300 THE IXDIAN EMPIRE [CHAP.
ordeals by water, fire, poison, or weighment was much favoured
as an infallible method of ascertaining the truth.
Revenue Hiuen Tsiang agreed with his predecessor Fa-hien in judging
tardatnis the taxation to be light and the revenue administration lenient.
He noted with satisfaction that every man could keep his
worldly goods in peace, and till the ground- for his own sub-
sistence. The normal rent of the crown lands was one-sixth
of the gross produce.. Officials were paid by assignments of
land (jodgir); and the 'fixed salaries' mentioned by Fa-hien
probably meant the same. Labour on public works was duly
paid for, compulsory service not being exacted.
Army. The army seems to have been organized in most parts of
the country after the ancient fashion in four arms-infantry,
cavalry, elephants, and chariots; but Harsha dispensed with
the chariots, and relied largely on an imposing force of cavalry
and fighting elephants. The foot-soldiers were ordinarily
armed with shields and long spears, but some wore swords;
and battle-axes, javelins, slings, and bows and arrows also
formed part of the equipment.
Coinage. Hiuen Tsiang repeats the statement made by Fa-hien that
gold and silver coins were not known, and adds that commerce
was conducted by barter. It is not easy to understand how
the pilgrims came to make such statements about a matter
the truth of which was so easily ascertainable. In reality,
both silver and copper coins were commonly used in Northern
India from 500 or 600 B.c.; and during the centuries of the
Kushln and Gupta domination large issues of gold coin were
struck, specimens of which still exist in hundreds. In the
time of Harsha the coinage of gold had ceased, or become
very rare, but silver pieces resembling those of the Guptas
were minted in quantity.
Prosperous The most advanced and highly civilized regions, according
and un. to the judgement of Hiuen Tsiang, were Magadha or Bihar,
regions. and Western -Malwa with parts of Northern Gujarat, in the basin
of the river Mahi. The tarai, or tract lying below the outer
ranges of the Himalayas, continued to lie waste and desolate,
as in the days of the earlier pilgrim; and Kalinga, which had
been exceptionally populous in ancient times, was thinly in-
habited, and supposed to lie under a curse. Buddhism gene-
rally exhibited signs of decay, but was still strong in the
Punjab, Kashmir, and the neighbouring states on the north-
western frontier. In the Gangetic valley the adherents of
orthodox Hinduism formed a decided majority, while Jains
were numerous in Eastern Bengal and at Vaisali.