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Then followed Pushpamitra, most probably the one mentioned in the Mahâbhâshya of Patanjali.* A little later we find Gardabhilla, the well-known father of Vikrama. The Scythians took possession of the country for four years, and were driven out in 57 B.C. by Vikrama, then known by the name of Sâkâri (the enemy of Sâkas), and he ascended the throne of Malawa and its dependencies (including Gujarat, etc.). It was most probably in commemoration of his great success that he began to reckon an era from his accession. Further on, we find that, 135 years after Vikrama's accession, Shâlivâhana became paramount ruler and instituted the Shâka era. It is a noteworthy fact that the commencement of both the Samvat and Shâka eras was originally connected with the defeats of the Scythians at the hands of Vikrama and Shâlivâhana, respectively.
Rangavijaya, the author of Gurjaradeshabhủpâvali, gives such a detailed consecutive description of the Hindu kings that preceded and followed Vikramâditya, that it will be admitted by the reader to bear the stamp of trustworthi
If in accordance with Dr. Fergusson's suggestion Vikrama be supposed to have reigned in the 6th century A.D., what kings must we invent to fill
the gap of 86 years after 57 B.C., and to win a great victory over the Scythians ? Some scholars would like to suppose more than one Vikrama to have held paramount power in India. But so far as this important MS. is concerned, we find no other Vikrama mentioned except the Sâkâri.
It has now, besides, been ascertained that Shâlivahana's era began in 78 A.D. ; and Rangavijaya states that it happened 135 years after the commencement of the Samvat. This fact is proved not only by the MS. in question, but is also evident from the following traditionary lines which are found in almost all astrological books and commonly given in the beginning of Sanskrit almanacs :
Sabhârâjâ 'manushyapûrva: II. 4, 23 Pânini; Patanjali explains this sûtra thus: Tadvisheshanânâncha na bhavati ; pushpamitrasabhâ Chandraguptasabhâ.
Kalâu shad ete shakakârakâsmrtâh.
I see no reason for discarding this astrological tradition, which seems to be supported by Jaina literature, so far as the Samvat and Sâka eras are concerned.
To suppose the Samvat era to have originated like the Gregorian and Julian calendars, is quite an unwarranted assumption, for which no evidence is found in the ancient history of India.
Further on Rangavijaya mentions Âma, Bhoja, and five other kings who reigned, Sam. 557-802. If we allow 15 years for Âma, Bhoja can fairly be imagined to have ascended the throne about San. 542. This date of Bhoja's accession accords exactly with that given by a later Hindustani chronicler,* who says that Bhoja lived 542 years after Vikramâditya. The Hindustani chronicler mentioned above had undoubtedly in his mind the Bhoja who reigned about the beginning of the 6th century A.D., and counted his date 542 years after 57 B.C.
In conclusion I venture to think that in the light of my brief remarks in support of the Vikrama era we do not really stand in need of any stone or coin to prove its antiquity. I I may mention incidentally, however, that Dr. Cunningham, in his “ Archæological Survey of India,” iii. 31-39, directly assigns an inscription, dated Samvat 5, to the year 52 B.C.
* Probably Sher Ali Afsos. Vide Weber's “ History of Indian Literature,” page 201, note marked ||.
NOTE ON THE PROGRESS OF INDIAN
DURING THE YEAR 1891-1892.
BY VINCENT A. SMITH, M.R.A.S.,
Circumstances have prevented me from preparing a formal supplement to the Report on the Progress of Indian Numismatics which was submitted to the Congress of Orientalists held in London in 1891 ;* but even an informal note calling attention to the most remarkable works on the subject published during the last twelve months may be of use to some persons, and I therefore venture to submit such a note, though it is avowedly rough and incomplete.
The Government of the Panjâb has issued in quarto, published at Lahore, a Catalogue of the Coins in the Lahore Museum, prepared by Mr. C. J. Rodgers, Honorary Numismatist to the Government of India. A long review of this book written by the author of this note appeared in the "Indian Antiquary” for June, 1892 (vol. xxi., p. 194). Mr. Rodgers' Catalogue is in many respects open to criticism, but gives full details of the coins in the collection. I understand that, since its publication, the whole of Mr. Rodgers' cabinet, including his fine series of Mughal coins, has been bought by the Panjâb Government.
