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Ancient Indian Coinage

A Systematic Study of Money Economy from Janapada Period to Early Medieval Period (600 BC to AD 1200)

Money is unmistakably a landmark invention -- considering its indispensable role in economics and, more specially, in the commercial sphere of man's existence anywhere in the world. However, we have yet to have final answers to some of the fundamental questions: When, where, and how was money -- shaped as 'coins' or as 'pieces of stamped metal' -- first introduced to human civilization? Its genesis in India is traced back to the sixth century BC: during the second urban revolution, when coins came to be manufactured here independently, indigenously.

Analysing in depth an astonishing mass of numismatic and kindred data, published in different catalogues, archaeological reports, journals and elsewhere, this book investigates the evolution of ancient India's money economy: in terms of its 'coinage', through six successive periods: janapada, Maurya, post-Maurya, Gupta, post-Gupta, and pre-medieval -- which, in their togetherness, span nearly two millennia. Covering the entire subcontinental sprawl, Dr. Jain considers the whole variety of coins: local, universal standard, and even foreign, with meticulous descriptions of coin types, symbols, legends, fabric and metrology.

In her thematic effort to reconstruct the history of ancient Indian coinage (and, thus, money economy), from its first beginnings in high antiquity to about the twelth century ad, the author has drawn on wide-ranging primary and secondary sources. And has also tried to establish linkages between different ancient coins and their references/descriptions in Vedic/Buddhist/Jaina texts, Panini's Ashtadhyayi', Kautilya's Arthashastra, epical literature, Dharmashastras, foreigners' travelogues, old-world mathematical treatises, and numerous contemporary inscriptions, among others writings.

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About This Book

Money is unmistakably a landmark invention -- considering its indispensable role in economics and, more specially, in the commercial sphere of man's existence anywhere in the world. However, we have yet to have final answers to some of the fundamental questions: When, where, and how was money -- shaped as 'coins' or as 'pieces of stamped metal' -- first introduced to human civilization? Its genesis in India is traced back to the sixth century BC: during the second urban revolution, when coins came to be manufactured here independently, indigenously.

Analysing in depth an astonishing mass of numismatic and kindred data, published in different catalogues, archaeological reports, journals and elsewhere, this book investigates the evolution of ancient India's money economy: in terms of its 'coinage', through six successive periods: janapada, Maurya, post-Maurya, Gupta, post-Gupta, and pre-medieval -- which, in their togetherness, span nearly two millennia. Covering the entire subcontinental sprawl, Dr. Jain considers the whole variety of coins: local, universal standard, and even foreign, with meticulous descriptions of coin types, symbols, legends, fabric and metrology.

In her thematic effort to reconstruct the history of ancient Indian coinage (and, thus, money economy), from its first beginnings in high antiquity to about the twelth century ad, the author has drawn on wide-ranging primary and secondary sources. And has also tried to establish linkages between different ancient coins and their references/descriptions in Vedic/Buddhist/Jaina texts, Panini's Ashtadhyayi', Kautilya's Arthashastra, epical literature, Dharmashastras, foreigners' travelogues, old-world mathematical treatises, and numerous contemporary inscriptions, among others writings.

  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124600511
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124600511
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 1995
  • Pages : xv, 247+ [8] p.
  • Size : 23
  • Weight (approx.) : 500
  • Bibliographic Details : 50 Figures of coins; Bibliography; Index

Preface
Abbreviations
Table of Transliteration
Map of Important Ancient Indian Mints and Hoard Sites

1. Meaning and Evolution of Money Economy in Ancient India

Barter Economy
Emergence of Coins
Origin and Antiquity of Coinage in India
Origin of Coinage

Greek Origin -- Iranian Origin -- Babylonian Origin -- Indigenous Origin

Stages in the Evolution of Money

Commodity Money -- Metallic Money -- Metallic Coins -- Harappan Period -- Rigvedic Period -- Later Vedic Literature

Commencement of Coinage

Literary Evidence -- Archaeological Evidences -- Northern Black Polished Ware -- Metal of The Original Coinage -- Issuing Authority

2. Research Methodology

Objectives of the Study
Compilation of the Source Information
Coins

Internal Evidence -- External Evidence

Inscriptions
Literature

Vedic Literature -- Ashtadhyayi of Panini -- Buddhist Literature -- Arthashastra of Kautilya -- Mahabharata, Dharmashastra Writers and Patanjali -- Jain Canonical and other Jaina -- Literary Works -- Mathematical Works

