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Jochen
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« Reply #100 on: May 06, 2006, 06:13:54 pm »

Dido - founder of Carthage

The coin:

Phoenicia, Tyrus, Julia Maesa, grandmother of Elagabal, AD 218-222
AE 30, 9.05g
obv. IVLIA MAE - SA AVGV
bust, draped, diademed, r.
rev. TVRIORVM
Galley with ten oars going r. Shield on stern post. Ram of prow shaped as dolphin. Aboard Dido, draped, stg. l., holding cornucopiae in l. arm and sceptre(?) in outstretched r. hand. Left beside her a second figure, ducked, holding vessel(?). Right beside her sailor stg. with unidentified object. Below ship to the left Murex shell, to the right prawn l.
Ref. Rouvier 2408

The legend is Latin because Tyrus was a Roman colony. For the second figure, stg. left of Dido, I have no explanation. I would be happy for any information! The Murex snail left below the ship is one of the two snail species from which in ancient times was made the purple. At the first time Phoenicia has the monopoly to do that hence its immense wealth. For 1g purple were needed 10000 snails! Until now you can find at the beach of Sidon's southern harbour shells in the height of some meters. The name Phoenicia is derived from the Greek word 'phoinix' meaning purple. In its own language the country was called Kanaan (in the Bible too!).

The myth of Dido and Aeneas is one of the most famous and most tragic love stories of ancient times. Sadly to say that it is only a Roman fiction! Here we have what is known actually:

First we meet Dido at Timaios: She was called Greek Theiosso (never known from other sources), but Phoenician Elissa; Deido she was called in Libya because of her odyssey (Serv. auct. Aen. 1, 340; but 'Dido id est virago Punica lingua'). Dido was the daughter of Mutto, king of Tyrus (or Methres, ref. to Serv. Aen. 1, 343; or Belus, ref. to Verg. Aen. 1, 621), and the sister of Pygmalion. When she was married to her uncle (Acherbas ref. to Iust., or Sychaeus ref. to Verg.), Pygmalion killed him of greed. Dido fearing her brother took the treasuries of her husband and fled together with several nobelmen to Libya. When she was forced by her own people to marry the Libyan king Hiarbas (Iust.) or Iarbas (Verg.) to avoid a threatening war she entered a pyre and stabbed a digger in her heart. The excerpt of Timaios is considerable shortened, more detailed is Iust. 18, 4-6, and the well known story Verg. Aen. 1, 335-368 and 4, 1 ff.; also Serv. and Ap. Lib. 1 report it: all referring to Jacoby without direct dependency from Timaios, but a source couldn't found yet. Iustinus reports names, which are missed in the fragment of Timaios, and tells details: Dido escaped her brother by fraud, who by appeals of their mother and threat of the gods decided not to pursue her. She landed on Kypros, where 60 virgins - following old rules - were addicted to her companions and then were raped as ancestor mothers of Carthage (the number referring to the number of Carthagian noble families?). In Libya she bought so much land "as could be encircled by the skin of a cow, wheron she cut the skin to small stripes, from where the castle of Carthage was called Byrsa = skin". But more correct that seems to be 'Bosra', meaning Phoenician 'castle'. Carthago means Phoenician 'New Town'. It developed as we all know to the most powerful city in the Western part of the Mediterranean and outlasted even the decline of its mother-town Tyrus. This all occured at the end of the 9th century BC. Josephus put it in the year 860 BC.

Disputed is who has invented the encounter with Aeneas and the lovestory. Formerly it was suggested that it were the first two books of Naevius; recent authors agreed with new arguments. But others voted for an invention of Vergil due to the doubts of Heinze. Sadly we could not obtaine safety; the love and following hostility between Dido and Aeneas belongs rather to the reasons of the Punic-Roman antagonism, despite Vergil's excellent description. Statements like those of Macr. or Anth. Plan. 16, 151, Vergil has talked Dido down, should not be taken in account. Dido was the paradigm of faithfulness and was seen so long after Vergil too! And the art and impact of Vergil was much bigger than that of Naevius.

Pure speculation is the suggestion that Dido represents the Carthagian city-goddess Tanit (Dea caelestis).

Sources:
Der kleine Pauly
Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
Iustinus, Epitome
Timaios von Tauromenion
Vergil, Aeneis
Ovid, Metamorphosen

Attached I have a pic of the famous painting of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Death of Dido, from the midth of the 18th century. Today it is found in the Pushkin Museum of Arts in Moscow (copyright The Yorck Project).

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« Reply #101 on: May 07, 2006, 04:32:14 pm »

Now I got additional informations to the coin of Tyrus I want to share with you.

On the right side of Dido was a sailor, damaged by cleaning. The figure on the left of Dido is throwing a sack int the sea. And here is the background (Justinus, lib. XIII):

When Dido's brother Pygmalion has heard that Dido wanted to leave Tyros with all the treasures of her killed husband he sent some of his people to her which should accompany her on the voyage to New-Tyrus. When Dido together with these people entered the ship she forced them to throw sacks filled with sand over the railing into the sea. After done that she told them that these sacks were the sacks with the treasures. Fearing the punishment of their new king Pygmalion these people decided to leave Tyrus too and went with Dido to New-Tyrus.

Referring to this story I think the figure at the helm of the galley is throwing a sack filled with sand into the sea!

Additionally I have attached the pic of a murex shell (correct named Hexaplex trunculus), in the same position as depicted on the reverse. The pic is from the collection of Eric Feldhuis/The Netherlands.

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« Reply #102 on: May 14, 2006, 08:42:57 am »

The Minotaur

Jochen and Learned Colleagues,

I am intrigued by what seems to be a connection between numismatic portrayals of the Minotaur and Pablo Picasso and his art, in a word: ekphrasis.

As Laura Crimaldi notes in her article "Minotaur Central to Picasso’s Work," Boston Herald, 28 April 2006, "For Pablo Picasso, the Minotaur wasn’t just a mythical figure, it was how he often depicted himself in his work: as half man, half monster."

I am including two coins and a Picasso composition for comparison.  The first coin is SICILY: Gela. Ca. 450–440 BC. AR tetradrachm (17.21 gm). Slow quadriga right, Nike flying right above to crown horses, palmette and tendrils in exergue / CELAS, forepart of man-faced bull running right. Jenkins 351 (O67/R137).  The second coin is KNOSSOS (425-330 BC). Obverse device is a Minotaur; Reverse head of Ariadne, surrounded by a meander pattern representing the labyrinth (CNG; SG-3211).  The Picasso is one of a series the artist composed throughout his lifetime.  I saw it as part of a travelling exhibit in Mumbai in the Spring of 2002.  It fascinated me then, and comparing these stunning works of art enhances, for me, their individual power.



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« Reply #103 on: May 14, 2006, 05:22:27 pm »

Battos - the untrue herdsman

We have already talked about the birth of Hermes in this thread. Here we have a local myth playing at the first day after Hermes' birth, I came across when I browsed through my new AMNG. But first the coin:

Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Gordian III AD 238-244
AE 27, 12.74g
obv. AVT KM ANT G - ORDIANOC AVG (AV ligate)
      Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. VP CAB MODECTOV NIKOPOLEITWN PROC ICTRON
      Hermes, nude, standing left leaned forwards, r. arm with lowered kerykeion rested on
      knee placed on rock, l. arm enwinded with chlamys and l. hand with purse stemmed in
      his side
AMNG 2057
about VF

In a note Pick writes about this type:
The object on which the god has put his l. foot looks like the head of a bearded man r. on all specimens; I think I can recognize eye and nose and from my point of view it can't be by accident. We can't think of Argos here but the depiction could refer to the not so wide known myth of Battos who was transformed by Hermes to stone due to his betrayal. (Ovid Metam. 2, 680-707)
The type is derived probably from a greater work of art, a statue or a painting, as I have stated already in my introduction.

