by Babu Giris Chandra Das, Assistant Settlement Officer of Jaintia, and a collection was made which has been presented to the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The collection includes whole coins of Caka 1591, 1592, 1630, 1653, 1696, 1704, 1707, and 1712; and quarter coins of Caka 1653 and 1712: the quarter coins alone have the name of the kings who minted them, viz. Bara Gosain and Ram-sinha respectively. These coins have been described (with a plate) in the J.A.S.B. for 1895, Part I, p. 242’ (Report, p. 4). The paper referred to, entitled ‘Some Notes on Jaintia History’, and chapter XI of Mr. Gait’s History of Assam, give all the information available on the subject. The A.S.B. collection described by Mr. Gait has not been sent to me.

The Tipperah country (Tripura), which lies to the south of Sylhet and the east of Dacca, is now in part a British District, and in part a native state, known as Hill Tipperah. Mr. Gait (Report, p.4) mentions two coins of Tipperah, one of Govinda Manikya deva, dated Saka 1602, the other of Dharma Manikya deva, dated 1636. The latter was presented to the A.S.B. (Proc. 1895, p. 86), but has not come into my hands. The specimen now catalogued, struck by Ramasimha Manikya deva and his consort Tara, is new, but similar to the coins previously known. The reverse device is a grotesque lion with a trident on his back, and the date is 1728 S, = 1806 A.D.

The Manipur State, lying between Cachar and the Burmese frontier, was deprived of its independence in 1891 on account of the massacre of Mr. Quinton and his companions (Gait, History, p. 343). Some small copper coins with ma on the obverse, and the reverse blank, are ascribed to this State by Mr. Rodgers.

Chhota Udaipur is, I believe, part of Tipperah. The utterly barbarous copper coins assigned to it by Mr. Rodgers are undecipherable to me. The recent copper coins of the Sikim State to the north of Darjeeling are not in any way remarkable.

CATALOGUE

ASSAM (ASAM)

Serial No. / Museum / Metal, Weight, Size / Obverse / Reverse


A. With legends in Ahom language and script; silver, octagonal ...

B. With legends in Sanskrit language and script; octagonal, except two coins ...

BHARATHA SIMHA, RAJA or Rangpur, 1792-3 A.D. AND AGAIN 1797 A.D.

Silver


1 / I.M. / AE 175-5 -95 / Four-line legend, (1) Sri Bhagadatta (2) kulodvara sri Bha (3) ratha simha nripasya (4) Sake 1714.1 [For legends of Bhagadatta (Bhagdatta) see Gait, History, pp. 13, 27, 29.] Dragon r. below. / Four-line legend, (1) Sri sri Krishna charanaravinda makaranda pramada madhukarasya; '[coin] of king Bharatha simha of the excellent lineage of Bhagadatta, intoxicated with the nectar of the lotus of the feet of Krishna, Saka 1714' = 1792-3 A.D. (Pl. XXIX, 9).

2 / I.M. / AE 174-5 -87 / Ditto; date 1719=1797 A.D. / Ditto.

30-37 References

GENERAL INDEX

ABBREVIATIONS

ci. = city or town; co. = country; d. = deity; dy. = dynasty; k. = king or chief; qu. = queen; ty. = type....


Bhavadatta, k. of Mathura, 190, 198...

Kamadatta, k. of Mathura, 190...

Purushadatta, k. of Mathura, 190, 192...

Ramadatta, k. of Ajodhya, 190, 193...

Seshadatta, k. of Mathura, 190...

Sisuchandradatta, k. of Mathura, 190...

Sivadatta, k. of Ajodhya, 144, 149; k. of Mathura, 190...

Uttamadatta, k. of Mathura, 190, 198.
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Art. VII. -- Notes on Indian Coins and Seals. Part I.
by E.J. Rapson, M.A., M.R.A.S.
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
1900

CONTENTS.

PLATE / PAGE


1. Uddehika / 98
2. Uddehika: Suryamitra / 98
3. Upagoda / 102
4. Seal of Nandivardha or Nandivrddha / 103
5. Seal of Mamma / 106
6. Arjunayana / 106
7. Eran / 108
8. Hindu Princes of Mathura: Uttamadatta
9-11 Hindu Princes of Mathura: Sesadatta; Hindu Princes of Mathura: Kamadatta Surya-[? Arya-]-mitra, Visnumitra (unpublished) / 111
12. ? Udumbara or Mathura: Mahadeva / 112
13. Dynasty uncertain: ? Bhumidatta or Bhimadatta / 113
14. ? Mathura: (?) Sisucandrata / 114
15. ? Mathura: Virasena / 116
16, 17. Naga Dynasty of Padmavati: Prabhakara / 116
18. Silaharas of the Northern Konkan: Chittaraja / 118
19. Dynasty uncertain: Vatsadaman / 123
20. Dynasty uncertain: Saravarman / 134  

With the kind permission of the Council of the Society, I purpose from time to time to contribute a series of notes on such unpublished or noteworthy coins and seals of Ancient and Mediaeval India as come under my notice; and I shall be greatly obliged to collectors of these objects if they will submit to me at the British Museum any specimens about which they may desire information.

The object of these Notes will be partly to correct and bring up to date the account of Indian Coins, which I contributed to Buhler's Encyclopaedia of Indo-Aryan Research,
1 [Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde, ii. Band, v. Haft, B. (Trubner: Strassburg, 1898.)] and partly to indicate to collectors of coins in India those classes of which farther specimens are required for study.

Comparatively few of the very numerous series of Indian coins have yet been systematically collected. The attractions of the Graeco-Indian class have apparently diverted the attention of most collectors from a study of the purely native ancient and mediaeval coinages. But there can be no doubt of the great historical importance of these latter. Their evidence, joined to that of the stone and copper-plate inscriptions, furnishes practically the only data supplied by India herself for the reconstruction of her history. The extent to which this reconstruction has already been successfully made with the aid of such apparently inadequate and unpromising materials surely leaves no doubt of the extreme importance, from the historical point of view, of the study of Indian inscriptions and coins. The old gibe that Indian dates were merely so many pins set up to be bowled down again is now anything but true. The outline of Indian history is securely drawn, and many of the details are already filled in. The future progress which scholars will be able to make in this work depends principally on the amount of new material with which they are supplied by those who have opportunities of making discoveries and observations in India.

UDDEHIKA.

1. Obv. Humped bull to r.; above, tree within railing represented horizontally.

Rev.

Image

(Udehaki). Above, three symbols, viz., the 'Ujjain' symbol, two fishes within oblong, and tree within railing.

B.M.; Bush, 65: 8-2: 2. AE -75; Pl. 1.


UDDEHIKA: SURYAMITRA

2. Obv. (almost obliterated). Elephant to l.; beneath, five-hooded snake, and (?) tree within railing, both represented horizontally; at top l., counter-mark.

Rev.

Image

[-] (Udeha [-]).

Image

(Suyami[ta-]).

Beneath, three symbols, probably as on No. 1, but in reversed order, viz., tree within railing, two fishes within oblong, and (?) the Ujjain symbol.

B.M.; Armstrong, 90: 1-8: 1. AE -75; Pl. 2.


The Uddehikas (vv. ll. Audehika, Auddehika) are mentioned in Varahamihira's Brhat-samhita among the peoples who are placed in the central portion of his astrological chart1; [xiv, 3, ed, Kern, and trans., p. 88 = J.R.A.S., 1871, p. 82.] but, apparently, their name has not hitherto been read on coins.

Varāhamihira's (c. 505 – c. 587) most notable works were the Brihat Samhita... The chapters of the Brihat Samhita and verses of Varahamihira were quoted by the Persian traveler and scholar Al Biruni [(973 – after 1050)]...

Although the [encyclopedic Brihat-Samhita] is mostly about divination, it also includes a wide range of subjects other than divination. It covers wide-ranging subjects of human interest, including astronomy, planetary movements, eclipses, rainfall, clouds, architecture, growth of crops, manufacture of perfume, matrimony and domestic relations. The volume expounds on gemstone evaluation criterion found in the Garuda Purana, and elaborates on the sacred Nine Pearls from the same text....