Writings of Foreigners
Classification of Coins

In Chronological Sequence -- According to the Weight and Size -- According to the Metal Used -- According to the Dynastical Regimes -- According to the Purpose of Issue -- According to the Technique of Manufacture

Analysis

Macro and Micro Approaches -- Inductive and Deductive Approaches -- Historical and Dialectical Approaches -- Traditional Approach -- Hypothesis -- Limitations

3. Money Economy During Janapada Period (c. 600-320 bc)

Political and Economic Importance
Local Coinages

Ashmaka Coins -- Kunala Coins -- Saurashtra Coins -- Surasena and Pancala Coins -- Gandhara Coins -- Vanga Coins -- Vatsa Coins -- Koshala Coins -- Kashi Coins -- Andhra Coins -- Mulaka Coins -- Malla Coins

Magadha Coins
Standard Coins
Import of Silver
Symbols
Copper Currency
Issuing Authority
Money-Economy as Known from Literary Sources

Gold Coins -- Silver Coinage -- Copper Currency -- Actual Specimen

Foreign Coins

4. Money Economy During Mauryan Period (c. 319 to 187 bc)

Increasing Necessity of Money
Metal and Coins
Nature and Value of Kautilya's Pana
Technique of Manufacture
Symbols of the Coins
Study of Rupa-Sutta
Copper Coins
Cast Coins
Regulation of Currency
Debasement of Coins
Counterfeiting of Coins

5. Money Economy During Post-Mauryan Period (c. 186 bc to ad 300)

Coins of Foreigners

Indo-Bactrian Coins -- Indo-Scythian Coins -- Indo-Parthian Coins -- Indo-Kushana Coinage

Later Kushana Coins
Kushana-Sassanian Coins
Kidara-Kushana Coins
Puri-Kushana Coins
Roman Coins
Coins of Western Kshatrapas
Indigenous Coins

Ujjayini Coins -- Abundance of Uninscribed Coins -- Inscribed Coins

City Coins
Tribal Coins
Monarchical Coins
Early Coins of South India

Uninscribed Coins -- Bodhi Coins -- Punch-Marked Coins

Money Economy from Literary Sources

Gold Coins -- Silver Coins -- Copper Coins -- Sub-Multiples

Impact of Money Economy

6. Money Economy During the Gupta Period (c. ad 301-500)

Gold Coin Types of Individual Rulers

Coinage of Candragupta I -- Coinage of Samudragupta -- Coinage of Candragupta II -- Coinage of Kumaragupta -- Coinage of Skandagupta -- Coinage of Buddhagupta and Others -- Legends -- Metrology -- Adulteration -- Source of Gold Supply for Coins

Silver Coinage
Copper Coins

Cowries as Coins -- Relative Values of Different Coins -- Copper Coins of Ramagupta

Money Economy from Literary and Epigraphic Sources
Impact of the Paucity of Coins

7. Money Economy During Post-Gupta Period (c. ad 501-800)

Decline of Money Economy

Hunas Coins -- Gold Coins In Imitation of the Guptas -- Silver Coins -- Hepthalo-Sassanid Coins -- Indo-Sassanian or Gadahiya Coins -- Copper Coins of Punjab -- Coins of Kashmir -- South Indian Coins -- Coins Known from Literature and Inscriptions

Impact of Economy

8. Money Economy During the Early Medieval Period (c. ad 801-1200)

Gadahiya Coins
Coins of Shahi Kings
Coinage of Early Rajput Dynasties
Horseman and Bull Type Coins
Coins of Kashmir
Coins of South India
Coinage Mentioned in Inscriptions and Literary Works
Coins in North India

Dramma as General Term -- Karshapana -- Copper Coins -- Pana -- Sodashikas -- Vodri -- Vimshopaka -- Lohatika -- Drammardhavimshaka -- Gold Coins

Coins in South India

Calukyas and Kalacuris of Kalyana -- Hoysalas -- Yadavas or Sevunas of Devagiri

Coins of Orissa
Barter System
Impact of Money Economy

Growth of Trade and Industry -- Growth of Cities -- All Round Development -- Emergence of Merchant Community

9. Conclusion

Predominance of Metallic Coins
Origin and Antiquity of Coinage
Local and Standard Coins
Introduction of Legal Tender Money
Appearance of Gold Coins
Decline of Money Economy
Revival of Money Economy
Technique of Manufacture
Different Names of the Coins
Debasement and Counterfeiting of Coins
Standards and Denominations
Conservatism
Impact on Modern Money Economy

List of Figures (Appendix)
Bibliography
Index
 
 
 

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