Cholas vs Romans

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JayAg47, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I saw a simple comparison video between the Chola and the Roman empire. Despite being superficial on the details, it gives a nice introduction to this South Indian dynasty.

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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    The video may be simplistic, but it's important because most people have such a Eurocentric view of history that they don't even know other cultures existed, much less how widespread and powerful they were.
  4. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting video, Thank You for sharing @JayAg47
    JayAg47 likes this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Very nice. I'm with @Roman Collector; anything you can do, at whatever level's appropriate, is a good start.
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  6. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Interesting video.

    I was not a history major in college, but the only time I ever learned about the historical dynasties of India was in AP World History back in 11th grade. We briefly covered the Mauryan empire (mostly within the scope of how it fostered the spread of early Buddhism), skimmed briefly over the Kushans when discussing the Silk Road, and never touched on the rest. At their zenith, the Mauryan, Kushan, Gupta, and Chola empires ranked top among the world's superpowers, and until weak leadership led to usurpation by the British East India Company, the Mughal Empire had the second largest GDP in the world, even ahead of Spain, Britain, and behind only China.

    India really doesn't get the attention that it deserves.
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I'm having trouble taking seriously anything said in a video that used that picture of a 'Roman' for a 'cover'. I don't know enough about Chola attire to comment on that one but I doubt it is better. Raja Raja Chola was my first ever slabbed coin (off brand, not NGC and before they did ancients). ov7800bb2625.jpg
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  8. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Nice video. However, I feel that the Roman Empire started in 241 BCE when Rome took the Western portion of Sicily as a Province of Rome after taking it from Carthage after the 1st Punic War. The Roman Republic was an Empire for 200+ years prior to Augustus.

    Carthage suffers in a horrible Mercenary War, starting in Sicily due to losing to Rome, having to pay massive indemnities, losing half of Sicily, etc.
    Carthage Zeugitania
    First Punic War 264-241 BCE
    Double Shekel
    26 mm 13.9 g
    Wreathed Tanit
    Horse stndng r star above
    SNG Cop 185 Rare

    Rome begins to expand overseas, becoming an Empire by defeating Carthage, taking half of Sicily as a Province, and seizing Corsica and Sardinia in 238 BCE.

    Roman Republic
    AE Litra
    241-235 BCE
    Mars Beardless
    Horse Head
    Craw 25-3 Sear 594

    Western Sicily becomes the First Province of the Roman Republic, which is now an Empire by stripping the territory from Carthage as a result of the First Punic War.
    Sicily Akragas
    AE Trias
    23mm 8.5g
    287-241 BCE
    Beardless Zeus Hellanios
    2 Eagles tearing at rabbit hare in talons
    HGC 2 159

    Carthage: Horrible Mercenary War / Libyan Revolt starting in 241 BCE. Rome takes advantage of Carthage, and seizes Sardinia and Corsica from Carthage, further building Roman Republic Empire.
    Carthage -
    241-238 BCE
    9.63g 24mm Shekel
    Sardinia mint
    3 Grain ears Crescent
    SNG Cop 247
  9. Hrefn

    Hrefn Well-Known Member

    @Alegandron, good use of coins to reinforce your history lesson. And I am reminded of the Roman saying, “Homo homini lupus est”. Though saying so may be a disservice to wolves.
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  10. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Thank you.
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  11. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    True, but a Eurocentric view of the world is both understandable and justifiable in my view. After all, by and large the world has adopted European culture and the Roman Empire (and arguably the Carolingian Empire) is its foundation. This does of course not mean that other cultures are inferior or less interesting. They are just not as widespread and influential.

    Interestingly, I heard a public lecture by a Harvard historian who said that by AD 1000 there was "no money on Europe" to become the world's dominant culture. Instead, the middle east, Byzantium, the Islamic world and empires in the far east looked much more promising at the time.

    However, despite throwbacks due to Viking raids and invasions, the Carolingian renaissance was bearing fruit. In thousands of monasteries, monks were busy extending and refining agriculture and multiplying knowledge at an ever increasing rate. In AD 800 the monastery of Reichenau had 50 books, in 850 it had 1000.

    In turn this allowed for European populations to expand rapidly and to increase productivity and power. By the end of the 11th century European armies first appeared in the middle east and from the 15th century onwards Europeans appeared almost everywhere.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
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  12. SeptimusT

    SeptimusT Well-Known Member

    I would say that a Eurocentric worldview is not justifiable because it doesn't do justice to reality. This isn't me being politically correct [disclaimer: I use the term loosely; this is a legitimate historical discussion, not a political one] or understating the breathtaking achievements of Europeans, but the reality is that nothing happens in a vacuum.

