Author Topic: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!  (Read 1723 times)

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Offline cmerc

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Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« on: July 24, 2013, 08:33:50 AM »
Learning how to decipher legends on the Western Kshatrap coins.  Got lucky enough to find one with enough to identify the ruler.  I don't know if I read it correctly, and feedback from WoC members will be supremely helpful! 

1.89 grams, 1.4 -- 1.5 mm

Tentative reading:
"...  ksh-rtr-(pa)-sa  bha(??)-rtr-da-man  pu-rtr-sa  ra-jno  ksh-rtr ..."
"...  ksa-tra-(pa)-sa  bha-rtr-da-man  pu-tra-sa  ra-jno  ksa-tra ..."
(Not going to fix the image now)

Approximate translation, with guesses:
"(King) (Maha?) Satrap Bhartrdaman(??) son on King Satrap (Rudrasena [II]??)"
"(Son of (King) (Maha?)-satrap Bhartrdaman(??), (of) King  Satrap (??)"
"Son of (King) (Maha)-satrap Bhartrdaman, (of) King  Satrap (Visvasena)"
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 04:44:32 PM by THCoins »
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Offline THCoins

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 04:40:24 PM »
Can not really sse the picture well, on mobile internet. but i believe your name could be right but you read it in the wrong order. the Bhartrdaman putrasa i think indicates that this ruler is the son of bhartrdaman. Your reading is also less likely because the father almost always carried the title mahakshatrapa. A coin issued as just kshatrapa is more or less a crown-prince issue.

Offline cmerc

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 06:52:41 PM »
Can not really sse the picture well, on mobile internet. but i believe your name could be right but you read it in the wrong order. the Bhartrdaman putrasa i think indicates that this ruler is the son of bhartrdaman. Your reading is also less likely because the father almost always carried the title mahakshatrapa. A coin issued as just kshatrapa is more or less a crown-prince issue.


Thanks Anthony, I stand corrected.  Bhartrdaman is the father. 

Still need some more help...

(1) Son's name is off-flan, but it seems certain that he is a 'Kshatrapa', and NOT 'Mahakshatrapa'. 
(2) In Tandon's Celator article, I could not find any king/son entries where Bhartrdaman is the father.  So who is the king/son?
(3) It is possible that the father (Bhartrdaman) is a Mahakshrapa, but 'Maha' is off-flan.

Also, please see http://coinindia.com/galleries-visvasena.html 
Visvasena is listed as the son of two fathers:  Bhartrdaman and Rudrasena.  Inconsistency?

I would really appreciate if you can verify the reading and interpretation if you get the chance.  Maybe other references have listings with Bhartrdaman as the father.  Thanks again for getting me started on Brahmi. 
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 07:09:12 PM by cmerc »
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Offline THCoins

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 03:20:02 PM »
i think coin-india site has a copy-paste error for visvasihasa, in the transcription of the last two coins is the name of Visvasimha, not of Visvasena. Visvasena is the son of Bhartrdaman, Visvasimha is a son of Rudrasena II.

Offline cmerc

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 04:53:28 PM »
Thanks! So this coin can be attributed as: Kshatrapa Visvasena, son of (Maha?) Kshatrapa Bhartrdaman.

I have a few more, I will try to read and post them too.   
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Offline THCoins

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 04:54:07 PM »
Finally home with acces to references and nice big screen to look at the pictures.
I think your final interpretation is correct. Looking at my references i find that the strange low position of the eye is typical for this ruler.  The questionmark after the Maha title of the father can i think be removed because it is unheard of that a Kshatrapa would refer to his father, who has been a MahaKshatrapa, as just Kshatrapa.
Where you read "Ksh", i would put "Ksa". The "Rtr" is correct in the Bhartrdaman name, but the others should be "Tra", but the characters i admit are not very much different:

Offline cmerc

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 06:23:56 PM »
I was a bit confused between the "rtr" and "tra" syllables, both sound similar and even look similar.  The small and not-so-sharp legends on the coins also are hard to distinguish.  Thanks for clearing that up.  Looks like I have a lot of Brahmi to learn in the following weeks!

Looking at my references i find that the strange low position of the eye is typical for this ruler. 
Maybe he suffered from some ailment, with droopy eyes.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 07:03:54 PM by cmerc »
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Offline Rajagopal

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 03:43:28 PM »
Another first attempter here...But after a gap of 4 years from cmerc's attempt...This one also has Myasthenic eyes i suppose.. >:D >:D

Offline THCoins

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 04:06:46 PM »
Yes, despite of the fairly similar portraits for all the rulers this one is often recognizeable by his facial features alone !

Offline Finn235

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 04:55:13 PM »
Right, Visvasena is the one ruler (besides Nahapana) that can be identified by his portrait. Interesting that he is both universally shown with a low-set eye, and he was the last of his dynasty... has anyone explored the possibility that he was afflicted by a genetic disorder and unable to produce an heir? Except for the occasional Satavahana princess captured or bartered for peace, we don't know much about the Kshatrapa's wives. Maybe they ended up marrying sisters and double first cousins to keep the bloodline pure?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Deciphering Western Kshatrap legends - First attempt!
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 07:54:06 PM »
Who says it's an eye? It could be a scar he was mighty proud of or a birth mark that was seen as a heavenly sign. On the first coin, there seems to be a worn bulbous element in the right place for an eye.

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