External Link: The Brihat Jataka of Varaha Mihira, Aryan Miscellany, Astrological Series, translated into English by N. Chidambaram Aiyar, B.A., Fellow of the Theosophical Society and Founder of the Tiruvadi Jotistantra Sabha, 1905, Madras, printed by Thompson & Co., in the "Theosophist" Department of the "Minerva" Press, 33, Popham's Broadway, For Sale at the Theosophist Office, Adyar, Madras, India

-- Varāhamihira, by Wikipedia


The form Udehaki which occurs here is, no doubt, a tadvaja formation denoting 'the prince of the Uddehikas,' though, in accordance with the rule of Panini, iv, 1, 173,1 Referred to in P.W., s.v. 'Audumbari.'] should rather have expected to find Audehaki (Odehaki). Another instance of this formation is afforded by the inscriptions in Brahmi and Kharosthi characters on the silver coin of the Udumbaras, published by General Sir A. Cunningham (Coins of Ancient India, p, 67, pl. iv, 1). While we find in the Brhat-samhita the forms Udambara or Audumbara to denote the people or the kingdom, we have on this coin the genitive Odumbarisa (Audumbareh) standing in opposition to the king's name and his other titles, Mahadevasa rano Dharaghosasa. The same form probably occurs on the square bronze coin which follows (id., p. 68, pl. iv, 2). We possess, unfortunately, only a drawing of this specimen, and it is, therefore, not possible to be quite certain as to the reading; but, even on the evidence of this drawing, the fourth aksara certainly seems to be -ri rather than -ra, as read by Cunningham. A similar distinction is, no doubt, regularly observed between the forms Mukhara and Maukhari. Thus, for example, in Makharanam bhubhujam (Fleet, Corpus Inscr. Indic, iii, p. 229) the first genitive is dependent on the second — "of the lords of Mukhara (or of the Mukhara people)"; while in Bhupanam Maukharinam (id., p. 222) the two genitives are in opposition —"of the lords, the Maukharis." It seems impossible to determine, from the two specimens in the British Museum, whether an inscription in Brahmi characters, occurring on certain of the negama coins or 'guild-tokens'2 [For references, see Rapson, Indian Coins, § 6. ] found in the neighbourhood of Taxila, should be read Amtarotaka or Amtarotaki.3 [Figured in Cunningham, Coins of Ancient India, pl. iii, 11.] If the discovery of more complete specimens should prove the latter reading to be correct, we should probably be justified in regarding it as a tad-raja formation, meaning 'the prince of Antarotaka,' and in supposing that other forms found on these negama coins, such as Dajaka and Talimata (or Ralimata), are also names or titles of rulers.

The king's name, Suryamitra, may be recovered with almost absolute certainty from the portions of the inscription still remaining on the coin, No. 2, above described. The most probable restoration of this inscription is Udeha[ki-] Suyam[itasa], and the letters which are certain leave scarcely a possibility of doubt as to the reading of both name and title. The style of the Brahmi characters on these coins seems to justify us in assigning to them a date at least as early as the third century before Christ. We have at present no other evidence of the existence of a king named Suryamitra at this period. The king of North Pancala (Sunga), who bears this name, probably belongs to a somewhat later date; perhaps to the second century B.C.1 [Cunningham, C.A.I., p. 82, pl. vii, 4; Rapson, Indian Coins, § 53.] The same name has also been read on coins of Ayodhya, possibly of the second or first century B.C.; but this may be due to a mistake. The inscription on these coins seems not to be Suya-, Saya-, or Ayu-mitrasa, each of which readings has been suggested, but almost certainly Ayyamitrasa (i.e. Aryamitrasya). The description of this coinage given in Indian Coins (pl. iv, 3), should probably be corrected accordingly; but it must be borne in mind that the letters a and su at this period are very easily confused. Much the same remarks apply to the name of one of the Hindu Princes of Mathura, as represented on his coins; it is not possible from the available specimens to be quite certain whether it is Aryamitra or Suryamitra.

These coins of Uddehika — like some of the coins of Eran, which they resemble in other respects also — are examples of an interesting stage in the art of coin-making in India. Their types, struck from single dies, are simply made up of a collection of those symbols which, at an earlier period, were impressed one at a time by different punches.2 [Indian Coins, § 46.[/i]] As to the meaning of these symbols we can, at present, say practically nothing. Some may have had a personal, others a local, and others a religious significance; but we require to know a great deal more than we do know about the history, the geography, and the religious condition of ancient India, before we can make any profitable enquiry into this subject. That the symbols placed on coins had a very real meaning we cannot doubt when we see, for instance, that on the coins of the Pancala (Sunga) king Bhanumitra — not on those of other members of this dynasty — one particular symbol is deliberately and regularly1 [In three out of the four coins of the largest size in the British Museum. This counter-mark seems to occur less frequently on the coins of medium size, and not at all on the small coins.] defaced by the counter-mark of another. This must surely be the record of some event, at the nature of which we can only vaguely guess.

The counter-mark which occurs on the reverse of coin No. 2 is the curious symbol

Image

which occurs so frequently on coins of all kinds — punch-marked, cast, and struck — and which no one seems to have explained.2 [It appears among other ornaments in a necklace (Fergusson, Tree and Serpent Worship, 2nd ed., 1873, pl. iii, 4), and a similar ornament, described by Mr. Vincent Smith as 'a gold-leaf cross,' was found among the relics from the Piprahwa Stupa (J.R.A.S., 1898, p. 586, pl. 10).] Sometimes it stands within a railing, and, in this form, it appears counter-marked on many of the coins of Bahasatimita, (Cunn., Coins of Anc, Ind., Kosambi, pl, v, 13), whose Pabhosa inscriptions3 [Fuhrer, Epigraphia Indica, ii, p. 240.] show him to have belonged to the second or first century B.C.

The existence of the Uddehikas as a people is attested for the following periods: — (1) 3rd century B.C. (probably), by the evidence of those coins; and (2) 6th century A.D., by Varahamihira. The passage in which they are mentioned by Alberuni (11th century A.D.) is quoted from the Brhat- samhita,4 [Alberuni's India (trans. Sachau), vol. i, p. 300.] and cannot be taken as evidence of their existence in his time. His remark (trans., vol. i, p. 298) to the effect that "most of the names of countries under which they appear in this context are not those by which they are now generally known" applies, no doubt, to this as to the other passages from Hindu authors quoted by him.

With regard to the locality of Uddehika, very little can be added to what Mr. Fleet, in his excellent Topographical List of the Brhat-samhita,1 [Indian Antiquary, 1893, p. 192. ] has already gathered from Varahamihira and Alberuni. The gloss 'near Bazana,' which is added after 'Uddehika' in Alberuni's quotation, might, perhaps, have afforded some useful information if the reading were certain; but this seems not to be the case. Probably the general similarity between the coins of Uddehika and Eran may be held to be good evidence that these two places were not far apart.

UPAGODA.

3. Obv.

Image

(Upagodasa). Above, circle with dot in centre; beneath, 'Taurine' symbol represented horizontally.

Rev. Blank.

B.M.; Lady Clive Bayley, 89: 8-8: 68. AE1-; Pl. 3.


This coin or seal is described, but not illustrated, by Thomas in his edition of Prinsep's Essays on Indian Antiquities, vol. i, p. 216. It is quoted by him as an example of the early cast coinage in which one side was left blank. It seems quite probable that this variety of the cast coinage may be earlier than that which has both an obverse and a reverse, just as the 'single-die' coins of Taxila seem to be of an earlier date than the 'double-die' coins.2 [Cunn., Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 61: Rapson, Indian Coins, § 56.] In any case, the art of casting coins must be very ancient in India. There is no question here of borrowing from a Greek source; and the forms of the Brahmi characters on this coin and on the cast coins of Kada1 [Cunn., id., pl. ii, 21, 22.] seems to be as old as any others found in India. Buhler's opinion2 [Indische Palaeographie, p. 8.] was that coins and seals of this kind date from at least 350 or 400 B.C., that is to say, from some time before the Maurya Dynasty.

It must remain doubtful for the present whether Upagoda is the name of a person — like Upagupta, Upendra -- or the name of a place — like Upavanga, Upajyotisa, The former is, perhaps, the more probable. This coin or seal is not unlike the Patna seals3 [Cunn., Arch. Surv. Reports, xv, pl. iii; v. also Buhler (l.c.).] with the inscription Nadaya and Agapalasa. These are undoubtedly names of persons.

SEAL OF NANDIVARDHA OR NANDIVRDDHA.

4.

Image

(Namdivadhasa), Lion walking r. towards staff standing within railing and surmounted by a fish and a banner (?); above, svastika and 'Taurine' symbol; to l. of staff, symbol

Image

to r. of staff,

Image

(probably the Kharosthi compound letter spa); in exergue, a fish.

Mr. Robert Hammersley. AE -9; Pl. 4.


The seal, from which the impression here described and illustrated was taken, is that of a silver signet-ring. Nothing is known of its provenance; but there seems to be no reason to doubt that it is really what the style of its inscription in Brahmi characters and its other features would indicate — an Indian signet-ring of about 200 B.C.

Fortunately the evidence of numismatics, which is, generally, of all the available kinds of evidence, the best by which to determine the date of other antiquities, is very much to the point in this particular instance.

This seal has several characteristics in common with the square bronze coins of Pantaleon and Agathocles,1 [Gardner: B.M. Cat., Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India, pl. iii, 9; pl. iv, 9.] two of the earliest Greek kings of India, whose date must be very near the beginning of the second century B.C., and with those coins of Taxila of similar shape and metal which seem to bear traces of Greek influence.2 [Cunningham, Coins of Anc. Ind., pl. iii, 1-4; cf Rapson, Indian Coins, §§ 21, 56.]

