I v] VNUJIlISA TICS '37
I.8o grains. The entire system of the ancient Hindu coinage
of Northern India was based on the weight of the ratio. In the
South other seeds served as a metric basis.
Cast coins, usually of copper or bronze, were largely used in Cast coins.
Northern India along with the punch-marked currency. A
few specimens are inscribed with characters dating from about
300 B.C. Sometimes the metal, while in a half-fused state, was
struck with a small die, which produced a square or circular
incuse hollow. Coins of this kind, which were frequently
struck in the second century B.C., may be designated as 'hot-
stamped.' An interesting series, belonging to the great city
of Taxila in the Punjab, enables us to trace the development
of regular double-die coins through the 'hot-stamped' and
'single-die' stages. The final adoption of the 'double-die'
system was undoubtedly due to Greek and Roman example.
Alexander's victorious progress through the Punjab and Sind
from March, 326, to September, 325 B.c., produced little direct
effect on the Indian coinage. A chieftain in the Salt Range,
named Sophytes (Saubhfti), issued a few silver pieces in Greek
style, suggested probably by the well-known 'owls' of Athens;
but, on the whole, the indigenous currency, like the other
institutions of India, was unaffected by the great Macedonian's
feat of arms. Immediately after his death (323 B.C.), the
territories east of the Indus, which he had intended to annex
permanently, were reconquered by the Indian Chandragupta,
who became the first emperor of India, and administered his
dominions on native principles. Not a trace remained of
Alexander's governors, garrisons, or institutions.
In the middle of the third century B. C. the independent Bactrian
Bactrian kingdom was separated from the Seleucid empire of coins.
Syria, and in the following century several Bactrian monarchs,
notably Eucratides and Menander, made incursions into India,
where their coins are now found. Scions and connexions of
the Bactrian royal family established themselves as rulers of
principalities in the countries now known as Afghanistan,
Baluchistan, and the Punjab, which became Hellenized to
a considerable extent.
These princes issued an abundant currency, chiefly in silver
and copper, modelled on Greek lines, and up to about 50 B. C.
exhibiting a high degree of artistic merit. Some of the foreign
kings on the border adopted the characteristic Indian square
form for their coins, which in other respects also indicate the
influence of Indian ideas. Bilingual legends were adopted to
meet the convenience of a mixed population, and the devices