Coins are discovered from time to time either in the course of archaeological excavations or as accidental finds during digging operations of the earth. They play a vital role in illuminating history not known from other sources and help in it reconstruction. They also confirm and substantiate the history known from other sources. The new discoveries, thus, constantly add to our knowledge and help in modifying our earlier views and not infrequently in shedding our old beliefs.
The book was first published in 1969 to introduce this fascinating subject. It became popular with the general reader, as well as University teachers and students who used it as a textbook. This has necessitated its revision with each edition, to update the information. In the last edition, chapters relating to the Satavahana and the kushana periods were thoroughly revised and considerable new material was added. Information regarding the ruling dynasties that preceded the Satavahanas in the Deccan, and about whom little was known earlier, was brought out for the first time. Likewise the coinage of the post-Kushana rulers, which did not have adequate attention earlier and lacked proper studies, was described in some detail. In this edition three chapters-one, two and six-have been thoroughly revised and rewritten. Therefore, this edition is very different from the original edition written almost a quarter century back in 1969. I hope the revision would serve to inform readers about the latest findings in the numismatic history of India.
With these words, I express gratitude to my readers, who have been regularly writing to me. They have not only been a source of encouragement to me, but have also alerted me to the shortcomings and errors that needed to be rectified.
Parmeshwari Lal Gupta
Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, Nasik
From the Back of the Book
This book is a concise, straight-forward but remarkably detailed and readable survey of the whole sweep of the coin-age of India from the beginning to the present day, and is a model of effective popularization based on the highest scholarship.
About the Author
Parmeshwari Lal Gupta was born at Azamgarh, obtained the PhD degree that Banaras Hindu University in 1960. He worked at the Bharat Kala Bhavan, Banaras Hindu University and the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai and retired a Curator form Patna Museum, Patna in 1972. In 1984, he joined, as Director, the Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, Anjaneri, Nasik and worked there till 1992. He is member of the International Numismatic Commissions, Honorary Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society, London, Asiatic Society of Bombay and also Honorary Fellow and Medallist, both of the Numismatic Society of London. He is the author of several works on Indian Numismatics, history and Achaeology in English and Hindi. Besides his international repute for his knowledge of Indian Numismatics, he was a renowned scholar of Hindi literature. In his younger days he participated in the free-down movement.
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