Classical Numismatics Discussion
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Please look at the RECENT ADDITIONS and PRICE REDUCTIONS at the top and bottom of the page. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Point your mouse to a coin in RECENT ADDITIONS or PRICE REDUCTIONS on this page to see the the price. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Thanks for supporting Forum with your PURCHASES!


FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: Coins of mythological interest 0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 13 14 15 16 ... 18 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Coins of mythological interest  (Read 380023 times)
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #250 on: May 09, 2008, 02:47:37 pm »

Hestia

This is the Greek goddess Hestia, not the Roman Vesta! Even if they have strong connections!

We find Hestia only rarely on coins. That is true for fine arts and vase painting too and is a striking contrast to the importance of this goddess for the every day life in ancient times. Here I have 2 types both provided by Pick with a question mark. On both coins Hestia is depicted holding a long torch but in the other hand she does not hold grain-ears like Demeter but a patera.

Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Septimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 16, 2.8g
obv. AV KAI L CE - CEVHROC
        Head, laureate, r.
rev. NIKOPOLIT - PROC ICT
       Female figure with long garment [and veil], stg. l., holding patera in r. hand and
       resting on torch with l. hand (Hestia?)
ref.: AMNG I/1, 1352 (like the ex. from Bukarest)

Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Diadumenian, AD 217-218
AE 26, 14.19g
struck under the consulare legate Marcus Claudius Agrippa
obv. KM OPPEL ANTWNI DIADOVMENIANO - C
        Bare head r.
rev. VP AGRIPPA NI - KOPOLITWN PR / [OC ICT]
       Female figure in long garment and mantle, stg. l., patera in extended r. hand and
       resting with l. hand on long torch (Hestia?)
ref.: AMNG I/1, 1794 (2 ex., Paris and Sofia), pl.XIV, 20 (rev. same die)
rare, about VF, nice glossy patina
Note: Paris Mionnet p.2, 161, 608 (misunderstanding the torch!)

Mythologie:
Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, or rather the fire burning on the hearth, was regarded as one of the twelve great gods, and accordingly as a daughter of Kronos and Rhea. According to the common tradition, she was the first-born daughter of Rhea, and was therefore the first of the children that was swallowed by Kronos (Hes. Theog. 453). She was, like Artemis and Athena, a maiden divinity, and when Apollo and Poseidon sued for her hand, she swore by the head of Zeus to remain a virgin for ever (Hom. Hymn. in Ven.), and in this character it was that her sacrifices consisted of cows which were only one year old. Once at a festivity of the gods the lubricious god Priapos tried to rape the sleeping Hestia. By the braying of an ass she was awakened and could escape. In a rage Priapos slew the ass. The connection between Hestia and Apollo and Poseidon, which is thus alluded to in the legend, appears also in the temple of Delphi, where the three divinities were worshipped in common, and Hestia and Poseidon appeared together also at Olympia (Paus. v. 26. § 26). As the hearth was looked upon as the sacred centre of domestic life, so Hestia was the goddess of domestic life and the giver of all domestic happiness and blessings, and as such she was believed to dwell in the inner part of every house, and to have invented the art of building houses (Diod. v. 68). In this respect she appears often together with Hermes, who was likewise a deus penetralöis, as protecting the works of man. As the hearth of a house is at the same time the altar on which sacrifices are offered to the domestic gods (hestiouchoi or ephestioi), Hestia was looked upon as presiding at all sacrifices, and, as the goddess of the sacred fire of the altar, she had a share in the sacrifices in all the temples of the gods. Hence when sacrifices were offered, she was invoked first, and the first part of the sacrifice was offered to her. Solemn oaths were sworn by the goddess of the hearth, and the hearth itself was the sacred asylum where suppliants implored the protection of the inhabitants of the house. A town or city is only an extended family, and therefore had likewise its sacred hearth, the symbol of an harmonious community of citizens and of a common worship.
This public hearth usually existed in the prytaneion of a town, where the goddess had her especial sanctuary (thalamos), under the name of Prutanitis, with a statue and the sacred hearth. There the prytanes offered sacrifices to her, on entering upon their office, and there, as at a private hearth, Hestia protected the suppliants. As this public hearth was the sacred asylon in every town, the state usually received its guests and foreign ambassadors there, and the prytanes had to act the part of hosts. When a colony was sent out, the emigrants took the fire which was to burn on the hearth of their new home from that of the mother town. If ever the fire of her hearth became extinct, it was not allowed to be lighted again with ordinary fire, but either by fire produced by friction, or by burning glasses drawing fire from the sun. The mystical speculations of later times proceeded from tile simple ideas of the ancients, and assumed a sacred hearth not only in the centre of the earth, but even in that of the universe, and confounded Hestia in various ways with other divinities, such as Kybele, Gaia, Demeter, Persephone, and Artemis.
There were but few special temples of Hestia in Greece, as in reality every prytaneion was a sanctuary of the goddess, and as a portion of the sacrifices, to whatever divinity they were offered, belonged to her. There was, however, a separate temple of Hestia at Hermione, though it contained no image of her, but only an altar (Paus. ii. 35. § 2.). Her sacrifices consisted of the primitiae of fruit, water, oil, wine, and cows of one year old.

