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probable explanation of the cross-bars, as I shall endeavour to show in a subsequent chapter.

The guarding power of labyrinthine and spiral and meander designs, or zig-zag or crossed lines is, as Mr. Campbell pointed out (loc. cit. p. 161), the cause of their constant employment in charms against evil spirits at the present day, both in Ceylon and elsewhere.1 Thus the partiality which the people of the East as well as those of the West and America, have exhibited for the Swastika is doubtless largely based on the belief in its defensive properties against these malignant beings.

In addition, therefore, to its symbolic aspect as an emblem of Prosperity, these cross-bars prove that the Swastika was placed on the coins to fulfil another function, that is, to be a protective charm against the malevolent actions of evil spirits. The pointed ends of some of the arms and short basal uprights may be also due to a similar idea-that of closing them against the ingress of hurtful spirits who might neutralise the omen. A fuller elucidation of the probable origin of the Swastika will be found in a later chapter.

If this was the ancient notion regarding the powers of the Swastika, it will be understood that apart from the general belief in the luck-bringing properties of everything that turned to the right and followed the course of the sun, it would be a matter of comparative indifference, as regards its spiritual aspect, whether its arms turned to the right or the left. In either direction they would equally act as a check to spirit progress. Thus, out of the 52 coins described above, in 18 cases the symbol is indistinct; on the remaining 34 coins the arms turn to the right in 22 instances, and to the left in 12.

The line or two lines, which are sometimes waved, below the base line of the Swastika may represent a snake or snakes, which also have guardian powers against evil spirits, especially in the East.

The other designs on the reverse of the Mulleittīvu coins admit of simple explanations. The plant growing out of a

1 I have a Sinhalese MS. book of charms and spells against sickness and evil spirits and planets, in which designs of crossed and complicated lines constantly occur.

vase indicates that the latter is filled with water; and the full vase is well known to be a general emblem of Good-luck which is much employed in the East, the reason being, as may be gathered from the Vidhura-paṇḍita Jātaka,1 that if the vase be full it cannot be imperfect. It is thus an emblem of Perfection, and therefore most auspicious. It is not a special symbol of Buddhism.

The recumbent humped bull is the special emblem of the Sōlian kings of southern India, and its appearance on these coins of Ceylon must point to Sōlian influence in the country. The coins which have this symbol may thus have been issued in the first half of the second century B.C., by the only Sōlian King who reigned in Ceylon for a considerable period at an early date, that is, Elāra, whose rule is alluded to in very favourable terms by the pre-Christian Buddhist annalists, and who occupied the throne from 205 to 161 B.C. There is no probability that an early Sinhalese king would insert this SouthIndian symbol on his coinage, and it is not found on the Tissa nor, with two exceptions, the Anuradhapura money which I have seen, that must have been issued by native rulers.


Even if the coins of this type were issued by the Indian usurpers who ruled the country from 104 to 88 B.C., those found at Mulleittīvu appear to have been buried in the first century B.C.

If it be held, however, that the mark on the Purana (i) is the letter hu its shape must prove that the Mulleittivu coins were buried in post-Christian times; but the good state of many of the symbols on the Purānas does not support this conclusion.

On the Obverse I take first the seated figure on the Anuradhapura coins, which can be explained without difficulty. Among the articles found in removing the débris left round the Yaṭṭhāla dagaba at Tissa, which, it may be repeated, dates from the third century B.C., there was, by extreme good-luck, a little more than the half of an admirably cut and polished

1 The Jātaka. No. 545. Translation, p. 152.

2 If Elāra issued this coinage some examples of his coins would occur among later hoards, of course.

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thin carnelian of an elliptical shape and perfect colour, which had evidently been the stone set in a seal-ring. The persons who rifled the relic-chamber of the dagaba apparently wanted only the gold setting, and broke and rejected the stone, which remained buried among the brick rubbish thrown out of their cutting. It was discovered when the recent restoration was begun in 1884, and the Buddhist Committee who supervised the work were so good as to present it to me. The other half of the stone was not found. The portion in my possession is a regular ellipse, measuring 80 in. in width, and probably 1.20 ins. in length when perfect. Its present length is 64 in., and the middle thickness is 13 in. An impression of it is shown, considerably enlarged, in Fig. No. 156. I am indebted to the skill of Mr. Norman May, of Malvern, for this admirable reproduction of this interesting seal, in the exact state in which it was left by the camera.

On this portion there is excellently engraved in intaglio the figure of a person sitting upon an ornamental chair, which can be no other than a royal throne. In the impression taken from it the face is turned to the right and the body half right. The king is leaning slightly backward in an easy attitude with his right foot hanging down from the throne and his left leg doubled so that the foot is placed on the chair. His left arm rests above the elbow on the raised left knee, and the fore-arm and hand are elevated, and hold a flat object, at which he is looking, in front of his left shoulder. His right arm hangs down and grasps near his hip a thin sash which passes over the right shoulder and back round his left side, the two ends, which appear to be fringed, standing out at the back of the chair.

He is very simply dressed in a cloth from the waist downward; the top of it is shown passing round the waist, and its edge hangs down from the left knee, while its folds are clearly seen on both thighs. Round the base of his neck is a thin necklet, and a plain armlet passes once round the arm above each elbow. No bangles are on the wrists; his ankles are not visible, having been on the missing portion of the stone. No hair is represented on the face; that on his head is cut short, and simply thrown back from the face in loose masses,

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