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Two Dated Sātavāhana Epigraphs

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image of Indo-Iranian Journal

The length of reign of the individual Sātavāhana kings is often defined on the basis of the records of the Purānas. Contradictory as these records are, more reliable evidence is provided by dated documents of their time, which are, unfortunately, rare. A sealing re-interpreted here, shows that Sātakanni, starting the dynasty, lived for at least 30 years, in line with the Purānas who allot him 56 years. A dedicatory plaque from Kanganhalli is dated to the 35th year of Śrī-Pulumāvi, a date supported by a single line in the Matsyapurāna, which, however, has mixed several accounts into one, so that up to now a much shorter life-span for Vāsisthīputra Pulimāvi was expected. In addition, this epigraph presents evidence for a place otherwise only known through Ptolemy's list of Indian cities, and for the habit of buying in favour of the sangha by spreading out coins, as known from the much older story of Anāthapindada.


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