In the first place, the lion of the seal is not unlike the same animal as represented on the coins. Secondly, the Brahmi inscriptions on the seal and on the coins of Pantaleon and Agathocles are very similar in character; and thirdly, the symbols above the lion on the seal — the svastika and the 'Taurine' symbol — are of common occurrence on the coins of Taxila (v. Cunningham, Coins of Anc. Ind., pl. ii, 8; iii, 2, 13, etc.). If we are right in supposing that the character to the right of the staff on the seal is the Kharosthi compound letter spa, this would be an additional point of resemblance, for Kharosthi as well as Brahmi inscriptions are found both on the coins of Agathocles and on those of Taxila.3 [Gardner, op. cit., pl. iv, 10; Cunn., op. cit., pl. iii, 9, 18.] The fish, which occurs twice on the seal, is found frequently enough as a symbol on coins of Ancient India — e.g., on the coins of Uddehika described above (p. 98) — but no other instance of the ' taff surmounted by a fish and a banner (?)' has yet been noticed. Dr. Burgess has made the suggestion, which is well worth bearing in mind in view of future discoveries, that the Matsyas might reasonably be expected to have adopted the fish (matsya) as their emblem. In southern India the fish was, of course, the emblem of the Pandyas.

The inscription Namdivadhasa is, no doubt, a Prakrit equivalent of the Sanskrit Nandivardhasya or — as Professor Kielhorn has suggested as an alternative — Nandivrddhasya. The only remarkable feature in this Prakrit form is the termination -sa (instead of -sa as would be expected) = Skt. -sya. The parallel instances given in the subjoined note,1 ["taia, Khalsi, xii, 31; Agapalas'a, Patna seal, Cunningham, A.S.R., xv, pl. iii, 2; Buhler, Ind. Pal., pp. 8, 9; Haviskala, on a coin, Cunningham, Coins of the Kusans, Num. Chron. 1892, pl. viii, 15 (Cunn. reads differently); Sakaia, in the second Nasik Inscription of Private Individuals, A.S.W.I., iv, p. 114." Prof. Franke also refers me to an instance -- Gamini Tisasa -- occuring in an ancient inscription of Ceylon, published by Dr. Hoernle in Ind. Ant., vol. i, pl. vii. On this form Dr. Hoernle observes (p. 170): "the sa of the genitive of this word is most remarkable...; it is not given by Prinsep, and has not, I think, been found in India, but I have since found it in many places in Ceylon, and there can be no doubt about the meaning of the sign."] I owe entirely to the courtesy of Professor O. Franke, to whom I desire to express my grateful acknowledgments. Other curious interchanges of letters on coin-inscriptions will be noted below — ca for cha on a coin of the Kunindas (p, 125, note 2), and na for na on the coin of Vatsadaman (p. 124).

No adequate explanation of the Kharosthi spa2 [It may be noted incidentally that spa -- not spa -- seems to be the regular equivalent to the Greek [x] on the coins which bear the names of Spalagadama, Spalabora, Spalarises, Spalyris (the Saka or Saka-Parthian class), v. Buhler, Indische Palaeographie, Taf. 1. Moreover, on the Audumbara coin published by Cunningham, Coins of Anc. Ind., pl. iv, 1 = Rapson, Indian Coins, pl. iii, 8, the reading Visvamitra should be corrected to Vispamitra. The second aksara is certainly not sva, but spa, and the dialectical form Vispamitra is not without interest.] — if such it be — can be given. Isolated aksaras like this are of frequent occurrence on Indian coins. They must, no doubt, have had a meaning at one time, but that meaning has almost certainly, in the majority of cases, been irrecoverably lost.

We may conclude, with some confidence, that this seal came originally from some place in India not far from Taxila — the modern Shahdheri or Dheri Shahan, in the Rawal Pindi district3 [Cunningham, Geog. of Anc. Ind., p. 104.]; and that its date is not long after 200 B.C.

SEAL OF MAMMA.

5.

Image

(Sri-Mamma).

Mr. J. P. Rawlins, Steatite; Pl. 5.


This seal is published here chiefly with the object of calling attention to a branch of Indian antiquities which no one seems to have yet systematically collected — ancient and mediaeval inscribed gems and seals. If one may judge from the numbers of these which have been brought from time to time to the British Museum by visitors, they would appear to be fairly common in certain parts of India. To collect them would be an interesting, and probably not an expensive, amusement; and the study of them would certainly add to our knowledge of Indian nomenclature and of Indian epigraphy, and might often be useful in adding to the testimony of coins and inscriptions. It is to be hoped that some one in India will turn his attention to this branch of antiquities.

Mamma is a well-known Indian name. It occurs, for example, as a surname of Harivarman in his Kudarkot inscription;1 [Kielhorn, Epigraphia Indica, i, pp. 180, 181: "Harivarmmanama Sri-Mamma ity aparanamakrtapratitih."] and, in the Rajatarangini, it is the name of one of the regents under Ajitapida.2 [Stein, Num. Chron., 1899, p. 158.] In its feminine form it is found in one of the Nasik inscriptions.3 [Burgess: Arch. Surv. West. Ind., Buddhist Cave Temples, pl. lv, p. 116; note 3, "Mamma is probably a corruption of Mahima, just as Mammata is of Mahimabhatta."]

ARJUNAYANA (Indian Coins, § 42).

6. Obv. Camel (? or humped bull) to r., facing tree within railing.

Rev.

Image

(Arjunayanana-jaya). Humped bull to r., facing sacrificial post within railing.

B.M., Cunningham. AE -75; Pl. 6.


The coins of the Arjunayanas hitherto published4 [Cunn., Coins of Anc, Ind,, p. 90, pl. viii, 20. Prinsep's Essays (ed. Thomas), vol. ii, pl. xliv, 224; p. 224 (wrongly read).] bear types which connect them with the series of the Hindu Princes of Mathura. The importance of the present specimen lies in the fact that, both by its types and by its inscription, it shows a striking resemblance to certain coins of the Yaudheyas, This resemblance is very clearly seen when this specimen h compared with the Yaudheya coin illustrated in pl. vi, 3, of Cunningham's Coins of Anc. Ind,1 [The full inscription on these coins has not been read. I conjecture that, on certain specimens, the word of which traces can be seen beneath the type may have been Bahudhanake; but there seem to be several varieties.] The reverse type is the same in both cases, and it is struck in the same manner — slightly incuse; and the form of the inscription, Arjunayanana (i.e. -nanam) jaya[h] is similar to that of other Yaudheya coins — Yaudheyaganasya jaya[h] (op, cit., pl. vi, 6-8).

This connection between the Arjunayanas and the Yaudheyas thus indicated by the coins has long ago been inferred from other records. They are mentioned together in the Allahabad inscription of Samudragupta (c. A.D. 380),2 [Fleet, Corpus Inscr. Ind., iii, p. 1.] and five passages in the Brhat-samhita (Varahamihira, obiit 587 A.D.).3 [Ed. Kern, iv, 25; xi, 59; xiv, 25-28; xvi, 22; xvii, 19. It may be said that the Arjunayanas are never mentioned apart from the Yaudheyas in the Brhat-samhita (v. Fleet, Topographical List, Ind. Ant., 1893, pp. 173, 194.)] The Malavas also are mentioned together with these two in the same inscription, and they are placed with them in the 'northern division' by Varahamihira, It is worthy of notice that the Malava coins have an inscription of the same character = Skt. Malavanam jaya[h].4 [Indian Coins, § 51.] These Malava coins, which have been found literally in thousands,5 [Smith, J.R.A.S., 1897, p. 884.] are still, unfortunately, not represented by a single specimen in the collection of the British Museum.

Mr. Vincent Smith, in his admirable account of the princes and peoples mentioned in the Allahabad inscription, places the Arjunayanas in "the region between the Malava and Yaudheya territories, or, roughly speaking, the Bharatpur Alwar States, west of Agra and Mathura, the principal seat of the Northern Satraps."6 [J.R.A.S., 1897, p. 886.]

ANCIENT CAST COIN OF ERAN (Indian Coins, § 46).

7. Obv. Horse to l. ; above, the 'Ujjain ' symbol.

Rev. In r. and l. field, a tree within railing; between, written vertically in Brahmi characters,

Image

(Eraka[ . ]).

Mr. L. White King. AE -8; Pl. 7.


This coin, in fabric, most resembles the cast coins represented in Cunningham's Coins of Anc. Ind., pl. i, 26-30. Like them, and like the cast coins of India generally — e.g. Kada (id., pl. ii, 21), Kosambi (id., pl. v, 7-10), and Upagoda (v. sup., p. 102, pl. 3) — it shows the marks where it has been separated by cutting from the row of coins cast in the mould at the same time.

Specimens bearing a similar inscription are published in Cunningham's Arch. Surv. Reports, vol. x, p. 77, pl. xxiv, 16, 17; and one is described in his Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 102, but no illustration of it is given in the accompanying plate. General Cunningham read the last aksara as -nya, or -na. The reading cannot be verified from his autotype plate in the Arch. Surv. Reports; and the traces remaining on the specimen now published do not justify us in restoring either of these suggested readings here.