The myth (ref. to Hederich):
Battos, an Arcadian, has his residence on a high rock, called Battos' look-out. So he soon became aware of Hermes when he has stolen part of Apollon's cattle and has droven them through Arcadia. To avoid that he tells this to someone who perhaps was following him and would ask for the cattle Hermes forced him to swear not to betray him. But he didn't trust him, hid the cattle in the Prionic cave at the Koryphasius mountain, changed his shape und went back to Battos. Then he promised him a chlaena, a dress, if he would tell him wether he has seen some cattle droven by. Because Battos liked to get the dress and told him what he knew of the cattle Hermes hit him with his staff and turned him to stone. Nicander ap. Anson. Liberal. Metam. c.22.
Some are telling that he was a herdsman of Neleus and that he first got a cow as gift; when thereafter the disguised Hermes promised him a beautiful cow and a bull, so he has broken his vow and told him where the cattle was gone. Because of that the stone into which he was transformed was called 'indicis', that means 'stone of proof'. Ovid Metam. 2, 687.
Meanwhile others thought that Hermes has made him only mute so that he had to go to Delphi to ask Apollon for advice and help. Ap. Nat. Com. lib. V. c.5.

Background:
Battos was a Messenian herdsman serving for the Pylian Neleus. He saw Hermes droving by the stolen cattle of Apollon and for the gift of a cow vowed silence toward anyone:"sooner that stone will tell it". To try out his fidelity Hermes came back in another shape and promised him a bull if he show him the cattle. Batts broke his vow and as punishment was turned into a stone. Ant. Lib. 23, Ovid Metam. 2, 676-707.
This seems to be a folk tale which refers by playful etymology (battolegein = to babble) to the Battou skopiai (the look-out of Battos) in Arcadia. This perhaps was a locality distinguished by an echo.
Referring to Hom. h. 3, 87f 185ff. the betrayer was a not named old man from Onchetos.

Sources:
der kleine Pauly
Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
Ovid, Metamorphoses

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« Reply #104 on: May 24, 2006, 06:14:26 am »

As I said in an earlier thread, I cautiously 'like' Hermes, in part because he is a"minor" patron of both poetry and thieves.

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« Reply #105 on: May 25, 2006, 02:41:03 pm »

Kadmos - Founder of Thebes

The coin:
Phoenicia, Sidon, Trajan, AD 98-117
AE 24, 8.72g
struck year 227 of Sidonian era = AD 116/7
obv. [AVTO NER] TRAIA[NW KAI CE]
bust, laureate, r.
rev. [SIDWNOS NAV] - ARXIDOS
Kadmos, nude to hips, stg. l. on prow, head r., pointing l. with outstretched r. hand; according to his mythology I think he is pointing to Greece while looking back to Sidon.
in l. field LZKS (retrograde for 227)
BMC 218; SNG Copenhagen 252; Lindgren-Kovacs 2329
rare, F+, green-red patina
(missed legend parts completed according to Seasr GIC 1087)

Mythology:
Kadmos was the son of the Phoenician king Agenor, son of Poseidon and Libye, and his wife Telephassa. His sister was Europa and his brothers Phoinix and Kilix. After Zeus has raped Europa in the shape of a bull, he was send out together with his brothers to search for Europa and to bring her home or never come back again. So he and his mother and some people of Sidon entered a ship and started the search. He strayed around the eastern Mediterranean and visited many islands. Drifted to Rhodos by a heavy storm he erected a temple for Poseidon. He came to Thera too, to Crete and Samothrace and everywhere he built temples. Finely he came to Thracia, where Telephassa died. Because he nowhere heard of  Europa he went to Delphi to ask the oracle. Apollo answered he should stop asking for Europa but should follow the cow which would lead him and build a town where the cow would lie down.

Kadmos followed the cow to Boiotia where she laid down and so pointed the place to build the town. But when he wanted to sacrify the cow to Athena and sent his men to get water from the spring of Ares they were killed and devoured by a huge dragon. That happened to others too. Hereupon Kadmos killed the dragon in a fight. Athena advised him to sow the teeth of the dragon on a field. After doing that a mass of armoured warriors rose from the earth and started to struggle against each other. All were killed except five. These - the so-called 'Spartoi' - became the ancestors of the subsequent Thebanians. He for himself had to serve one year as slave for Ares to expiate the murder of the dragon which was a son of Ares. This fight is said to happened at the Castalic spring. Furthermore Boiotia should have its name from this cow because cow in Greek is BOVS. Kadmos built at this place the castle Kadmeia which later became the city of Thebes (Homer called it the 'seven-gated Thebes' in contrary to the 'hundred-gated Thebes' in Egypt). The Ilias therefore called the Thebanians Kadmeioi.

Kadmos is said too to have brought the Phoenician alphabet to Greece. It is the alphabet which the Greek still used today and from which the Latin alphabet is derived too. He should have introduced the cult of Dionysos to Greece and he is said to be the inventor of the art of forging which was first done at the Pangaios mointain in Thracia.

The begin of his reign was very happy. Athena has provided him the castle and the town, and Zeus gave him Harmonia as wife, his daughter with Elektra (regarding to others the daughter of Ares with Aphrodite). This was a splendid marriage. All gods were aboard and make a present. Apoll and the Muses made the music. But then his fate turned into misfortune!

He has one son and four daughters. His son Polydoros was his successor to the throne. His first daughter was Semele who by Zeus gave birth to Dionysos but then was killed by his thunderbolt (see article in this thread). His second daughter was Ino who was forced by her mad husband to jump with her son Melikertes over the cliffs into the sea (see article in this thread). The third daughter was Autonoe who has with Aristaios the son Aktaion who was disrupted by his own dogs. The last one was Agaue, wife of Echion, who in furiousness ruptured her own son Pentheus.

After all that bad luck Kadmos and Harmonia left Thebes and went to Illyria where he helped the Encheleerians(?) in their war against the Illyrians and became king of Illyria thereafter. Shortly after that Kadmos and Harmonia were turned by Zeus into snakes and put to the Elysian Fields.

The reason for all the terrible desaster of his family was Hera who wanted to avange the infidelity of her husband Zeus who had betrayed her with Europa, sister of Kadmos, and then with his daughter Semele.

Some background:
The name Kadmos can be derived from Phoenician 'Cadam', meaning 'the morning'. Then Kadmos would be the man from the morning, man from the East. In Thebes recently are found 36 Babylonian cylinder seals - besides important cretic-mycenian art work -, so that a strong orientalic impact in Kadmeia is proofed.
Essential is the connection with Illyria at the end of his life where a local cult site is incorporated into the myth of Kadmos. At the end of Euripides' Bacchoi Dionysos predicts that Kadmos and Harmonia would go by a bull chariot in the shape of snakes to a strange people; as leader of this people he would campaign against Hellas until Delphi was sacked; then this people would come to an evil end, but Kadmos and Harmonia leaded by Zeus would enter the land of the blessed. The transformation into snakes means heroisation and is identical to translation to Elysium. Therefore Ovid (Met. 4, 562ff.) put it to the end of his life but as punishment for killing the dragon. Why Kadmos left Thebes is told differently. That he has helped the Enchelleerians(?) is told by Apollodor. Referring to him he has a late son, Illyrios. The graves of Kadmos and Harmonia were shown near Epidamnos.
The Greek 'Kadmeia nike' was used in the same way as our Pyrrhic Victory. It is known from Herodot and Plato.
Alltogether Kadmos was seen as important bringer of culture to the Greek. They were well aware that their scripture was from the East and that the workmanship of iron came from the East too. A funny interpretation of the struggle of the teeth-borne warriors is from Alkias: He suggested that the warriors actually were scholars who have originated from the brought letters (the teeth of the dragon!) and since that time were bashing their heads!

The history of Thebes in mythology is a chain of desasters. I remind on the myth of Eteokles and Polydeikes and the myth of the Seven against Thebes and the following myth of the Epigones.

This is true for the real history of Thebes too. By the unfortunate politicy of its rulers here also one misfortune follows the other until the city was totally destroyed by Alexander the Great and the inhabitants were sold as slaves. To see these parallels between mythology and history is very weird!
 
Art history:
In ancient times the fight between Kadmos and the dragon was a favourite subject which was depicted several times on vases. Here we have the red-figured picture of a crater found near  Paestum from the time of 360-340 BC attributed to Python. It is now in the Louvre. We see Kadmos holding a Hydria in front of the dragon of the Ismenic spring near Thebes. He is accompanied by Harmonia on the left side. On the right side Ismene is standing, the Najad of this spring.
 
