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be thought to conduce to the prosperity of the early traders for whose use the coins were issued.

In the period when the Purānas were being made there was probably no state monopoly of coinage, nor even a state issue of money.1 Every person would thus be at liberty to stamp it with his own mark. Thus if a trader had formed an opinion that a particular emblem of this kind was a specially lucky one for him, it may be surmised that he would take care to get it impressed-sometimes destroying an earlier punch-mark by it-on many of the coins which came into his hands. This will account for the presence of some of the best known demon-frightening symbols on almost all the Purānas. Having this bad-luck-preventing and good-luck-bringing money, the traders and all who carried the coins would believe that they would have increased prospects of success in their undertakings. It was at the same time a medium of exchange and a powerful preservative and auspicious amulet.

At a later date in both India and Ceylon, when the coins were issued by state authority, and either cast, or marked by a single die on one face, or two dies, one on each face, some of the same emblems which had proved so effectual in early times were still retained for the reasons which induced the earlier people to impress them.

In the East, and probably everywhere, it was—and still is in most countries—at least quite as necessary to guard one's-self against the malevolence of evil spirits in the affairs of every-day life as to pay worship to the Gods. The amulets of the Neolithic and later Lake Dwellings, the primitive charms of Egypt, the Assyrian writings and carvings, and the Hymns of the Vedas afford abundant proof of this.

The constant use of the emblems of the deities was not intended for the satisfaction of the Gods; this was provided for by the offerings presented to them. The symbols, whether carved or drawn, were thought to be the most effectual guards

1 Mr. V. A. Smith states (Cat. p. 133), 'It is clear that the punchmarked coinage was a private coinage issued by guilds and silversmiths with the permission of the ruling powers.'

against all kinds of injuries inflicted by the evil spirits,1 who were both vindictive and numberless. How much impressed the ancient peoples were by this idea is evident from the strength in which such notions have been handed down to the present day. It is in this fact alone that any satisfactory explanation of the early mystic symbolism of the East, and of a great part of all the early symbolism, can be found.

Exactly like the sign of the Cross in Christianity.

A Sinhalese estimate makes the number in Ceylon two millions.





ROM the occasional references in the histories to the weapons of the ancient Sinhalese, it can be gathered that the Sword and the Bow were the ordinary arms of the people, and were often carried by the chiefs and sovereigns, at any rate when they were engaged on warlike expeditions. When the Javelin or short throwing-Spear is added the list of primitive weapons mentioned separately by these authorities is nearly exhausted. Yet there is very good reason for believing that they possessed other arms even in early times, and ‘the five weapons of war,' which according to Clough's Dictionary were the sword, spear, bow, battle-axe, and shield, are once alluded to collectively in the Mahāvansa.

Prince Wijaya, who became the first sovereign, is represented as being armed with both a sword and a bow when he landed in Ceylon (Mah., i, p. 32). A sword of state was also included among the presents sent by the Indian Emperor Aśōka to Dēvānam-piya Tissa in the third century B.C., and we are told that this king carried a bow when hunting Sambar deer (Mah., i, p. 50).

In the second century B.C., Phussadēva, one of the champions or generals of Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi, is described as being an extraordinarily expert archer, who shot by a flash of lightning,' or 'through a horse-hair,' or 'a cart filled with sand, as well as through hides a hundred-fold thick; through an Asōka plank eight inches, an Udumbara plank sixteen inches thick, as well as a plate of iron, too, and a plate of brass four inches thick. On land his arrow would fly the distance of eight usabhas and through water one usabha' (Mah. i, p. 92). An usabha is 140 cubits, or about 204 feet.

In his fight with his brother Tissa, Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi is mentioned as using a javelin while on horse-back; Prince Tissa, who was mounted on an elephant, wore armour on this occasion, that is, in the first half of the second century B.C. (Mah., i, P. 94). In Duṭṭha-Gamini's battle with Elara the Tamil king, the Chiefs on both sides, who fought on foot, had swords and shields, while the two kings, who were on elephants, were armed with javelins( Mah., i, p. 99). In his battle with Elāra's nephew Bhalluka, the same king, who was on an elephant, is described as guarding his mouth with the handle of his sword when Bhalluka threw a javelin at him. One of DuṭṭhaGāmiņi's chiefs, who was seated behind the king on the elephant, also carried a javelin, but later on it is termed an arrow (Mah., i, p. 100, 101). King Waṭṭa-Gāmiņi is stated to have been armed with a bow while awaiting an opportunity to regain the throne, at the beginning of the first century B.C.

With the exception of the State Sword carried by an official who was termed the Sword Bearer, and who ranked as one of the Great Officers of State, as in India, weapons are not again mentioned in the history until the twelfth century A.D., when we find Prince Parakrama-Bāhu I described as being armed with a sword and shield; an attendant also bore an umbrella for him, and the general opposed to him was similarly provided with one. When the house occupied by the Prince was surrounded by the enemy at night, he is said to have wrapped himself in his blanket, and to have fought with his sword (Mah., ii, p. 137). Also when he escaped from Polannaruwa at night he carried a shield and a sword with which he killed a bear that attacked him in the path (Mah., ii, 143).

He armed some of his men with 'swords, lances, darts, and other weapons of war,' and we learn that one party of them also had clubs (Mah., ii, p. 151). In these wars we read for the first time of chariots used in battle in Ceylon; and the leader of the enemy's troops went to battle in one instead of riding on an elephant according to the custom of earlier times (p. 157). The men wore armour that could not be pierced through ';

1 Questions of King Milinda, p. 171.

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