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With regard to the characters used, it is interesting to observe in no less than four of these early inscriptions (Nos. 13, 26, 27, and 38) a letter which in India I believe is only found in southern inscriptions. I am not aware that it occurs in early cave inscriptions in other than the northern parts of the island. It is used in the name of a chief called Palikada, written also Palikada, whose son was the donor of a cave at Wessagiri near Anuradhapura. Dravidian influence appeared to require a letter to represent a cerebral sound of the letter I which is not found in Sanskrit.

I am afraid that it would be unsafe to assume that the names given in Nos. 26, 27, 28 and 31 may be those of Dravidians; there might be such chiefs in northern Ceylon whose families were Buddhists.

Returning to the royal inscription, we already see a great difference between its alphabet and style, and those of Aśōka's inscriptions. There are no duplicated consonants, which I think do not make their appearance in Ceylon before the ninth century A.D., while compound letters, excepting in such words as Siddham or Swasti, 'Hail,' or 'May it be well (with you),' are not found until a still later date.1

The aspirated consonants and long vowels were already practically abandoned, although an occasional long a and aspirated b, c, d, or g occur in other early inscriptions. The royal grant is, in fact, written in early Elu, or ancient Sinhalese, as much as in the Pāli language.

The letter is already represented by the form employed in India for the aspirated jh; it had nearly disappeared in Ceylon early in the first century B.C. The long initial is used for the short i, as in the Tonigala inscription No. 54. A special form of m of a deep cup shape with a central horizontal cross bar, differing from the letter generally used in India, and afterwards abandoned in Ceylon by the end of the second century or early in the first century B.C., had already made its appearance. The trifid s always takes the place

1 Sir A. Cunningham found only three compound letters in the early inscriptions at Sanchi. The Bhilsa Topes, p. 268.

of the usual curled letter, which in these forty-nine inscriptions only occurs in one word in No. 20.

These variations in the alphabet prove that writing had already been employed for a considerable period in Ceylon, long enough to allow time for a local development of the letters to take place.

As the bent form of r is alone used in the royal inscription, the presence of the straight form may perhaps elsewhere generally be evidence of a later date than that of inscriptions in which the crooked letter occurs.

With regard to the language used by King Uttiya it is interesting to see the word lena, cave, instead of the usual lene of practically all later inscriptions. It appears to be confirmed by the last word of the inscription, tana. There are only two other special variations from the ordinary language of similar inscriptions found in the island. One is the expression agatāgata na instead of āgata anāgata, come or come not ' in place of 'come or not come.' The other is the use of ase, 'they were,' evidently suffixed to verbs in the sense of they have,' both in this inscription and in No. 14. The object also is placed after a transitive verb, as we see it in Nos. 53 and 54, below.

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In No. 14 the word bhāginiyāna is evidently a plural form like putana in No. 27. I have also met with a form ditāna (the last letter being damaged) where the context shows that two daughters are mentioned. The inscription in which it is found is at Kandalawa wihara, in the Kurunāēgala district, and is as follows :—


Parumaka Majimasa gapati Anu(ra) di puta Gapatiya dita(na) Tisagutasa Cuḍasa lene. Tisagutasa Cuḍasa bata Sumanasa leņe saga (sa).

The cave of Tissaguttā (and) of Cuḍā, daughters (of) Gāpatiya, the son (of) the (female) householder Anuradhi, (daughter) of the Chief Majjhima. The cave of Sumana, brother of Tissaguttā (and) of Cuḍā; to the Community.

In the other inscriptions bata appears to represent bhatika, 'workman'; it occurs too often in these and many other

inscriptions, and almost always before other names, to be a personal name 'Bhatiya,' which in fact is commonly found in the form Bati, as in No. 45, and later examples. Pați ucaya in No. 23 may perhaps be derived from vas to dwell.

The next inscriptions known are two which are cut at a wihāra established under an immense towering rock in the Puttalam district, called Parama-kanda. One of them, No. 51, is cut on the vertical face of a low rock at one side of a small pool of water, termed in Ceylon a pōkuna. The other, No. 52, is at a considerable height on the face of the precipice, over the entrance to the wihara. High above it is a nesting place of the Indian Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinator) which has doubtless bred there for immemorial ages. The whole site is strikingly picturesque. In the case of both inscriptions a close examination of the letters is not possible on a casual visit. My copies of them are as follows:(51.) Two symbols, the second being the fish. Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tisaha duta kana.