Sources:
Hederich, Gründliches Mythologisches Lexikon
Der kleine Pauly, Kadmos and Thebai
Ovid, Metamorphoses

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« Reply #106 on: May 26, 2006, 08:14:42 am »

In an interesting variation on the fate of Kadmos (Ovid's Metamorphoses) the story goes:  Kadmos (Cadmus) was so upset by the 'bad luck' that hounded him since his slaying of the serpent, that he declared that if the gods loved serpents so much, why not transform him into one.  Well, we know what happened; he began to grow scales and change in form. Harmonia, his devoted wife, seeing this metamorphosis, pleaded with the gods to transform her as well.

In yet another variation of this story, Cadmus and his wife were changed after their deaths (perhaps they found some respite in Illyria after all).  The serpents watched their tomb until their spirits made their trip to the Elysian fields.

I have two coins, the reverse of which, depict Kadmos.  I've also included a work of art on display in New York.

The coins:  Gallienus, Æ28 of Tyre in Phoenicia. IMP C P LIC GALLIENVS AVG, Radiate draped bust right / COL TYRO MET, Kadmos, right arm raised, battling serpent.

Elagabalus Æ 30mm of Phoenicia, Tyre. Laureate, draped bust right / Kadmos running right; murex below. Lindgren III 1471.

The art: a montage of several photos of a vase.  K28.2 KADMOS & THE DRAKON

Museum Collection: Metropolitan Museum, New York City, USA
Catalogue Number: New York 07.286.66
Beazley Archive Number: 207136
Ware: Attic Red Figure
Shape: Krater, calyx
Painter: Attributed to the Spreckels Painter
Date: ca 450 BC
Period: Classical

SUMMARY

Kadmos arrives at the sacred Ismenian spring with a jug (hydria) to collect water for libations. He casts a stone at the guardian serpent (drakon). Beside the spring sits Ismene, the local Naias Nymphe, or Harmonia, daughter of Ares, the future wife of the hero. Two gods, Athene and Ares, stand on each side, one in support of the hero, the other of the serpent.

See: http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/K28.2.html

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« Reply #107 on: May 28, 2006, 11:09:11 am »

Darzalas - The Great God of Odessos

Today I want to present one of the most mysterious gods of the Greek mythology, the Great God of Odessos Darzalas. Actually he is more a Thracian god. But very few is known about him. Here is what I could find out. But first three related coins:

1st coin
Thracia, Odessos, Septimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 27, 9.9g
obv. AV KL CEP - CEVHR
  • C P
        bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. O - DHCCE - ITWN
       The Great God of Odessos, in himation, stg. l., holding cornucopiae and sacrifying
       from phiale over altar l.
AMNG cf. 2260 (here gorgoneion on breastplate); SNG Copenhagen 672 var.
note: The great God still without kalathos!

2nd coin:
Thracia, Odessos, Gordian III & the Great God, AD 238-244
AE 27, 11.31g
obv. AVT KM ANT GORDIANOC / AVG
       Confronted busts of Gordian III, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r., and the Great
       God, in himation and with kalathos, l., with cornucopiae over l. shoulder
rev. OD - HCC - EITWN
       Demeter, veiled, with peplos over long chiton, stg. l., holding corn-ear and puppy
       in r. hand and torch (or sceptre?) in l. hand
       E in r. field (for pentassarion)
AMNG 2337 (only 1 ex. in London)
note: Demeter too is a chthonic deity!

3rd coin:
Thracia, Odessos, Gordian III and the Great God, AD 238-244
AE 27, 11.40g
struck probaly AD 238
obv. AVT M ANT GORDIANOC / AG
       Confronted busts of Gordian III, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r., and the Great
       God, in himation and with kalathos, l., with cornucopiae over l. shoulder
rev. ODHC - C - EITWN     
      Prize-crown, decorated with zigzag-lines, inscribed with 'DARZALEIA'; two
      palm-branches coming out the opening
      E in the field below (for pentassarion)
AMNG 2371 (2 ex.)
note: The DARZALEIA were the games in honour of the Great God (Pick, AMNG,
        p.526 ff.)

The Thracians in ancient times inhabitant the regions from north of Greece to the Lower Danube. They were consisted of numerous particular nations. The most famous  were the Odryses. The most important of the mountain people were the Besses, the last conquered by the Romans. The Moesi were the remainders of the Mysi which emigrated to Asia Minor. On both sides of the Lower Danube settled the Geti. They populated too parts of the Aegaeis and parts of Asia Minor. So f.e. Samothrace was Thracian shown already by its name. Herodot writes (Herodot, Hist. 5,3) that the Thracians after the Indians were the greatest people on earth. But they never succeeded in founding an empire for its own because they were at odds with each other and were at war with one another very often. However they had the same language and their conventions were all the same. They all were ruled by priest kings.

The connections between the Greek and the Thracians were very close in both directions. Orpheus and Museios were Thracians. Dionysos (Thracian dios = Zeus, nysos = son) has his origin probably at the phrygian Thracians, came to the european Thracians and then slowly spread to Greece  in the 8th century BC. Asklepios too was a Thracian (Thracian as = snake, klepi = to entwine a staff). But it was true in the other direction too. The Thracian gods were named referring to Greek gods. The Thracian kings derived their origin from Hermes. The Thracian Mother Goddess Bendis, mentioned by Herodot and Platon was called the Thracian Artemis. In the Thracian pantheon she was regarded as Great Goddess and probably the Thracian kings were hold as her sons. This is supported by the names Teres and Kotys  of several kings and which were actually derived from the epitheta Tereia and Kotyto of Artemis.

Most of the Thracian deities were of chthonic nature. They were earth and fertility deities with strong relations to the underworld. The most important difference between Greek and Thracian religion was their belief in a life after death. This was absolut weird to the Greek. But their belief was so strong that it was told the Thracians had joyfully celebrated the death but had wept at the birth of a child. This faith was the reason too for the dreaded courage of the Thracian horsemen who didn't take care for their lifes in fight. This could be a reason too that the Christian belief was not strange to them and fell on fertile ground, so that their own religion died off in the 4th century AD.

On top of the Thracian pantheon stood the 'Thracian Rider', who is depicted on many coins. He was rather a symbol of god as creator of all earthly than the personification of a particular deity. The horse was regarded as holy to the Thracians and gods like Apollon, Dionysos, Asklepios and Ares were depicted as horsemen too. So Greek deities were melted with Thracians beliefs. This happened especially in Hellenistic and Roman times in the Greek cities of the Pontos (Black Sea), the Aegaeis and the Propontis (Sea of Marmara). The cults of Isis and Serapis exclusively spread at the coast whereas the inland mainly stayed Thracian.

This was true especially for the 'Great of God of Odessos Darzalas'. Darzalas was one of the more important deities of the Thracians and under this name became the main god of Odessos, todays Varna in Bulgaria. So he kept his old Thracian name. He was a underworld and fertility god, was called just 'Great God (= Megas Theos)' as well or only 'God'. Today it is discussed wether there was an impact of the Jewish diaspora too. He was similar to the Greek Serapis in his appearance. So it could be that the same god was warshipped by the Thracians as Darzalas and by the Greek as Serapis or Zeus. The analogy between them was great. Both were depicted as older men full-bearded, with flowing hair and wearing himation. In the Roman Imperial time at least from Septimius Severus on the Great God got the kalathos (lat. modus) too. This similarity of look is the reason that both often are not differentiated in coin descriptions today. But the typical attribute of the Great God is the cornucopiae never found in Serapis! Sometimes it is difficult to recognize it on the coin obverse because it extends to the legend.

The history of development of both gods is very different. Serapis is an artificial deity created by Ptolemy I because of political and religious-political reasons. He mixed together elements of the Egypt death god Osiris-Apis with the Zeus-shaped ruler of the world. The Great God in contrast, the syncretisation of a Thracian god with Greek beliefs, developed in a natural wise over a long time. At first Megas Theos occured on coins of the 3rd century BC in the shape of a rider. Here we find another melting process with the Thracian rider hero. The name Megas Theos we see on a tetradrachm of the 2rd century BC.

