Counter struck coins of Gautamiputra Satakarni

2017-02-15 Wed

The successors of the Mauryans in western Deccan were the Andra- Satavahanas. When we look at the numismatics evidence of this dynasty, there are only eight rulers who issued coins with their portrait and nine in silver which are considered to be very important.

One of the notable features of the Satavahana coinage is that they are of different fabrics and motifs which were made of lead and copper. The noticeable symbols which we see on Satavahana coins are bull, elephant, Ujjain symbol, chaitya, lion, etc.

Gautamiputra Satkarni was one of the ablest rulers of Satavahana dynasty. He was in a constant battle with Nahapana, the ruler of Western Kshatrap. He did not issue any silver coins on his own. Only after winning the conquest against Nahapana, he counter-struck his silver coins.

The given picture is one of the examples of it. The coin depicts the bust of the king surrounded by Bactrian-Greek legend (undertype) around it which was over struck with Satavahana's dynastic Ujjaini four orbed symbol with a crescent (over type). While on the reverse it had an arrow, thunderbolt, kharosthi and brahmi legend on it overstruck with three arched hills with a river flowing below symbol (overtype).

The most notable feature of the Nahapana coin is that they were Tri- scriptural which includes Bactrian-Greek, Kharosthi and Brahmi on the same coin.

In ancient India, over-striking of the coins was very common. It was the way of showing the dominance and authority over the other region or state. Do you know any other ruler who counter-struck coins?