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0266 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 266 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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  1.  That Mahomed Tughlak in the first year of his reign remodelled the currency, issuing gold pieces under the official name of dinar, weighing two hundred grains, and silver pieces under the name of 'adali, weighing one hundred and forty grains.

  2.  That the coinage of silver at least was gradually and increasingly debased till A.D. 1330, when Mahomed developed his notable scheme of a forced currency consisting entirely of copper tokens (alluded to at p. 291 infra). This threw everything into confusion, and it was not till six years later that any sustained issues of ordinary coin recommenced.'

  3.  From this time the old standard (175 grains) of Mahomed's predecessors was readopted for gold, and was preserved to the time of Sher Shah. It does not appear that the old standard was resumed for silver. For though Mr. Thomas alludes to one example of a coin of A.H. 734 (A.D. 1334, and therefore previous to the resumption of a systematic coinage) as containing 168 grains of pure silver, his examples show in the reign of Mahomed's successor Firuz Shah the gold coin of 175 grain standard running parallel with continued issues of the silver (or professedly silver) coin of 140 grains.

  4.  During this time in Bengal the local coinage of silver retained an approximation at least to the old standard of 175 grains, though from about 1336 this seems to descend to a standard of 166. But one gold coin of Bengal of this period is quoted in the papers. It is a piece of inferior execution weighing 158 yrs.

  1.  The old standard silver tankah of 175 grains represented 64 of a

coin or value called kani, or Tani.

In applying these facts to the interpretation of Ibn Batuta I conceive that the coin which he calls Tangah was the 175 grain gold piece, and not the new dinar of 200 grains ; and that what he calls dinar was the old 175 grain silver piece, and not the new 'adali of 140 grains, i.e. it was the coin of which the modern rupee is the legitimate representative

and nearly the exact equivalent .2


the derivation of dogana from Diwan. But in Amari's Diplomi Arabi the

word Diwan frequently occurs as the equivalent of Dogana (op. cit., pp. 76, 88, 90, 91).

1 It is said (July 1866) that the Italian Government is about to issue

copper tokens to represent the different silver coins current in the kingdom (Absit omen !)

2 I considered that the passages referred to in Note A showed sufficiently the sense in which Ibn Batuta uses the terms tangah and dinar, and also that the tangah was equal to ten dinars. But as there seems

some doubt about this I will here quote all the passages in which the terms are used so as to be of any value.

(I.) Tangah always means with Ibn Batuta a gold coin. Sometimes he calls it a gold dinar.

  1. Locality, Dehli. "The weight of the tangah in dinars of maghrib is two dinars and a half" (i, 293).

  2. Locality, Sind. " The lak is 100,000 dinars, and this is equal to