1208 - 1209 - Lanka

DharmasokaDeva - One massa

The fairly common copper massa coin of royal Prince DharmasokaDeva who on coming to the throne was aged three months and reigned for one year under the general Ayasmanta.

SPECIFICATIONS
Denominationmassa
AlloyCopper
TypeStruck
Diameter20.40 mm
Thickness mm
Weight4.27 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
DieAxis
1208_dharmasokadeva_obverse 1208_dharmasokadeva_reverse
Codrington #82Mitchiner #842-844
Obverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of standing king.
The head consists of an irregular oblong, the right side being a vertical line, from which projects three horizontal stokes representing the nose, mouth and chin. The crown bulging outwards at the back. The two curved lines on either side of the legs slightly turned upwards at the end indicate a person wearing a 'dhoti', and standing on a lotus stalk with flower to the right. The forearm is bent sharply down; the hand grasps the hanging lamp. The right side elbow is curved down with the arm turned upwards holds a flower presumed to be a jasmine blossom. To the right are five dots or spheres. A rim of 40 to 43 beads.
Reverse : Traditional Lankan massa design of seated king.
Head and crown as on obverse. Arm is raised upwards and the hand holds a conch shell. On right Devanagari legend Sri Dha rmma so ka De va
dharmasokadeva_legend

This is one of six fairly common copper massa coins from the late Polonnaruwa and Dambadeniya era. The one Eighth massa copper coin of the reign is extreamly rare.

To quote history from the direct translation of the ancient chronicle Culavamsa
Thereupon there reigned for one year a royal prince Dhammasoka by name, who on coming to the throne was aged three months. The Mahadipada Anikanga came at the head of a great army from the Cola kingdom, slew the ruler in Pulatthinagara, Prince Dhammasoka, together with the general Ayasmanta and reigned seventeen days. But the general, Vikkantacamunakka, the villain, slew the Monarch Anikanga and had the government carried on for a year by the first consort of King Parakkamahihu, Lilavati by name, who had already reigned before.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Sinhala of 12th & 13th Century - Series I, Page 69
* Culavamsa II Chapter LXXX: Translation by Wilhelm Geiger. Pali Text Society 1930

The coin was scanned at 300dpi and displayed at 300dpi is from my original collection from Lanka.