Page images
PDF

ful nature. Mr. Wrnson read the whole Nara-gupta .- Dr. MILL, Sarigupta. I have nothing new to offer on the subject*.

Having now ocular demonstration of the intimate relation of the Indo-Scythic with the 2nd class of Hindu coins, the question naturally suggests itself, whether history is altogether silent on a point of such curious interest ?

In first contradiction of such an inference, we find that the IndoScythic origin of the Rahtore dynasty of Kanouj has been advanced on very plausible grounds by the highest authority on this subject, Col. Ton, the annalist of Rfijputzinaf. He obtained from a Jan’, (Yati) or Jain priest of a temple at Nadolaye, an ancient town in Mrirwdr, a genealogical roll of the Rahtores, about 50 feet in length. "After detailing the usual theogony, it describes the production of the first Rahtore ‘ from the spine (rah!) of Indra,’ the nominal father being ‘ YAVANASWA, prince of Parlipur.’ Of the topography of Parlipur, the Rahtores have no other notion than that it was in the north: but in the declared race of their progenitor, a Yavan or Greek prince of the Aswa or Asi tribe, one of the four which overturned the Greek kingdom of Bactria, we have a proof of the Scythic origin of this Rajplit family."

May-it not be possible that the Yavana prince here alluded to may be the Azos (in Pehlevi Azo) of the series of Bactrian coins published in my last notice? The Sanscrit word Aswa would be pronounced Aso, and be thus written in Persian or Pehlevi (as deo for lleva, &c.) The number and variety of his coins would imply that the name or title was that of a considerable dynasty, and some of the devices, for example, Nos. 10, 11, Plate XXII. of the goddess holding a cornucopia, may have naturally been the prototype of the Kanouj coins.

A considerable interval (from 300? to 470 A. D.) provokingly occurs between the name of YAVANASVA and the next prince, in C01. ToD’s list—-whether also omitted in the Jain original, or filled up only by barbarous and uninteresting names, we are not informed. The blank is relieved at length by the name ofa genuine Hindu, N.urANAPXLA; but it happens that the missing part is the very one that could alone throw light upon our numismatic discoveries. Several coins (including the whole series of Kadphises and Kanerkis, intervene after Azos, before we are brought to the absolute link coins of the IndoScythic and Hindu dynasties.

* Since finishing my plate, I have received a drawing of a small silver coin from Mr. Tmmnnn, found at Jaunpur, having a head on one side, and on the other a bird, with outspread wings, under which in clearly, defined charactersis

5} ma Chandra-gupta.

1- Ton's Annals of Rfijasthan, vol. ii. p. 5.

The name of Ndyana-paila bears so near a resemblance to Nard_1/anagupta, that a strong temptation arises to regenerate Colonel Ton’s prince in him, on the same grounds on which his predecessor has been brought to life in Azos.

Indeed it would hardly be exceeding the bounds of legitimate conjecture, (where all is mere conjecture,) to adopt a historical representative of our Knnaaxr himself in the KBNEK-SEN of Colonel Ton, Se’n being according to him merely a martial atlix, equivalent to General or Sénapati.

KENEK-SEN, the founder of the Balhéra dynasty according to the concurrent testimony of all the chronicles consulted by Ton, emigrated to Saurdslztra about the year 144 A. D*. “ from the most northern province of India, Lohcote or Lahore.” In date and locality this origin would agree well with KANERKI : nor would it even set aside the former supposition of the same prince being the Tartar KANISKA of the Cashmir history; since that prince is made the sixth in succession after Asoxa, the great patron of the Buddhists, who is placed by their chronology in 250 B. C., but who, when the correction for Chandra-gzlpta is applied, will fall full 50 years later.

In reasoning upon the probable seat of these obscure dynasties, it is by no means necessary to confine ourselves to one spot. The annals of lllewcir, Delhi, Mrilwd, Saurdshtra, shew a continual intermixture, as different princes acquired the ascendancy.