This coin is interesting as being, apparently, the only specimen of round form belonging to Eran yet discovered. The 'Ujjain' symbol, which occurs on the obverse, above the horse, is characteristic of many of the coins of Eran (v. Cunn., op. cit., p. 100, pl. xi, 1, 6, 8, 9). It would, perhaps, be more correct to call this the 'Malava' symbol, as, according to Cunningham (l.c.), it appears "on nearly all the coins of ancient Malwa, wherever found — at Eran, Besnagar, and Ujain."

HINDU PRINCES OF MATHURA (Indian Coins, § 52).

UTTAMADATTA.


8. Obv. Elephant to r.; above, a circle (?).

Rev.

Image

(Rajno Utamadatasa).

Standing figure facing, with r. hand raised; in l. field, a tree.

Mr. L. White King, AE -75; Pl. 8.


At present there are five known coins — two in Mr. White King's collection and three in the British Museum — of this newly-discovered member of the dynasty of Hindu Princes of Mathura, as they may conveniently be called for the present, as distinguished from the Saka Satraps of Mathura (Northern Ksatrapas). The relation of these two lines to one another is at present somewhat uncertain (Indian Coins, § 52). Until more information can be obtained about them, I can do little more than classify them generally according to the locality in which their coins are found, and the character of the names which they bear.

One of the coins of Uttamadatta in the British Museum — Lady Clive Bayley, 89:8-8: 21 — is counter-marked on obverse with the curious symbol which appears on the obverse of the coin, No. 12, described below, and attributed doubtfully to either the Udumbaras or to Mathura. It may be that the striker of this coin, who bears the title Mahadeva, reissued some of the coins of Uttamadatta, counter-marked with his own symbol. This counter-mark may quite possibly prove to be of some chronological importance; and it will be interesting to note whether it occurs or not on any other coins of the Hindu Princes of Mathunl which may be discovered in the future.

Some of these Mathura coins are cast, some are struck, and in some cases it is not easy to determine whether a coin has been cast or struck. This uncertainty results from what seems to have been a peculiarly Indian method of stamping the metal when it was almost in a molten state (Indian Coins, § 56). The coin of Uttamadatta here described seems undoubtedly to have been cast; while those of Sesadatta, Nos. 9-11, seem as certainly to have been struck.

With the name Uttamadatta — or Utamadata as it appears on the coins — we may compare such forms as Utaradata and Utaramita found in the Sanchi Stupa inscriptions (Buhler, Epigraphia Indica, vol. ii, p. 386; Nos. 279, 280).


SESADATTA.

9. Obv. Probably a debased representation of the type: ''Three elephants, one to front and the others facing to r. and 1., each with a man mounted on his neck."1 [Cunningham, Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 89.]

Image

Rev. [ ]2 [It is uncertain whether or not the word Rajno occupied this position on this coin.] ('Sesadatasa). Standing figure facing, with r. hand raised; in l. field, a tree.

Mr. L. White King. AE -75; Pl. 9.

10. Similar, but rev. inscription,

Image

(Rajno Sesadatasa).

Mr. L. White King. AE-75; Pl. 10.

11. Obv. A wheel within a caitya.

Rev. Across centre

Image

([Se]sadatasa); beneath, upper part of standing figure.

Mr. L. White King. AE -75; Pl. 11.


These are the only three known specimens of Sesadatta, another recently discovered ruler of this dynasty. Mr. Vincent Smith at first proposed to read the name as Gosadatta; but there can be little doubt that the first aksara is se and not go. Moreover, there is no such word as gosa, and it is scarcely likely to be a mistake for ghosa.1 [See, however, what is apparently an instance of the substitution of non-aspirate for aspirate -- catra for chatra -- referred to inf., p. 125, note 2.] The name Sesadatta is, of course, derived from Sesa, the serpent-lord, cf. Nagadatta, etc.

It is interesting to notice on these coins the fluctuation between the two Prakrit forms, -datasa (i.e. dattasa) and -datasa. The latter is sufficiently common, though not so frequently found on these coins as the former; cf. Usavadatena = Rsabhadattena (Arch. Surv. West. Ind.: Buddhist Cave Temples, pl. lii, No. 5, line 1).

Everything seems to indicate that great discoveries, both in numismatics and in epigraphy, await the future explorer of Mathura. Although the coins, whether of the Saka Satraps or of the Hindu Princes, can scarcely be said to have been collected except in a casual and accidental manner — the same remark, indeed, would apply to all the coinages of Ancient India except those of the Graeco-Indian Princes, the Kusanas, the Western Ksatrapas, and the Imperial Guptas — yet the number of names already known is considerable; while the inscribed Lion-Capital, discovered and published by Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji (ed. Buhler, J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 525), and the Jaina inscriptions discovered by Dr. Fuhrer in the Kankali Tila (published by Buhler in Epigraphia Indica, vol. i, pp. 371, 393) are an earnest of the epigraphic treasures which may be expected.

Besides Uttamadatta and Sesadatta, the following names — all represented by coins in the British Museum — have to be added to the list of Princes of Mathura given by Cunningham (Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 85 ff., pl. viii) — Kamadatta (first discovered by Mr. Vincent Smith, in the collection of Mr. L. White King), Sivadatta, Suryamitra (or Aryamitra),2 [v. sup., p. 100.] and Visnumitra.
I hope to give a more detailed description of these, together with illustrations, in a subsequent instalment of Notes on Indian Coins and Seals in this Journal.  

? Udumbara or Mathura (Indian Coins, §§ 43, 52).

Name or title, Mahadeva.


12. Obv. Symbol,

Image

Rev.

Image

(Bhagava[ta] Maha-devasa). Standing figure, holding in r. hand a trident and battle-axe combined.

Mr. L. White King. AE -7; Pl. 12.


At the first glance, one is inclined to attribute this coinage — of which Mr. L. White King possesses two specimens — to one of the Hindu Princes of Mathura; but, on a closer examination, it will be seen that, beyond a general resemblance in fabric and epigraphy, which denotes that it is not far removed either locally or chronologically, it has little in common with that series.

The symbol, which occurs as the obverse type, is quite peculiar. It may possibly be some form of the lingam or some other religious symbol. It seems not to be found, as a type, on any other Indian coins hitherto published; but, as has been noticed above (p. 109), it is counter-marked on a coin of Uttamadatta, one of the Princes of Mathura, in the British Museum. Until further specimens are discovered, it cannot be determined whether this symbol is characteristic of a class of coins or merely of the coins of some particular ruler. In any case, the counter-mark probably denotes some connection, the nature of which we can only conjecture, between the dynasty to which these coins belong and the Hindu Princes of Mathura.


The standing figure on the reverse is quite different from that which appears in the same position on the Mathura coins. On the latter, the figure is most probably that of a woman (perhaps the goddess Laksmi) and it has the right hand raised. On these coins, the figure is undoubtedly that of a man holding the trident battle-axe in his right hand. This is the usual weapon of the god Siva (Mahadeva), who is probably represented here in allusion to the name or title of the prince.

The same inscription, Bhagavata-Mahadevasa — with the addition of Rajaraja[? sa] (Brahmi) and Rajarana (Kharosthi) — occurs on a coin attributed by Cunningham to the Audumbaras (Coins of Anc. Ind., p, 68, pl. iv, 5), on which the trident battle-axe also appears.

These facts, then, make it most probable that these coins should be attributed to the Audumbaras
; and, if so, we may infer from considerations of the fabric of the coins and from the occurrence of the counter-mark discussed above that some sort of connection existed between the Audumbaras and the Hindu Princes of Mathura. Cunningham has already shown (Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 67) that some of the Audumbara coins are imitated from the hemidrachms of the Graeco-Indian Princes, Apollodotus and Zoilus. We have, therefore, some data — not of much weight, certainly — to enable us to make a tentative chronological arrangement of these series.

The title Bhagavata denotes a worshipper of Visnu or Krsna. Mahadeva is probably, in this case, not a name but a title. It is almost certainly a title on the two Audumbara published by Cunningham (Coins of Anc, Ind., p. 68, pl. iv, 1 and 5), although he regards it as a proper name in the case of the second of these. For the occurrence of Mahadeva as a proper name, see the references to vol. iii of the Epigraphia Indica.


DYNASTY UNCERTAIN.

? BHUMIDATTA OR BHIMADATTA.


13. Obv. Elephant to l.

Rev. Inscription in Brahmi characters across the middle doubtful, perhaps intended either for

Image

or

Image

(Bhumidatma or Bhimadatasa). Type obscure.

Mr. L. White King. AE -75; Pl. 13.


There is very little at present to be said about this coin, which is published and illustrated here chiefly in the hope that it may lead to the recognition of other similar specimens.

The obverse type of the elephant occurs so frequently on Indian coins that it affords a very slight clue to the identification of this particular one. Practically all that can be said of this coin is that, in fabric, it is not unlike issue of the coins of the Hindu Princes of Mathura, and that the Brahmi characters of its inscription seem to belong to the same period. The formation of the name, ending in -datta, is also similar. It is quite possible that, when better specimens are found which will enable us to identify the reverse type — if any— and to read the inscription correctly, this coin may have to be placed in that series.

