« PreviousContinue »
of Aearnocnss and of PANTALE6N, of rude fabrication, and connectl ed through the devise of a lion with another singular coin having the & symbol. These are now again brought into a double alliance with the coins of Behat and Kanouj, by the character in which the inscrip
tion is cut. On the present silver coin there are five distinctletters, all of which will
be found in the analysis of the alphabet, page 112 of the present volume. I cannot attempt as yet to transcribe these mysterious symbols in any more familiar character, but it is not too much to hope
that ere long another prize from Kanouj may put us in possession of an inscription in two languages, one of which will be known and will
serve as a key to the whole : meantime I proceed to describe the peculiarities of the present coin.
Obverse. A horse standing unattended and naked. In front appears a line of double curvature, which from analogy may be a faint trace of the lotus stalk held by the female in the Behat coin (fig. l. Pl. xviii.)
Reverse. On the left, the tree symbol with its chequered frame: on the right, a new form composed of two circles touching, traversed by a common diameter, which continues above and supports an inverted crescent. Below comes the inscription before mentioned in large and clear letters: in the centre of the field is a crescent, or new moon. Above the recumbent moon is a small animal standing upon her horns, which resembles very closely that depicted on the reverse of the coin from Behat, fig. 1, plate xviii. The connection of this animal with the moon seems to imply some astronomical allegory: were it clearly a horse, we might imagine it to signify the new moon in the month of Aswini or in the lunar mansion of that name, the first of the 27 Nakshatras of the lunar zodiac, corresponding as is supposed with the star 7 or B Arietis ,- in which case it might be thought to point to some event that happened at a particular epoch. Should the animal be of the deer genus, it may be taken for Sssm, the antelope or roe (sometimes translated a bare) always attendant on CHANDRA, and supposed to have been allotted to him from a fancied resemblance of the marks on the moon’s face to the spotted skin of this animal*. Sir WILLIAM Jonas alludes to this attribute of the moon in his hymn to Soars :
“Thou nectar beaming Moon,
Regent of dewy night—»
The compound image may further be emblematical of princely dignity; similar in import to the various armorial bearings among European nations; thus, in the ancient copper plate grant of land dug
* See Moon’s Hindu Pantheon, p. 293.
up at Tripura in 1803, and decyphered by Mr. Comnnooxn, (As. Res.
x. 403,) we find the expression :—
“ From him sprung the happy chief of ministers, who exhibits the joys of unsullied glory: a spotless moon, among mortals, at sight of whom the bare spotted lummary appears swoln with envy and distempered with alternate in
crease and wane.” I will here close this unsatisfactory tissue of conjectures, regrettmg
that the time is not yet ripe for doing justice to Lieut. CoNoLLY’s se~ cond boon towards the solution of a faintly dawning point in the per~
vading obscurity of Indian history. J. P.
After engraving the figures of the three coins just described, Dr. Swmnr arrived in Calcutta with his rich cabinet of ancient coins. In it I discovered several connected with the same groupe, ‘which he was kind enough to place in my hands. I had however reserved only room for one or two, (figures 4 and 5,) and have been obliged to content myself with the legends of the others (b, 0, d and e,) to show the resemblance of the character to the Kanouj Nagari alphabet. I cannot describe these
coins better than in Dr. Swn~ucr’s own words. “ Several of them are rare, particularly the two larger with the
antelope goat on one side and the warrior on the other ; smaller ones of this description are not uncommon in the neighbourhood of Seharanpur. I mean in the smaller towns, and certainly not all brought from the newly discovered deposit at Behat. The first of the kind that I met with was stated to be brought from Hardunir; and there was so marked a character of the hill goat upon it, that it was natural to connect it with some long forgotten dynasty in, the Sewalic range. There is an account to be met with somewhere, of a certain Raja of Kemaon, by name SAKWANTA, whose domain was invaded by a certain RAJPA'L of Indraprestha. It seems that in this case the aggressor was defeated, and SAKWANTA obtained and kept possession of the regal abode for fourteen years.
But perhaps mythology is a better key to the true interpretation of old coins. Here we have a series of coins more or less connected one with another by some common symbol of a Jain type: on one coin the horse, on another the antelope or goat, on another the hieroglyphic called Swastika, on another the sankh, or sacred shell; the character of the reverse or obverse bearing some common jantra, suflicient to indicate the series.
Then we possess Colonel Ton’s testimony to the existence of such a series; for he says, he has in his possession a full series of Jain coins. I do confess however, that my belief in these coins being Jain was
2 K 2 '
-‘shaken by the discovery of -i the two larger: coins (figs. 4 and 5) ;_on the obverse of these we have the warrior figure of SIVA or his son ' SCAIQDA Kuimf-ms, ‘with“the-hu'g‘e'Sivian spear allndedto in Mo(>n’s " Hindu Pantheon. On comparing this figure with the'obverse of Nos. 37 ' and 38 of W1LsoN's plates, it will be difficult to admit one and not the ‘other among Jain coins. If rejected as a Jain coin, it may be worth _while to read Wi1.roan’s story ‘of SivA's rusticating himself on the banks of the Bagmati zhence called, as writes the same authority, in ‘some vol. of the Asiatic Researches, Mrigasringo : the tradition is that once upon a time SIVA appeared in the shape of an antelope, whence he Jtook the name of H ariniswara, or in other words Harinisd, or lord of the antelope. Perhaps as we progress to perfection in the newly discovered San
scrit letters, the inscription upon atleast , three of the coins now sent will throw some light upon, the subject."
Figures 12, 13,14 and-15, of plate xxvi. are four coins dug up in the Doab near Allahabad, and presented to the Society, by Mr. Srmns on the 3rd September. They appear to belong to the same class as the preceding, having arudely executed bull on one side, and the jhdr or branch on the other, with some ill-defined letters in strong relief and
a straight chequered border below. , The jluir, in the present day it should be remembered, is the symbol distinctive of the Jaipur and Chitore coins. The trisul, of those of Srinagar. and Siigar. In due
' course, of time we may be able by means of these marks to.trace,.e&"0h
species to its original locality. , ,_ , \_ .
Fig. 9. is a small copper coin among Dr. Gnn.uw’s series, bearmg a, bull on one side and the well defined Kanouj Nagari letters tiiflii 1-dja sri on the reverse. There are two or three others of the same
kind, in his collection. - J_ P_
III.—-Continuation of Observations on the Coins and -Relics, discovered by General VENTURA, in the Tope of Mdnikydla. By J. Pnmsar, Sec. 8;c.
It is with some difiidence that I now proceed to offer afew remarks in illustration of the M dnikydla treasures, knowing the great disadvantages under which any attempt to investigate even what may be ‘thought so simple a matter as the antiquity of the monument must labour, when unassisted by previous knowledge of the history, mythology, or current languages of the period and of the locality to which it belongs. My object, however, is.to place all the circumstances which the collateral discoveries of Messrs. Mnsson, l\/IA,MiN, I Bmmas, Guano," and
21 Q "“[P@
24 )H I 0 ' ‘ _
I" ““”“‘*“""“->-W "MN I’ 'Kv]'K9.p D\Ne‘ “ 11 5l©Ni9N'Q;"o,r., ZOIAU1MQN ._ 2.o'u'&\'§Mp.Q\N.av