Silver punch drachm, period of Mahapadma Nanda and his sons (ca.345-323 BC), Magadha Empire, Ancient India (G/H #419)

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Five punch-mark symbols / Small bankers' marks. Irregular flat silver plachet, 22mmx12mm, 3.3 grams. Scarce. Gupta/Hardaker ISPC series IV XXXI G 5 (#419); Mitchiner ACW -.

The Nanda Empire originated from the kingdom of Magadha in Ancient India during the 5th and 4th centuries BC. At its greatest extent, the Nandas extended from Bengal in the east, Punjab in the west and as far south as the Vindhya Range. Mahapadma Nanda has been described as the destroyer of all the Kshatriyas. He defeated the Panchalas, Kasis, Haihayas, Kalingas, Asmakas, Kurus, Maithilas, Surasenas, Vitihotras, etc. He expanded his territory till south of Deccan. Mahapadma Nanda died at the age of 88 and, therefore, he ruled the bulk of the period of this dynasty, which lasted 100 years. The Nandas who usurped the throne of the Shishunaga dynasty were of low origin. Some sources state that the founder, Mahapadma, was the son of a Shudra mother, others that he was born of a union of a barber with a courtesan. The last of the Nandas was Dhana Nanda (called Xandrames or Aggrammes in ancient Greek and Latin sources). Dhana Nanda was dethroned after he was defeated by Chandragupta Maurya, a young adventurer born of a Nanda prince and a maid named "Mura". He had a great potential to rule. Dhana Nanda was murdered which finally signaled the advent of the Maurya Empire in 321 BC.