The assigned pool of the Chief Tissa, son (of) the
Chief Abhaya.

It has been suggested by Dr. E. Müller that the letters duṭaka may refer to Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, but it is most unlikely that a sovereign would apply a nickname meaning 'Angry to himself in one of his grants. I prefer to assume that the letter pu has been omitted or has been worn away. With it the last word would become pukana, pool. Duța would then be dishța, assigned or ordered.


A symbol unexplained. Parumaka Abaye puta Parumaka T(isa) ha lene agata anagata caya d(i)sa sagasa.

The cave of the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya. To the Community of the (four) quarters, present or future.

The last part is indistinct; I read it with a field glass in 1876. The word which I copied as caya, six, is most probably catu, four, as usual.

There are two other inscriptions near the same hill, both on a low rock called Tōnigala, the Boat-rock, at the side of

a small tank, Galawaewa, the Rock tank. Their cutting is by far the boldest of any inscriptions in Ceylon. Each is about 100 feet long, with excellently chiselled and quite upright letters a foot high and cut an inch deep in the rock. (53.) Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tisaha vapi Acagirika Tisa pavatahi agata anagata catu d(i)sa sagasa dine. Two symbols, the first being the fish, followed by three dots in a vertical line as a full stop. Devanapi Maharaja Gāmiņi Abaya niyate Aca nagaraka ca (Tavi) rikiya nagaraka ca Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tise niyata pite rajaha agata anagata catu disa sagasa.



The tank of the Chief Tissa, son (of) the Chief Abhaya, at the Acagirika Tissa mountain; given to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. (By) the great king Gāmiņi Abhaya, beloved of the Gods, (are re-) assigned 1 both Aca-nāgara and Tavirikiya-nāgara (which were) assigned by the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya, father of the king, to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tise niyate ima vapi Acagirika Tisa pavatahi agata anagata catu d(i)sa sagasa. Emblem and fish, followed by three dots arranged in a vertical line as a full stop. Devanapiya Maharaja Gamiņi Abaye niyate Aca nagaraka ca Tavirikiya nagaraka ca Acagirika Tisa pavatahi agata anagata catu d(i)sa sagasa Parumaka Abaya puta Parumaka Tisaha visara niyata pite.

By the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya is assigned this tank at the Acagirika Tissa mountain to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. By the great king Gāmiņi Abhaya, beloved of the Gods, (are re-) assigned

1 As the property of the Community of monks.

both Aca-nāgara and Tavirikiya-nāgara at the Acagirika Tissa mountain to the Community of the four quarters, present or future. The tank of the Chief Tissa son (of) the Chief Abhaya assigned by (my) father.

I cannot see any reason to doubt that the inscriptions numbered 53 and 54 belong to the only king of an early date called Gāmiņi Abhaya, who had a father and grandfather named Tissa and Abhaya respectively. They must have been cut by King Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, who reigned from 161 to 137 B.C. Before he reconquered northern Ceylon, which had been in the hands of Tamil conquerors for some forty-four years, his father and grandfather ruled over southern Ceylon, after Mahā-Nāga and his son Yaṭṭhāla-Tissa, as tributary sovereigns under the Tamil king, Elāra. The Rājāvaliya says (p. 25), 'In those days King Kāwantissa, residing in Māgama of Ruhuṇa, paid tribute to the Tamil king.' This was also the practice while the previous Sinhalese kings held Ceylon. The same work states, 'The kings of Magama in Ruhuṇa and of Kaelaniya used regularly to pay annual tribute to the king of Anuradhapura' (p. 24).

We now learn from these inscriptions that under the foreign domination they had not even the title of 'king,' like MahāNāga, but were merely termed 'Chief' (Parumaka) like numerous others in the country. Although the title commonly indicated that its bearer was a person of importance in the country, some of these Parumakas occupied subordinate posts, and sometimes were even village headmen. An inscription at Gallāēwa wihara in the North-western Province, which having both the bent and straight forms of and the cupshaped m, probably belongs to the second half of the second century B.C., runs :


(1) Barata Maha Tisaye kape (2) Parumaka Naga
gamiya detake.

Cut by the royal messenger Mahā-Tissa, the Chief
Naga (being) the village headman.

Tissa, the father of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, married the daughter of another subject king or chief who ruled over the district

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