Rare AR damma, Rana Hastin, c. 10th century, Chaulukya Feudatory (?) in NW India

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Elephant walking to the right within a dotted border // Sri Rana / Hasti (or Hastiya) in early Nagari in two lines. 9mm, 0.56 grams. Fishman/Todd #U8; Mitchiner 1979 #299ff. SKU Q99-49322

The name "Hastin" means “elephant”, with the inscription translating as “King Elephant”. The coin was attributed by Rapson to Maharaja Hastin (ca. 475/ 515 CE) of the Parivrajaka family [Rapson 1897: 28], an attribution reproduced by Mitchiner [Mitchiner 1979: #299-302]. However, the domain of the Parivrajakas of Bundelkhand was located hundreds of kilometers from where these coins are found, and no coins of Hasti are known from Bundelkhand, the area dividing Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, with any certainty. Such a remote location and an impossibly early date can be readily discounted on various grounds. The coin was recently re-examined by Fishman and Todd in their "Dammas" book. They concluded that "Hastin" must have been an honorific title or a biruda of an unknown 10th/ early 11th century CE ruler, perhaps a Chaulukya feudatory in Gujarat or Rajasthan.

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