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0265 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 265 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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P. 434, Note. The uncompleted Minaret is 82 feet in diameter. It was begun by'Alâ-ud-din, the penultimate predecessor of Mubarik Shâh. (For this note, as for much other assistance, I have to thank my friend Col. R. Maclagan, R.E.)

P. 438, Note. I now have a copy of Lee's Ibn Batuta, and I find that the circumstance here alluded to as resting in my memory of that version arose only out of a difference of translation and reading. Compare the story of the man taught by the Jogis in Lee, p. 159 with the same in Defremery, iv, p. 35.

P. 439-443 ; Note A, On the Indian coins mentioned by Ibn Batuta. Shortly after this note had been printed I saw from the A thenceum (February 3d, 1866) that Mr. Edward Thomas, the eminent Indian numismatologist, had been treating of the Bengal coinage of this period before the Royal Asiatic Society, and on my application to him for certain information, he was kind enough to send me a copy of a pamphlet containing his paper (" The Initial Coinage of Bengal) as well as of some former papers of his on the coinage of the Patan Sovereigns of Hindustan.

It appears to me that these papers fairly confirm from numismatic history the conclusions arrived at in Note A from the passages in Ibn Batuta and the Masaak-al-Abscir.

The chief points, as far as that note is concerned, to be gathered from Mr. Thomas's researches are these

(1.) That the capital coins of Delhi, from the time of Altamsh (A.D. 1211-1236) to the accession of Mahomed Tughlak (A.D. 1325) were a gold and silver piece of equal weight, approximating to a standard of 175 grains Troy' (properly 100 Ratis).

I These coins appear to have been officially termed respectively Sikkah and Fizzat ; but both seem eventually to have had the popular name of Tankah.

The word Sikkah just mentioned, involves a curious history.

Originally it appears to mean a die ; then it applies to the coin struck, as here. In this application (in the form of Sicca Rupees), it still has a ghostly existence at the India office. Going off in another direction at an early date, the word gave a name to the Zecca, or Cecca, or Mint, of the Italian Republics ; thence to the Zecchino or Cecchino which issued therefrom. And in this shape the word travelled back to the East, where the term Chickeen or Chick survived to our own day as a comprehensive Anglo-Indian expression for the sum of Four Rupees.

We see how much the commerce and marine of Italy must have owed to Saracen example in the fact that so many of the cardinal institutions of these departments of affairs drew names from Arabic originals ; e.g.The Mint (Zecca, as above), the Arsenal (Darsena), the Custom-House (Dogana, Dogana), the Factory (Fondaco, see p. 355), the Warehouse (:llagazzino from Makhzan), the Admiral (from Aynir), the Broker (Sensate from Sirnscir), the Caulker (Catafato from Kilcfat), to say nothing of the Cantaro and the Rotolo. It has been doubted whether Darsena is of Arabic origin. I see, however, that Mas'udi uses Dci,r Sind,' at (House of Craftsman's work) in speaking of the Greek Arsenal at Rhodes (Prairies d' Or, ii, 423 ; iii, 67). And at p. 284 infra, a note speaks hesitatingly about