Sadly very few is known of its cult. It was a combination of Greek and Thracian ideas. At the height of its importance it was surely connected to the belief in a life after death and healing. It was widely spread over the people of Thracia and Moesia inferior and people of all social levels and all ethnics belong to its devotees. At this time a temple was built in Istrion too and coins were struck with his image at Tomis, Markianopolis and Dionysopolis too. As we know there was never a mystery cult with secret communities and hierarchies.

The priests of the Great God have played an important role in Odessos. His Highpriest was the president of the assemblage of the citizens. In honour of Darzalas games were organized at the time of Gordian III, the so-called DARZALEIA, a name found on a coin of Odessos. These games took place in AD 238 probably in the presence of the emperor (Pick, AMNG, p.528).

(will be continued)
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« Reply #108 on: May 28, 2006, 11:13:05 am »

(continued)

I have attached the pic of a grave of Asklepios, a priest of Darzalas, now in the Regional Museum of History in Varna. It was found in Odessos and shows him together with his wife Ani and two of their slaves. The inscription says, that he was one of the distinguished citizens: he was a "senior town's doctor" and a priest of the Great God Darzalas, a gymnasiarchos and a bearer of a number of honourable titles. The elements of a full armament are shown below the relief: a round shield with a horse's head and a spear showing behind it, a helmet, a sword with a leather strap, greaves. This too proofs the close connection between Darzalas and the Thracian Rider. So, referring to Pudill,  the Great Gott of Odessos Darzalas is the outstanding example for continuity of cults and syncretism in Thracia.

Sources:
Der kleine Pauly, Thrakien
Pick, AMNG I/1
Rainer Pudill, The Great God of Odessos Darzalas, Celator 10/15, Okt. 2001
http://www.kroraina.com/thracia/hb/thrac_hero.html (for the grave)

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« Reply #109 on: May 30, 2006, 06:19:45 am »

Jochen,

Once again I have to say that your post in very interesting.  I bet I have said that five or six times recently, but it is the truth.  I had never heard of Darzalas before your post.  The only thing I have to offer derives from research at WILDWINDS.

Odessus was an ancient Thracian town, at the present location of Varna, dating back to 560 B.C., and was an important trade, agricultural, craft and cultural center. The Greeks adopted the deity Darzalas, the ''great god'' of the northern Thracian tribe called the Getai, as their own great god (Theos Megas), and minted coins bearing Darzalas's likeness, similar in design to the Greek god Kronos riding a horse. Coinage of Odessus was issued for some seven centuries.
See: http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:V0mcKyQZD80J:www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/commodus/_odessos_AE25_Moushmov_1592.txt+Darzalas+coins&hl=en&gl=th&ct=clnk&cd=5

Here is a description of an interesting coin whose reverse depicts Darzalas (Herous, Kronos):  Thrace, Odessos Æ20. ca 200 BC. Laureate head of Zeus right / Herous, the Rider God of Odessos, riding right on high stepping horse, cloak flying behind him, EL below, ODHSITWN in ex.
See: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/thrace/odessos/i.html

Cheers, Jim (Cleisthenes)
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« Reply #110 on: June 03, 2006, 03:12:25 pm »

Melqart-Herakles

Here is the new coin:

Phoenicia, Tyre, Trajan AD 98-117
AR - Tetradrachm, 13.96g, 24mm
struck year 17 (IZ) = AD 112/13
obv. AVTOKR KAIC NER TRAIANOC CEB GERM DAK
bust, laureate, r.; club behind, eagle beneath
rev. DHMARC - EX IZ VPAT S
bust of Melqart, laureate, r., lion's skin tied around neck
Prieur 1517

And here the information:

Melqart as *mlk-qrt 'King of the City' originally was the City God of Tyre. So he appears already as 'Mi-il-qa-tu' in the list of vow gods in the treaty of Asarhaddon with Baal of Tyre. But the oldest reference we have is an Aramaic inscription of Barhadad found in Bredsch in Northern Syria. Probably there was a trinity between Melqart, Baal and Astarte, the female synhedros of the two.

The cult of Melqart then spread out to Arados, Kition, Thasos, Sicily and Sardinia, Spain (Gades, today Cadiz, was a centre of his worshipping), probably Etruria and especially Northern Africa. In Carthage Melqart was one of the main gods even though his name was seldom found on inscriptions. But he is named as Herakles in a treaty between Hannibal and Philipp V of Makedonia. So it must be assumed that everywhere where in later times a Herakles-likeness was worshipped originally a Melqart cult was established! Alexander Severus introduced the cult of Melqart from Leptis Magna to Rome.

Yet unexplained is the sphere of action of Melqart. His temples were without idols or statues of deities. Worshipped were stone columns, often in duplicate. I remind of the two ambrosial rocks which played an import role in the founder myth of Tyre. On his altars eternal fires were burning. But because he is depicted on coins as riding on a hippocampus he is hold as a Sea God too, in contrast to Baal who as is generally known was a Mountain God. So Melqart was a Sailor God too and was worshipped on promontories; f.e. as rs-mlqrt 'Cape of Melqart' = Herakleia Minoa on Sicily.

The Phoenicians were masters of architecture. The Melqart temple in Tyre was highly praised by Herodot, at his time already called temple of Herakles. This temple was in its time the most important architectural monument of the Eastern Mediterranean. King Hiram of Tyre sent a trade mission to David; he provided him with cedar logs and with stonemasons and carpenters to build a palace. (1. Chronicles 1:1). King Salomon sent for masters builders of Tyre for building the temple in Jerusalem for him. So the famous temple of Salomon (the so-called 1st temple) probably was a copy of the Melqart temple in Tyre. This temple showed 2 big columns, one made of gold the other made of precious stones, which were called 'Columns of Melqart'. That name later was assigned to the Rock of Gibraltar too and then altered to 'Columns of Herakles'. By the way the name Gibraltar is derived from Tarek ibn Ziyad, conquerer of Spain AD 711, as 'Dschebel al Tarik' = Rock of Tarik.

Today it is assumed tat Melqart originally was a manifestation of the Phoenician god of vegetation. That is affirmed by reports that at first Hiram of Tyre has made a 'raising (greek egersis) of Herakles' (Menander at Ios. ant. Iud. 8, 5, 3) in the month of Peritios (= Febr./March). Variationally Eudoxos of Knodos reports that Herakles was killed by Typhon (= Baal Hammon?) during a journey through Libya, but then resuscitated by Iolaos using the smell of quails.

Like many other Syrian gods Melqart - as Herakles too - later gets features of the Sun God. On coins therefore his symbols are eagle and lion. At the coin shown here the melting with Herakles is finished: He too bears the lion's skin and the club.

Wether Melqart is identical with Moloch the infamous god of the Old Testament to whom children were sacrified is discussed controversial. But it is known that in these times human sacrifices were widely spread, see Abraham who was ready to sacrifice his son Isaak to Jahwe. In contrast Melikertes who was highly venerated in Corinth (look at the contribution in this thread) was probably identical with Melqart. It is known that there were colonies of Phoenicians in Greece, who naturally have taken along their religious cults.

Sources: 
Der kleine Pauly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melqart
http://phoenicia.org/  (Highly recommended to all interested in the Phoenicians!)
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/spqr (Pic of the temple of Tyre)

I have attached a pic of the temple of Melqart as it is seen today.
 
Best regards
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« Reply #111 on: June 09, 2006, 04:10:34 pm »

Tyre and the Ambrosial rocks

The coin:
Phoenicia, Tyre, Elagabal AD 218-222
AE 27, 11.71g
obv. IMP CAES M AN- TONINVS AVG
       bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. TV - RI - O - RVM
      Two baetylic stones (the so-called 'Ambrosial rocks'), standing each on a base, between
      them Holy Oil-tree
      in ex: dog of Herakles, walking r., finding Myrex-shell
SNG Rughetti 2344; BMC Penivcia, pl. XLIV, 7 and p.cxli, para 2, citing a spec. from Berlin
rare, F (sadly!)
From Forum Ancient Coins, thank you!

