Author Topic: Yaudheyas: 200 BC - 400 AD, Punjab region, Copper (4), Mitchiner 4719-21  (Read 166 times)

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Offline mitresh

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Ancient India, Tribal Republics, Yaudheyas, 200 BC - 400 AD, Punjab region, Copper (4), 11g avg each, Mitchiner 4719-4721

Obv: Karttikeya (God of War) standing facing, holding a filleted 'Vel' (sceptre/spear) in right hand, left hand on hip, peacock on left, circular legend around in Brahmi script: Yaudheya Ganasya Jaya ("Victory to the Yaudheya People").

Rev: Within a dotted circular border: Goddess Devasena (consort of Karttikeya) standing facing left, wearing transparent garment, left hand on hip, right hand raised in blessing, blank fields/kumbha-kalash (pot of prosperity)

These are simple coins but with very powerful imagery representing the valiant and independent streak of an indomitable people of an ancient Indian republic.

I find these coins fascinating. If ever the intention was to show a race of proud and martial people who won't give up their independence without a bloody struggle and bitter fight, then this coin has to be symbolic of that indomitable spirit. Look at the heroic warrior-pose on the Obv. It says 'I will protect my motherland come what may with Gods blessing' and the Goddess on Rev raises her hand to bless him.

Yaudheya or Yaudheya Gana was an ancient tribal confederation that lived in the area between the Indus and the Ganges river. The word "Yaudheya" is a derivative of the word "Yodha" which means a class of warriors. They were principally a federation or clan of fighters known for their skills in the art of warfare, fierce bravery and good internal administration. They were also popularly known as "Suravira" or Great Warriors as recorded in the Girnar inscription of Mahashatrapa Rudradaman who subdued them but praised their valour. They also find mention in Panini's Ashtadhyayi and Ganapatha. As per Cunningham, the Yaudheyas were descendants of Yaudheya, a son of Yuddhistra and his wife, Devika. Both the Drona and Karna Parva (Chapters) of Mahabharata cite the Yaudheyas together with other tribes.

The Yaudheyas survived the Mauryan and Shunga Empire as well as the Kshatraps and Kushanas. They were in zenith of their power from about 200 BC to 400 AD. The Yaudheya republic had been a reasonably powerful state since the days of Alexander (The frontier of their state was actually where Alexander turned back). It is believed that the Yaudheyas, together with the Kunindas, Malavas, Nagas and other tribal republics, formed an alliance to drive out their common enemy, the Kushanas.

In the 3rd and 4th centuries they had a renaissance of sorts, but seem to have disappeared in the middle of the 4th century as the Guptas rose to power to their east.

See the previous post here and the link therein for a detailed discussion previously.
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Offline THCoins

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Re: Yaudheyas: 200 BC - 400 AD, Punjab region, Copper (4), Mitchiner 4719-21
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 05:23:23 PM »
Very nice collection. I very much agree with you on the strength these emanate through their design !

Online Figleaf

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Re: Yaudheyas: 200 BC - 400 AD, Punjab region, Copper (4), Mitchiner 4719-21
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 06:45:28 PM »
There is an unanswered question about magnetism in the thread you refer to plus a link to a third thread with a laudable attempt to classify these coins.

Personally, I am interested in the "warrior tribe" aspect. Such designation usually come from a different attitude (e.g. Spartans and their idea of discipline) or superior weapons. The only weapon shown on the coins is a spear and the spear is indeed superior to swords and daggers and other weapons as long as a) harnesses will stop arrows and b) you don't get beyond the tip of the spear.

Speculating, the best I can come up with is that the Yaudheyas had developed a battle order based on spearmen that would stop swordsmen and cavalry, such as the Roman square, or rather the Wellingtonian infantry square, using spears to ward off cavalry (horses cannot be persuaded to attack a wall of spearmen.)

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

Offline mitresh

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Re: Yaudheyas: 200 BC - 400 AD, Punjab region, Copper (4), Mitchiner 4719-21
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 08:05:34 PM »
Thanks Anthony and Peter.

An alternative would be that the Yaudheyas were nimble (guerilla?) fighters well versed with their territory and capable in warfare with various assorted weapons than just a spear. They probably chose their titular deity on the coin as symbolizing their clan's attitude and belief since Kartikeya, the God of War, is usally depicted riding a peacock holding or hurling a 'Vel' (divine spear) much akin to the hurling thunderbolt of Zeus!
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