Sri Lanka/Ceylon Bronze Queen Lilavati

Metal:
State:
Sri Lanka/Ceylon             
Issue year(s):
1197

Person:
Queen Lilavati             


Untitled Document

1197-1211, Sri Lanka/Ceylon, Queen Lilavati. Beautiful Bronze Kahavanu Coin.


Reference: Mitchiner 837-839. 

Denomination: Bronze Kahavanu

Mint Period: 1197-1200 / 1209-1211

Material: Bronze

Diameter: 20mm

Weight: 4.24gm


Obverse: Seated King beneath legend in right field.

Legend: "Sri Raja Lilavati."


Reverse: Standing king with ancillary symbols.


 


Queen Lilavati (reigned 1197–1200, 1209–10, and 1211–12) was the second woman in Sri Lankan history to rule as sovereign in her own right. Lilavati rose to prominence as the wife of Parakramabahu I, king of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Being of royal descent herself, she then ruled as sole monarch on three different occasions in the near-anarchy following Parakramabahu’s death, with the backing of various generals. The primary source for her life is the Culavamsa, specifically chapter LXXX.


It is known that Lilavati was the daughter of Sirivallabha and his wife Sugala, and that she had a brother, also called Manabharana. She would have met her future husband when still young as Parakramabahu was her cousin, the son of her uncle Manabharana of Dhakkinadesa. Following his death, Kittisrimegha ascended to the throne of Dhakkinadesa, and Manabharana’s family came to live with Sirivallabha in Ruhuna. It is not known at what point she married Parakramabahu.


Lilavati’s family – in particular her brother Manabharana of Ruhuna (who was married to both of Parakramabahu’s sisters, Mitta and Pabhavati), and the Queen Mother, Sugala – had a very difficult relationship with Parakramabahu. Manabharana fought against Parakramabahu on several occasions,  whilst Sugala “had not a mind capable of reflection and was inclined herself by nature to evil”. It is not known what role Lilavati played in the complex scheming between them.


The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa  (Sinhala: පොළොන්නරුව රාජධානිය, romanized: Polonnaruwa Rājādhaniya) was the Sinhalese kingdom that expanded across the island of Sri Lanka and several overseas territories, from 1070 until 1232. The kingdom started expanding its overseas authority during the reign of Parakramabahu the Great.


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Posted by: anonymous  2024-01-28
Untitled Document 1197-1211, Sri Lanka/Ceylon, Queen Lilavati. Beautiful Bronze Kahavanu Coin. Reference: Mitchiner 837-839. Denomination: Bronze Kahavanu Mint Period: 1197-1200 / 1209-1211 Condition: A nice XF with greenish deposits (verdigris) in fields! Material: Bronze ...

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