Background:
Etymologically 'Hestia' has the same origin as 'Vesta', a fact which was denied for a longer time but today is advocated by scholars not at least in reference to the following facts:  In the cult of the deificated hearth on one side the moment of the holy center which Hestia at the Delphic omphalos moves in the  proximity of Gaia and constitutes the religious basic idea of the domestic sphere of law and shelter, deserves attention; and on the other side, regarding the Scythian goddess Tabiti, the never extincted, purifying, life-giving fire which implies the virginity of the Vestalis as the phallic symbolism of the hearth. The significance of both moments places the pre-Scythian Tabiti as 'Queen' and 'Great Goddess' to Zeus Papaios; the Greek mythology counts Hestia as daughter of Kronos and eternal maiden sister of Zeus among the primal gods and concedes her a continous place in heaven, ancient traditional honours and the primacy of sacrificing. The projection of the domestic hearth cult on the national budget preserves Hestia a place in the prytaneion, so in Olympia or Milet, and in the bouleuterion. This fixes her firmly to the vowing and cursing practice and declares her position under the theoi histores of the oath of ephebes of Acharnai.

History of art:
According to her immaculate and chaste character her artistical depiction could bear nothing but the expression of rigorous morality. She was usually depicted seated or standing calmly with serious facial expression and always completely dressed. Altogether there have been only few statues of Hestia in ancient times; the most famous was the statue of Skopas. Safely proofed statues of Hestia were not found yet.  Hestia usually is referred to the 'Hestia Giustiniani' in the Museo Torlani in Rome, a female garment statue of  severe style, from the time of the pediment figures of the temple of Zeus from Olympia and closely related to them in its form.
The added pic is the photo of a plaster cast of the statue found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Hestia is not frequently depicted in vase paintings, but on the exterior of this Attic red figure kylix of the archaic period (500 BC) representing Herakles entering Olympus, she is part of the company of gods who welcome the hero. Hestia is seated, veiled, and has her arm around Amphitrite, a daughter of Okeanos who became the wife of Poseidon; to their right is Hermes; to their left is one of the Horai (from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz: Antikensammlung)

Sources:
(1) Der kleine Pauly
(2) Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon
(3)  Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
 
Best regards
Logged

Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #251 on: May 09, 2008, 02:51:18 pm »

Vesta

Clear, after an article about Hestia should be another about Vesta!
But at first two coins:

(1) Gaius Caligula, AD 37 - 41
      AE - As, 11.34g, 30mm
      Rome 37/38
      obv. C CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS PON M TR POT
               bare head l.
      rev. VESTA
             Vesta, draped and veiled, diademed, std. l. on throne,
             holding patera in r. hand and long sceptre in l. hand
             between big S - C
      RIC I, 38; C.27; BMC 46
      nearly EF

(2) Lucilla, killed AD 182, wife of Lucius Verus, daughter of Marcus Aurelius, sister
      of Commodus
     AR - Denar, 3.29g, 17mm
              Rome
     obv. LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F
             bust, draped and diademed, r.
      rev. VES - TA
             Vesta, in long garment and veiled, standing l., holding simpulum in r. hand       
             over girlanded and burning altar l., and palladium in l. arm.
      RIC III, 788; C.92
      about EF

