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have been preserved. They include the Sword, both straight and curved, the Trident, the Billhook, the Kris, the Iron Club, and a weapon called Ītiya, a variety of Assegai.
The list is still incomplete, as there can be no doubt that Battle-axes were used in war, in addition to the common Kandian Knife, and a Dagger.
The Sword, Kaḍuwa, is almost the sole weapon represented in ancient carvings in Ceylon, and even that is only occasionally met with. The earliest representation of one was discovered by me in the excavations at Tissa, engraved on a fragment of pottery which probably dated from pre-Christian times. The illustration (Fig. 161) shows that it had a long handle with a substantial cross-hilt, but no other guard; and a broad and slightly curved blade, wider at a short distance from the end than near the hilt. It would be a formidable cutting weapon.
Others illustrated on a very small scale in reliefs on a pillar at the Jētavana Dāgaba at Anuradhapura (Fig. 87), and in some places in the hands of armed men who were represented as springing out of the open mouths of nondescript monsters called Makaras, are all straight-edged, somewhat short, pointed weapons, apparently without cross-hilts or guards. The men who hold them in the latter examples carry a small circular buckler in their left hands.
Some interesting panels are carved in the sides of the stone pillars that support the elongated porch (Dig-ge) of the Warakā Wihara, the oldest cave temple, according to tradition, at the Ridi Wihāra, the Silver Monastery, in the Kurunāēgala district. In the panels, which are at the base of each pillar, a dance of soldiers is represented, one figure being in each panel. Some of them carry swords and shields, the only type of the former being the straight pointed sword with and without a straight cross-hilt, but in either case having no guard (Fig. 170).
The temple itself was founded in pre-Christian times, and the name Paramaka Abayaha lene, the cave of the Chief Abhaya,' in the earliest characters of the second or third century B.C., with the bent and the cup-shaped m, is inscribed
in another cave there which now contains the principal temple, the Rājata Lena Wihāra,' the Silver Cave Wihāra,' in which a heap of silver is recorded in the Mahāvansa as having been found in the time of King Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi (161-137 B.C.). The same inscription is repeated in another part of the cave, the second word in it being written Abayi.
That this inscription gives the original name of this wihāra is confirmed by another in characters of about the first century A.D. on the top of the same rock.1 It runs :
(A)ba dagaya ran(e) biḍi Karațiradataha tube.
The Abhaya relic-house having been broken during war was (re-) established by Karaṭiradatta.
Another cave shelter under the same rock is inscribed in pre-Christian letters,
Bata puta Devaha lene sagasa.
The cave of Dēva, son (of) Bhātiya; to the Com
There are also later inscriptions at this place, recording work done at the wihāra and grants made to it. One that was left by a person called Bujaka Utaya, ' the landed proprietor Uttiya,' is in letters of the second or third century A.D. Another is by 'Mekaha Aba,' in letters resembling those used by Jeṭṭha-Tissa, son of Mahā-Sēna; it may thus belong to Meghavaṇṇa-Abhaya II (304-322 A.D.). It is clear that extensive improvements were carried out at that time; the inscription ends,
Laka (kaha)wana di (Aba) ka leņa maha patima karawaya savasa taṇața lit(i).
Having given 100,000 kahapanas he caused the great statue (of Buddha) at the Abhaya cave to be made. Written at the tom-tom beating place.
As the porch in which the panels were carved is an evident addition to the original cave temple at which it was erected (the Warakā, not the Abhaya, cave) the work at it may belong to the same period as this inscription."
1 The facsimiles of this and the preceding inscriptions are to be seen in Fig. No. 153.
I may note that there is no reference in any of the inscriptions
Some of the long straight swords carved in these panels follow the type of Indian weapons represented in the Amaravati carvings (late second century A.D.), which, however, had no cross-hilts. The one in the illustration tapers from hilt to point, like a dagger; another has a blade with parallel sides and a short point.
In the older temple paintings straight swords are depicted with hilts of a shape not now seen. One which I sketched has a cross-hilt in the form of a crescent with the points turned forward; in another the crescent is reversed (Fig. 163). A straight sword without a cross-hilt or guard is represented in the Dambulla Cave temple; the painting was executed in the middle of the seventeenth century, and is supposed by the monks in charge of the temple to reproduce the former work done in the time of Niśśanka-Malla (1198–1207 A.D.).
Below an inscription of the ninth or tenth century, cut on the face of a pillar at Wilgama wihāra, near Bibile, in the Uva Province, a sword of a somewhat different type is carved (Fig. 162); it has a cross-hilt which ends in a curl on one side, and is a very long narrow straight weapon, twice as wide
to the legend regarding the discovery of silver in one of the caves. Some short badly-cut records of grants to the temple, belonging to about the fifth or sixth century A.D., appear to show that the modern name had not then been adopted. Three contain the name of a temple, apparently this one, which is variously spelt Havidavi, Havadava, and Hividivi, while in another it is Divegala. It may have been Havidiva Wihāra, 'the splendid wihara on the hill.'
The following are specimens of these records :
i. Nilapanatata ca Jalanalana kita ca Havadava w(i)hara ca savisa tanata liti.
Nilapāṇataṭa (now Nilantaṭṭuwa), and Jalanalana field, with the Havadava wihāra; written at the tom-tom beating place (the flat rock on which the inscriptions are cut).
ii. Uḍabaganu Hividivi wihari ca savisa taṇata liti.
iii. Haga sala Divegala w(i)hara ca la sevasa taṇața liti.
A hall for the Community is placed with the Divegala wihāra, etc. The meaning of the formula seems to be that the names of the places are coupled with the wihara as part of its property, which once covered a large tract around it. The old name of the adjoining district is said to be Entota Danawwa. A long covered shed was built for the tomtom beaters by King Kirti Sri (1747-1780 A.D.); it is termed the Hēvisi Mandapa.