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Is There A Tie Between Coins From Ancient Judea And Medieval India?

 
 
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 Posted 06/09/2019  10:56 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add turtlefoot to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I do not know the coinage history at all of the Vijayanagar Kingdom and what I know about the coinage history of Judea is enough to get me in trouble. I was researching some Indian coins and I came across this listing.

https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=l...2425&lot=927

It sure looks like a coin imitating this famous style of Prutah from Alexander Jannaeus.

https://images.vcoins.com/product_i...rKDY6ec3.jpg

It seems that the Vijayanagar coin was influenced by the Judean coin. Are there other styles of medieval Indian coins that seem to be influenced by ancient Judean coinage that are out there? Am I just "seeing" something that really isn't there? Just curious.
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 Posted 06/09/2019  2:17 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a Ionia, Miletos. Time of Mausolus (377-353 BC). And then IONIA, Ephesos. Circa 500-420 BC. So the 8 ray star is used a lot by the ancients in my opinion.




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 Posted 06/09/2019  2:44 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They look similar but in the case of the Vijayanagar coin the symbol is a wheel called the Dharmachakra a Buddhist symbols that represents Gautama Buddha.
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 Posted 06/09/2019  8:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add turtlefoot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It seems then, that similar looking markings are influenced by other coins. I really thought the Vijayanagar coin had a strong resemblance of both sides of the Prutah. A case of me reading more into something than is what is there.
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 Posted 06/09/2019  8:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add turtlefoot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@louisvillekyshop - If I would have seen the bottom coin especially, my first place to look would have been in my resources for Judean coins, ESPECIALLY if the coin was worn or damaged.
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 Posted 06/09/2019  9:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To prove a "tie", you need to prove that people from southern India had access, in mediaeval times, to examples of those ancient Judaean coins. Ancient bronze coins pretty much never left the region where they were made; only silver and gold were used as trade coinage. And very few people from Vijayanagar would have travelled abroad, to have encountered such pieces. So postulating a "link" is tenuous at best, especially given that the "wheel of Dharma" is a common theme on Hindu art of the period. You would also need to prove a reason, a motive behind why a mediaeval Hindu kingdom would want to copy coins from a remote, long-extinct Jewish kingdom.

There are a very small number of examples where a mediaeval coinage has been clearly influenced by ancient coinages; most notably in Europe where people looked back on the "gool old days" of the Roman Empire. The gold augustale of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was clearly inspired by Roman coinage; it is presumed that the emperor gave his moneyers an ancient Roman coin and told them to go and make something similar for him. In Sicily, the Normans produced a bronze coin copying two different ancient Sicilian coins: the lion-head from coins of ancient Sicily and Italy, such as this Rhegium tetradrachm, while the palm-tree is copied off of Carthaginain coinage used on Sicily.

In the Islamic series, we have the odd case of the Zengids and Artuqids of modern-day Iraq, who began copying ancient Greek and Roman coin designs in the 1100s and 1200s, in a curious slackening of the otherwise rigid "no images allowed" rule usually applied to Islamic coinage.
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 Posted 06/09/2019  11:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
While I agree that there is no connection between the coins discussed here, it is worth mentioning that Jewish communities have existed in southern India from at least the 1st century AD, the result of the spice trade. The distance from Jerusalem to the Red Sea by road is about 180 miles. Maritime traffic from the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea and on to India has existed for millennia. Southern India is also home to some of the world's earliest Christian communities. Tradition holds that the apostle Thomas reached Kerala in AD 52. Getting back to numismatics, Roman coins and their imitations turn up regularly in southern India and Sri Lanka.
Edited by Kushanshah
06/09/2019 11:31 pm
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 Posted 06/09/2019  11:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add McFlyAVG to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I haven't done any research to make a direct link, but like so many things in the ancient world, it's usually safe to blame Alexander the Great. (I also blame him for indirectly forcing me to learn Ancient Greek participles)
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 Posted 06/10/2019  11:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One of the interesting things about our species is our tendency for various cultures in more or less isolation to "invent" patterns that are more or less identical, and often attach different meanings to them. An excellent example is the Swastika, which makes an appearance in nearly every culture worldwide, starting in the Neolithic.

Expanding on what Kushanshah said above, the prutah/lepton specifically would have almost no reason to travel outside of Judaea proper, as even where it was legal tender its buying power was negligible. Imitations generally only come about when there is a plethora of original coins to copy, and thus an incentive to reproduce the "good money". Travelling merchants would have loaded down in drachms, tetradrachms, shekels, staters, etc - bringing buckets full of coins worth the modern equivalent of 50 cents just doesn't make logistic sense.
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 Posted 06/12/2019  9:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add turtlefoot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you everyone for your time to read and/or comment on this question. I really appreciate it. I am a very novice collector and learn so much from all of your experience and knowledge. Thank you once again.
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