Kanouj has been fixed upon as the locale of the present class of gold coins, for the obvious reason that they are most frequently found in its ruins, not that any history ascribes them to this town; for the history of Kanouj is a perfect blank anterior to the fifth, we may even say the tenth century : and if the town had been suddenly involved in destruction, it is only certain that the coins found afterwards in its ruins would be those of the particular epoch, whether coined there or elsewhere.

There are arguments in favor of placing the seat of government further to the west, for instance at Ujiain (Uj;'nyini.) In the first place, the perfect identity of the coin-alpllabet with that of the Guzerdt inscriptions lately decyphered by Mr. Wnrnnnt :-—then, the prevalent worship of the sun in Sauru'sbtra, and at Ujjain, where this object still forms _the distinguishing symbol on the coinagei, agrees well with the efligy of QKPQ and APAQKPO on the Indo-Scythic coins*. Again, the peacock of many of the Kanouj reverses is found on one of the principal series of Sam-dslitra coins, as will hereafter be shewn ; and Colonel Ton states that this sacred bird of the Hindu Mars (Kuiniaa) was theifavorite armorial emblem of the Rajpiit warrior. Lastly, many of the names on these coins may be traced in the catalogues of the Mdlwd and Guzeriit princes ; Vilcrama, Chandra, Samudra, Kumdra, Ajita, &c. the last four are coupled it is true with the family affix pdla instead of gupta; but both of these have the same signification.

*' Ton’s Rdjasthan, I. 215. l

T See preceding page 480.

I The greater banner of Mewar also exhibits a golden sun on a crimson field, To» 1. 137.

In the Rcijiivali of Rzija Racnunirn, quoted by \Vu.roRn as the chief authority in Central and Western India, we find a sovereign named VIKRAMA reigning in the year 191 A. D. and succeeded, or rather supplanted 90 years later, by a SAMUDRA-Pita. The deeds attributed to these two are supposed to be merely an interpolation of the fabulous history of Vixaaminrrrn and SA'L1vA'nANA’r: but the occurrence of these two names is very curious, allied to the circumstance and appearance of the two coins, figs. 25 and 26, of Plate XXXIX.

The only other instance of the occurrence of the name SAMUDRAGUPTA, that I am aware of, is on the Allahabad pillar, where he appears as the son of a CHANDRA-GUPTA; and from the close similarity of the alphabets of the coins and of the laths, no reasonable doubt can be entertained that they relate to the same individual——a fact predicted by Dr. MILL in his valuable observations on this new race of kings (vol. iii. p. 267), to which the reader is referred for all the light that collateral history afibrds on the subject.

The name of VIKRAM.\ is referred by Maasnnn to Bikram-tsckand (Vikrama-chandra) of the fourth century, in ANQuE'rn.’s list of the kings of Central India’,;. KUMXRA-PXLA is also one of the many names of Sinivinaun.

There is no reason however why K anouj should not at some periods have been united under one sovereignty with the western provinces. The great Vixanminirra (whose appellation in full is found on one of MAnsnnN’s coins) conquered Indrapreshtha, and extended his sway over the whole of India.

The Rahtore sovereigns of Kanouj, after its conquest by NAYANArA'i.A, Col. Ton says, assumed the title of Kam dhuj (Kama dlwaja).

* Bhatarlca (sun-cherished) is a title of the earliest Balabhi R'<’ija’s in Mr. W/i'rnEN’s inscriptions, p. 480. 1' As. Res. IX. 135. I Num. Orient. II. 727.

If this alluded to their armorial insignia, we may thus find an explanation of the standard on the earlier coins ;-—and it may be equally applied to the Aparajita dhvaja of fig. 16.

