A guild coin full of Buddhist symbolism.. Taxila, Ancient India

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Loong Siew, Jan 17, 2022.

  1. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    One of history's earliest Buddhist coins.

    Ancient India. Taxila. Trade guild coin.
    circa 150 BCE.

    Obverse: Dharmachakra (Wheel of the Law) and a 3 arched hill with a crescent on top.

    Reverse: Swastika flanked by 2 Triratna (Triple gems of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha) symbols and a central Kharosthi script read to-date as panchanekame (The 5 guilds).

    This coin featured full of Buddhist symbols indicating the strong Buddhist faith of the community there. This coin unusually is full of them rather than peppered by other local imageries typical of type. Prior to the Greek influences, Buddhist tradition forbade lifelike depictions of the Buddha. Hence he is often depicted in images attributed to his teachings or symbols such as the Triratna, Dharmachakra, footprints, Bo tree etc. The first ever depiction of the Buddha in any image happens only centuries later during the reign of King Kanishka I the Great of the Kushan Empire.

    This coin is among many other Taxilan local issues with many varied designs and symbols. Given the inscription, this is likely used for trade purposes within the guild or merchants among the local Taxilans.
    robanddebrob, sand, TIF and 10 others like this.
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  3. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    Here's a coin featuring Dharmachakra from the South Indian kingdom of Pallavas, they're a mix of Hindu-Buddhist culture who spread Dharmic norms with South East Asia through trading.
    Circa 7th century AD.
    Pallava coin.jpg
  4. Loong Siew

    Loong Siew Well-Known Member

    Yes.. It's a cool coin..The Buddhist Wheel of the Law is prominent here
    robanddebrob, panzerman and JayAg47 like this.
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