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Lectures on Numismatics

Coins and icons: Vaishnava imagery on Indian coins

Dr Shailendra Bhandare
4 Dec 2002

Shailendra Bhandare from the Ashmolean Museum speaks on "Coins and Icons: Vaishnava Imagery on Indian Coins"

Related: Numismatics, Vaisnava

Money of the Gods: The Religious Tokens of India

Shivdasani Conference 2007
Dr Sanjay Garg
20 Oct 2007

Session 6 of the 2007 Shivdasani Conference. 

Numismatics and archaeology have always had a close relationship. Still in the study of archaeology and archaeological concepts, the discipline of numismatics is often relegated to a secondary importance. Though the use of religious tokens in India is not embedded in antiquity, it forms a part of the living traditions. The paper aims at consolidating numismatic research done so far on this topic and analyse this data in the context of other archaeological remains such as monuments and sculptures as well as religious texts.
It also seeks to re-emphasise the importance of numismatic objects like religious tokens for studying the cultural and religious aspects of the social life of our people.

Related: Numismatics, Temple and Text

Temple Sponsorship and Money Use in Early Medieval Deccan

Shivdasani Conference 2007
Dr Shailendra Bhandare
20 Oct 2007

Session 3 of the 2007 Shivdasani Conference.

The early medieval period (c. 600 – 1200 AD) witnessed a tremendous boom in temple construction all over the Deccan. Imperial and feudatory houses such as the Rashtrakutas, the Chalukyas, the Kalachuris, the Shilaharas and the Yadavas patronised varied religious sects and endowed shrines, temples and monasteries. The main source of information are the copper plate charters, which contain a host of information about various modalities of the endowments, a prominent component of which concerns money.
This paper will address select instances of patronage with specific reference to the use of money involved in it, on circulatory and socio-economic trajectories. Emphasis will be placed on references dealing with the instrumentality of money in the enterprise of temple-building - how was money generated, disseminated and deposited to facilitate the construction and management of the temple. It will discuss what sort of coins were in use, how they circulated and what were the dynamics involving the different ‘moneyed classes’ in terms of using their wealth for temple-building activities. 
As a broader historical end-note, the paper will shed light on the prevalent notion of ‘paucity of coinage’ during the early medieval period.

Related: Numismatics, Temple and Text

Telling the World: Exploring the Cultural and Intellectual Agenda of the Sanskrit Mahabharata

Majewski Lecture
Dr James Hegarty
16 May 2011

In this lecture, I explore the form and function of the Sanskrit Mahabharata. I take up features of its design, its explicit statements about itself and its most prominent themes in order to make some suggestions as to what the Mahabharata sought to do, culturally and intellectually,in early South Asian society. I combine this with an analysis of the presence of the Mahabharata in select literary and epigraphical sources of the first millennium in order to explore the impact of the text from Guptan north India to Kerala and Kashmir. These investigations will be combined with a broader discussion of the role of narrative in the transmission and adaptation of understandings of past, place and preferred ideology within, and potentially beyond, South Asia.

Dr James Hegarty is Senior Lecturer in Indian Religions at Cardiff University. His primary research interest is in the role of religious narrative in the cultural and intellectual history of South Asia. He has published numerous papers on Sanskrit and vernacular narrative materials. His monograph Religion, Narrative and Public Imagination: Past and Place in the Sanskrit Mahabharata is forthcoming with Routledge.

Related: Numismatics, Temple and Text