Vesta is the Roman goddess of hearth fire. She is one of the oldest Roman deities probably of Sabinian origin and her cult goes back to the 7th century BC. As her parents are suggested Saturn and Ops but sometimes she is the daughter of Saturn too. A real mythology of the Roman  Vesta is not known in contrast to the Greek Hestia. The tradition says that her cult was introduced by Numa Pompilius. The cult of Vesta, an important official cult of the Roman state, was in the hands of six Vestal Virgins, a special female priesthood. Their main duty was to keep the holy fire which burnt in the Atrium Vestae of the round temple (a reminiscent of the ancient Roman houses?) on the Forum Romanum as the symbolic hearth of Rome. If the fire was extinguished it would have grave consequences for the Romans. Also inside the temple, to which only the six Vestal Virgins had access, were kept the objects that Aeneas was said to have brought with him on his flight from Troy. This included the Palladium and the images of the Penates. Vesta was represented by the fire. On each New Year's Day the fire was taken from the Vesta temple and brought to the individual houses. Vesta was suggested too as inventor of houses. The Vestals were not allowed to take water from the pipes but they had to take the water from the well of the nymph Juturna beside the temple. The Vestal Virgins were obligated for thirty years of chastity. Therefore they were highly venerated.

The first of the Vestal Virgins is said to be Rhea Silvia, mother of Romulus and Remus. Being pregnant against the interdiction she pretends to be raped by Mars. What happened to her we don't know for sure, it is suggested that she was thrown into the river Tiber. Lateron the Vestals were buried live in a subterranean chamber at the Porta Collina as punishment for this delict..

There was no cult statue in the temple, but Augustus had a statue placed on an altar in his house on the Palatine Hill in 12 BC. There is a famous small round temple in Rome vis-a-vis the beautiful small church St.Maria in Cosmedin (with the Bocca della Verita!) which is called temple of Vesta too, but in error. Actually that was a temple of Heracles Victor.

The main festval of Vesta were the Vestalia on June 7. AD 394 her cult was forbidden by Theodosius I.

Background:
Vesta originally was probably a Sabinian goddess whose name we don't know (Varro, Dion. Hal.). In spite of the equality of her name with the Geeek Hestia and her similar funktion there is no connection between them not etymological nor factual (Pauly). Besides her function as goddess of hearth she was equated to Terra. A Vesta of the individual house - like the Penates - didn't exist. But connected with them she was obviously, and so with Diana, Janus and Vulcanus. At the end of her festival on June 9. the penus Vestae of her temple was opened and the stercus brought to the Clivus Capitolinus and thrown in the Tiber.That seem to be the perishable remains of the supply: horse blood, ashes of calves and bean straw. The Vesta temple was tabu. Only once the Pontifex maximus has saved the palladium from the burning temple. It was located at the Forum Romanum but outside of the Palatine pomerium. So the eternal fire must have burnt outside of the temple because at each New Year's Day the fire was taken from the temple to the houses.

The Vestals were taken as children by the Pontifex Maximus, called Amata, and had to satisfy some special  qualifications. As Vestals they were highly adored. When they met on the street lictores with fasces, the fasces had to be dropped. They stood outside of the normal law.

Pales:
If you read about Vesta you inevitably come across Pales. Pales was an ancient Italic goddess of flocks and shepherds. The festival called Parilia was celebrated in her honour at Rome and in the country on the 21st of April. In this festival Pales was invoked to grant protection and increase to flocks and herds; the shepherds entreated forgiveness for any unintentional profanation of holy places of which their flocks might have been guilty, and leaped three times across bonfires of hay and straw (Ovid, Fasti iv. 731-805). The Parilia was not only a herdsmen's festival, but was regarded as the birthday celebration of Rome, which was supposed to have been founded on the same day.

Pales plays only a very subordinate part in the religion of Rome, even the sex of the divinity being uncertain. A male Pales was sometimes spoken of, corresponding in some respects to Pan; whereas the female Pales was associated with Vesta and Anna Perenna. Because Pales in Latin could be plural too sometimes it was spoken of two Pales, a male and a female. So there were another festival to Pales, apparently dedicated "to the two Pales" (Palibus duobus, being held on July 7. Marcus Atilius Regulus built a temple to Pales in Rome following his victory over the Salentini in 267 BC. It is generally thought to have been located on the Palatine Hill, but, being a victory monument, it may have been located on the route of the triumphal procession, either on the Campus Martius or the Aventine Hill. It can taken for sure that there is a connection between Pales and Palatine.