The first portion of the name is quite uncertain. The third consonant seems to be bh, and the second m (or possibly v); but the vowels which accompany these consonants are altogether doubtful. The readings Bhumi- or Bhima-, suggested above, are merely conjectural. There are traces on this specimen of something above this name— possibly of another line of inscription in Brahml characters, the word Rajno or something of the kind — but it is impossible to do more than guess what these traces may represent until better specimens are available.

? MATHURA.

(?) SISUCANDRATA [SISUCHANDRADATTA]


14. Obv. Elephant standing to r. with trunk upraised; above, 'Taurine' symbol represented horizontally.

Rev. In incuse

Image

(Rajasa

Image

sucamdatasa).

B.M.; Lady Clive Bayley. AE -55; Pl. 14.


No coin of this kind seems to have been hitherto published; and almost all that can be said as to its attribution is that, in its general character — fabric, shape, size, and epigraphy — it seems to be not far removed from the coins of Virasena, one specimen of which is described below. Cunningham, probably from considerations of provenance, assigned the coins of Virasena generally to the district of Mathura (Coins of Anc. Ind,, p. 89, pl. viii, 18), and, on the assumption that this attribution is approximately correct, we may, provisionally, place the coins of (?) Sisucandrata [Sisuchandradatta] in the same class.

The reading of the inscription suggested above is by no means certain. The second aksara is quite probably to be read as jno —

Image

— as we should have expected; but it is not easy to see how the remaining traces fit in with this restoration. The vowel of the third aksara is, again, quite uncertain. There is no room on the coin for a vowel-sign above the line, if such was ever intended; and the restoration si is proposed rather than sa, merely because sisu would seem to be a more probable form than sasu as the first part of a name. The remainder of the name, Camdata (i,e. Candratta), is, of course, equivalent to the fuller Sanskrit form Candradatta.

VIRASENA.

15. Obv. Debased representation of the type: "Standing figure, with r. hand upraised."

Rev.

Image

beneath, symbols.

B.M.; Lady Clive Bayley. AE -45; Pl. 15.


This type, which appears to be of no great rarity,1 [Smith, J.R.A.S., 1897, p. 876.] has already published, both by Cunningham (Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 89, pl. viii, 18) and by Rodgers (Cat of Coins in the Indian Museum, part 3, pp. 32, 33), but illustrated in the former case only from a drawing, and, in the latter case, without illustration. Cunningham tacitly places the coins among those of Mathura, while Rodgers gives a quotation — very probably from some letter or statement of General Cunningham's — to the effect that they are found at Mathura." There seems to be no reason to doubt that they belong to this district generally. Future discoveries may, perhaps, enable us to assign them to some particular dynasty ruling in this neighbourhood; but, for the present, their attribution must remain somewhat vague.

As has been noticed above (p. 115), the coins of (?) Sisucandrata may perhaps belong to the same class, and so may other specimens in the British Museum having inscriptions too fragmentary and indistinct to be deciphered. The discovery of other rulers of the same dynasty may confidently be predicted when better specimens of this series of coins are available.

The 'symbols' under the inscription on the reverse are apparently a tree with the trisula1 [For this emblem, see Burgess: Arch. Surv. West. Ind., Elura Cave Temples, p. 12. It occurs very commonly on coins, e.g., Cunn., Coins of Anc, Ind., pl. iv, 14; pt. v, 1, 2, etc.] emblem on either side. In some cases, the svastika seems to take the place of the circle and surrounding dots which form the lower portion of the trisula emblem.  

NAGA DYNASTY OF PADMAVATI (Indian Coins, § 101).

PRABHAKARA.


16. Obv. Lion to l.; border of dots.

Rev.

Image

(Nagaraha-Sru-Prabhakara).

Mr. L. White King. AE -45; Pl. 16.

17. Obv. Humped bull to r.; border of dots.

Rev. Inscription as on No. 16.

Mr. L. White King. AE-5; Pl. 17.


The inscription, Maharaja-Sri-Prabhakara, is not complete on any single specimen belonging to Mr. White King, but it can be read with absolute certainty by comparing the eight specimens in his collection. The fabric of these coins leaves no doubt that they belong to the series attributed to the Naga Dynasty of Padmavati (Narwar), one member of which, Ganapatinaga, is mentioned in the list of princes conquered by Samudragupta (c. 350-380 A.D.)1 [Fleet, Corpus Inscr. Ind., p. 1.] The name Prabhakara is, of course, well known in Indian history, but it has not been hitherto found in connection with this dynasty. It appears in the nominative, and this would seem to be the most common form on the coins of this series. The genitive, however, is found on some coins of Ganapati — those reading -Gampatui[h] (sic) — of Skandanaga, and, apparently, all those published of Devanaga (v. Cunningham, Coins of Mediaeval India, pp. 23, 24). The name Naga is omitted on the coins of Prabhakara, as on those of Ganapati; but it is given to Ganapati in the Allahabad inscription of Samudragupta.

Fragments of several names not yet read are to be seen on coins belonging to this series. It is to be hoped that further specimens will be discovered which will enable us to decipher the names of these princes at present unknown. It has been surmised2 [Fleet, op. cit., Index, c.v. Naga, p. 328.] that, besides Ganapatinaga, others of the tributary princes mentioned in Samudragupta's inscription belonged to this family. It is extremely probable, for instance, that the Nagasena, whose name occurs twice in the inscription, is identical with the 'Nagasena, heir to the house of Padmavati,' mentioned in the Harsa-carita.3 [p. 221 (ed. Bomb., 1892); p. 192 (trans., Cowell & Thomas); cf. Rapson, J.R.A.S., 1898, p. .449.] Some interesting identifications may may reasonably be expected from further discoveries in this series.

SILAHARAS OF THE NORTHERN KONKAN.

CHITTARAJA ('Gadhiya-ka paisa' class: Indian Coins, § 122 (2) ).


18. Obv. Degraded representation of type: "King's head to r."

Rev.

Image

Image

within border of dots.

Mr. W. Theobald. AE -6 ; Wt. 53 grs.; Pl. 18.


The series which, since Prinsep's time,1 [Essays (ed. Thomas), vol. i, p. 341.] has been conveniently, if not very scientifically, known by its native designation, Gadhiya-ka paisa, 'Donkey-money,'2 [Cunningham (Coins of Med. Ind., p. 47) spells the word "Gadiya, derived ... from the fire-altar or throne (gadi) on the reverse."] cannot yet be arranged with any great accuracy, whether local or chronological. Cunningham classes these coins generally with "the Indian coins of Mediaeval Age, from A.D. 600 to 1200," and states that they are "found most plentifully in S.W. Rajputana, in Baroda and the neighbouring districts of Mewar, Malwa, and Gujarat"; and, in my Indian Coins, I have contented myself with stating these general facts, and leaving the coins, together with the two other classes dealt with by Cunningham in the passage above referred to, under the heading 'unattributed.'

A consideration of the fabric of the two unattributed classes of silver coins3 [With the other class of unattributed coins -- the copper series, of which specimens are shown in Cunningham's Coins of Med. Ind., pl. vi, 1-6 — I shall hope to deal in a subsequent article.] — (1) the thin pieces of silver, and (2) the thick pieces of silver — and of the epigraphy of the rare inscribed specimens of the latter class, will, I think, reveal some tangible chronological facts.

In the first place, the Sassanian derivation of both classes can scarcely now be doubted.

General Cunningham doubted this in the case of the thick pieces, which he regards as "the direct descendants of the hemidrachms of the Saka Satraps of Surashtra and Malwa, with the gadi, or 'throne,' in place of the original chaitya."1 [Op. cit., p. 48. In the sentence following this, he says, "Even the sun and moon symbols of the Sassanian coins are retained with the fire-altar or throne." Sassanian is, no doubt, a misprint for Surashtran. The 'sun and moon symbols' occur, of course, on both the Sassanian and the Surashtran coinages.[/i[] But we know that the coins derived from this source — e.g., the Gupta silver coinage and the silver coinage of Valabhi (Indian Coins, §§ 91, 98) — were very different both in form and weight. Moreover, the reverse type of these thick pieces — the gadi or whatever it may have been intended to represent in later times — was surely derived originally from the fire-altar of the Sassanian coins;2 [[i]General Cunningham seems to admit this (op. cit., p. 47) in the passage quoted above.] and no satisfactory reason can be given why their obverse type — king's head to r. — should not in like manner be copied from the same model. As will be seen, a comparison with the types as represented on the coins of the other class — the thin pieces of silver of undoubtedly Sassanian origin— makes this point almost absolutely certain.

Further, the two classes are not disconnected, but class (2) —the thick pieces of silver — is derived from class (1) — the thin pieces of silver.

