bāriā ‘wild boar’, baṟea ‘merchant’, baḍhoe ‘worker in wood and iron’

Mirror: http://tinyurl.com/oeq3t5x

This note is a corrigendu m to https://kalyan98.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/ancient-coins-of-eran-vidisha-with-indus-script-hieroglyphs-of-metalwork/ A serious error in this blogpost is corrected by this corrigendum.

The erroneous identification of varāhá as a rhinoceros is regretted. The monumental sculpture in Eraka (Eran) is that of a wild boar with two tusks. One tusk carries Bhudevi who is ligatured to the statue. The rebus reading of the hieroglyph is: bāriā ‘wild boar’ Rebus: baṟea ‘merchant’, baḍhoe ‘worker in wood and iron’.

Burle LeRue with his Blond Archery Boar

In a series of articles, KD Bajpai’s Indian Numismatic Studies (Abhinav Publications, 1976) provides cultural and historical insights into the ancient coins of India.


नि-° गम the root (as the source from which a word comes ; hence ifc. ” derived from “) (Nir.) the वेद or the Vedic text Hariv. Pa1n2. Pur. &c any work auxiliary to and explanatory of the वेदs Mn. iv , 19 ( Kull.  a sacred precept , the words of a god or holy man MBh. Pur. doctrine , instruction in , art of (comp.) Ba1lar.&c m. insertion (esp. of the name of a deity into a liturgical formula) S3rS. the place or passage (esp. of the वेदs) where a word occurs or the actual word quoted from such a passage Nir

nigamayeTraders’ Guild Coin – Nigama (2nd century BC), Copper, 1.29 g, Brahmi legend written in circular fashion, Nigamaye (of Nigam). The other side has a motif similar to capital U. The U hieroglyph on the reverse is a crucible: kuThara ‘crucible’ rebus: kuThAru ‘armourer’ koThAr ‘warehouse’.

negamaNegama (Brahmi reverse) on a Taxila coin; dojake (Kharoshthi) obverse. (Dojaka may be the name of a city in the Taxila region).

One meaning of the word nigama is: the place where the passage from Veda occurs. It is possible that the semantics of nigama as a market or merchant guild are relatable to this vedic inference as the production of metalwork from a yajna, treating the yajna as a smelting process of metals, bahusuvarNaka, metals of many colours.

“Some Taxila coins bear the legend Pancanakame (Alan, CCBM, pp. 214-19, Pl. XXXi and XXXiv). The legend shows that the coins were either the issues of a joint body of five nigamas or of a guild called pancanigama. Further, it indicates that there existed, in the Gandhara region during the third-second centuries BCE, several guilds of traders who were authorised to issue coins bearing their particular names. The nigama or negama series of Taxila coins refer to Ralimasa which, like Dojaka, Dosanasa and Hiranasama, has been differently interpreted. DR Bhandarkar is inclined to take it as the name of a city.”(Paramanand Gupta, 1989, Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals, Delhi, Concept Publishing Company, p.147} 

“The word negamA (Skt. NaigamAh) here should be taken to mean ‘the s’reNis or corporations of merchants’. The Taxila negamA coins bear several other words: Dojaka, AtakatakA, Ralimasa, Kadare etc. I think that these terms refer to the merchants’ localities where the respective coins were minted.” (KD Bajpai, 2004, Indian Numismatic Studies, Delhi, Abhinav Publications, p.2)

“The excavations at Ujjain, Vidisha, Eran and Tripuri have brought to light very few silver punch-marked coins. On the other hand, the number of copper punch-marked coins is pretty large. Period IIB of Eran has yielded, apart from stray early coins, a hoard of 3268 punch-marked coins assignable to the period 2nd-1st cent. BCE…It is interesting to note that in the case of Vidisha and Eran janapada coins, the earliest method of preparation was the punch-marking device.”(KD Bajpai, opcit., p.15)

नि-° गम a town , city , market-place A1past. Car.  a caravan or company of merchants (ifc. f(आ).) R. Das3. Lalit. trade , traffic W. 

varāhá — , varāˊhu — m. ʻ wild boar ʼ RV.Pa. Pk. varāha — m. ʻ boar ʼ; A. B. barā ʻ boar ʼ (A. also ʻ sow, pig ʼ), Or. barāha, (Sambhalpur) barhā, (other dial.) bā̆rihā, bāriā, H. bā̆rāh m., Si. varā. (CDIAL 11325) Rebus: baṟea ‘merchant’, baḍhoe ‘worker in wood and iron’.

The word also refers to a gold coin with the hieroglyph of a wild boar. வராகன்¹ varākaṉ, n. < Varāha. 1. Viṣṇu, in His boar-incarnation; வராகரூபியான திருமால். (பிங்.) 2. Pagoda, a gold coin = 3½ rupees, as bearing the image of a boar; மூன்றரை ரூபாய் மதிப்�ுள்ளதும் பன்றிமுத்திரை கொண்டதுமான ஒரு வகைப் பொன்நாணயம். (அரு. நி.)

S. Kalyanaraman Sarasvati Research Center, December 28, 2015


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