Mythology:
The rev. of this coin refers to the founding myth of Tyre. It is reported in the 'Dionysiaka' by Nonnos of Panopolis. Here the Tyrian Herakles Astrochiton appears, a Light God and fire master in a star cloak on whose altar the thousand year old Phoenix is burning himself and
then regenerated resurges. This god reports of the 'Ambrosial rocks', which are floating on the sea. Between them entwined by a snake a mighty oil-tree was growing with an eagle which lives on its branches in an eyrie. A gorgeous bowl was there too - a precursor of the Holy Grail. All was enbedded in fire which didn't burn the branches or leafs. It is told of an oracle which commanded the first man on earth to built a ship, go to the floating rocks, and capture the eagle and sacrifice him. So he did. After that the two rocks grew together, stranded at the beach of Poenicia, and Tyre was founded on them.

Background:
Tyre was founded by Sidonian colonists 2000-3000 BC on two rocky islands in front of the coast of Phoenicia.The first historical documents are from around 1250 BC. Jesaja called Tyre correctly 'daughter of Sidon'. Soon it outflanked its mother by power and glory. It was called 'Queen of sea'. Actually king Hiram connected the two islands by heaping up with soil. Because of its wealth it soon attracted conquerors like Nebukadnezar who 13 years besieged it but without success. It was assumed to be impregnable because it was a fortress situated in the sea like St.Malo in Brittany. It was Alexander the Great who succeeded in conquering it. He built a causeway from the land to the island and so he took Tyre. This causeway was maintained so that Tyre (todays Sur in Libane) became a peninsula until now. The word 'Tyros' is derivated from the Pheonician 'tor', meaning rock (cp. Hebrew 'tzur'). The two Tyrian rocks could be two baetylic rocks too which stood in front of the temple of Melqart built by king Hiram and were worshipped in Tyre. Their name later was transferred to the rock of Gibraltar (look at the contribution to Melqart in this thread)

I have an additional question to the dog of Herakles which always appears in the description of this coin. I know Kerberos and then there was a dog of the herdsman in the adventure with Geryon which were killed by Herakles. But a dog as his companion I don't know. Anyone who can enlighten me? He would make me happy!

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« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2006, 01:13:23 pm »

Artemis Tauropolos and Iphigenia

I want to present here a coin whose mythological relations goes to the myths of the Atreids.

Macedonia, Amphipolis, Tiberius, AD 14-37
AE 22, 8.05g
obv. TI KAISAR SE - BASTOS (beginning lower right, to read upwards)
rev. AMFIPOLITWN (lower l. and r.)
      Artemis Tauropolos in long clothes sitting frontal and looking r., abdomen slightly
      turned r., on a bull, leaping r. with head turned frontal, raising with both hands a
      corner of her garment above the head so that it is inflated arched. (Description by
      Gaebler, AMNG III!)
AMNG III, 73 (1 ex. in Berlin); BMC 80; SNG ANS 169; RPC 1632; SGI 259
Very rare, about VF, nice green patina, bold portrait

The epitheton 'Tauropolos' comes from Euripides. Its meaning is not definitely clarified but it is general consensus that Artemis Tauropolos is identical to the Taurian Artemis, called Scythian Diana too. Tauria, land of the Tauri, is the todays Crimean peninsula, the ancient Taurian Chersonessos. How the Taurian Artemis came from the Crimean peninsula to Greece? This is told by Euripides in his famous tragedies 'Iphigenia in Aulis' and 'Iphigenia in Tauris'.

Mythology:

Iphigenia was the daughter of the Mycenian king Agamemnon and his wife Klytaimnestra. When the Greek armada was laying in the harbour of Aulis and was hindered by Artemis to sail, because Agamemnon has killed a hind of Artemis, the Greek ask Kalchas, the great seer, what to do. He gave order to the Greek to sacrify Iphigenia on an altar to mitigate the rage of Artemis. When Agamemnon enforcedly agreed Odysseus and Diomedes took Iphigenia to Aulis by the false pretences to betrouth her to Achilleus. In the very last moment Artemis exchanged her with a hind and abducted her to Tauria making Iphigenia to her priestress. One of her duties was to sacrify all strangers which were stranding at the coasts of the Taurian Chersonessos. Once she recognized between them her brother Orestes accompanied by Pylades who were ordered by the oracle of Delphi to bring the cult-statue of Artemis from Tauria to Greece. Iphigenia enabled them to get the statue and fled with them back to Greece.

Background:
The legends of the Taurian Artemis are mystical, and her worship was orgiastic and connected, at least in early times, with human sacrifices. According to the Greek legend there was in Tauris a goddess, whom the Greeks for some reason identified with their own Artemis. and to whom all strangers that were thrown on the coast of Tauris, were sacrificed (Eurip. Iph. Taur. 36). Iphigeneia and Orestes brought her image from thence, and landed at Brauron in Attica, whence the goddess derived the name of Brauronia (Paus. i. 23.9, 33.1, iii. 16, in fin.). The Brauronian Artemis was worshipped at Athens and Sparta, and in the latter place the boys were scourged at her altar in such a manner that it became sprinkled with their blood. This cruel ceremony was believed to have been introduced by Lycurgus, instead of the human sacrifices which had until then been offered to her (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Brauronia and Diamastigosis). Her name at Sparta was Orthia, with reference to the phallus, or because her statue stood erect. According to another tradition, Orestes and Iphigeneia concealed the image of the Taurian goddess in a bundle of brushwood, and carried it to Aricia in Latium.Iphigeneia, who was at first to have been sacrificed to Artemis, and then became her priestess, was afterwards identified with the goddess (Herod. iv. 103; Paus. i. 43.1), who was worshipped in some parts of Greece, as at Hermione, under the name of Iphigeneia (Paus. ii. 35.1). Some traditions stated, that Artemis made Iphigeneia immortal, in the character of Hecate, the goddess of the moon. A kindred divinity, if not the same as the Taurian Artemis, is Artemis tauropolos, whose worship was connected with bloody sacrifices, and who produced madness in the minds of men, at least the chorus in the Ajax of Sophocles, describes the madness of Ajax as the work of this divinity. In the legends about the Taurian Artemis, it seems that separate local traditions of Greece are mixed up with the legends of some Asiatic divinity, whose symbol in the heaven was the moon, and on the earth the cow.

Temples of the Artemis Tauropolos are found besides Brauron in the Cappadocian Kommana, on the Islands of Ikarion and Samos and in Amphipolis.

I have added a pic of the fresco from Pompeji from the 1st century AD. The most famous picture was a painting of Timanthes. Sadly it was lost. We know its description by Pliny the Elder. It is assumed that this fresco from Pompeji shows a reflex of the lost painting. We see the half-clothed Iphigenia dragged by Odysseus and Diomedes to the altar, at the right side the seer Kalchas is standing, at the left side Agamemnon veiled his head. Standing on the column left we see Artemis with two stags, coming to save Iphigenia.

Sources:
Der kleine Pauly
William Smith, A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873
Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
Irene Aghion/Claire Barbillon/Francois Lissarrague, Reclams Lexikon der antiken
           Götter und Heroen in der Kunst

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« Reply #113 on: June 27, 2006, 05:15:43 pm »

To avoid abstinence phenomen symptoms here another contribution:

The Lokrian Aias

We have talked in this thread about the Telamonian Aias some time before. Now here we have the other one, the Lokrian Aias, also called the Lesser Aias. But he is not less interesting than the Greater Aias. He is a famous example of human hybris.

The coin:
Lokris, Lokris Oputia, c.380-338 BC
AR - hemidrachm, 15mm, 2.4g
obv. Head of Demeter/Persephone (or Artemis/Arethusa?), wearing earring, necklace and
       wreath from corn-ears, l., so-called Euainetos type.
rev. [OPON - TIWN]
      Ajas, nude, except crested Corinthian helmet and shield, advancing r. with pulled out
      short sword, below spear laying.
Jenkins (1972) 266-7; Brett 959-961
Note: Euainetos was a famous die cutter from Syracuse c.400 BC. The obv. portrait imitates his style.