    Cross-cultural interplay and exchange are an important part of world history, and they go in all directions. There are some big ones that we've probably all heard of, like that the stirrup was invented in Asia, or how the Chinese invented gunpowder and pioneered firearms. There are also the ones that are more difficult to nail down. There are artistic ones, like symbols descended from Greek mythology showing up in Japan, or Britannia (a Roman goddess rooted in Greek religion) becoming a symbol of the British Empire.

    There are also cultural ones, some of them very deep. European culture is descended from Indo-European culture, which started on the central Asian steppe (probably around modern Ukraine) and spread to India, Europe, and many places in between. Egypt influences India, India influences China, China influences Italy... it's like following a thousand different threads that go over and over one another. You're right that Europe didn't look so promising in AD 1000, but the factors that led to its success were complicated and we have to look beyond Europe to understand some of them. We can't tell an honest history of Europe – let alone of the world – unless we also look beyond Europe. Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads is good book for getting at some of these big ideas.

    Anyway, this stuff fascinates me, and thinking about it has really changed how I think about, well, everything. It also drives my collecting philosophy, and since this is a coin forum, here's an Indo-Scythian coin that depicts Athena possibly performing a Buddhist mudra (symbolic hand gesture):

    Indo-Scythian Kings, Azes II, AR Drachm, 15mm, 1.92g, ~58-12 BC
    : BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN MEΓAΛOY AZOY, King mounted on horse right, holding whip
    Reverse: Pallas Athena standing right, holding right hand in gesture (vitarka mudra?), holding spear in left, monograms at left and right, Kharoshthi legend around: maharajasa rajarajasa mahatasa / ayasa
  13. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Thanks, @Tejas and @SeptimusT, for some stimulating and commensurately thoughtful comments.
    ...This is primarily by way of amplifying @SeptimusT's observations. For someone who likes to hang out in the Middle Ages, one thing leaps off the page. Especially over the 11th and 12th centuries, continuing into the 13th, the Europeans in Iberia, Norman Sicily, and the Frankish Levant benefited profoundly from the cultural and intellectual sophistication of their respective, neighboring Muslim and Jewish communities. The kings of Aragon-Castile undertook a vast project of translating and disseminating the entire contents of Jewish and Muslim libraries (which, as early as that, they left intact), especially in Toledo. Right, this was a sort of miniature version of the Great Library of Alexandria, and was crucial to the so-called '12th-Century Renaissance' in Europe. Norman kings of Sicily had their heirs educated by Muslim and Jewish tutors. And the dramatic mercantile expansion of the Italian city-states during the Crusades --vis-a-vis the Middle East as well as Byzantium-- went some distance toward setting the cultural as well as the economic stage for the better known one.
    In other words, regarding the Western cultural tradition, what you're looking at has as much to do with appropriation from other cultures as it does with anything communally 'made from scratch.' While this is especially resonant in my context of choice, that's hardly the end of it. ...Is the Hellenistic period an irreducibly western phenomenon ...Really? The whole point of distinguishing it from the Hellenic age is the willingness of Greeks (right, from Alexander III) not only to draw from, but to adopt vast amounts of cultural and scientific knowledge from areas which were, especially at the time, well east and south of Europe. You could look at @DonnaML's admirable level of investment in Egypt, from Pharaonic times to the 'colonial' issues of the Roman Empire. Or Constantine's own espusal of the Central Asian religion of Mithras, prior to his conversion to another one, of pretty emphatically Middle Eastern origin.
    ...From a comfortable historical distance, as these examples are, I like to think of them as exemplifying the better side of 'appropriation' --bugbear that it is to 'political correctness' (sometimes appropriately, in other contexts). Starting with the Vikings' adoption of both western European and Byzantine influences, and proceeding to the examples already mentioned, I have to admire the intellectual agility of Westerners who knew a good thing when they saw it, and didn't blink about summarily adopting it.
    ...But, No, there is no such thing as a 'pure' Western cultural tradition. As an American, I get even more traction with this. Culturally, Black Americans have given us A Whole Screaming Lot of everything we have. ...That wouldn't make you think we were still a colony of someplace or other in Europe. Cultural history is All About cultural synthesis. It's effectively redundant.
  14. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    This is why I study the Ancient Antarctic Cultures.
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  15. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

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