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PROCEEDINGS, OFFICIAL, LITERARY, AND SCIENTIFIC.
FROM THE 24TH NOV. 1856 TO THE 30TH NOV. 1857.
Read a letter from Professor Sinclair, stating that, when he undertook to make a Catalogue of the Library, he anticipated being shortly relieved of some extra duties that he was then performing; but this not having taken place, he found that it was impossible for him to fulfil his intention, without making too great demands, probably, on his constitution.-11th December 1856.
With respect to the 63 Coins above mentioned, which were presented by Captain Thomas,* Dr. Leith stated that they had been found in a brass lota, not like that used in the neighbourhood at the present day, but like that used in Guzerat. The dates of those which Dr. Leith had deciphered were from A. H. 838 to 884, and the names mostly of the Koolburga princes; there were also the names of Egyptian Khalifs on them. The following is a list of those deciphered :
Two copper coins of Aboo-ul-Moozuffur Ahmed Shah Sooltan. 5, Muhumud Shah bin Muhumud Shah, 838,843. 5, Muhmood Shah bin Muhumud Shah Aboo, 863. 1, Muhmood Shah bin Muhumud Shah Sooltan. 9, Aboo-ul-Mughazee Muhumud Shah Sooltan. 11, Muhumud Shah bin Hoomayoon Shah Sooltan-ul-Motazein Shumsuldunya-ul-din, 884. 2, Hoomayoon Shah bin Muhumud Shah. 3, Muhumud Shah bin Hoomayoon Shah Sooltan. 24, Muhumud Shah bin Muhumud Shah Mahomed Shah.-12th February 1857.
A letter from J. Muir, Esq., enclosing a printed Prospectus of a Prize offered by him for a Treatise on the Vedanta System, in German or French, and forwarded for publicity in any way the Society might think fit, having been read, it was resolved-"That the letter and the Prospectus should be circulated for the consideration of the Committee of Management."+-12th March 1857.
Extract from a Note by Captain R. F. Burton, at Zanzibar, dated 28th April 1857, to the address of the Secretary of the Society :
"We left Zanzibar on the 3rd January last, and went to Pemba and Mambas; stayed there a few days; sailed down the coast, and then
See Presents for the Museum, p. xxiv.
This was finally published in the daily-newspapers of Bombay.Ed.
ascended the Pangany River. As there was little interest in this country, we marched up to Fuge in Wambara; came back late in February; all caught remittent fever,-the very type of the West African yellow fever and that of Madagascar. This drove us back to Zanzibar, where we are detained by the rains. I intend personally going over to Soudan, and inspecting the Copal diggings. During the "rains" is the best time, for then the men are actually at work. There is a little upon this island, but of very poor quality. No vessels will leave this before September, so it will be a long time ere our communications and specimens can come to hand. We start for the interior as soon as the rains end,-late in May or early in June. We expect to reach the great Lake in a couple of months. Our party will consist of twenty armed men, ourselves included, and 120 porters for baggage, food, presents, &c. Colonel Hamerton has been a kind friend to us; full of forethought, and most anxious that we should succeed. Sayud Mujid, the young Imaum, has promised us all the aid in his favour. We have no medical man with us, but it is only on the coast that it is said to be unhealthy; however, we should be glad of one for wounds. As yet, we have only had Hippopotamus shooting, killing as many as six in a single morning, the teeth of which form an export from this place. Zanzibar is dreadfully unhealthy; every European laid up with diarrhoea, and the natives as sickly."
The Secretary observed, respecting the coal from Sind presented by Colonel Turner, (see p. xxv.) that it came from a bed "eight" (?) feet thick, about 28 miles N.W. of Kotree, and thirteen W. of the Indus. It appeared to be identical in character with the coal in the neighbourhood of the Upper Indus near Kalabagh, and with that lower down thirty miles west of Dhera Ghazi Khan; with that from the Bolan Pass presented by Dr. Leith; with that of Kurrachee; of the tertiary formation in Cutch; of that under the basalt in Bombay; of that under the laterite of Rutnagherry, and of that of the coast of Travancore (on which rests variegated sand strata, and then detrital laterite). Specimens from each of which places were in the Museum of the Society. All these carbonaceous deposits appeared to be of Eocene Age, and therefore could only be expected to yield a limited supply of fuel, which, if pure and free from pyrites, might be found very serviceable on the spot, but not of sufficient value for exportation. It was but one remove from brown coal or lignite; and a much greater link existed between it and the Burdwan Coal of India than between the latter and the coal of Newcastle, which, being the most compact of
all, takes up the least room, while at the same time it affords in a given space, the largest quantity of material for combustion.-11th June 1857.
Report by the President, W. E. Frere, Esq., C. S., on thirteen Silver Coins found among the Ruins of Wallabhi, in Khattyawar.
"The coins presented by Col. Turner to the Society as having been found by Lieut. Trevor, of the Engineers, at Wallahbhi consist of:-Ten of Aurungzeb.
Of one of these I am not quite certain; but it must be either an Aurungzeb or Akbar; and as it clearly is not one of the latter, it is, I conclude, an Aurungzeb.
One of Jehandar Shah.
Two of Furrukhseer.
Of the coins of durungzeb :-
No. 1.--Has the same legend as Marsden DCCCLXXXIII. p. 648, except that the coin is struck at Aurungabad (not Golcondah). It is dated A.H. 1097. A:R. is not legible.
This coin has a ring in it, and has been used as an ornament.