Mythology:
Aias was the son of king Oileus of Lokris at the Thessalian coast and his wife Eriopis. Therefore he was called the Lokrian Aias or Aias Oileus too. He was one of the suitors of Helena which then Paris took to Troy. That was the reason that he led the Lokrians in forty ships against Troy, where he distinguished himself as a fast runner and good spear shooter. Often he was fighting together with the great Telamonian. At the funeral games of Patroklos he proved as termagent; in the race with Odysseus Athena caused him to make a false step.
After the fall of Troy he tried to rape Kassandra, daughter of the Troyan king Priamos and priestress of Athena. During this attempt the palladium, the cult statue of Athena, to which Kassandra has fled, was overturned. Referring to others Aias has really dishonoured Kassandra. When the Greek by an advice of Odysseus wanted to stone him he fled to the altar and saved himself by a false oath accusing the witness Agamemnon as liar. But Agamemnon won in this conflict and Aias fled with his ship over the sea. To punish him Athena went to king Nauplios of Euboia and caused him to take revenge on the Greeks because they have stoned to death his son Palamedes on a perfidious machination of Odysseus. Nauplios lightened a beacon on reefs so that the ships of Aias were misdirected and shattered. Homer in contrast describes the ruin of Aias as work of Athena and Poseidon alone. As punishment Athena threw a thunderbolt of Zeus in his ship. When Poseidon saved him by a big wave to a cliff he - still being on the rock - started to vapor that he has escaped the sea against the will of the gods. There Poseidon with his trident split the cliff and Aias was pulled down in the deep. This is said to be happened at the Cephareian cliffs.   

Background:
Already in ancient times the double name was mentioned. Robert and v.d.Mühll assume, that the two Aias' have developed by doubling or forking of an original sole being; the case that divine saviors often appear paired (f.e. the Dioskurs) has stimulated the separation. By the Lokrians Aias was highly worshipped. In a battle they left a place free for him. When once a hostile military leader (Autoleon of Kroton) tried to use this free place to make a break-in into the lines of the Lokrians he got a heavy wound at his hip which would not heal until after an oracle he reconciled with the ghost of Aias. By the way there were hundreds of years special cultic relations between the Lokrians and the city of Ilion.

Art history:
We have about hundred Attic vase paintings which show the intrusiveness of Aias against Kassandra who has fled to the cult statue. On the oldest paintings the statue seems to be alive, she points with the spear  to Aias whereas the undersized Kassandra sought for help at her feet. On the red-figured vase paintings since c.500 BC Kassandra mostly is shown nude so accentuating the erotic aspect of the scene. The same scene is found in the Pompejian paintings, on an Etruscan mirror and several cameos. In the post-ancient painting the 'Lesser Aias' is seldom seen. On a painting of Rubens (c.1616, Vaduz, SL) he is grabbing for Kassandra; a fresco of Rosso Fiorentino (1536) in the gallery Francois I in Fontainebleau shows the wreckage of Aias, undoubtless an allusion to the unfortunate luck of this French king.

I have attached the pic of a red-figured painting of the Lykurgos painter c.370-360 (Wikipedia) which shows Aias when he tried to pull Kassandra from the statue to which she cling.

Sources:
Appolodor, Epitome 5, 22-23, 6, 6
Euripides, Trojan women 48-97; Andromache 293-300
Homer, Ilias 2, 527-535; Odyssee 4, 449-511
Aghion/Barbillon/Lissarrague, Lexikon der antiken Götter und Heroen in der Kunst, Reclam
Der kleine Pauly
Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
Wikipedia

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« Reply #114 on: June 30, 2006, 04:42:40 pm »

The Herakles Farnese

Only some notes to this famous depiction.

The coin:
Caracalla AD 197-217
AE 31, 17.16g
obv. AVT KM AVRH - ANTWNINOC
       Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, l., holding shield with gorgoneion, top of
       spear behind
rev. OVLPIAC PA - VTALIAC
       Herakles, nude, standing r., crooked forward, r. foot set backward, l. hand behind
       back, holding lion skin over l. arm and resting with l. hand on his club, which
       stands on a heap of 9 stone bowls (Farnese type)
Ruzicka 592; Moushmov 4300
rare, about VF

The statue:
The statue of the Herakles Farnese is a marble copy of a lost Hellenistic bronze statue of Lysipp of Sikyon c.330 BC, who has worked for Alexander the Great. The copy was made by the Roman artist Glykon of Athens c.211-217 AD. It was found 1540 in the Thermes of Caracalla in Rome and then erected in the Farnesian gardens (hence the name). Goethe has seen this statue 1787 AD and regarded it as the most important Roman sculpture. The coin shows a copy which probably was positioned in the gardens or parks of Pautalia which was known as famous bath (Ruzicka).

The depiction of the Herakles Farnese is interesting and curious too because it shows the great heroe not in the usual heroic position but in the state of fatigue. Hence the discrepancy which always has made this statue so appealing. It shows the heroe after he has received the apples of the Hesperides which he - as commonly suggested - holds hidden behind his back. To get these apples he had to take the globe - which otherwise the giant Atlas bore on his shoulders - for himself because only Atlas was able to get these apples. When Atlas came back with the apples he refused to take back the globe but Herakles outwitched him. He offered to him to bear the globe if only he could lay a pillow under the globe because the globe was pressing so much. Atlas was dumb enough to take the globe - only for short as he assumed  - and Herakles removed himself with the apples. The garden of Hesperides is said to be found in Lybia/Northern Africa on a promontory at the gulf of Syrte.
BTW the famous Hercules in Kassel/Germany too is the Farnese type!

Attached is the Herakles Farnese now in the Museo Nazionale in Naples.

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« Reply #115 on: July 09, 2006, 04:28:16 pm »

Europa and the bull

Here we have the story of one of Zeus' many lovestories. But if we look at Europa she seems to estimate the abduction!

The coin:
Elagabal AD 218-222
AE 27, 11.8g
obv. IMP CM AV ANT - ONINVS AVG
Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, laureate, r.
rev. Europa, nude to hips, head r., sitting on bull, leaping r., holding with one hand
horn of bull and with the other hand veil, blowing in the wind over her head.
BMC 235
rare, F/about VF

Mythology:
Europa was the daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor and his wife Telephassa. Her brothers were Kadmos, Phoinix, Kilix, Thasos and Phineus.
Zeus fell in love with Europa and gave order to Hermes to drove Agenor's cattle to the coast of Tyros where Europa together with her companions used to promenade. Zeus for himself joined the herd in the shape of a snow-white bull with a big neck fold and small gemlike horns. Europa was overwhelmed by his beauty. When she found him gentle like a lamb she overcame her fear and began to play with him. She put flowers in his mouth and hung girlands over his horns. Finely she climbed on his shoulders and trotted down with him to the sea-coast. Suddenly he swam away and she looked full of amazement back to the remaining coast. With one hand she hold his right horn, with the other a basket with flowers. Near of Gortynas on Crete he went on land, transformed himself to an eagle and raped Europa in a willow bush at a well. Other say this happened under a evergreen sycamore tree. There are coins too which show this scene. She gave birth to three sons: Minos, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. After that Europa married another husband, Asterion, who raised her children.

Background:
As always the facts behind the myth are more complicated as the myth itself. Beside the heroine Europa who is the protagonist of our story there were a nymph, the Okeanid Europa, according to her the Greek named the continent. The connection between the Okenanid Europa and the continent was already mysterious to Herodot.

In Boiotia Europa was an Earth Goddess, hidden and saved by Zeus in a cave near Teumessos. Here Demeter had the surname Europa. This proved his high age. The Boiotian Europa very early was connected with the other Europa abducted by Zeus and then mother of Minos. Doubtless the myth goes back to Minoic circumstances: sacrifying bulls, bull games with the participation of women, the cult of the heaven's bull, the experience of the sea. The holy sycamore tree with the hieros gamos (the holy marriage) is mentioned by Pliny.