I have added two pics:
(1) The pic of the remains of the temple of Vesta on the Forum Romanum.
(2) The pic of a gypsiumstone statue of Vesta from the Staatliche Museen Berlin. Vesta is accompanied by the donkey-god Pales, a symbol of creative labor and fertility throughout the ancient world. The serpent represents Vesta's generative function, while her scepter and headdress signify her rank. Pales here is depicted as donkey, because the donkey was sacred to Vesta. According to the myth a donkey has saved Vesta of the rape by a satyr. But this story seems to be an adoption from the myths around the Greek Hestia.

Sources:
Der kleine Pauly
John Melville Jones, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins
http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Vesta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesta_%28mythology%29
http://www.religioromana.net/dii_consentes/vesta.htm

Best regards
Logged

Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #252 on: June 04, 2008, 01:24:42 pm »

Artemis with child

I have presented this strange coin once already in the thread 'Hermes and the infant Dionysos', but I think it deserves an own thread.

Thracia, Philippopolis, Julia Domna, died AD 217(?)
AE 25, 6.67g
obv. IOVLIA. - DOM CEBACT
Bust, draped, r., hair bound in broad chignon
rev. FILIPP - OPOLITWN
Artemis, in short chiton with bare r. shoulder and wearing boots, stg. r., resting
with raised r. hand on inverted spear, holding in l. arm infant Dionysos, who
stretches his arm to her; on the r. side stag stg. r.
Varbanov (engl.) 1386 var. (is supposed to have IOVLIA DOMA CEB!); another ex. in Lanz 112, lot 642 (same dies, heavy worn)
very rare, VF, dark-green patina

The problem with this coin is the rev. depiction. There is no depiction of Artemis with a child in LIMC (hint of friend from the German Forum). Is it really Artemis and is it really Dionysos in her arms?

I want to share the informations which I got by my  inquiries and hope for some critical comments.

(1) Artemis as mother of Cupidus/Eros
It is obviously Artemis in her usual hunting clothes and with the stag, but there is no known myth in which Artemis is connected to the infant Dionysos. But I came across another myth where Artemis is not only connected to a child but is herself the virginal mother of this child! I don't know wether this can be the actual solution to the coin depiction, because this child is Cupido!

My source is Cicero, De Natura Deorum, lib. III, c. 58. He knows from three different Dianas and writes about their parents. There were three differents myths about Diana. According to the first one her parents were Jupiter and Proserpina, the second Diana had as parents Jupiter and Latona,  and the third one Upis and Glauce.
And Cicero knows from three Cupidos too. The first Cupido was the child of the first Mercurius and the first Diana, the second Cupido the child of the second Mercurius and the second Venus and the third one from Mars and the third Venus.
And Bingo! Here we have a child of the virginal goddess! And Diana and Cupido would be a nice counterpart to Julia Domna! Naturally the objection are the missing wings of the infant. But on the other side which attributions argue for Dionysos?

(2) Artemis/Bendis as mother of Orpheus
The friend of the German Forum has pointed me to the Thracian Artemis, the goddess Bendis. She was equated with Artemis, Hekate and Persephone. Her name is according to Kretschmer coming from idg. bhendh- = 'to tie', interpreted as Zygia. But her iconography doubtless shows her character as a hunting goddess: her epitheton dologchos is enlightened by a Bithynian coin from Nikomedes I, on which she is depicted with double spear and a dagger. She was connected with the god Deoptes who possibly could be a relative of the Thracian rider-god Heros, to whom Bendis has had a special relation too. He was suggested to stand besides Bendis as Asklepios on the relief of Piraeus. The cult of Bendis was introduced in Athens 430 BC by its Thracian inhabitants and assisted by the polis because of poltical reasons as could be seen on the stone fragments from Munychia. Her sanctum and  the festival of Bendideia on 20th of the month Thorgelion with procession and torch relay was supervised by a collegium of Thracian orgeones. This official protection of this foreign cult with its supposed orgiastic imprint calls up the echo in the Attic comedy (Strab. 10, 247).

There was the conception too that the Thracian rider-god Heros was the virginally born son of Bendis. Here we have already the conception which later in the Christianism playes such an important role. And then Orpheus himself, the famous singer and mythical king of the Rhodopian mountains, was suggested to be a son of Bendis!

