Roman/Indian hybrid!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JayAg47, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I came across this odd looking coin featuring a left facing head wearing the iconic Roman Centurion helmet on pinterest! After looking up, I found this actually comes from the Chera kingdom from the Tamil region of India. I have previously made a thread about Roman interactions with the ancient Tamil kingdoms, and also said how the denari influenced their local coinage, and this coin just further proves the direct connection.
    I can just imagine the Chera king cladding himself in a toga (probably gifted by a merchant/soldier), reclining on a cushion indulging on Roman wine and other Mediterranean treats while marveling at the artistry of the Republican/Imperial coins, and wanting to make some of his own similar to that!
    This is the coin I'm talking about, of course not mine (wish it was :p). and more about this coin
    And to keep it relevant, the only Chera coin in my collection from the Kongu region of Tamilnadu where the Indo-Roman coin was found. Featuring their royal emblem bow, flanked by palm tree and a lamp in the middle, rev showing a stylized seated goddess. Circa 13-14th century.
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  4. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    As far as I remember, that coin is one of a kind and is really an enigma. It is part of a series of coins that Krishnamurthy has in his collection that are all unique. Here are a few coins to stay in topic:

    Sri Lanka/South India: Anonymous (ca. 4th century) Imitation AE3 Follis

    Obv: Roman style bust right, star in front, pseudo legend around
    Rev: Similar to Constantinian GLORIA EXERCITVS soldiers with single standard reverse


    Here are a few coins from the Venad Cheras of Kongo. Sorry for the crappy pictures.

  5. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    These are neat - I snagged a similar imitation ages ago
    01-SL-Anon-AE-RI-01.jpg Indo-Roman
    Anonymous 5th C. A.D.
    AE Naimana Type, 13.12mm x 0.7 grams
    Obv.: Bust right, with dots representing legend
    Rev.: Cross within wreath
    Note: An imitation of Roman coinage
  6. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Reminded me of a certain hairstyle my aesthetically misguided teenage me found endlessly fancy way back in the days... It usually came together with "embellished" leather jackets, utopian fantasies, and slamdancing.
    JayAg47 and Quant.Geek like this.
  7. JayAg47

    JayAg47 Well-Known Member

    I was in the belief that after Nero’s debasement, people from these parts didn’t accept anymore of Roman coinage, but an imitative issue of a copper coin, and that too from the Constantine era makes me think trading and exchange of goods went on regardless of the quality of coinage, and persevered through the 3rd century crises! Or could it be that under a stable situation, Constantine wanted to restart the trading between kingdoms from far off lands?! who knows!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
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