1271 - 1273 - Lanka

VijayaBahu IV - One massa

The fairly common copper massa coin of king VijayaBahu IV (1271-1273) who reigned for three years as sole king.

SPECIFICATIONS
Denominationmassa
AlloyCopper
TypeStruck
Diameter19.44 mm
Thickness mm
Weight4.20 gms
ShapeRound
EdgePlain
DieAxis
1271_vijayabahu~iv_obverse 1271_vijayabahu~iv_reverse
Codrington #85Mitchiner #848-849
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 Vi ja ya Ba hu
vijayabahu~iv_legend

This is one of six fairly common copper massa coins from the late Polonnaruwa and Dambadeniya era. The coin may als attributed to coins of VijayaBahu II 1186-1187 or VijayaBahu III 1232-1236 which could have used the same inscription.

I quote from Codrington's "Short history of Ceylon" since the ancient chronicle Culavamsa becomes too verbose in this period.
After reigning thirty-three years ParakramaBahu II abdicated in favor of his eldest son VijayaBahu. The new king occupied himself in works of piety, and in completing the restoration of Polonnaruva. Having attended to restorations at Anuradhapura, VijayaBahu sent for his father to Polonnaruwa, where he was crowned a second time, and then returned to Dambadeniya, where he died in his thirty-fifth year. VijayaBahu IV (1271-1273) now was sole king, but was assassinated, by his general Mitta, who seated himself on the lion throne.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency: H. W. Codrington, Colombo, 1924.
   Chapter VI Mediaeval Lanka - Sinhala of 12th & 13th Century - Series II, Page 70
* Culavamsa II Chapter LXXXI: 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.