The etymology is unclear until now. Mostly the semitic word for 'evening' (greek erebos) is seen as origin of the name Europa. Nevertheless a Greek origin is not excluded (greek euruopa = 'widely sounding or looking'). The Greek at first recognized Europa as the Greek mainland in contrast to the Peleponnesos and the islands. After the Persian wars the term was expanded to whole Greece. Already from the 7th century BC on this name adhered at the Middle Hellas and then was kept as regional and local name in Macedonia and Thessalia until the end of ancient times. There were some cities in Thessalia and Macedonia and a river in Thessalia with this name. So the word Europa was linked from the beginning of time to the peninsula of the Balkans and Pindos. Behind these facts all other explanations have to retreat, even mythological ones! Herodot has differentiated between 3 continents: Europa, Asia and Libyen. Middle and Norther Europe however were unknown to him. Of the course of the river Istros he had only vague ideas. As border between Europa and Asia from Herodot on the river Tanais (the todays river Don) was seen. Whereas Europa once was seen as the biggest continent at the end of ancient times it was realistic seen as the smallest.
 
Art of history:
Several ancient depictions of a woman on the back of a bull could be connected to the myth of Europa (Metope of temple Y in Selinunt, about 560 BC; Palermo, MA - metope of the house of treasures of the Sikyons, 1st half of the 6th century BC; Delphi, Mus. - Hydria of the Berlin painter, about 500 BC; Oxford, AM). The same type of picture indeed was used for the abduction of a mainad by the bull of Dionysos, but ivy and grape-vine could be used for determination. In the Middle Ages the abduction of Europa was seen in conjunction with the constellation of Taurus but was seen too as allegory of the triumph of love over chastity. Referring to the 'Ovide moralise' from the beginning of the 14th century AD the transformation of Zeus into the bull resembles the incarnation of Christ, and the abduction of Europa the elevation of the human soul to God.

As in ancient times so in the Baroque too, which has often handled this subject, Europa and her companions with the crowned bull were shown at the beach, so by Poussin (drawing, about 1649/50; Stockholm, NM) and before by Veronese (1573; Venice, Palace of the Doges), but most often the bull is shown already in the waves of the sea with Europa who - appaled or calm - hold tight the horns of that bull (Tizian, 1559-62; Boston/Mass., GM). Depictions of Europa are found within the work of Rubens (about 1630, Prado), Rembrandt (1632; Malibu, GM), Claude Lorrain (1647; Amsterdam, RM) and Boucher (1734; London, WC - 1747; Louvre) to name only some of them. Ingres has taken as paradigm fo his picture in the  Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge a greek vase.

Sources:
- Der kleine Pauly
- Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
- von Ranke-Graves, Griechische Mythologie
- Ovid, Metamorphosen II, 27
- Aghion/Barbillon/Lissarrague, Lexikon der antiken Götter und Heroen in der Kunst, Reclam

I have attached the following:
1. A pic of the famous wall painting 'The abduction of Europa' from the casa de nave in
    Pompeji, about 1st century BC, now in the National Museum.
2. The pic from a cut-out of the famous floor mosaic of Sparta, now in the Archaeological
    Museum in Sparta
3. The pic of the Greek 2 Euro piece which shows a cut-out of the above mosaic in Sparta.

Best regards
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« Reply #116 on: July 12, 2006, 05:12:11 pm »

I have moved the index to the end of the thread!

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« Reply #117 on: July 12, 2006, 06:06:39 pm »

Awesome!
Bravo!
PeteB
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« Reply #118 on: July 12, 2006, 08:33:54 pm »

Let me add my appreciation, for saving us hours in finding the one we're looking for and for doing so much for everybody.  Pat L.
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« Reply #119 on: July 13, 2006, 12:14:04 am »

Jochen,

I, too, want to thank you for your interesting and important posts.

Cheers, Jim (Cleisthenes)
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« Reply #120 on: July 13, 2006, 01:00:36 am »

 
       &nd I too, Jochen!
 
   Most wonderful and most generous of your time, efforts and the enviable scope of your knowledge and collection.
  This is a feast in the fullest & the finest sense …
 
   Most gratefully -
 
   Best,
   Tia
 
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« Reply #121 on: July 13, 2006, 02:03:04 am »

I too also  Smiley - would like to add my thanks to Jochen for all the time and effort he has put into these informative posts. 

I wonder if it would be possible to cut and paste them together into a Numiswiki article?, so they really would be a resource for all.

Thanks again
Malcolm
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« Reply #122 on: July 13, 2006, 12:44:18 pm »

Thanks for your encouraging comments! I think it would be nice to have the index always at the end of the thread!

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« Reply #123 on: July 13, 2006, 12:45:31 pm »

The auloi

After getting this coin I searched for information about the importance and history of the 'auloi'. I hope others too are interested.

Phrygia, Apameia, c.3rd century AD
AE 19, 3.29g
obv. DH - MOC
       Bust of Demos, bearded, draped, r.
rev. APA - MEW - N (beginning upper r.)
      Marsyas, nude, nebris waving behind him, advancing r., playing the auloi
BMC 50; SNG Copenhagen 200

Aulos means 'playing the aulos' (with and without singing), the so-called auletik, but the corpus, the instrument, too. It is more correct to say auloi in plural because it were double pipes. They could be half looped, total looped, with holes at the side or holes at the underside. They could be tuned: at drinking binges they were used in unison, at marriage ceremonies in octave distance. Sometimes it could be seen that the two pipes have different lengths. It is discussed that one pipe plays the melody the other the accompanist.

And: the aulos is no flute but a reed- (tongue-) instrument, so rather a simple double oboe.

The aulos has a tongue piece, an upper beginning part, the actual pipe and the grip holes. The aulos was called by Pindar and Euripides 'kalamos' or 'Libyan lotos'. The aulos pair had separated tongues (so-called double reeds), there were called yoke. Because of its pettishness they were kept in a small sheath (glottokomeion); the entire instrument was hold in a bag made from untanned skin (synbene). When playing the lips were pressed against the reed; the strong pressure of the inflated cheeks was absorbed by a kind of bridle, the phorbeia: leather bands which were tied from the mouth over the cheeks to the back of the head.

The reeds were made from reed (from the lake Kopais) which was scraped thin. If the tongues eventually broke the auloi could be played with open hole. The pipe (kalamos bombykias) , slightly conical carved, probably could be played by a little over blowing and so allowing some harmonics too. Probably the (oval) holes were played half occluded and so on the auloi all keys are obtainable. A 5th grip hole (for the thumb) possibly could be in use if the phorbeia was tight. Diodoros of Thebes introduced a special mechanism to open and close the holes (turnable rings?) which had hooks to allow turning. As material for the corpus besides reed, boxwood, lotos wood, laurel were used too bones of stag, ass, eagle and vulture; ivory was mediated by the Phoinicians. Boiotia, with its abundance of reed, became the home of the aulos players, mostly Thebians.

The age of the auletik is seen deversely. Athen in its heroic age saw the auloi only at the barbarians. Plutarch regards the auloi for older than the kithara but this remains questionable because many terms used for the auloi were originating from playing the kithara. The peleponnesian myth calls Ardalos from Troizen, son of Hephaistos, the inventor of the auloi. The first historical aulet was Klonos of Tegea. The sole instrumental auletik spread quickly from Phrygia and was favoured as war music especially at the Lakedaimonians. At the Phrygians it served as keen. The elegy always was accompanied by auloi (armen. elega = pipe!). Plutarch assumed that the sound of the auloi contained to theon, the divine, and because of that evokes religious feelings. Aulodik means that the aulet, the aulos player, was accompanied by the aulode, a singer.

Since Pythagoras the high-spirited panegyric sound of the auloi was antagonized. Because of its orgiastic effect the auloi were choosed as accompanist for the dithyrambos. Criticized was the instrument used at the wild satyr chorus because it crushed the melody. Among the aristocratic Athenians Alkibiades regarded the auloi as unseemly because it distorts the face of the player. That matches the myth were Athena threw away the auloi because of the same reason. It seems to be Euripides who invented the myth of the competition between Apollo and Marsyas and the following terrible punishment. Another matter of critizism was the then upcoming luxury clothing of the aulets. Aristoteles too disapproved and then in Socrates and his followers new strong opponents emerged. Aristoteles wanted to prohibit the education of auloi playing because of its uselessness for the cultivation of the mind. So until the late ancient time the playing of the kithara was obtained as more noble. Cicero assumed that the auloi player doesn't need so much dexterity as the kithara player. This devaluating estimation was practically adopted in modern times by Nietzsche who called the kithara playing 'Apollonian', the auloi playing 'Dionysian'.

