The identity of Prakāśāditya
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Citation (published version)P Tandon. 2017. "The Identity of Prakāśāditya." XV International Numismatic Congress Taormina 2015 Proceedings. XV International Numismatic Congress. Taormina, Sicily, 2015-09-21 - 2015-09-23
This presentation summarized recent research that has solved a long-standing puzzle in ancient Indian history: the identity of the king who identifies himself on the reverse of his gold coins with the epithet prakāśāditya. Most authors have assumed Prakāśāditya to be a Gupta king. In contrast, Göbl 1990 suggested on stylistic grounds that Prakāśāditya was not a Gupta at all, but a Hun. However, for reasons that are not at all clear, most authors have continued to treat Prakāśāditya as a Gupta king. In any case, Göbl was unable to establish Prakāśāditya’s identity more specifically, speculating without any real evidence that he might have been the Hun king Toramāṇa. Thus the issue of his identity was still an open question. Part of the reason for the uncertainty around the identity of Prakāśāditya is that the obverse legend on his coins had not yet been read. Gupta coins generally carry an epithet or biruda of the king on the reverse, but his name is typically revealed in the obverse legend. The parts of the legend so far read on the obverse of Prakāśāditya’s coins had not contained any parts of his real name. In Tandon 2015, in presenting the first near-complete reading of the obverse legend of the coin, I established that Prakāśāditya was in fact Toramāṇa, as Göbl had speculated.