It would have been unnecessary to labour this point, the truth of which was long ago recognized — for instance, by Dr. Codrington in his arrangement of the Cabinet of the Bengal Asiatic Society3 [Bhagvanlal Indraji, Journ. of the Bombay Br. R.A.S., xii, p. 325: "Gadhia Coins opf Gujarat and Malwa."] — were it not for the fact that General Cunningham seems not to have regarded it as certain. This being the case, it may, perhaps, not be amiss to briefly state the facts of the case.

Sassanian coins were brought into India in great numbers by the Huna invasions in the latter half of the fifth century A.D., and Dr. Hoernle4 [v. reff. in Indian Coins, § 105. Col. Biddulph informs me that the find described by Dr. Hoernle took place not in Marwar, but in M<hairwarra (Merwara), "the small mountainous district in the Aravalli range, forming the south-west portion of the Ajmere-Mhairwarra Commissionership." He says in a letter to me, "The coins, of which I have eight, were found in 1889, five months before I became Commissioner of Ajmere-Merwara."] has shown that some of these thin pieces of silver are direct imitations of the Sassanian coins current during that period. Now, the Sasssanian type of coin — large, thin, flat — was essentially un-Indian; and these imitations made in India gradually lose their Sassanian characteristics. They become by degrees smaller, thicker, and less flat. The process may be seen by comparing the coins illustrated by General Cunningham (Coins of Med. Ind., pl. vi), e.g., No. 13, with Nos. 14, 15, 16, and 19; and it is seen still more clearly when the comparison extends to a great number of specimens. There can be no doubt that the relative date of specimens of these classes may be determined by their fabric, and that there is no hard and fast line of demarcation between the two classes. The transition from class (1) — the thin pieces of silver — to class (2) — the thick pieces of silver — is so gradual, that it is impossible to determine accurately where one class ends and the other begins.

Similar results follow from a consideration of the process of degeneration in the types. When a series is arranged, the gradual transformation from the Sassanian types as represented in the earliest Indian imitations (e.g.. No. 13 of the plate already referred to) to those of the 'Gadhiya-ka paisa' class (e.g., Nos. 7 and 10) is evident.

Chronologically between these extremes — the date of the 'Gakhiya-ka paisa' class will be subsequently discussed — comes a series, which, thanks to Dr. Hultzsch's identification of Srimad-Adhivaraha with Bhojadeva of Kanauj1 [Epigraphia Indica, vol. 1, p. 155] (c. 850-900 A.D.), we are able to date with some approach to accuracy. Specimens of this class are shown in the same plate of General Cunningham's Coins of Med. Ind., Nos. 16, 17, 19, 20. The fabric of these coins is also midway between the extremes, but the encroachment on the Sassanian types of an Indian element in the way of inscriptions or designs can be seen until very slight traces of the Sassanian characteristics remain, as, for example, in the coins of Sramad Adaratha, where the obverse type is purely Indian — the god Visnu in his Varaha or 'boar' avatar — and the greater portion of the reverse is occupied by an Indian inscription, the pillar-like objects beneath this inscription being probably the only vestiges left of the Sassanian fire-altar and its attendant priests.

The only means which we possess at present of dating the 'Gadhiya-ka paisa' class with any degree of accuracy is afforded by the inscribed specimens; and it is interesting to note that, in this case, the evidence of epigraphy confirms the presumption of a comparatively late date, to which we were led by general considerations of the history of fabric and type. These inscribed specimens are, unfortunately, of great rarity. Up to the present, only those bearing one name have been published. This name was read Somaladeva by Cunningham (op, cit,, p. 53); but there can be no doubt that the reading of his No. 10 is Sri-Somaladevi ([x]

Image

 — this reading is verified from other specimens — and that of his No. 11 is almost certainly Sri-Somaladevi

Image

It seems, therefore, that we have here the coins of a queen. Who this queen was we cannot yet determine. We can only note that we know of a queen Somalladevi,1 [Kharod inscription of her son Ratnadeva III. Cedi-samvat, 933 = A.D. 1181; v. Kielhorn, List of the Inscriptions of Northern India, p. 60, No. 423.] wife of Jajalladeva II, one of the Kalacuris1 of Mahakosala (Haihayaa of Ratnapura), whose Malhar inscription2 [Kielhorn, Epigraphia Indica, i, p. 40.] is dated [Cedi-]samvat, 919 = a.d, 1167-68. The arrangement of the inscription on these coins of Somaladevi, and the style of the Nagari characters are certainly those of the known coins of the Kalacuris of Mahakosala, which belong to a period extending from c. A.D. 1060 to c. A.D. 1140 (Cunn., Coins of Med. Ind., p. 76; cf. pl. vi, 10, with pl. viii, 6-11); but it would be rash to make this suggested identification of like Somaladevi of the coins on this evidence alone. It is important, in this connection, to ascertain whether or not coins of the 'Gadhiya-ka paisa' type are ever found in Chatisgarh and Raypur districts of the Central Provinces — the site of the ancient kingdom of Mahakosala.

The coin of Chittaraja, now published for the first time, is the only other variety of the 'Gadhiya-ka paisa' class bearing an inscription which has been read without doubt.

Considerations of epigraphy alone would again lead us to much the same conclusion as to the date of this class; for the Nagari letters of Chittaraja's coin are precisely those of the Mandhata plates of Jayasimha of Dhara, dated [Vikrama-]samvat, 1112 = A.D. 1055-56,1 [Kielhorn, id., iii, p. 46. Mandhata is "an island in the Narmada river, attached to the Nimar district of the Central Provinces."] and, if the coin be approximately of this date, we can have no hesitation in identifying this Chittaraja with the Silahara of the Northern Konkan, who is well known from inscriptions,2 [Bhandup Grant (ed. Buhler), Ind. Ant., 1876, p. 276; Silahara Copper-plate Grant (ed Telang), id., 1880, p. 39; Ambarnath Inscription (ed. Bhagvanlal), Journ. Bomb. Br. R.A.S., xii, p. 332; cf. Mrs. Richmers, Chronology of India, pp. 114, 303.] especially as this division of the Bombay Presidency certainly lies within the area over which coins of the 'Gadhiya-ka paisa' class are found. Chittaraja's Bandup grant is dated Saka-samvat, 948 = A.D. 1026, and the next known date of this dynasty is Saka-samvat, 982 = A.D. 1059-60, in the reign of his brother and next successor but one, Mummuni or Mamvani.3 [Fleet, Kanarese Dynasties (Bombay Gazetteer, vol. i, pt. 2, p. 543.] All that we can say at present about the period of Chittaraja's reign, therefore, is that it began at least as early as A.D. 1026, and ended some time -- probably some years -- before a.D. 1059-60.

If we consider the very extensive area throughout which coins of the 'Gadhiya-ka paisa' class are found, we cannot help coming to the conclusion that coinages of this form were struck by a number of different dynasties, and we may confidently hope that future discoveries will enable us to identify some of these. In the meantime it is satisfactory to have been able to determine, with little room for doubt, the attribution, both local and chronological, of one of these coinages.

DYNASTY UNCERTAIN.

VATSADAMAN.


19. Obv.

Image

Cow to l. suckling calf; border of dots.

Rev. Visnu striding to r., tramples on a demon with each foot; in his r. hand he holds a discus; in front of and behind him, other demons; border of dots.

Mr. Darrah. N -8;1 [The note taken of the weight of this coin has, unfortunately, been lost.] Pl. 19.


This is a most interesting coin in every respect, and is at present quite unique of its kind. Gold coins of the period to which it must belong — most probably from the seventh to the ninth century A.D. — are of extreme rarity. Indeed, it is doubtful whether another example is known; for the gold coin which General Sir A. Cunningham supposed to be the solitary specimen with 'mediaeval' letters,2 [Coins of Med. Ind., p. 47, pl. vi, 18.] and the coin of Saravarman described below (p. 124) are more probably of the ninth or tenth century.

The style of the Nagari letters and the reverse type — a representation of Visnu — alike connect this coin with those of Srimad-Adivaraha (Bhojadeva of Kanauj, c. 850-900 A,D,)3 [Indian Coins, § 110, pl. v, 5.]; but it would be rash to conclude that the two classes of coins belong to the same dynasty. All that can be said with any confidence is that they were probably not widely divided by time or distance.

The inscription is, unfortunately, not fully legible, but the first part of the name Sri-Vatsadama is quite certain. The next letter is n with, apparently, some vowel attached. The next two aksaras are uncertain — all that can be said for the suggested restoration is that it seems not to be inconsistent with the remaining traces — and these are followed by na and ha — the former certain and the latter doubtful. Probably the end of the inscription is lost. In any case, the n following the certain portion Sri-Vatsadama constitutes a difficulty, whether we suppose it to be the termination of the name -- damanah for -damnah — or the initial of the following word — e.g., Narayana for Na°.

The obverse type — a cow suckling a calf — is, of course, a punning allusion to the name Vatsadaman, and the reverse type represents Visnu in his Vamana1 [Is it possible that this name can be restored in the obverse inscription —

Image

— again with na for na?
] or 'dwarf' avatar slaying the demons.

