The present book is an authoritative and authentic source for the study of Indian Coins. It not only describes the coins but also studies them
critically in all their aspects. In describing the features of a particular class of coins from the standpoint of standard, style and fabric or in
discussing the significance of the numismatic terms, the author has utilized the literary data which have a bearing on them.
Dr. Dines Chandra Sircar was formerly Government Epigraphist for India in the Archaeological Survey and Carmichael Professor
and Head of the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture, Calcutta University. He was General President of the All-India Oriental
Conference in 1972 and had previously presided over sessions of the Numismatic Society of India and Sections of the Indian History Congress
and the All-India Oriental Conference, besides being Chief Guest at the All-Orissa History Congress.
Prof. Sircar has written on most aspects of early Indian History during the past four decades. Besides editing a large number of
volumes of different types, he has published numerous books and monographs and more than a thousand papers, notes and reviews appearing in
various periodicals in India and abroad.
“Prof. D. C. Sircar’s…Studies in Indian Coins is indeed a valuable contribution to Indian numismatics. It incorporates his papers on
numismatics which were published in a number of periodicals… are highly stimulating, interesting, and instructive. Prof. Sircar has not merely
described the coins, but has also studied them critically in all their aspects.
The Plates illustrating important specimens of coins from the earliest times down to the present day form an important feature of the
Sometime ago, at the request of my friends, I published a volume incorporating many of my papers on Indian historical geography, which had
earlier appeared mostly in various in spite of its defects, the publication was received favourably by the students of the subject. Some European
scholars suggested that my studies in the other aspects of Indian history and culture should better be likewise made available in similar volumes,
especially to the students in Europe where copies of many Indian periodicals are not obtainable. This sympathetic and appreciative suggestion
encouraged me to collect my papers on Indian numismatics in the volume now placed before the public.
As in my Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India, so also in the present volume, sometimes more papers than one
have been clubbed together and discussions on several problems have been brought under one Chapter for the sake of the facility of presentation.
Thus nearly 35 papers and notes, published at different dates during the past 25 years, have been presented in this volume in eighteen Chapters
and three Appendices. The size of the Chapters varies, a few of them being lengthy and others smaller. Some of the papers have been suitably
modified in the course of revision.
Many of the papers incorporated in the volume appeared originally in the Journal of the Numismatic Society in India, to which I have
to express my thanks for honouring me by electing me its President for the years 1955 and 1956.
The authorities of the periodicals, in which my papers were published previously, have placed me under a debt of gratitude by their
kindness in allowing me to include the articles in the present work.
The sources of the different Chapters and Appendices are indicted below.
I. Adapted from a Bengali article contributed to the Bharatakosa appearing under the auspices of the Vangiya Sahitya Parisat,
II. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Varanasi (Banaras, Benares), Vol. XVIII, 1956, pp. 1 ff.
III. Ibid., Vol. XV, 1953, pp 136 ff.; Vol. XVI, 1954, pp. 40 ff.
IV. Ibid., Vol. XIV, 1952, pp. 128 ff.; Vol. XIII, 1951, pp. 183 ff.; Vol. XXIII, 1961, pp. 297 ff.
V. Epigraphia Indica, Delhi, Vol. XXXV, 1963-1964, pp. 247 ff.
VI. Ibid., pp. 69 ff.
VII. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. IV, 1942, pp. 149 ff.; Vol. XXII, 1960, pp. 168 ff.
VIII. Indian Historical Quarterly, Calcutta, Vol. XXXIII, December 1957, pp. 269 ff.
IX. Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy, Delhi, 1956-57, pp. 21 ff., 126 ff.
X. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. XXXIV, 1962, pp. 1 ff.; Our Heritage, Calcutta, Vol. VIII, 1962, pp. 69 ff.
XI. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, XXVIII, 1966, pp. 211 ff.; Indian Numismatic Chronicle, Patna, Vol. II, 1961, pp. 206 ff.;
Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXXIII, 1959-1960, pp. 95 ff.; Journal of Indian History, Vol. XL, Trivandrum, 1962, pp. 533 ff.
XII. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. XV, 1953, pp. 229 ff.
XIII. Ibid., Vol. XXI, 1959, pp 137 ff.; Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy, 1959-60, pp. 31-32, 170.
XIV. Suparna (J. Ph. Vogel Commemoration Volume in the press); Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. XIV, 1952, pp. 80 ff.;
Vol. XXVIII, 1966, pp. 90 ff.
XV. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. XX, 1958, pp. 192 ff.; Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XXXII, 1957-1958, pp. 329 ff.
XVI. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. VII, 1945, pp. 78 ff.
XVII. Ibid., pp. 82 ff.; Vol. XVI, 1954, pp. 264 ff.
XVIII. Ibid., Vol. VII, 1945, pp. 87 ff.; XXVI, 1964, pp. 127 ff.
Appendix I. Ibid., Vol XVIII, 1956, pp. 10 ff., 226 ff.
Appendix II. Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXIV, September 1948, pp. 242 ff.
Appendix III. Numismatic Chronicle, London, 1963, pp. 213 ff. I have always found it risky to form an opinion on the reading of coin-legends on
the basis of the unsatisfactory illustrations in Indian periodicals, without examining the original coins or their casts. But, in India, it is not easy
to get coins on loan or their satisfactory casts for study. I am therefore specially thankful to Dr. A.N. Lahiri, an old pupil of mine, who rendered
me great help in this respect as one of my Assistants when I was Government Epigraphist for India at Ootacamund. It is, in most cases, the
plaster-casts of coins, which Dr. Lahiri prepared in the course of his official tours and placed at my disposal on his return to headquarters, that
enabled me to detect errors in the published readings of the legends of a number of coins discussed in several of my papers included in this
volume. Likewise Sri G. Bhattacharya assisted me in examining the Petluri-palem hoard of Saka coins (Chapter IX). I am also grateful to my
former pupil, Sri Dilip Kumar Ganguly, who kindly translated into English one of my articles, originally written in Bengali, for Chapter I. The
index is the work of Sri Samares Bandyopadhyay, another pupil of mine, who has also helped me in various other ways.
In order to enhance its usefulness to the students of Indian numismatics, a large number of interesting coins have been illustrated in
the Plates appended to the work. Dr. Lahiri has been of considerable help to me in this matter.
It is quite possible that many errors have crept into the pages and that I have failed to make the book as useful to the students of Indian
numismatics as was my earnest desire. Novertheless, it will be a great satisfaction to me if the volume succeeds in creating genuine interest in
the study of coins in the minds of educated Indians and also in improving the standard of numismatic research in our country even in the smallest
degree. For the errors I may have committed, I crave the indulgence of the readers and request them to be so good as to draw my attention to
them, so that they may be rectified in the future.
The size and weight of coins have not been uniformly indicated in inches or centimeters and in grains or grams respectively. But their
conversion is easy if one remembers that 1 centimetre=.39 inch and 1 inch=2.54 centimetres, while 1 grain=.065 gram and 1 gram=15.38
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