BTW On the coin the elevated grip holes are clearly seen.

I have attached the pic of an auloi player with phorbeia and dancer with krotala, detail from a kylix found at Vulci, Italy, signed by Epictetus, c. 520–510 BC; in the British Museum, London

Sources:
- Der kleine Pauly
- Anemone Zschätsch, Verwendung und Bedeutung griechischer Musikinstrumente in Mythos   
  und Kult, Marie Leidorf 2002

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« Reply #124 on: July 13, 2006, 04:19:00 pm »

Harpokrates and Isis

1.
Macrinus AD 217-218
AE 17, 3.14g
obv. AVT KM OPELLI CE - VH MAKRINOC
Bust, laureate, r.
rev. NIKOPOLIT - WN PROC ICT[..]
Harpokrates, nude, stg. l., holding clothes and cornucopiae in r. arm and
raising r. hand to his mouth.
unpublished?
very rare, F+/about VF, green patina

2.
Julia Domna AD 193-217, wife of Septimius Severus
AR - Denar, 3.5g, 18mm
Rome AD 196-211
obv. IVLIA - AVGVSTA
Bust, draped, r., hair waved in five waves and coiled at back
rev. SAECVLI - FELICITAS
Isis, draped, with polos on head, stg. r, foot on prow, holding the infant Horus
at her breast, and sistrum (or rattle) in r. hand, altar at left behind her with rudder
leaning against it.
RIC IV/1, 577; C.174; BMC 76
about EF
The half-circled lock of hair at her cheek should be typically for Rome after AD 196 (?). The sistrum is not mentioned in RIC!
The first ISIS temple in Rome was built by Caracalla some years later in AD 217. The prow may be an allusion to the NAVIGIUM ISIDIS, a big ceremony on March 5. to celebrate the opening of the safe sailing season after the winter.

Harpakhrad, also Heru-Pa-Khret (Greek: Harpokrates) meant "Horus the child" and he was also seen as a baby at the breast or as a naked infant sitting in the lap of his mother Isis. In Mendes, the capital of nome 16 of Lower Egypt, he was the son of the town protector Banebdjedet and the local fish goddess Hat-Mehit. Another depiction shows him as an infant boy with big, innocent eyes, engaged in sucking his finger. He had many names and shapes in the more than forty provinces (nomes) where he was appearing in local forms. He had a shaved head with a big lock of hair hanging from the right side. The Greeks considered him the god of secrecy and discretion, misinterpreting the gesture of his finger as meaning: keep quiet which was an Egyptian gesture, symbolising childhood.

Horus (Greek) was a sky and solar god from Upper Egypt from before the unification and one of the oldest gods in the Egyptian mythology and by some concidered to have come from abroad by en early invasion of the Nile Valley. He was the personal symbol of the pharaohs symbolising protection and courage.
Soon he became the Horus (the Elder: Heru, the Younger: Hor) and originated lots of combined deities like Har-pakhrad, Har-Wer etc, which had wide spread cults all over the Nile Valley. He defeated all evilness in the world (symbolically) by defeating Set who had killed his father Osiris. His twin sister was Bast and he was sometimes seen as a child being breast fed sitting in the lap of his mother Isis. In his aspect Horakhty he was the combined god Re-Horakhte.

Osiris (in Greek) was king of the Underworld and originally a god of agriculture and nature. His origin is disputed and he first appeared during dynasty five. In Heliopolis he was said to be son of Re and he represented the dead king. Minor gods were taken into his vast cult and many legends were told about him. The common Myth of Osiris
is about his death (murdered by his brother Set) and resurrection. He was the chief judge in the court at the threshold to the next life, where all the dead citizens were trying to come through to Paradise. He always wore a mummy-dress and was brother to Isis, Hor (Horus the elder), Set and Nephthys. His parents were Geb and Nut.

The Myth of Osiris
In the very beginning of time Osiris was king over Egypt and his queen (and sister) was the goddess Isis. He was beloved by the people whom he told how to worship the gods and grow their crops for their daily bread. His brother Set became jealous and tried to overthrow him and become king himself. When participating in a feast with Osiris as host, Set began to describe a beautiful coffin he had, in a way that made the other guests curious.
He was asked to fetch it and so he did and this was just in line with his plan.
Everyone agreed that it was a magnificent piece of craftsmanship and Set told them that he would give it away for free to whomever fitted exactly into it. Since he had made the coffin himself it was measured to fit one person only - his brother Osiris. When he placed himself in it everybody could see that he was the one who would get i as a present, but the evil Set had other plans. With his brother Osiris still in it, he and his fellows quickly nailed the lid and threw it into the Nile. Queen Isis was overcome by sorrow and began to search all over the land for it, but in vain. ("Isis first invented sails, for while seeking her son Harpocrates, she sailed on a ship." - Hyginus, Fabulae 277.)
One day she heard that a wonderful tree had sprung on the shores of Byblos in the north on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where the local king had cut it down and built a palace from it.
Isis understood that this was the place where the coffin had come to shore and she went there in disguise. She got a job at the court as a hairdresser for the queen and now when she could walk freely inside the castle she began to look for the coffin, and finally she found it in a remote chamber.
During the night she managed to snach it and embarked a boat heading for Egypt. When she came there she hid in the marshlands in the delta. There she opened the coffin and took a last farewell of her beloved husband Osiris and began searching for a suitable place to bury him. But Set was aware of all this and was hiding nearby. When Isis went to rest for the night he snatched the coffin and cut his brother's body into fourteen pieces and spread them all over Egypt. Isis became furious and asked her sister Nephthys and her son Anubis, to help her to find all the pieces of her husband's body.
They now started a nation wide search that lasted for many years and finally all the part of Osiris' body were found except for the thingy which had been thrown into the Nile where it was devoured by a fish.
Isis made a wooden replacement for it and then put the whole body together. She now asked the sun god Re to make her husband alive just for one day, which he did, and they could have a last night of love together. The next day Osiris died and his body was embalmed by Anubis who thus made him the first mummy. Isis later gave birth to a son who was named Horus and she did all she could to keep it a secret from Set, but he found them and almost killed them in an ambush.
They were saved by the god of wisdom - Thoth, and he told them to hide in the reeds in the marshes once more. But as before Set found their hiding place and had more wicked things on his mind. He transformed himself into a snake and gave the little Horus child a fatal bite.
When Isis came back she found her baby almost lifeless, and took him to the nearest village to get help. A wise old woman examined him and found out that it must have been Set as a snake who had bitten him. Thoth came to their rescue once more and drove out the poison from Horus' body and he recovered. He and his mother stayed hiding in the delta until he was a mature man and sometimes he took the form of a hawk and scouted out Set for the final showdown - the revenge on his murdered father. When that moment came they fought for three days until Thoth stopped the fight. They were both taken to the Court of Law in the Underworld and there they presented their versions of the story leading to the combat. The Court did not believe Set, who was sentenced to pull the boat with the sun across the sky forever. Horus now became the new king of Egypt like his father Osiris before him, and the good had finally conquered evil.
Isis put the body of her dead husband in a coffin and had nineteen identical coffins made in which she put duplicates. Priest from Egypt's twenty biggest towns then were given one each and could all thereafter claim that they had Osiris' tomb in their town. Thus many places in Egypt were (and still are) called Abusir - the place of Osiris.

"Upon her [Isis’] brow stood the crescent moon-horns, garlanded with glittering heads of golden grain, and grace of royal dignity; and at her side the baying dog Anubis, dappled Apis, sacred Bubastis and the god [Harpokrates] who holds his finger to his lips for silence sake." - Ovid, Metamorphoses 9.692

Attached:
"Io, crowned with a pair of cow horns, is carried to Isis and her son Harpokrates (by the River-God Neilos?)", a detail from the Roman Fresco "Isis receives Io at Canopus", Pompeii 1st century BC, Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli 9558

Sources:
Der kleine Pauly
http://www.nemo.nu/ibisportal/0egyptintro/1egypt/index.htm
http://www.theoi.com

Best regards
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