Seal of Khingila

Seal of Khingila
Seal of Khingila.jpg
Seal with Bactrian legend:
Eshkiggilo rōkano xoēo (Bactrian script).jpg
"Companion of the God of War"[1]
MaterialGarnet cabochon gem
Size22.8 mm high, 19.4 mm wide, 5.9 mm thick[2]
WritingBactrian language
Created5th-6th century CE
Seal of Khingila is located in West and Central Asia
Seal of Khingila
Location of the region of Bactria, to which the seal belongs.

The Seal of Khingila is an historical seal from the region of Bactria, on southern Central Asia. The seal was published recently by Pierfrancesco Callieri and Nicholas Sims-Williams.[3][4] It is now in the private collection of Mr. A. Saeedi (London).[2] Kurbanov considers it as a significant Hephthalite seal.[5] It has also been considered as intermediate between the Kidarites and the Hephthalites.[6]

The seal has a Bactrian language inscription mentioning the ruler "Eshkingil", with the title xoadeo ("Lord", "King"), and has been dated to the 5th-6th century CE,[4] or to the first half of the 5th century CE.[2] The legend, deciphered by Nicholas Sims-Williams, reads:

Eshkiggilo rōkano xoēo (Bactrian script).jpg

εϸκιγγιλο (...) (ρ)ωκανο χοηο
eškiggilo (...) (r)ōkano xoēo
"Eškiŋgil, Lord of (Ga)rokan"[7]

— Legend on the seal.[2]

The complete reading may be "Eshkingil, lord of (the people) such-and-such" or "Eshkingil, son of so-and-so, the lord".[2] "Eshkingil" (Eshkiggilo (Bactrian script).jpg, εϸκιγγιλο, Eškiŋil) may be a title consisting in the Turkic prefix Eš- meaning “comrade, companion of” and "-kenglu", the sacred sword and god ("Kenglu-shen") worshipped by the Xiongnu, so that "Eškiŋgil" could be a Hunnic name or title meaning “Companion of the Sword”, or even "Companion of the God of War".[8][1]

The seal may also have belonged to the Alchon Hun ruler Khingila, who appears in his coinage with the Bactrian legend Xiggilo Alxono (Bactrian script).jpg (χιγγιλο αλχοννο "Khiggilo Alchono"), or another ruler of the same name.[4] A Turk Shahi ruler of Kabul is also known in Arab sources as Khinkhil or Khinjil, who, according to Al-Yakubhi, gave his submission to Al-Mahdi in 775–785.[9] A ruler Khingila is also mentioned in the dedication of the Gardez Ganesha. The identity of this Khingala is uncertain.[10]

It is not certain however if the title "Eshkingil" should be equated with the name "Khingila", and the linguistic evolution from "Khingila" to "Eškiŋil" is problematic.[1]

The figure in the seal wears what is called a "tulip headdress", a type of headdress well known in Bactria from the time of the Kidarites (4th century CE), to the time of the Turks (6th century) and beyond.[11]

Sources

  • Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2002) 'The Bactrian inscription on the seal of Khingila.' Silk Road Art and Archaeology, vol. 8. pp. 143–148

References

  1. ^ a b c DE LA VAISSIÈRE, ÉTIENNE (2003). "Is There a "Nationality of the Hephtalites"?". Bulletin of the Asia Institute. 17: 129. ISSN 0890-4464.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kurbanov, Aydogdy (2013). "Some information related to the Art History of the Hephthalites". Isimu. 16: 106, note 42.
  3. ^ Callieri (2002) "The Bactrian Seal of Khingila." Silk Road Art and Archaeology 8
  4. ^ a b c ALRAM, MICHAEL (2003). "Three Hunnic Bullae from Northwest India" (PDF). Bulletin of the Asia Institute. 17: 179, and note 22. ISSN 0890-4464.
  5. ^ Kurbanov, Aydogdy (2014). "THE HEPHTHALITES: ICONOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS" (PDF). Tyragetia. VIII: 319–320, page 320 note 1.
  6. ^ "Particularly important is the seal of Khiṅgila, where the portrait of the seated king is accompanied by a Bactrian inscription giving the name of this Hunnish leader, whose chronological position between Kidarites and Hephthalites is confirmed by an analysis of iconography and style (Callieri, 2002)" in Callieri, Pierfrancesco. "SEALS AND SEALINGS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org.
  7. ^ Lerner, Judith A. Observations on the Typology and Style of Seals and Sealings from Bactria and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, in Coins, Art and Chronology II. The First Millennium CE in the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, eds., M. Alram, D. Klimburg-Salter, et al. (Vienna: ÖAW, 2010): 245-266. p. 255, note 57.
  8. ^ Kurbanov, quoting Étienne de la Vaissière (2003) "Is There a “Nationality of the Hephthalites”", p.129 in Kurbanov, Aydogdy (2014). "THE HEPHTHALITES: ICONOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS" (PDF). Tyragetia. VIII: 319–320, page 320 note 1.
  9. ^ KUWAYAMA, Shoshin (1999). "Historical Notes on Kapisl and Kabul in the Sixth-Eighth Centuries" (PDF). ZINBUN. 34: 44.
  10. ^ Dhavalikar, M. K. (1971). "A Note on Two Gaṇeśa Statues from Afghanistan" (PDF). East and West. 21 (3/4): 331–336. ISSN 0012-8376. JSTOR 29755703.
  11. ^ Lerner, Judith A. Observations on the Typology and Style of Seals and Sealings from Bactria and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, in Coins, Art and Chronology II. The First Millennium CE in the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, eds., M. Alram, D. Klimburg-Salter, et al. (Vienna: ÖAW, 2010): 245-266. p. 249.
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