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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Asian Coins| ▸ |Sri Lanka||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

Sri Lanka is a small island nation around 31 km from south of India. According to Pliny, Annius Plocamus a Roman freedman, visited Sri Lanka in the first century A.D. Sri Lanka responded, sending a delegation to Rome during the reign of the Claudius, A.D. 41 - 54 (N.H. VI.23.84). Another Roman named Sopatros, traveled to Sri Lanka, probably in the fifth century A.D. (Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography XI.17-19). The ancient port of Mantota may have been an important port of call between China and Rome.


Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura Kingdom, Mahasena, 277 - 304 A.D.

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This type has been found inside the platform and below the pavement level of the Jetavanaramaya built by King Mahasenhas and has been conclusively dated it to his reign. Mahasena (or Mahasen) initiated construction of the large tanks (reservoirs) in Sri Lanka, completing sixteen of them. After the construction of the Minneriya tank, he was worshiped as Minneri Deviyo (God of Minneriya). Mahasen discriminated against Theravada Buddhists and destroyed several temples including Mahavihara, the main Theravada temple, before his chief minister convinced him the policy was a mistake.

The Asiatic lion is symbolic for the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka's ethnic majority; the term derived from Sinhala, meaning the "lion people" or "people with lion blood."
WA67142. Bronze AE 16, Codrington p. 25 and pl. II, 19; Mitchiner ACW -, VF, rough, weight 1.332 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, obverse maneless lion standing right, within linear border; reverse four pellets in a cross arrangement, within linear border; very rare; SOLD


Sri Lanka (Ceylon), c. 4th - 5th Century A.D., Indo-Roman Imitative

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Sri Lanka is a small island nation around 31 km from south of India. Annius Plocamus, a Roman freedman, visited the island, spurring Sri Lanka to send a delegation to Rome during the reign of Claudius. A Roman named Sopatros traveled to Sri Lanka, probably in the 5th century. The ancient port of Mantota may have been an important port of call between China and Rome.
BB13750. Bronze AE 16, Indo-Roman imitative, F, typical flat strike, weight 1.351 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, obverse bust right, pseudo-legend around (dots); reverse uncertain; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Codrington, H.W. Ceylon Coins and Currency. (Colombo, 1924).
de Silva, G. P. S. H. History of Coins and Currency in Sri Lanka, 3rd century B.C. to 1998 A.D. (Colombo, 2000).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values, Vol. 3: Non-Islamic States & Western Colonies. (London, 1979).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins: the Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Sri Lanka