Contents: Preface. Introduction. 1. Mauryan legacy. 2. Coming of the Yavanas. 3. The Kushanas. 4. The Sathavahanas. 5. The Western Ksatrapas. 6. The Golden Age of the Guptas. 7. Pallava heritage. 8. Glorious Vijayanagara. 9. The Golden South. 10. Those magnificent medals. 11. History in metal. 12. A pastime gaining currency. 13. Fascinating rarities. Index.
"Coins are indeed the most enduring pieces of frozen time. These time-capsules transport us instantly into our past. They conjure up before us the lives and times of our ancestors.
They provide the most authoritative record of history. As pieces of evidence they are invaluable because they may add a new fact, or a name, or a date to history.
The rise and fall of great early civilizations of Rome and Greece are well chronicled and illustrated on their coins. In India, for example, the coins of the Guptas reveal the grandeur of their golden age. Coins tell us about the empires of the kings who minted them and the people who used them as money. They witness the flowering and decay of artistic expression of their times. Many traces of human development can also be seen on them.
This small volume is an attempt to show what coins can teach us as documents of history, monuments of art and artifacts of our national heritage. Coins of prominent ancient Indian kingdoms upto 15 century AD are described. Two chapters are devoted to medals of historical importance. Some examples of fascinating coin-rarities are given in the last two chapters." (jacket)