Mr. Rodgers is engaged in preparing a Catalogue of the coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, which has recently acquired the splendid series of gold coins of the Gupta period, collected by Mr. J. H. Rivett-Carnac, C.I.E. This set includes about 100 pieces.
In a paper entitled "Observations on the Gupta Coinage,” read at the Congress of Orientalists held in London in 1892, I noted all the new facts gleaned from personal examination of Mr. Rivett-Carnac's and other coins,
* The introduction to that Report was printed in the “Academy," and has been reprinted in Mr. Crooke's periodical, “North-Indian Notes and Queries ” (Allahabad, 1892).
and brought up to date my monograph on the Gupta Coinage published in 1889. Dr. Bühler's opinion that the Gupta Era was founded by Chandra Gupta I. at his accession, the year i being 319-320, seems correct. A revised chronology of the Gupta dynasty is given in the paper referred to.*
Many numismatic notes will be found scattered through the pages of Dr. Führer's “ Monumental Antiquities of the North-Western Provinces and Oudh," a handsome quarto, lately issued from the Government Press at Allahabad. This work was reviewed at length by me in the “Indian Antiquary” for October, 1892.
Dr. · Hoernle at Calcutta continues to examine and describe all noteworthy coins which pass through his hands. A catalogue of the coins in the museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal is badly wanted.
The publication by Sir A. Cunningham of his little book “Coins of Ancient India,” (8vo, London, Quaritch, 1891), has thrown a flood of light on the ancient coinage of India from the earliest times down to the seventh century A.D. An elaborate review of the book by me appeared in the "Indian Antiquary” for November, 1892. Equally important is Mr. Stanley Lane Poole's Catalogue of the Coins of the Mughal Emperors in the British Museum, just published.† The historical portion of Mr. Lane Poole's book is issued separately at a low price, and entitled " The History of the Mughal Emperors of Hindustan, illustrated by their Coins." I These two works supply for the first time much-needed systematic guides to the coins of the pre-Muhammadan period, and to those of the long line of Mughal emperors.
An account by Dr. Hultzsch of the coins of the southern * This paper is printed in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of London, January, 1893; with 3 plates. Plate II. gives facsimiles of selected coin-legends, prepared by Mr. E. J. Rapson, of the British Museum.
† Catalogue of Indian Coins in the British Museum, vol. iii. Coins of the Mughal Emperors, by Stanley Lane Poole, with a map and thirty-three autotype plates. (8vo. Printed by order of the Trustees, London, 1892.)
8vo. Archibald Constable and Company, Publishers to the India Office ; Westminster, 1892. This edition consists of one hundred copies, numbered 1 to 100, and was exhausted in November, 1892.
kingdom of Vijayanagar appeared in the “Indian Antiquary" for September, 1891. The same periodical, for November, 1892, contains another valuable article by the same scholar, entitled “South-Indian Copper Coins.” Most of the coins described form part of those selected by him from the collection of the late Mr. T. M. Scott of Madura, for the Government Central Museum, Madras. The coins treated of are classed as (1) Vijayanagara, (2) Chola, (3) Madura, (4) British East India Company, (5) French coin of Karikal. He quotes the following recent numismatic works :
(1) “ The Coins and Tokens of the Possessions and Colonies of the British Empire," by James Atkins. London, 1889.
(2) “History of the Coinage of the Territories of the East India Company in the Indian Peninsula, and Catalogue of the Coins in the Madras Museum,” by Edgar Thurston. Madras, 1890.
(3) “Pandyan Coins,” by the Rev. James E. Tracy, M.A. In the Madras Journal of Literature and Science for the Session 1887-88.
(4) “ Hints to Coin Collectors in Southern India," by Captain R. H. C. Tufnell, M.S.C. Madras, 1889.
An article by Mr. T. J. Symonds, on “The Coins of the Nawâbs of the Karnatik," appeared in the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, vol. ii., No. 5.
A learned and valuable paper on the “Coins of the Hûna Kings" was submitted by Sir Alexander Cunningham to the London Congress of 1892, but is not yet in print. The Hûnas, presumably the same as the Huns who devastated Europe, are now beginning to take a very clearly defined position in the history of India during the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. A still more important publication by the Nestor of Indian archæology and numismatics is Sir A. Cunningham's treatise on the “Coins of the Kushâns, or Great Yue-ti,” illustrated by eleven autotype plates, which has appeared in the “Numismatic Chronicle” for 1892. This work, combined with the author's earlier papers, will