Quality potin karshapana, King Satakarni I/II, c.70-25 BC, Satavahana Empire, India

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Elephant advancing right, legend in Brahmi [Rano si]ri Satakani[sa]  / Ujjain symbol, pellet in each segment. 18.5mm, 2.41 grams. Pieper 675; Mitchiner ACW 4941ff.

This type is minted in the name of "Satakarni". This was the name of a two rulers, Satakarni I and II from the 1st century BC and the second part of the name of many Satavahana rulers. Pieper gives this type to "King Satakarni", while Mitchiner (ACW) thought it just refers to the name of the Satakarni dynasty.

This type is struck in an unusual metal, a mixture of tin, copper and lead. Pieper lists it in billon (Pieper #675) and in lead (#676), but it is likely, in my opinion, these are all struck in the tin/copper/lead alloy. 

The Śātavāhanas, controlling the Satavahana Empire, were a royal Indian dynasty based from Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh as well as Junnar (Pune) and Prathisthan (Paithan) in Maharashtra. The territory of the empire covered much of India from 230 BCE onward. Although there is some controversy about when the dynasty came to an end, the most liberal estimates suggest that it lasted about 450 years, until around 220 CE. The Satavahanas are credited for establishing peace in the country, resisting the onslaught of foreigners after the decline of Mauryan Empire. Sātavāhanas started out as feudatories to the Mauryan dynasty, but declared independence with its decline. They had to compete with the Sungas and then the Kanvas of Magadha to establish their rule. Later, they played a crucial role to protect a huge part of India against foreign invaders like the Sakas, Yavanas and Pahlavas. In particular their struggles with the Western Kshatrapas went on for a long time. The great rulers of the Satavahana Dynasty Gautamiputra Satakarni and Sri Yajna Sātakarni were able to defeat the foreign invaders like the Western Kshatrapas and stop their expansion. In the 3rd century CE the empire was split into smaller states.



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