A Vatsadaman is known to us from an inscription of some princes of the Surasena family.2 [Bhagvanlal Indraji, Ind. Ant., x, p. 34 ; Cunningham, Arch. Surv. Reports, xx, pl. xii; v. Kielhorn, List of Inscriptions of Northern /India, p. 81, No. 589.] The inscription is of about "the eighth century A.D."; and the Nagari letters of inscription and coin are not very dissimilar. But this is not sufficient evidence to justify us in identifying this Vatsadaman with the striker of the coin.

SARAVARMAN.

20. Ob.

Image

Image

within border of dots.

Rev.

Image

Image
 
within border of dots.

Mr. Spinner. N -9; Wt. 123-5; Pl. 20.


This coin, which is noteworthy in many ways, was sent to the British Museum for examination by Mr. Daniel Howorth, of Ashton-under-Lyne, in February, 1899. There is, apparently, no other Indian gold coin known of the period to which it belongs — probably ninth or tenth century A.D. — of a similar weight. Like the small gold coin published by General Cunningham (Coins of Med. Ind., pl. vi, 18 ; v. sup., p. 123) it is characterized by having inscriptions on both sides without any type whatever.

The style of these inscriptions is precisely that of the Pehoa Prasasti of the reign of Mahendrapala of Kanauj, published by Buhler in Epigraphia Indica, i, p. 242. The known dates of Mahendrapala are A.D. 903 and 907 (id., p. 244), and the date of Saravarman cannot be far removed from these. Buhler describes the characters of the Prasasti as "of the ordinary Nagari type, current in Northern and Western India during the ninth and tenth centuries."

The name Saravarman seems not to be known; but it is, of course, a perfectly possible formation, the former part being, probably, merely the ordinary word sara, meaning 'a reed or arrow'; cf. the names of Kartikeya, Sarabhu, Sarajanman, etc.

The title taken by Saravarman on the reverse of this coin — Dharmatma-Meru — 'the mount Meru of the pious'— is curious, but characteristically Indian. With it we may compare the title Koputa, ' the very pure,' on a coin of the Audumbara king Virayasasa, published by Cunningham (Coins of Anc. Ind., pl. iv, 14),1 [The description of this coin, id., p. 70, requires correction. The inscription is Rajna[h] Koputasya Virayasasya. The name also should be given an Virayasasa. This compound from vira + yasah is, of course, quite regular.] and, perhaps, Mahatman 'the high-souled,' on certain coins of the Kunindas (id., pl. v, 4).2 [The reading of the inscription of this coin, id,, p. 72, should also be corrected. It should be Bhagavata - Catresvara - Mahatmanah, The form catresvara for chatresvara appears to be quite beyond doubt. But it is certainly very remarkable, and a similar loss of aspiration in a Sanskrit form is not easy to find.]
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Audumbaras
by Wikipedia
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Hindu Princes of Mathura (Indian Coins, § 52), Excerpt from Art. VII. -- Notes on Indian Coins and Seals. Part I.
by E.J. Rapson, M.A., M.R.A.S.
The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
1900  

HINDU PRINCES OF MATHURA (Indian Coins, § 52).

UTTAMADATTA.


8. Obv. Elephant to r.; above, a circle (?).

Rev.

Image

(Rajno Utamadatasa).

Standing figure facing, with r. hand raised; in l. field, a tree.

Mr. L. White King, AE -75; Pl. 8.


At present there are five known coins — two in Mr. White King's collection and three in the British Museum — of this newly-discovered member of the dynasty of Hindu Princes of Mathura, as they may conveniently be called for the present, as distinguished from the Saka Satraps of Mathura (Northern Ksatrapas). The relation of these two lines to one another is at present somewhat uncertain (Indian Coins, § 52). Until more information can be obtained about them, I can do little more than classify them generally according to the locality in which their coins are found, and the character of the names which they bear.

One of the coins of Uttamadatta in the British Museum — Lady Clive Bayley, 89:8-8: 21 — is counter-marked on obverse with the curious symbol which appears on the obverse of the coin, No. 12, described below, and attributed doubtfully to either the Udumbaras or to Mathura. It may be that the striker of this coin, who bears the title Mahadeva, reissued some of the coins of Uttamadatta, counter-marked with his own symbol. This counter-mark may quite possibly prove to be of some chronological importance; and it will be interesting to note whether it occurs or not on any other coins of the Hindu Princes of Mathunl which may be discovered in the future.

Some of these Mathura coins are cast, some are struck, and in some cases it is not easy to determine whether a coin has been cast or struck. This uncertainty results from what seems to have been a peculiarly Indian method of stamping the metal when it was almost in a molten state (Indian Coins, § 56). The coin of Uttamadatta here described seems undoubtedly to have been cast; while those of Sesadatta, Nos. 9-11, seem as certainly to have been struck.

With the name Uttamadatta — or Utamadata as it appears on the coins — we may compare such forms as Utaradata and Utaramita found in the Sanchi Stupa inscriptions (Buhler, Epigraphia Indica, vol. ii, p. 386; Nos. 279, 280).


SESADATTA.

9. Obv. Probably a debased representation of the type: ''Three elephants, one to front and the others facing to r. and 1., each with a man mounted on his neck."1 [Cunningham, Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 89.]

Image

Rev. [ ]2 [It is uncertain whether or not the word Rajno occupied this position on this coin.] ('Sesadatasa). Standing figure facing, with r. hand raised; in l. field, a tree.

Mr. L. White King. AE -75; Pl. 9.

10. Similar, but rev. inscription,

Image

(Rajno Sesadatasa).

Mr. L. White King. AE-75; Pl. 10.

11. Obv. A wheel within a caitya.

Rev. Across centre

Image

([Se]sadatasa); beneath, upper part of standing figure.

Mr. L. White King. AE -75; Pl. 11.


These are the only three known specimens of Sesadatta, another recently discovered ruler of this dynasty. Mr. Vincent Smith at first proposed to read the name as Gosadatta; but there can be little doubt that the first aksara is se and not go. Moreover, there is no such word as gosa, and it is scarcely likely to be a mistake for ghosa.1 [See, however, what is apparently an instance of the substitution of non-aspirate for aspirate -- catra for chatra -- referred to inf., p. 125, note 2.] The name Sesadatta is, of course, derived from Sesa, the serpent-lord, cf. Nagadatta, etc.

It is interesting to notice on these coins the fluctuation between the two Prakrit forms, -datasa (i.e. dattasa) and -datasa. The latter is sufficiently common, though not so frequently found on these coins as the former; cf. Usavadatena = Rsabhadattena (Arch. Surv. West. Ind.: Buddhist Cave Temples, pl. lii, No. 5, line 1).

Everything seems to indicate that great discoveries, both in numismatics and in epigraphy, await the future explorer of Mathura. Although the coins, whether of the Saka Satraps or of the Hindu Princes, can scarcely be said to have been collected except in a casual and accidental manner — the same remark, indeed, would apply to all the coinages of Ancient India except those of the Graeco- Indian Princes, the Kusanas, the Western Ksatrapas, and the Imperial Guptas — yet the number of names already known is considerable; while the inscribed Lion-Capital, discovered and published by Pandit Bhagvanlal Indraji (ed. Buhler, J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 525), and the Jaina inscriptions discovered by Dr. Fuhrer in the Kankali Tila (published by Buhler in Epigraphia Indica, vol. i, pp. 371, 393) are an earnest of the epigraphic treasures which may be expected.

Besides Uttamadatta and Sesadatta, the following names — all represented by coins in the British Museum — have to be added to the list of Princes of Mathura given by Cunningham (Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 85 ff., pl. viii) — Kamadatta (first discovered by Mr. Vincent Smith, in the collection of Mr. L. White King), Sivadatta, Suryamitra (or Aryamitra),2 [[illegible], p. 100.] and Visnumitra.
I hope to give a more detailed description of these, together with illustrations, in a subsequent instalment of Notes on Indian Coins and Seals in this Journal.  

? Udumbara or Mathura (Indian Coins, §§ 43, 52).

Name or title, Mahadeva.


12. Obv. Symbol,

Image

Rev.

Image

(Bhagava[ta] Maha-devasa). Standing figure, holding in r. hand a trident and battle-axe combined.

Mr. L. White King. AE -7; Pl. 12.


At the first glance, one is inclined to attribute this coinage — of which Mr. L. White King possesses two specimens — to one of the Hindu Princes of Mathura; but, on a closer examination, it will be seen that, beyond a general resemblance in fabric and epigraphy, which denotes that it is not far removed either locally or chronologically, it has little in common with that series.

The symbol, which occurs as the obverse type, is quite peculiar. It may possibly be some form of the lingam or some other religious symbol. It seems not to be found, as a type, on any other Indian coins hitherto published; but, as has been noticed above (p. 109), it is counter-marked on a coin of Uttamadatta, one of the Princes of Mathura, in the British Museum. Until further specimens are discovered, it cannot be determined whether this symbol is characteristic of a class of coins or merely of the coins of some particular ruler. In any case, the counter-mark probably denotes some connection, the nature of which we can only conjecture, between the dynasty to which these coins belong and the Hindu Princes of Mathura.


