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Coins and Culture of Early North India

Pranabananda Jash (Author)

The present work strives to reflect through the prisms of coins-the forces at work in the realm or religion and culture in early north Indian history.  The extraordinary assimilated genius of India in imprinted on her coins struck throughout the ages, stretching from its genesis to the modern times.  The study is primarily concerned with early north Indian coinage highlighting the religio-cultural scenario.  It includes the history as reflected on the Punch-marked, Tribal or Local or Janapada, Indo-Greeks, Scytho-Parthian, Kushana, Gupta and Post-Gupta coinages and the Rama-Tankas.  An in-depth analysis of beautiful and artistic tiny metallic pieces is bound to unveil a magic in the minds of the researchers.  In fact, the study of coins, by and large has concentrated on the chronology of coins, their relationship with political power and the geographical space of the findings, but the work under review offers adequate light on the artistic form of the coins, both figurative and also abstract motifs.  A large number of relevant photographs of the coins have been illustrated in the plates portraying the complex cultural and ethnic set-up of the space and time.  Moreover, men and women of various social and economic strata of life-kings and aristocrats, courtly and fashionable ladies of high society, foreigners (Greeks, Parthians, Sakas, Kushanas, etc.) with their distinctive ethnic and/or facial features, costumes and dress, ornaments, hair decoration etc., are richly represented.  Besides historical information, these pieces disseminate an index of secularism where various races and ethnic groups holding apparently different religious faiths and beliefs, rites and rituals could maintain peaceful co-existence.  This idea is powerfully brought home while analyzing the bearings of the images and icons on the Rama tankas issued by the rulers as well as the religious or monastic heads of different ethnic groups.

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About the author

Pranabananda Jash

Professor Pranabananda Jash (b. 1943) received his under-graduate and post-graduate degrees in Ancient Indian History and culture, from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketana (India). Author of a number of research papers on various aspects of Indian and South-East Asian History and Culture, he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for this thesis entitled Saivism from the early Pauranic and Epigraphical Sources in 1971, and later in 1984, earned the highest academic degree of the University, Doctor of Literature for his outstanding research work on the History and Evolution of Vaisnavism in Eastern India (1982). Some of his other publications are – History of Saivism (1974); Some Aspects of Jainism in Eastern India (1989); History of the Parivrajakas: Sankaracarya (1991). More over, he has edited several volumes, noteworthy among them are – Society and Religion in Ancient India (Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya Commemoration Volume, 1984); The Emperor and the Subordinate Rulers (1982); The Mother Goddess Worship (1987); Indology and Science: A Hermeneutical Coalition (1989); A Peep into Nineteenth Century Poetry (1989). National Integration: Vision of a Poet (1995); National Integration: Problems in Perspective (1995). Professor Jash has completed a couple of research projects sponsored by the UGC and the University of Visva Bharati. He has occasions to deliver lectures at a number of Indian and foreign universities and/or academic institutions. He has been teaching in the Department of Ancient Indian History, culture and Archaeology, Visva Bharati, since 1971.

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Bibliographic information

Title Coins and Culture of Early North India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 25.08.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Pratibha Prakashan
Language: English
isbn 9788177021737
length xvi+115p., Plates; Notes; References; Bibliography; Index; 26cm.