Help! (Regarding Indo-Greek coin reverse)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nathan B., May 27, 2020.

  1. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    On the reverse of this coin of Strato I (image from Wikipedia), where can I find the word "dhramikasa" in the Khoroshti script? (Please indicate by using clock-face language, and indicating clockwise or counter-clockwise.) I've tried using a table of the script on Wikipedia in another entry, but have been unable to make any headway.

    upload_2020-5-27_18-35-44.png
    (Just for the record, I could never afford such a coin, but I'm using it for illustrative purposes because it's free, and also because it's clear.)

    Many thanks in advance for whatever consideration folks can give this request.
     
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I have no idea but might suggest you compare this reverse with those that were isued by other kings seeing which parts are the same and which change. Most have Maharaja and dhramikasa (of the just?). I have not tried this but it could work.
     
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  4. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    That's a good suggestion, Doug. I just picked this coin because it looks extremely clear. Basically, I just want to learn what "dhramikasa" looks like on coins.

    But maybe what I should do is pick another coin. Perhaps I'll have better luck on another one. (But I think the real problem is most likely that I am looking for certain letter shapes that might not be exactly as they are in the chart.)
     
  5. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Well, Doug, your suggestion has borne some fruit. I managed to do it on another coin very easily, which means that the letter shapes seem to vary in style and clarity from one coin to another (unless Wikipedia itself is wrong, which wouldn't be the first time):

    upload_2020-5-27_20-16-57.png

    In the above coin of Archebius, at about one o'clock, we have the "dhra" We are going to go counter-clockwise. Noon is "mi," while eleven o'clock is "ka," while the ten o'clock letter is "sa." On the first coin, the only one I could recognize was "sa," but there are several of them.

    Still, it annoys me that I couldn't see it anywhere on the first coin, though.

    Anyway, thanks again for the suggestion!
     
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  6. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm no expert, but that's never stopped me before. I borrowed a few photos from the Web, and based on Mitchiner I found and outlined "dhramikasa" on the reverse:
    Strato.jpg
    Reading counterclockwise (right-to-left for linear inscription), the letters are "squiggly guy-psi-other guy-D" (in terms of what they look like to me, of course they are really dhra-mi-ka-sa).

    So, on the OP coin, I can't find this sequence of letters. So, either the OP coin has a variant inscription, or I'm missing something here.
     
  7. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Thank you, Parthicus! I have been coming to the same conclusions over the last hour or so. I noticed that I can see the "dhramasika" on a number of coins quite easily, and it's usually between nine o'clock and noon, or between seven o'clock and eleven o'clock. It seems to be that Zoilos I, Agathocleia, Strato I, and Archebius tend to have these inscriptions, while others don't.

    I admire your ability to put together the visual reference that you did!

    As for the first coin, I agree with you that it does not have what we are looking for. I don't know if that's because the script or orthography is different, or if it's because Wikipedia has an error. I hope that someone can set me (and possibly Wikipedia) straight. Anyway, thank you again!

    I do have one question: can you tell me what the title is of the Mitchiner work you mentioned?
     
  8. THCoins

    THCoins Well-Known Member

    The Kharosti legend usually has the same meaning as the Greek on the other side. Dhramikasa is the equivalent of Dikaiou, "the just". That term is present on coins from the early part of the reign of Strato. Later, he gets self-confident, and the term is changed in Greek to Epiphanous, with the Kharosti equivalent pracachasa, for "god-manifest" on the back.
     
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  9. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    (I removed this myself because Cointalk won't take Kharosthi unicode I pasted)
     
  10. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    The book I mentioned is Michael Mitchiner, "Oriental Coins and Their Values (Volume 1): The Ancient and Classical World 600 B.C.- A.D. 650" which is the first of a three-volume series (the others are "Non-Islamic States and Western Colonies A.D. 600- A.D. 1979" and "The World of Islam"). All three books are packed with useful photos and information on Eastern coins. Unfortunately, the books are seriously out of print (used copies can go $200+ per volume) and are out-of-date in some spots (as you might guess from the 1979 cut-off date of Volume 2). Still, I use them frequently (especially Volume 1) and am glad I was able to purchase them years ago.
     
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  11. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Hi THCoins! I've noticed that, too, about the translations. But I'm wondering if perhaps the "follower of dharma" could mean something more than just the Greek notion of "just." On an emotional level, at least, I want to believe that it indicates an influence of East upon West, at least in this local area we are discussing. Alternatively, it would be nice to think of it as a kind of cross-cultural dialogue. I guess it could be both, although a more cynical view might be that it is simply an ordinary translation for the subjects of a king hailing from a foreign dynasty.
     
  12. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    That's too bad; but, thank you for trying! Perhaps you might take a screenshot of what you'd like to show, and then upload it as an image. That way, you could still enlighten me! ;-)
     
  13. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    *Thank you,* Parthicus! I've been wondering what the standard catalogues in English are, and I'm glad to learn of this one. It is too bad about the 1979 cut-off, but then, I suppose one can't have everything. I believe Osmund Bopearachchi is working on a new catalogue, but I don't know if it will be in English or not. I hope it will be.
     
  14. THCoins

    THCoins Well-Known Member

    I know about the long discussion whether "Dhramikasa" should be interpreted as "follower of the Dharma" and thus as evidence that the Indo-Greek kings, starting with Menander, were devout Bhuddists. I am not convinced. I already mentioned the "Epiphanous" title used by Stratos. His mother Agathokleia on one coin is named "Theotropou", or god-like. These additional titles seem to contradict the Bhuddist hypothesis.
    The "Just" concept is not only seen in the titles of the Indo-Greeks, but later also in Indo-Scythians and Kushan. Even centuries later, many coins in the region have the title "al-Adil", again "just", but now in Arab, without Bhuddist connotation.
     
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  15. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    For me the fun is doing the inscriptions in Unicode. I don't have the Unicode for your coin, but here is a my version of a drachm of Menander: https://digitalhn.blogspot.com/2020/05/kharosthi-coin-inscription-unicode.html
     
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  16. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

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  17. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    I don't know enough to contradict you, and it seems that you are in good company, too. I hope to learn more about this issue going forward.
     
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