Another curious circumstance is mentioned in Col. Ton's chronicles of Mdrwtir, that may help us a step forward in‘ the investigation of this obscure history. It is there said, “ DHARMA-BHUMBO had a. son, AJAYA CHANDRA. For twenty-one generations they bore the titles of Rao, afterwards that of Rrija." We are again left in the dark as to who first assumed the title of Rdja ,- but as we find the title Rao in Greek visible on the very latest coin that bears an inscription in that character; while on the fine gold coin discovered by Lieut. Conomnr, of VIKRAMA, fig. 25, we have the title Mahdru'ja Adhiruja Sri, quite distinct; it must have been between the two that the change of title was assumed. But I should be inclined to interpret the above passage in the Yati’s roll, as meaning that up to All CHANDRA, or for the 21 generations preceding him, the title R00 had been used, and henceforward that of Rtija was adopted : for why should the historian allude to the circumstance until the change of title actually took place? Moreover, there are only 16 generations mentioned from An CHANDRA down to the last of the Kanouj sovereigns, the celebrated JA YA CHANDRA or Jar-CHAND, anterior to whom the title was certainly borne, for we find it on the coins of VIKRAIA, SAMUDRA-GUPTA, and others, names not included in the list, but which we know from the style of the Deva Nzigari character must have belonged to a much earlier epoch than the seventh or eighth century, in which Buumso is placed.

The Rev. Dr. MILL has led us to put little faith in the authority of the bards and panegyrists of the native courts; and it must he confessed, that the contrast of Colonel To1>'s genealogy with the incontestible testimony of the Sanscrit inscriptions read by Coutnnooxn, FELL, and WILSON, is enough to perplex the most ingenious amalgamist ! We must then maintain a thorough independence of all such traditionary documents, and adhere in preference to the faithful evidence of monuments and coins. ln the present case, I have shewn how these confirm one another in a remarkable and unexpected manner, in regard to the names on the Allahabad pillar, inscription N0. 2, all of which re-appear on these early Kanouj coins. In asubsequent paper I shall produce equally convincing evidence that those of the Benares and Delhi inscriptions are reproduced upon a second series of Kanouj coins of a much more modern character.

All then that can be now attempted is, to recapitulate the names that have been brought to light in the present investigation, names for which weare indebted to the joint contributions of not less than a dozen friends*, leaving the proper arrangement of them to a more advanced stage of our knowledge than we at present possess.

The following are ‘the names and titles that appear on the coins of the two last plates.

1. Sri Aparayita dhvaja Kumdragupta parcikrama.

Sri Vi/rrama Narendra gupta. Mahdrzija adhi rtija Sri Samudragupta. 9. . . Sri bal vi/crama Kumciragapta . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .

10. Ajita mariatrigapta

1 1. Asvamedha paroikrama.

To these may be added the

12. Vikramdditya of MAnsnEN’s collection, and the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]

IV.-—Application of Iron Rods, proposed to compensate for the strain occasioned by the tension of the strings upon Piano Fortes, thereby to prevent warping, and to render them more durable and better adapted to keep longer in tune. By Col. D. PRESGRAVE.

By a notice in your Journal, No. 17, May 1833, of some improve. meuts that had been made in square piano-fortes, I am induced to send an account of a scheme, which I devised and put in practice in January, 1833. The object of which is to strengthen the instrument, so as to prevent warping or twisting, thereby rendering it more lasting and less liable to get out of tune.

It is stated in the above-quoted article, that it is by the slipping of the round iron pegs in their wooden sockets. that a piano gets out of tune; but I am inclined to think, that this is not to be attributed so much to that circumstance, as to other causes, such as change in the level of the instrument by the unceflsing strain or tension upon it; the effect of temperature on the wires, and of the atmosphere on the porous material (wood) of which the instrument is constructed. Wliilst pianos are very new, they require comparatively little tuning ;

* Vnuruaa, Knnyuar Au, Wane, Tnnouan, Cuunmomu/1, Bum, S-rncr, Wnsozs, Smrn, Swnvev, Cnacnorr, and CoNom.Y.

« PreviousContinue »