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III.—On the connection of various ancient Hindu coins with the Grecian or Indo-Scythic series. By James Pamsnr, Sec. &c.
In my last notice on the subject of coins, I promised to bring forward demonstrations in kind, of the direct descent of the Hindu coins of Kanouj, from what have been denominated the Indo-Scythic series. In attempting to redeem my pledge, I am aware that I run counter to the opinions of those who maintain that the Hindus practised the art of coinage, and had a distinct currency of their own before the Greeks entered India ; especially my friend Colonel STACY. To him my opposition might appear the more ungracious, since the weapons I am about to use are chiefly those he has himself so generously placed in my hands; but that I well know he is himself only anxious to develops the truth, and will support a cherished theory
‘no longer than it can be maintained with plausibility at least, if not
I am not, however, about to contend that the Hindus had no in» digenons currency of the precious metals. On the contrary, I think evidence will be found in the collection about to be described, that they circulated small pieces of a given weight ; that stamps were given to these, varying under different circumstances ; and that many of these earliest tokens exhibit several stamps consecutively impressed on the same piece, until at last the superposed impressions (not those of a die but rather ofa. punch) came to resemble the devices seen on the IndoScythic coins, in company with which they have been found buried in various places, particularly in Captain CAu'r1.nY’s Herculaneum at Behat near Saharanpur.
That from this period, in round terms, may be assumed the adoption of a die-device, or of coined money properly so called, by the Hindus, is all I would venture at present to uphold ; and in doing so, I will not again appeal to the assertions of PAUSANIAS*, quoted in RoaEa'rsoN’s disquisition, that the Hindus had no coined money of their own ; nor to the silence of the Mahabhfirat and other ancient works on the subject; but solely to the close family resemblance of four distinct classes of Hinducoins to what may be called their Bactrian prototypes ; namely, those of Kanouj ; the later class of the Behat, or the Buddhist, group ; the coins of Saurdshtra, found at U/_';'ain, in Guzerdt and Cachha ,and those which Colonel STACY has denominated Rzijput coins, having the device of a horseman on one side, and a bull on the other.
Before proceeding to comment upon the first of these classes, my tribute of obligation and praise is due to Colonel Sracr, for the
persevering labour and true antiquarian zeal, which have alone enabled him to gather together such a rich collection of this peculiar and rare type, and for the disinterested readiness with which he has placed them at my disposal, to select from and publish at once, thus depriving him as it were of the first fruits of his enterprize and toil. It is true that so far at least as regards the merit of discovery, his title will rather be confirmed than injured by early publicity; but the employment of another hand to illustrate his materials may do injustice to his own careful classification ; and modify the opinions and deductions regarding the origin, connection, and antiquity of various groups, which he may have derived from a larger and more intimate study of the subject, and from the actual inspection and handling of thousands of coins, that have been withheld from insertion in his select cabinet.
The home collector, who like myself, but receives contributions from others, may learn, from the superior fulness and novelty of many of the following plates, to appreciate the advantage of personal exertion over second-hand acquirement. In further proof of this, I could produce some of the letters now lying before me, received from Colonel STACY on his several coin excursions. Here he would be seen putting up with every inconvenience, enduring the burning heats of May, or the cold of December, under trees or in common serais in Central India ; digging in deserted ruins, or poring over the old stores of village money-changers, after having (the principal difliculty and art), won their confidence, sometimes their interest, in the object of his pursuit: sparing neither money nor time to gain his end, and after a hard search and fatigue, sitting down, while his impressions were still warm and vivid, to communicate the results of his day's campaign.
Col. STACY felt himself for a moment disheartened on beholding the treasures of Gen. VENTITRA and his followers; but although the character of the Bactrian relics necessarily eclipses all that can be expected from a Hindu source, while their prolific abundance astonishes the gleaner of Hindu relics, a moment's reflection should restore a full or even increased degree of satisfaction. Hindu history is even more in need of elucidation from coins than Bactrian. The two countries are in fact found to be interwoven in their history in a most curious manner, and must be studied together. The alphabetic characters, the symbols, and most especially the link-coins, (emphatically named so by Colonel sTACY,) are fraught with information on this head, which can only be extracted by multiplying the specimens, and thus completing the chain of evidence. It will be seen shortly, that several of the dynasties to which the coins belong have been identi-‘ tied through the names and legends they bear, and many new princeshitherto unheard of, have been brought to light. Let not therefore Colonel Sracv desert his line for one more engaging, but persevere in it as long as anything remains to be explored.
