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Historical Article

Gupta Empire - Marriage Type



This type was attributed to Samudragupta by John Allen when he wrote the BMC catalog, and this attribution has been accepted by most numismatists. However, A. S. Altekar, in both his study of Gupta coins and the catalogue of the Bayana hoard, attributed this type to Chandragupta himself. The piece is a significant propaganda type, that commemorates the dynastic marriage that solidified Gupta rule over central India. The union with the Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi expanded Chandragupta's influence into the rich Bihar province and laid the foundations for the Gupta empire.

INDIA, Guptas. Chandragupta I or Samudragupta. Circa 320-335 or 335-380 AD. AV Dinar (7.64 g, 12h). Marriage type. Chandragupta I standing facing left, holding crescent-topped sceptre, looking at his bride Kumaradevi to whom he offers a ring; both figures nimbate / The goddess Lakshmi, holding diadem and cornucopiae, seated facing on lion reclining to right; tamgha to left, Δ to right. BMC Guptas 29; cf. Altekar pl. 1, 8; cf. Bayana 1.