Recent Posts

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11
Excellent illustration of a formative part of the history of the area. Alexander had stopped his conquests in Samarqand. Seleucus had the choice of going East and taking on the Mauryan empire or West, where Antigonus was looking mightier all the time. The marriage of his daughter with Chandragupta Maurya was a diplomatic masterpiece. It gave Seleucus a quiet Eastern front, so he could apply his full force against Antigonus.

Seleucus fought Antigonus out of the territories he claimed. This allowed him to join the coalition of Lysimachus and Cassander against Antigonus. The battle of Ipsus was where the fame of the elephants came from. They did play an important role, but I doubt it was decisive. They were used mostly in a defensive manner, to keep Demetrius' cavalry separated from his father's main force, exposing Antigonus' right flank. This manoever could only have been executed by Seleucus, owner of the elephants. Another decisive manoeuvre, getting the Antigonid right flank to change side, is also true and tried Seleucus. Afterwards, Antigonus' position in the centre was hopeless. He was killed. Therefore, the military capability of Seleucus decided the battle, not any destructive power of the elephants.

It is clear that the use of the war elephant spread quickly, but they were not again used in such large numbers. Their main purpose seems to have been to impress, as they were rather ineffective as war machines. Ptolemeian infantry dug individual holes and cowered in them as the elephants passed. The elephants avoided the holes, presumably so they wouldn't endanger their equilibrium. Roman cavalry aimed for the mahouts, not enraging the elephant. Without a mahout, the elephant would just continue walking straight ahead, making it easily avoidable. Another tactic seems to have been playing trumpet, to make the elephants turn around and run into their own lines, but that may be just a Roman legend.

The ultimate demonstration of the limits of the utility of the elephant for war was Hannibal's campaign against Rome. His elephants held up his movements, to the point of splitting the Carthagian army repeatedly, they never played any significant role and IIRC, there was only one left alive by the time of the battle of Cannae.

My argument is supported by this beautiful coin. The elephant is adorned to impress, not to go to war. Its bulk is a symbol of power, not power itself.

My personal, anecdotal memories agree with that conclusion. I rode an elephant only once. It was a smooth ride and the elephant was calm, sweet and innocent. I am sure it was capable of being enraged, but it would have taken an effort and its effect would have been random. However, the towering beast certainly was impressive.

Peter
12
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 09:04:09 AM »
Mexico, 10 pesos, 2012.

'L'-shaped denticles on the reverse but none on the obverse.
13
Western Gangas, 9-10th Century AD, Gold, Gajpati Pagoda, 3.85g, Ref: Mitch #193

Obv: Caparisoned Elephant standing facing right, Kannada characters “PA RU” at top (meaning uncertain)

Rev: Ornamental floral scroll

Beautiful things comes in small packages! This is so true for this small but delightful coin that features an elaborately caparisoned elephant on a tiny flan. It is a tribute to the mastery and skill of the die engraver that such intricate visual details as evident on the coin was captured so eloquently highlighting the art and culture of the Western Gangas.

As the coin features a majestic elephant, these are popularly known numistically as 'Gajpati' (Lord of the Elephants) type pagodas. India, since antiquity, has always been known for its elephants during peace as well as wars. In circa 305 BC, Seleucus Nikator, one of the generals of Alexander 'The Great', married his daughter to Chandragupta Maurya, and left India with 500 war elephants gifted by his son-in-law, that enabled him to establish the Seleucid Empire in Syria.

An elephant symbolizes might and wisdom, attributes much sought after by the rulers with which to associate themselves or their clan hence it is no surprise to see an elephant gracing the coin so prominently. Further, the birth of Buddha is also symbolized by a white elephant.

Pl read at Wiki link for more on Western Ganga Dynasty

14
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 03:27:27 AM »
Canada, $1, 1976 and 1977.

Two different types. One type has beads on both side.

The other has beads on one side and denticles on the other.
15
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 03:01:10 AM »




According to Wikipedia:

Tokelau consists of three tropical coral atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo), with a combined land area of 10 km2 (4 sq mi). The capital rotates yearly among the three atolls.


For many years, Tokelau arranged the beads on the obverse of its collector coins in groups of three as a reference to its three atolls.

Do you know of any other symbolic coin beads?
16
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 02:56:13 AM »


Misaligned beads on a Gibraltar 2 pound coin of 2019 for the Island Games.
17
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 02:46:18 AM »


UK, one pound, 2006.  The Egyptian Arch, Newry, Northern Ireland.





UK, one pound, 2007.  Gateshead Millennium Bridge, England.

Artist Edwina Ellis takes the idea of denticles and plays with it, in her series of bridge designs for the old UK round pound.





UK, one pound, 2004.  Forth Bridge, Scotland.





UK, one pound, 2005.  Menai Suspension Bridge, Anglesey, Wales.
18
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 02:41:42 AM »


German New Guinea, 10 Pfennig, 1894.  Obverse: the denticles are slanted diagonally.





German New Guinea, 10 Pfennig, 1894.  Obverse: the denticles are straight. Why the difference, on the same coin?
19
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 02:30:15 AM »
UK Gothic crown, 1847.

Neither beads nor denticles, but an unusual set of shapes.
20
Coin characteristics / Re: Beads and dentillations on coins
« Last post by <k> on May 29, 2020, 02:24:58 AM »


 Yugoslavia, 1 dinar, 1938.  Bead-shaped denticles?

 
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10