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Friday, August 1, 2008

Coins of Maghasiri - the founder of Magha Dynasty

Maghasiri was the founder of Magha Dynasty sometimes during the 1st Century AD as discussed in my earlier page on Maghas. All his coin issues are in lead. In few of them we find tree in railing as the reverse symbol. The topmost coin is not rectangular. It is broader and thinner at the top. This gives an impression that perhaps the name ‘Maghasirisa’ was impressed with some device. In that case the original coin could have belonged to some other ruler.
Maghashri is considered to have been succeeded by a ruler named Siriya Magha whose coin appears alongside. The legend has been read as “Siri Yamagha” by some scholars. This seems absurd, devoid of any meaning. I am inclined to go for “Siriya Magha” as explained by P.L. Gupa (Numismatic Digest Vol 14, pp. 10-11). In that case the issuer would be “Maghasiri” with the honorific prefix of “Siriya”. If we consider “Siriya” as part of the name, the issuer of the coin would be a different ruler. We leave it at that for further numismatic evidence to come up.