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0624 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 624 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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I had almost forgotten this guess when to my surprise, more than three years later, it was

confirmed by the close examination which M. l'Abbé Boyer was kind enough to make of the inscription from my photographs and tracing. According to the detailed observations which he has furnished on the decipherment and interpretation of this record in his paper Inscriftlions de Miran,1 the three lines have to be transcribed as reading :

tilasa esâ ghali

haslakrica [bhamma]ka

3 woo

and translated as meaning : ` This fresco is [the work] of Tita, who has received 3,000 Bharnmakas [for it].' The only elements of doubt which might possibly affect this rendering arise from the crack of the plaster which passed through the first two Aksaras of the word [bhamma]ka, and from the absence of textual confirmation for the meaning piece of money ' given by Indian lexicographers for the Sanskrit term bharman, of which it appears to represent the correct phonetic derivative. But, as duly pointed out by M. Boyer, the clearness of the numerals following and of the preceding word hastakrica, i. e. Skr. haste krtya ` having received ', makes it certain that the word in question, even if it should be read and derived differently, must designate some monetary value.

The real interest of this curious little inscription lies, however, elsewhere than in its probable mention of the painter's wages ; for if we accept M. Boyer's interpretation—and to me its critical soundness appears to be beyond doubt—I can feel no hesitation about recognizing in tita, which is the painter's name inflected as a genitive, the familiar Western name of ` Titus '. Tita- is a noun form which we could not etymologically or phonetically explain as an indigenous growth in any Indian or Iranian language at the period marked by the ruined Miran temples. On the other hand, the analogy of many Greek and other foreign names borrowed by ancient India from the West proves that Tita is the very form which we should expect the name ` Titus ' to assume in the Sanskrit or Prakrit adopted for official and clerical use in a.Central-Asian region far beyond the Indian border.2

There is sufficient evidence to prove that Titus was, during the early centuries of our era, in popular use as a personal name throughout the Roman provinces of the Near East, including Syria and other border regions towards Persia.3 Recent archaeological discoveries in India have made it equally clear that men with good classical names, like the Agesilaos named on Kaniska's Peshawar relic casket, Theodoros, and Heliodoros,4 found employment as artists and royal servants, not in the Indus region alone but far away in the Indian peninsula, down to the times of Kusana rule. This practice, whatever the obscurities of its early chronology may be, can safely be assumed to have extended in the border lands of India and Iran down to the third century A.D., if not later. That the date of the Miran temples cannot be far removed from the end of this period has been made sufficiently obvious already by all the archaeological and epigraphical evidence that we have had occasion to discuss above.

The wall-paintings of these temples bear particularly eloquent testimony to the strength and

   1 See Inscriptions de Miran, par M. A.-M. Boyer, journal   indiscriminately with l to render a Greek I. Cf. e. g. the

Asiat., mai—juin r 9 r 1.   confusion of dentals and cerebrals in Dardic' languages.

   2 It•must be borne in mind that the transcription of Titus   Cf., e.g., GLL., ln. p. 2415 (Index). As regards the

   into *Ma was in this case not likely to have been introduced   use of the name in Palestine during the early Christian cen-

   from an Indian-speaking region, but was adopted on the spot   turies Dr. A. Cowley refers me to the Jerusalem Talmud.

   among a population to which the definite distinction between   ' Cf. Sir J. Marshall's paper, Archaeological Exploration

   dentals and cerebrals was as foreign as it is to Europeans.   in India, 1908-9, J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 1058, with Indian

   Even in names undoubtedly transcribed among Indian-speak   Antiquary, 1908, p. 66, regarding Thaïdôra as a reproduc-

   ing people of the North-west border lands we find / used   tion of the name Theodoros.

M. Boyer's interpreta- tion of record.

Painter's name Tita, i.e. Titus.

Classical names met in India.

Influence of Hellenistic art of Near East.