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we are told that the boy would notice simply that some coins were oblong, some round and some elongated in shape, that the rustic would know all this and also that the coins were like gems, worthy objects of enjoyment to mankind, but that the shroff not only would be conversant with all these matters but also would be in a position to decide, after handling the coins in a variety of ways, which of them were struck at which village, borough, town, mountain and river bank, and also by what mint master. It is thus clear that every place whose coinage was issued had its own distinguishing mark stamped on it, and in confirmation of it may be noted that on the majority of kārshāpaṇas unearthed at Besnagar the device of the river is prominently noticeable, indicative probably of the Vetravati (Betwa). Consequently, we may safely conclude that these kārshāpanas which have the mountain or the river on them, were struck at those places and in order that the different mountains and rivers may be distinguished we find them differently figured. Figures 46-52 on Plate VIII of Mr. Theobald's article (J. B. A. S., Vol. LIX., Pl. I), e. g. shows how an attempt is made to distinguish one mountain from another on kārshāpaṇas. The different symbols of one and the same object the shroff of the ancient day was of course conversant with, and could tell from what different mountains or rivers the coins came. It would be interesting to know what the symbols representative of a village or town were.

"Another group of devices noticeable on kürshapanas is the auspicious marks of which svastika and nandipada are the most conspicuous. Both these are met with also in old cave inscriptions, which either begin or end with them.'

The Artha Ŝastra,2 in referring to the duties of the Collector General of Revenue, mentions, together with taxes and other matters, rupika, the meaning of which appears to be premia,


"Excavations at Besnagar" by R. D. Bhandarkar, M.A. A.S.R., 1913-14, p. 212. › Artha Śāstra, p. 66,

or seignorage on coins. It also enumerates the duties of the Superintendent of the Mint as follows:

"The Superintendent of Mint (lakshaṇādhyakshah) shall carry on the manufacture of silver coins (rūpyarupa) made up of four parts of copper and one-sixteenth part (māsha) of any one of the metals, thikshņa, trapu, sisa, and añjana. There shall be a pana, half a paṇa, a quarter and one-eighth.


Copper coins (tamrarūpa) made up of four parts of an alloy (pādajīvām) shall be a mashaka, half a mashaka, kākaņi, and half a kākaṇi.

"The examiner of coins (rūpadarśaka) shall regulate currency both as a medium of exchange (vyāvahārikim) and as legal tender admissible into the treasury (kośapravesyām): The premia levied on coins paid into the Treasury shall be eight per cent. known as rūpika, 5 per cent. known as vyāji, one-eight papa per cent. as pārīkshika (testing charge), besides (cha) a fine of 25 paņa to be imposed on offenders other than the manufacturer, the seller, the purchaser and the examiner."

It would, therefore, appear that the reason for the mark of the sangha, or village union, in which the coin was in use may be that the local authority affixed its marks on every coin in which it had levied seignorage, and that no coin on which seignorage had not been so levied was allowed to circulate within its jurisdiction.

An indication of the order in which the marks were punched on the coins is shown in some cases by certain marks being punched over others. Thus, the mark of interlaced triangles, Fig. 4, has been punched over marks, pot of foliage, Fig. 3, and Elephant right, Fig. 5, on coin No. 4; and over mark, Fig. 1, on coin No. 57. Mark Fig. 10 has been punched over mark, Fig. 4, on coin No. 22; mark, Fig. 20, has been punched over mark Fig. 1 on coin No. 50; mark, Fig. 26, has been punched over the sun mark, Fig. 2, on coin 57; and an indistinct mark has been punched over mark, Fig. 1, on coin No. 68.

Artha Sistra, p. 98.

The Artha Śāstra also enumerates the duties of the goldsmith of the mint in regard to the mintage of gold coins Suvarna and gold ornaments (page 107).

It therefore appears that in the Artha Sastra, which deals with matters of the Mauryan age, coinage was a royal prerogative carried on in the royal mints. The marks on the coins would therefore primarily be royal or state marks and not the marks of individual moneyers through whose hands the coins passed.

It may be suggested, to account for a constant group of marks, that one, mark may represent the state, one the reigning king, one the place where the coin was struck, and perhaps one a religi ous mark recognizing the presiding deity (like the dei gratia on English coins); also the master of the mint may have had his mark, which would fix his responsibility for the coin, and the additional varying marks may have those of the sanghas, village communities, in which the coin was current, affixed at the time the rupiya or local tax on it was levied on its admission to circulation in that jurisdiction. And the various and unsystematic punches on the reverse may have been the marks of private shroffs and moneyers through whose hands the coin passed in the course of circulation.

