Author Topic: Mamluk Sultans of Hindustan: Ghiyath al-Din Balban, AR Tanka, Bengal  (Read 291 times)

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Offline shiblius

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Mamluk Sultans of Hindustan: Ghiyath Al-Din Balban, AR Tanka, Muharram 673 AH, Khitta Lakhnauti, 10.86g, 28.9-30.1 mm, GG-B79, R.

Obverse Field:
السلطان (ا)لاعظم غیاث الدنیا و الدین ابوالمظفر بلبن السلطان
The Sultan The Great(-er/est) (i.e., the Great Sultan) Provider of Aid (Help) to the world and the religion (of Islam, i.e., its political manifestation) Balban -- the Sultan

Obverse and Reverse Margins:
ضرب ھذا الفضہ؟ بخطہ لکنوتی فی محرم سنہ ثلث و سبعین و ستمائۃ
Struck (on) this (piece of) silver in the region (larger administrative area as compared to a city) of Lakhnauti during (the month of) Muharram (in the) year three and seventy and six hundred

Reverse Field:
الامام المستعصم امیر المومنین
(In the name of) The Leader Al-Musta'sim Commander of the Faithful

The word al-Imam clearly denotes that the office of the Mamluk Sultan of Hindustan only has political / feudal authority over its dominions while the religious authority lies with the Abbassid Caliph who is the leader of the faithful (the Ummah).

The last letter of Lakhnauti on the reverse is inscribed in a form that can misconstrue the mint as Lakhnur, however on comparison to the 'Ra' of Muharram, and the loopy ending visible on the obverse margin, the mint name can be resolved as Lakhnauti.




« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 02:12:48 PM by Saikat »

Offline THCoins

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Re: Mamluk Sultans of Hindustan: Ghiyath al-Din Balban, AR Tanka, Bengal
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2021, 06:19:55 PM »
Thanks for showing and the detailed transcription of the legends !
I had always assumed that "khitta" was just one of the many mint epithets used at the time. Looking a bit into this it seems that the term khitta for "district" is not arab, but more likely has regional roots in ancient Pakrit language ?

Offline shiblius

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Re: Mamluk Sultans of Hindustan: Ghiyath al-Din Balban, AR Tanka, Bengal
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2021, 06:46:02 PM »
Thats interesting, I never thought it as an Indic word. Do you have any pointers for the Prakrit usage?

As per my info, Khitta has its root as Khat (خط) in Arabic which means a line / border.
Khitta therefore means a chalked out plan / demarcation / blue-print etc. Usually taken as a large administrative region.

Mapping Khitta as district may be a more recent grounding, it is used in that sense in Urdu / Hindi.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Mamluk Sultans of Hindustan: Ghiyath al-Din Balban, AR Tanka, Bengal
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2021, 07:39:16 PM »
I was a bit to fast with my linkage to Pakrit i think. I saw the term in an article, also used for districts in the Gupta Era. But i think the (Indian) author applied the modern term. As all other documented early usage i now encounter is from the medieval period, roughly contemporary to the coin. But indeed, this use for "district" seems to be limited to the Indian region. So it may be a local development based on an Arab loanword afterall. Still, something new learned today !