I cannot resist in this place pointing out theline of search recommended by Colonel Ton, (to whom is justly ascribed the paternity of this branch of numismatic stud_v,) in a note on thelate Panjdb discoveries published by him in the Asiatic Journal of London for May : “ Let not the antiquary," he writes, “ forget the old cities on the east and west of the Janma, in the desert, and in the Panjiib, of which I have given lists, where his toil will be richly rewarded. I possess bags full of these Indogetic gentry; and I melted down into several sets of basons and ewers, the rust of ages from which the tooth of time had eradicated whatever had once been legible. . . . I would suggest the establishment of branch-committees of the Asiatic Society at several of the large stations, which would haveahappy moral result in callingforth the latent talent of many a young officer in every branch of knowledge within the scope of the Society. Agra, Mathura, Delhi. Ajmir, Jaipur, Némuch, Mhow, Sdgar, &c. are amongst the most eligible positions for this object . . . . A topographical map, with explanations of ancient Delhi, is yet a desideratnm, and of the first interest: this I had nearly accomplished during the four months I resided amidst the tombs of that city."
In thanking Colonel Ton for his encouragement and advice, I must be allowed to differ altogether as to the means to be employed. Committees are eumbrous, spiritless, and inactive engines, for such an end ; when anything does appear to be etfected by them, it is gene. rally the work of one member, whose energy is only diluted and enfeebled by the association. Give me rather the unity of design, and quickness of execution of (I will not say agent, as Colonel Ton suggests, but of) an independent pursuer of the object for its own sake*, or for his own amusement and instruction. It is by such as
* These I may say are already provided at more places than Colonel Too points out: Colonel STACY at Ckitor, Uduyapur, and now at Delhi .- Lieutenant A. Cononnv at Jaipur ,- Captain WADE at Ludidna ,- Capt. (JAUTLEY at Sehdranpur; Lieut. Coumnonsm at Benares; Colonel SMITH at Patna ,- Mr. Tanoaaa at Jaunpur; and Dr. SWINEY (now in Calcutta), for many years a collector in Upper India. And for the exterior line, Lieut. Bunmzs at the mouth of the Indus; Messrs. Vex-rvaa, Couar, Massou, K1~:a.\’MAr Ant and MOHAN La'r. in the Punjab; besides whom I must not omit Messrs. H. C. H.\MlLTON, Srlnns, Enonwoara, Gunnnvs, Capt. JENKINS, and other friends who have occasionally sent me coins dug up in their districts.
these that all the good. has hitherto been done ; the extension of patronage followed rather than preceded or prompted the great disco
_veries of last year-_in Kahul*.‘ '
_ The plates" I have prepared to illustrate my subject have not been numbered in the most convenient order for the purpose; but as it is a matter of"indifi'erence which line we commence upon, it will be fair to give ourfirst attention to Plate XXXIV. containing the so long postponed ‘continuation of the coins and relies dug up by Capt. CAUTLEY at Behat,'and noticed in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society on the 14th January last.I ’
.. The exhumation of this subterranean town has not perhaps been followed up with so inuch vigour as it would have been, had not its
'discoverer’s attention been diverted, to other antiquities of _ more overwlielming interest—the fossil inhabitants of a former world--before which the modern reliques of a couple of thousand years shrink into comparative insignificance. Perhaps indeed the notion of a city at the spot- indicated by these remains should be modified. Professor Wnlson writes me, that he cannot suggest any ancient city of note so situated; .yet_'if it existed so late as the 3rd or 4th century of our era, it ought surely to be known. It mayprobably have been the site of d‘Buddhist monastery, which -became deserted during the persecutions of this Ysect, and‘ was then gradually destroyed and buried7by the shifting sands of thelvhill torrents. Some ‘of the relics now. to vbe noticed forcibly bear out this supposition. ’ - ' '
Plate XXXI V. Behat Group.
.' -The upper half of this plate contains a continuation of the relics dug up at Behat by Captain Cnurmv.
Fig. lie the ' object of principal interest, because it stamps the
.locality as decidedly Buddhist, and leaves us to infer, that the coins
.nre the same, although’ their devices have nothing that can ‘he positively-asserted to be discriminative of this sect. Thefigure represents
:tw0~'fragments of a circular ring of baked clay. In the inner circumference arecarved or stamped, a succession of small figures of Bonnnn
(sea-ted,'apparently 12 in number; and on the upper surface, a circular
‘it couldhave been applied. ‘In some respects it may be compared
'* We have arrested the press of this sheet to announce the arrival of the second memoir by Mr. MASSbN, on the produce of his labours at Beghran|—the same announced sometime since by Captain Wnnn. We shalt hasten to
' prepare lithographs of the numerous figures with which it is illustrated, although
comparatively few (not more than 5 or 6) of them are altogether new after Gen. Vr.wrunA's collection.-—En.' ' " ~ ' ‘ Y