In this connection Mr. K. P. Jayaswal has called my attention to a rule laid down by Paṇini; " Sangh=āñka-lakshaneshv =añ-yañ-inām=an," the meaning of which is "an-suffix takes place in nouns ending in añ, yañ añ in the case of (i.e. to denote) ankas and lakshanas of sanghas;" which shows that a Sangha had its anka or lakshana, which latter Mr. Jayaswal would identify with the lanchhana, or heraldic crest of later Sanskrit.

The word Räjä-anka," the royal mark," or the "king's arms" occurs in the Artha Sastra, and would therefore appear to be the personal mark of the ruler. In the same way while each sangha had its own lakshana, the elected body of rulers for the time being may have had its own personal anka which remained in use during its term of office and was given up when that body went out of office. This would account for the large number of different marks which are found on punch-marked coins.

In this connection Mr. Jayaswal also notes that the Harappa seals, which are found in a well-known republican area, have the permanent figure of a peculiar animal, with changing legends, in which the animal may be lakshana and the legend correspond

to the anka.

That the anka was the personal mark or emblem adopted by the individual, the king in the case of a state and the governing body in the case of a sangha, would also seem to be borne out by the inscription " Srimānāñka" and "Sriguṇāñka" on the early coins of Nepal figured by Cunningham in Figs 1 and 2 on plate XIII of Coins of Ancient India. Cunningham has taken these to be the names of the respective kings. But they are given in the Nepal dynastic lists as Mana Deva and Guna Deva. I would therefore read these two legends as "the anka (mark) of Sri Māna " and " the anka of Sri Guṇa.” 1

Professor Rapson has also held the view that the marks on punch-marked coins were stamped by the village communities, and that "it seems probable that such matters as the issue of coinage were regulated by local authorities-money-changers or merchants and not by the imperial authority. The very great variety of early Indian coins would thus be naturally explained, and such inscriptions as are found on them have been interpreted by Dr. Bühler in a sense which entirely supports this view." 2


In the case of later inscribed coins, which bear, the word "negama" ("the traders") on the reverse, Professor Rapson considers that they were issued by guilds and were guild to kens. These, however, are obviously coins of a very much later date, being struck with a single stamp, and do not therefore necessarily imply that the primary marks on the early punch-marked coins were of this nature. And the Artha Sastra clearly shows that the minting of coins was the function of the state. And it cannot therefore be held that the primary marks on them were

1 Examples of these coins are also given in my paper on " The Coinage of Nepal," J.R.A.S., 1908, p. 669, et. seq.-E. H. W.

2 "Counter Marks on Persian and Indian Coins" by E. J. Rapson, K.A. J.R.A.S, 1895, p. 871.

8 Ibid.

those of the sanghas, except in the case where such sanghas were independent or semi-independent governing bodies; though, as is shown by the Vissuddhimagga they also bore the marks of the Sanghas, which may show that the Sanghas were allowed to mint for the State, or they may have been allowed to affix them for the purpose of levying their royalty on the coins came within their jurisdiction, and confirming their


The number of different marks found on punch-marked coins is very great. Theobald has described and figured 277 which he obtained from the examination of 150 coins. 1 He subsequently revised that list by excluding the symbols on the later coinage of Ujain and Eran, which reduced the number of symbols of the older coinage to 247, to which he added further marks, making a total of 342. The number of marks, however, greatly exceeds that number, and new finds bring fresh marks to light.

For instance out of the 83 marks on the present coins illustrated on Plate IV, only 16 correspond to marks illustrated by Theobald, or are varieties of them, and his Fig. 124 (six dots) might perhaps be the upper portion of present Fig. 3, if the mark were incomplete on the coin he referred to. The remaining 66 marks are not amongst those illustrated by him.

As the meaning of some of the marks is not clear and individual interpretation of them may be mistaken, and a mark may also be misleading when incompletely punched on a particular coin, I have given illustrations of the coins so as to show almost every one of the marks which occur on them.

As an example of the above remarks I would refer to the mark Fig. 32, which I first took to be a separate mark and figured it accordingly, but on further examination found to be a portion of the mark elephant right, Fig. 5. Also Fig. 38, which I at first took to be a separate mark, but which I subsequently on


1 J.A.S.B., Part I., 1890, p. 268, Plates VIII-XI.

ง Fig. 1 on Plate IV Fig. 92 of Theobald; Fig. 2

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138, 139; 5 =

64; 13 68; 16 - 157; 18 145; 26 =
35; 47 = 56; 53 – 162 and 54 – 115.





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