Philippopolis was located in the centre of Thrace and surely the cult of Bendis was known. If the figure depicted on this strange coin would be Bendis, the Thracian Artemis, then the missing bow and the missing arrows are easily understandable. Her attribute was the spear!

And Orpheus we know from several coins of Philippopolis. Philippopolis was - so to speak - te city of Orpheus! Bendis/Artemis and her virginally born son Orpheus would be a nice solution of this strange reverse.

I personally would go with this second suggestion!

Sources:
Der Kleine Pauly
Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
Cicero, De Natura Deorum, Reclam (dtsch./lat.)

Best regards
Logged

Arminius
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2413


carpe diem


WWW
« Reply #253 on: August 24, 2008, 03:46:22 pm »

Cassandreia in Macedonia, Philip I., 244-249 AD.,
Æ Dupondius(?) (21-22 mm / 6,54 g),
Obv.: IMP C M IVL PHIL[IPPS] , radiate head of Philip right.
Rev.: COLΩN CA CA-SS-[ANDR(IAS?)] , the nymph Nysa, wearing kalathos, chlamys and chiton, standing left, looking right to the Dionysos child on her left arm, holding in left hand cornucopiae, little Dionysos extending its hand towards bunch of grapes, that Nysa is holding up in her right hand; the cornucopia is containing a long fruit between two poppies.
Gaebler, AMNG III, p. 55, no. 18 (rev.: plate XIII, 13) (1 specimen, Wien) ; Mionnet Suppl. 3, 58, 379 ; Imhoof-Blumer monn. gr. 68, 35 ; cf. Moushmov 6337 .
rare

Cassandreia was founded 316-315 BC. by Cassander on the site of the Potidaea on the Greek Chalkidike peninsula.
Cassandreia / Cassandra (Greek: Κασσάνδρα Kassandra, modern transliteration: Kassandra) was one of the most important cities in Ancient Macedonia founded by and named after Cassander in 316 BC located near the site of the earlier Ancient Greek city of Potidaea. Potidaea had been destroyed by Philip II. (of Macedonia). The territory comprised the areas of Olynthus and Mekyberna to the northeast, Bottiaea to the northwest and the small Isthmus of Pallene (now Kassandra) to the east. At the end of the Roman Republic, a Roman colony was settled around 43 BC by the order of Brutus, by the proconsul Q. Hortensius Hortatus. The official colonial name was Colonia Iulia Augusta Cassandrensis. The colony enjoyed ius Italicum. It is mentioned in Pliny the Elder's encyclopaedia (IV, 36) and in its inscriptions.

The modern settlement of Kassandra (Kassandreia) is south of the ancient site south of the present-day canal. The ancient site of Cassandreia is not excavated. The peninsula of Kassandra lies to the south. This was the westermost of the three peninsulas of Chalkidike, the middle one being the Sithone/Torone peninsula and the eastermost Mount Athos. Its southernmost point is near Paliouri which is also the prefecture's southernmost point, the promontories includes the Kassandreia to the west and the Kanistro to the east. Except for Kanastraio, none of these capes marks the extremities of the peninsula except for the eastern part.
The canal on the norther side of Nea Potidaia to the north divides the peninsula from the rest of Chalkidiki.The peninsula of Kassandra features picturesque villages, beautiful green nature filled with grasslands and forests, beaches and tourist attractions.

No coins of Cassandreia are known until after the time of Augustus, when the city received a Roman colony, and struck bronze coins with Latin legends between the reigns of Claudius and Philippus.


Compared to the history of the site and coins of the ancient city of Cassandreia the story of infant god Dionysos and nymph Nysa is rather complicated:

