Author Topic: Coins of Raja Raja Chola  (Read 49803 times)

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Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #105 on: October 08, 2019, 11:43:30 AM »
I think Peter must be right in pointing out that they circulated in different times, in the case of the copper coins. Still the prototype came from the same Emperor! Prof.Neelakanta Sastri who has given us one of the most descriptive pictures of the Cholas opines in his book "TheCholas", Vol.II, Part-I, quoting Codrington that copper coins of similar type must have been issued by later Cholas using the same "rajaraja" legend and other devices the same way used by Rajaraja himself and the symbols deteriorated over the years.(P.453-454).  He states a few more relevant things-# 1). Two weight standards, the Gadyana system of ~50-60 grain weight Kalanju and another ~68-80 grains Kalanju were used during the Chola period, the latter being used more than the former. The second one is otherwise stated as 20 manjadi = a Kalanju,(P.443).  #2). Kasu was a 10 manjadi coins in copper.(P.454). #3.)The copper coins of around 3.8-4.2 grams might have been double cash.(P454). #4). Ratio between gold and silver was one unit of .395 pure gold (9.5 mattu) equal to 8.66 units of silver.(P.451).  #5). Kahavanu was the name of the gold and silver coins, but "Kasu" seems to the right term to use. (Oesho has supported this view for copper coins).
Anyhow, "rajaraja" legend has been used on gold, silver and copper coins of the Cholas. Since the same legend persisted, the beginning may be attributed to Rajaraja. The two weight standards are also well established. The degenerated coins must have been issued by the later Cholas of different names. So the mystery of same legend, weight standard and figures seen on coins of three metals still continues!!
Dr.Sreedhar

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #106 on: October 08, 2019, 12:24:46 PM »
Who am I to disagree with such eminent numismatists. And yet, Codrington's theory of posthumous or anachronistic issues sounds doubtful. The purpose of an posthumous issue is to honour the deceased. It would be issued shortly after his death and it would be on the same technical standard as the coins of the deceased. That does not match either the change in metal or the deteriorated symbolism. An anachronistic issue wants to deceive the user into thinking that the coin is older than it is in reality. It would try to look like the original and hide the differences. However, we are discussing coins made of metals with strikingly different colours here.

If some of these coins were not struck during the reign of Rajaraja Chola, you could assume that they were issued to show legitimacy. Their message would be something like "the issuer has a direct connection to Rajaraja Chola; he is the true inheritor of power." However, such a message requires the name of the present ruler, else the message is lost.

We are not scientists. We can speculate. I hope our speculation inspires others to do research or speculate some more. Let a thousand opinions bloom.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #107 on: October 10, 2019, 08:52:12 AM »
Here comes another part of the Chola mystery.
This copper coin is highly worn out but retains just sufficient to make out a sitting Ceylon-man on the obv and to its right, "rajaraja" where "ja" on the first line is a mirror image of what is seen on the previous coins. Rev shows the dynastic symbol of the Chalukyas "Varaha" (boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu) and an umbrella above.

Now its attribution can be amusing! There are two options.
1. There are Chola devices on one side and Chalukya's on the other. So it could be an issue of the Chola-Chalukya ruler, the first ruler being Kulottunga-I. Experts in South Indian numismatics have attributed this to Kulottunga based on this theory. And if so, we have to consider that Codrington was right at least partially when he stated that later Cholas used the devices and inscribed even the name as on Rajaraja coins. Kulottunga was the grandson of Rajendra Chola who could have used his own name on this coin. Since Eastern Chalukyan empire got absorbed into Chola empire with the rule of Kulottunga, there was no need to retain Chalukya emblem which might have persuaded others to revert to the original Chola standing figure reverse.
2. When Rajaraja Narendra was challenged for the throne of Vengi, his grandfather Rajaraja Chola went to his aid to get him placed on the throne. He could have issued coins with Varaha on one side ascertaining his authority on the Chalukyan empire and a thanks-giving obverse used by his grandfather, obviously since they had "Rajaraja" common in their names.

I think this mystery will drag on until some epigraphic evidence is dug out to throw light on the calligraphy used on later Chola coins!
Dr.Sreedhar

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #108 on: October 10, 2019, 09:24:32 AM »
Wondering about the mirrored "ja" on this coin. If it is a normal feature of this type, it points to unfamiliarity with the script. If it is not a normal feature, it would be an indication that the coin could be an imitation.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline drnsreedhar

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Re: Coins of Raja Raja Chola
« Reply #109 on: October 10, 2019, 09:30:07 AM »
Thank you for the post. Mirrored "ja" coins are found from different parts of Tamilnadu. This particular coin also came from Tamilnadu, but its exact provenance is not known.
Dr.Sreedhar