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A long torch.  Perhaps, more sepcifically, a long ceremonial torch made up of bundled sheaves of grain?  The term has fallen out of use, is often misunderstood, and is confusing.  The object does not appear to be related to Bacchus.  For clarity, the term bacchos should be avoided in numismatic descriptions. 

Coin Type: Bronze AE17 of Eleusis, 3rd Century BCE.
Size and Weight: c. 17 mm, c. 3.9 g
Obverse: Triptolemos seated left in a winged car drawn by serpents, holding corn ears.
Reverse: ELEYS above boar standing right on bacchos, scallop shell beneath.
Ref: SGCV I 2576 - 2576 var.

Sear (SGCV I 2574 - 2576) describes the reverse of the Eleusian coinage as a "boar standing on a bacchos" without any qualification as to the nature of the latter.

Newell 's Coinage of the Western Seleucid Mints Chapter IV introductory text, describes some Philip III issues of Aradus (now attributed to Babylon II mint) characterized by symbol that is a long torch, very similar to that on which the piglet stands on the reverse of the Eleusian coinage. This long torch is referred to by Newell in Greek text as a..... (bacchos?). Newell attaches a question mark to this Greek descriptor, indicating some uncertainty as to its validity.

It appears that the current popular description of the Eleusis bronze reverse in terms of a pig standing on "mystic staff" is incorrect. The item on which the pig stands is a long torch and this was understood in the early-mid twentieth century. Its identity seems to have bee lost in many recent numismatic catalogs that usually describe the problematic element of the reverse of this coin type as a "mystic staff." In the early twentieth century this long torch appears to have been considered to be most likely, though not certainly, to be a "bacchos" in ancient Greek.  As a descriptor of the item on the reverse of the coinage of Eleusis,  the term "bacchos" appears to generally have fallen out of use in the late twentieth century.

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