No. 2.-Has the same legend as the last, except that it is struck at Surat. It is dated A.H. 1103, A.R. 35.
No. 3. A coin very much defaced; the legend as in the last; where struck is illegible, but from the similarity of the coin to No. 7, I conclude at Surat. It is dated A.H. 1104. A.R. is illegible.
The legend on this coin, so far as it is legible, is:
از فضل حق سکه زر بر سیم و زر پادشاه
"Per gratiam divinam summam ex auro et argento Imperator"-and the place of coinage Surat; the obverse being legible "A.R. 40." It certainly is not like any of Akbar's; and though the legend is not to be found among those of Aurungzeb in Marsden, I still think it to be one of his coins, Aurungzeb and Akbar being the only kings who reigned 40 years.
No. 5.-A coin very much defaced; but from the dates "A.H. 1115" and "A.R. 48" being legible, it is evident that it is one of Aurungzeb. No. 6. A coin with the same legend as that of No. 2, although the dates are not in the same position. The date is curious, ^•• which might be 2800; or A.R. 28-A.H. 1100. The 28th year of Aurungzeb, however, was 1096; but this inconsistency is not uncom mon in coins of Aurungzeb. Marsden, part II., p. 651, mentions one, dated A.R. 21, A.II. 76, whereas the corresponding A.H. to A.R. 21, would be 89.
No. 7.-Three coins; much defaced; the same legend as in the last, but the dates are not distinguishable, and they cannot be classed.
No. 8.-A very curious coin; the shape and appearance of it is more like one of Akbar's than any of Aurungzeb depicted in Marsden, or any silver one of Aurungzeb that I have ever seen. However, the name 'Aurungzeb Alumgeer" is perfectly distinct. I have in my collection a gold mohur of his very like it, though there are no dates upon it. My gold coin is dated A.R. 3.
A coin of Jehandar Shah, A.H. 1124, A.R. 1. Legend on Area I. as in Marsden's DCCCCIV., except here it is
not so distinct as to where it was struck; apparently Jehanabad. A coin of Farrukhseer, A.H. 1126, A.R. 3. The legend the same as Marsden's DCCCCVII., except that this appears to have been struck at Ahmedabad, though the name is not clearly legible.
Another coin of Furrukhseer, A.H. is illegible, but A.R. being 6, it must be 1129. The legend is the same as Marsden's DCCCCVIII., except that the place of coinage is different, and what the place on this coin is I cannot make out; the only letters legible being.
These coins having been dug up at Wulli, I expected to find some very old ones,—that city, or rather "Wullabhi," having been destroyed in A.D. 524; but these coins could not have been buried then but some 1200 years later. As the Society have no silver coins of either Aurungzeb, Jehandar, or Furrukhseer, these will be an acceptable addition to their collection, although they are not of the same value to antiquaries as they would have been had they been coins of any king that could have been buried when Wullabhi was destroyed."—13th August 1857.
Read the following letter from J. Romer, Esq., to the address of the Secretary of the Society :
"48, Gloucester Square, Hyde Hark, 18th July 1857. "SIR, By 'book-post' I have the pleasure to send to the Society a No. of the Révue de l'Orient' for India.
"It contains a paper from me on the Pahlavi of the Zend Avesta, put into French by a friend.
"In a letter to the Royal Asiatic Society taking leave of the subject, say, 'this paper will close my examination of the contested question of Zend (now Pahlavi) authenticity.'
"On looking over what I have written in endeavouring to dispel the obscurity, and to correct the errors in which the subject is involved, I
am encouraged in the belief of having sufficiently established this fact -it may not be doubted that remains of writings extant in the fifth century, when the Armenian Bishop Essick carried on a religious controversy with the Persian Magi,* have, as shown by their agreement, furnished materials for the composition of some parts of the sacred books of the Parsis, whilst it is manifest, by the testimony of undisputed facts, that the languages named Zend and Pahlavi, in which these books are written, are artificial, not genuine, original, or indigenous tongues at any time spoken by any people or nation known to history. At this conviction I have arrived after diligent, but, from circumstances, somewhat desultory search for truth:
JOHN ROMER. "P.S.—I have seen Spiegel's book on Dhunjibhoy Framji's Huzvarash, published under the following title, 'Grammatik der Huzvarâsch Sprache, von Fr. Spiegel: Wien,' 1856 :—
"On the title-page of the original, we read—' In the year of Zoroaster 2244.' It were useless to ask for the authority on which the era here given of an imaginary personage rests. It is no other than a palpable forgery quietly put forward with an air of truth.-J. R."
The President then read the following result of his examination of 65 silver and copper coins from the Hoozoor Treasury, Ahmedabad, submitted for the Society's Report by the Government, with their letter No: 140, dated 17th January 1856:
"I feel that an apology is due to Government for my having detained these coins so long, and a further apology for their number having become diminished from 65 to 46; nineteen of them, which were all copper ones, having been so corroded, that they were reduced to powder in my attempt to clean them.
"Although not one of these is half perfect, I have, from placing them altogether, been able to make out the legend that we should find on the perfect one. The annexed drawings of the coin will show the legend, [see original M.S.] which appears to me to be as follows:
"There are none of the coins in the Society's collection, and they evidently belong to that Surashtran sub-species mentioned by Mr. Thomas, Vol. XII. of the Journal of the R.A.S., page 63, as yet unattributed. The obverse has no legend upon it; but I observe a peculiarity
* Wilson's "Parsi Religion," p. 123; Révue de l'Orient," April 1857.