Connected Worlds: The Rashtrakutas and their Coinage

  • Connected Worlds: The Rashtrakutas and their Coinage
    Connected Worlds: The Rashtrakutas and their Coinage

    16 Apr

    Indian Aesthetics

    Shailendra Bhandare

Connected Worlds: The Rashtrakutas and their Coinage

The Rashtrakutas emerged as the pre-eminent power in 8th – 10th centuries and dominated the so-called “Age of the Three Empires” in Early Medieval India. They influenced the political scene, were patrons to great temples like Ellora and facilitated a new wave of trade and commerce with the World of Islam which now commanded the regions across the Arabian Sea.

Given historical wisdom dictates there were no Rashtrakuta coins! This view was articulated by Marxist historians like R S Sharma. However, in recent times this widely held belief has come under very close scrutiny. Coins that can be attributed to the Rashtrakutas have come to light - they throw a very different and welcome light not only on prevalent theories of how the Early Medieval period in India should be viewed and studied, but also provide an interesting and textured context of India’s connections with the wider world through maritime and commercial links. The lecture will unravel some such closely held notions with the help of data which has not been published elsewhere in its appropriate context.

Duration -

April 16, 2019

Timing: 6:30 pm

Shailendra Bhandare

Shailendra Bhandare

Shailendra Bhandare is Assistant Keeper, South Asian and Far-eastern Numismatics and Paper Money Collections, a Fellow of St Cross College and a member of Faculty of Oriental Studies. He started his career as a Numismatist with a visiting fellowship at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge. He was then appointed as a post-doctoral fellow of the Society for South Asian Studies, and worked as a curator in the British Museum on the coins of Later Mughals and the Indian Princely States. He was appointed as curator in the Ashmolean Museum in 2002.
He was born and brought in Mumbai, India where he received his first degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He holds a Master’s degree in History and a Doctorate in Ancient Indian Culture from the University of Mumbai. His research interests span a very wide range of topics on Indian Numismatics and Monetary History, Art and Epigraphy and he has made contribution to several publications and conferences. His recent contributions include:
1. Space for Change: Evaluating the 'Paucity of Metallic Currency' in Medieval India – in ‘Negotiating Cultural Identity: Landscapes in Early Medieval South Asian History’, ed. Himanshu P Ray, Routledge, 2015
2. Shaking the Pagoda Tree: Trees and Foliate Motifs on Indian Coins – in ‘Roots of Wisdom, Branches of Devotion: Plant Life in South Asian Traditions’, eds. Fabrizzio Ferrari and Thomas Dähnhardt, Equinox Publishing, 2016