The standing figure on the reverse is quite different from that which appears in the same position on the Mathura coins. On the latter, the figure is most probably that of a woman (perhaps the goddess Laksmi) and it has the right hand raised. On these coins, the figure is undoubtedly that of a man holding the trident battle-axe in his right hand. This is the usual weapon of the god Siva (Mahadeva), who is probably represented here in allusion to the name or title of the prince.

The same inscription, Bhagavata-Mahadevasa — with the addition of Rajaraja[? sa] (Brahmi) and Rajarana (Kharosthi) — occurs on a coin attributed by Cunningham to the Audumbaras (Coins of Anc. Ind., p, 68, pl. iv, 5), on which the trident battle-axe also appears.

These facts, then, make it most probable that these coins should be attributed to the Audumbaras
; and, if so, we may infer from considerations of the fabric of the coins and from the occurrence of the counter-mark discussed above that some sort of connection existed between the Audumbaras and the Hindu Princes of Mathura. Cunningham has already shown (Coins of Anc. Ind., p. 67) that some of the Audumbara coins are imitated from the hemidrachms of the Graeco-Indian Princes, Apollodotus and Zoilus. We have, therefore, some data — not of much weight, certainly — to enable us to make a tentative chronological arrangement of these series.

The title Bhagavata denotes a worshipper of Visnu or Krsna. Mahadeva is probably, in this case, not a name but a title. It is almost certainly a title on the two Audumbara published by Cunningham (Coins of Anc, Ind., p. 68, pl. iv, 1 and 5), although he regards it as a proper name in the case of the second of these. For the occurrence of Mahadeva as a proper name, see the references to vol. iii of the Epigraphia Indica.


DYNASTY UNCERTAIN.

? BHUMIDATTA OR BHIMADATTA.


13. Obv. Elephant to l.

Rev. Inscription in Brahmi characters across the middle doubtful, perhaps intended either for

Image

or

Image

(Bhumidatma or Bhimadatasa). Type obscure.

Mr. L. White King. AE -75; Pl. 13.


There is very little at present to be said about this coin, which is published and illustrated here chiefly in the hope that it may lead to the recognition of other similar specimens.

The obverse type of the elephant occurs so frequently on Indian coins that it affords a very slight clue to the identification of this particular one. Practically all that can be said of this coin is that, in fabric, it is not unlike issue of the coins of the Hindu Princes of Mathura, and that the Brahmi characters of its inscription seem to belong to the same period. The formation of the name, ending in [illegible], is also similar. It is quite possible that, when better specimens are found which will enable us to identify the reverse type — if any— and to read the inscription correctly, this coin may have to be placed in that series.

The first portion of the name is quite uncertain. The third consonant seems to be bh, and the second m (or possibly v); but the vowels which accompany these consonants are altogether doubtful. The readings Bhumi- or Bhima-, suggested above, are merely conjectural. There are traces on this specimen of something above this name— possibly of another line of inscription in Brahml characters, the word Rajno or something of the kind — but it is impossible to do more than guess what these traces may represent until better specimens are available.

? MATHURA.

(?) SISUCANDRATA [SISUCHANDRADATTA]


14. Obv. Elephant standing to r. with trunk upraised; above, 'Taurine' symbol represented horizontally.

Rev. In incuse

Image

(Rajasa

Image

sucamdatasa).

B.M.; Lady Clive Bayley. AE -55; Pl. 14.


No coin of this kind seems to have been hitherto published; and almost all that can be said as to its attribution is that, in its general character — fabric, shape, size, and epigraphy — it seems to be not far removed from the coins of Virasena [Naga], one specimen of which is described below. Cunningham, probably from considerations of provenance, assigned the coins of Virasena [Naga] generally to the district of Mathura (Coins of Anc. Ind,, p. 89, pl. viii, 18), and, on the assumption that this attribution is approximately correct, we may, provisionally, place the coins of (?) Sisucandrata in the same class.


Image
Location of the Audumbaras relative to other groups: the Kunindas, the Vemakas, the Vrishnis, the Yaudheyas, the Pauravas and the Arjunayanas.

Image
Coin of Dharaghosha, king of the Audumbaras, in the Indo-Greek style, circa 100 BCE.[1]
Obv: Standing figure, probably of Vishvamitra, Kharoshthi legend, around: Mahadevasa Dharaghoshasa/Odumbarisa "Great Lord King Dharaghosha/Prince of Audumabara", across: Viçvamitra "Vishvamitra".
Rev: Trident battle-axe, tree with railing, Brahmi legend identical in content to the obverse.[1]


Image
Silver coin of a "King Vrishni" of the Audumbaras.
Obv Pillar with half-lion and half-elephant, surmounted by a Triratna symbol and surrounded by Buddhist railing. Indian legend Vṛishṇi Raja jnâgaṇyasya blubharasya
Rev Large Dharmachakra symbol. Arian legend Vrishni Raja jnâganyasya blubharasya.[2]


Image
Shiva temple with trident standard, Audumbara State, Punjab, 1st century BCE.

The Audumbras, or Audumbaras (Hindi;ओदुम्बर) were a north Indian tribal nation east of the Punjab, in the Western Himalaya region. They were the most important tribe of the Himachal, and lived in the lower hills between Sirmaur, Chamba and Yamuna [Jamuna].

In the neighbourhood of Jamuna, Sutlej and Beas the Kuninda tribe was ruling. To this Lahaul-Spiti must have been a part. Kulu was inhabited by Kulutas. Territory to the east of Kangra was occupied by Audumbaras. Nagas were the rulers between Ganga and Jamuna valleys on the north.

-- Lahaul-Spiti: A Forbidden Land in the Himalayas, by S.C. Bajpai


They issued coinage from the 1st century BCE, when they seemingly gained independence from the Indo-Greeks. The silver coins of the Kunindas, the Vemakas and the Audumbaras closely follow the coins of Apollodotus II in their characteristics (weight, size and material).
[1]
Apollodotus II (Greek: [x]) was an Indo-Greek king who ruled in the western and eastern parts of Punjab. Bopearachchi dates him to c. 80–65 BC, and R. C. Senior to c. 85–65 BC. Apollodotos II was an important ruler who seems to have re-established the Indo-Greek kingdom to some extent of its former glory. Taxila in western Punjab was reconquered from nomad Scythian rule.

-- Apollodotus II, by Wikipedia

Their coins are found in the area of Pathānkot, Gurdāspur District.[1]Their favorite deities were Mahādeva or Shiva, and also Kārtikeya, standing with a spear in right hand.

They are also known as Audumbara or Audumbatira. It is a name of the tribe. They are the same people as the Odemboerce of Pliny. Hist Nat VI 23. Professor Lassen mentions them as the name of the people of Kutch of Gujarat state. They appear in the Ganapatha of Panini of 5th Century B.C. K K Das Gupta has attempted to show that they existed even in Brahmana period. They were enterprising people having prosperous trade and commerce.

Their capital was Kotesvara or Kachchhesvara. Mahabharat Chapter 52. A. Cunningham has also mentioned about them in the archaeological survey report V page 155 and also his book Ancient Geography of India at page 254. Kotesvara was a celebrated place of pilgrimage on the western shore of Kachh, close to Indus and to the great ocean. It is on the bank of Kori branch of Indus. There was a temple of Shiva in the middle of city. The meaning of Kotesvara is 10 million Ishvara. It is the name of Shiva. Audumvara like other tribes namely Sibi, Mujavats and Mahavrises were worshipers of Shiva, whereas Aryans worshiped Vishnu in the earliest times. Kotesvara is now only a small village and the temple Kotesvara is still there and worshipped.

Kachh is also called Rann of Kachh. The word Rann is evidently a corruption of Irana, which means a salt land (Amarkosha). It is the Eirinon of the periplus of the Erythraean sea.

There was another place Audumvara in Punjab which is the present city Pathankot. It was also known as Pratishsthana. It is on Jalandhar Jammu road about 80 km before Jammu. It was also known as Dahmeri, Dhamari, Dhammeri etc., which is apparently a corruption of Sanskrit name Audumvara of the country and tribe, whose coins have been found in Kangra (In Himachal Pradesh), Pathankot, Ropar and Hoshairpur (Punjab). From the coins of 200 B.C. – 48 A.D. it appears that for some time Audumvara were under Indo-Greek and after that under Kusanas. The Prakrit legends Aduinvarisa – ‘of the Audumvara’ appears on the copper coins and pieces of Audumbara tribe in Punjab. The word Audumvara refers either the people connected to the Fig tree, Audumvara or where the tree was grown in abundance.

It appears that a section of Audumvara tribe migrated to Gujarat, may be due to internal conflict or some aggression. In course of time these people merged into local population.

See also

• Yaudheya
• Gupta Empire

References

1. Ancient India, from the earliest times to the first century, A.D by Rapson, E. J. p.154 [1]
2. Alexander Cunningham's Coins of Ancient India: From the Earliest Times Down to the Seventh Century (1891) p.70 [2]
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