According to the common tradition, Dionysos was the son of Zeus and Semele, the daughter of Cadmus of Thebes; whereas others describe him as a son of Zeus by Demeter, Io, Dione, or Arge. Diodorus further mentions a tradition, according to which he was a son of Ammon and Amaltheia and that Ammon, from fear of Rhea, carried the child to a cave in the neighbourhood of mount Nysa, in a lonely island formed by the river Triton. Ammon there entrusted the child to Nysa, the daughter of Aristaeus, and Athena likewise undertook to protect the boy.
After the birth of Dionysus, Zeus entrusted him to Hermes, or, according to others, to Persephone or Rhea, who took the child to Ino and Athamas at Orchomenos, and persuaded them to bring him up as a girl. Hera was now urged on by her jealousy to throw Ino and Athamas into a state of madness, and Zeus, in order to save his child, changed him into a ram, and carried him to the nymphs of mount Nysa, who brought him up in a cave, and were afterwards rewarded for it by Zeus, by being placed as Hyades among the stars.
The traditions about the education of Dionysos, as well as about the personages who undertook it, differ as much as those about his parentage and birthplace. Besides the nymphs of mount Nysa in Thrace, the muses, Lydae, Bassarae, Macetae, Mimallones, the nymph Nysa and the nymphs Philia, Coronis, and Cleis, in Naxos, whither the child Dionysus was said to have been carried by Zeus, are named as the beings to whom the care of his infancy was entrusted.
On mount Nysa, Bromie and Bacche too are called his nurses.
Mount Nysa, from which the god was believed to have derived his name, was not only in Thrace and Libya, but mountains of the same name are found in different parts of the ancient world where he was worshipped, and where he was believed to have introduced the cultivation of the vine. Hermes, however, is mixed up with most of the stories about the infancy of Dionysos, and he was often represented in works of art, in connexion with the infant god.

with the help of Gaebler, wikipedia and h**p://bulfinch.englishatheist.org
Logged

archivum
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2865


« Reply #254 on: August 25, 2008, 01:32:07 pm »

Especially with her kalathos (or perhaps mural crown?), looks like Tyche Euposia to me . . .

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=34098.0

Earlier coins of this type from Cassandreia (RPC online) unsurprisingly show Nysa without kalathos.
Logged

Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #255 on: August 25, 2008, 02:16:17 pm »

Here is another thread: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=39485.msg250726#msg250726

Indeed, a nymph with a kalathos, is that possible at all?

Best regards
Logged

slokind
Tribuna Plebis Perpetua
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6725


Art is an experimental science


WWW
« Reply #256 on: August 25, 2008, 02:28:31 pm »

Well, also to consider: Euposia is an epithet, modifying Tyche.  The ones from Nicopolis have the rudder of their standard standard TycheNymphs, I agree, do not usually have a kalathos.  But Jochen's new coin is even later than the 'middle Severans'.  I'd hate to have to vouch, if this is a single issue, for the orthodoxy of the imagery.  I'll go see if Gaebler discusses it.  The question is, have we grounds for saying where the engraver got the image?  Pat L.
Logged
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #257 on: September 23, 2008, 02:01:30 pm »

Dionysos and Ariadne

Most of you know Ariadne from Ariadne's famous thread which was used by Theseus to get out the labyrinth of the Minotauros. But as we already know of Greek myths the whole story is much more complicated and profound as it seems to be at the first view. But first the coin. Sadly it is very worn. To strees the details I have lightened it a bit.

Lydia, Maionia, Septimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 35, 22.57g
obv. AV [KAI] L CE - P CEVHR[OC] PE[R - TIN]
      Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. [EPI IOVLIAN - OV TAAB(??) ARXONTOC]
       Dionysos, in long garment, holding thyrsos in l. arm, leanig r. on a biga, which is
       drawn by two centaurs; the one behind seems to hold a torch, the one before 
       looking back to Dionysos holds probably a flute, above him another torch.
       in ex. [MAIONWN]
F+, slightly porous surfaces
BMC 43, pl. XIV.7 (only rev., same die); Lanz 32, April 1985, 633 (same dies)
Thanks to Curtis Clay for the correct attribution!

So obviously the figure in the biga is Dionysos and not Ariadne, which was my first suggestion. But the torches are - as we know - wedding attributes. So it is well possible that the coin shows Dionysos on his way to his marriage with Ariadne. And that would be a good reason for this article about Ariadne!

Mythology:
Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, king of Crete, and Pasiphae, daughter of Helios and half-sister of Minotauros. When Theseus came to Crete - together with the Athenians who annually had to be feed to the Minotauros - Ariadne fell in love with him. When they met clandestinely she gave Theseus a ball of wool which she once has received from the ingenious Daidalos. He should fix the end of the thread to the entrance of the labyrinth, then let run the thread with himself so that he - after having killed the Minotauros - by coiling up the thread again could get out of the labyrinth. Herself he should take to Athens to marry her there. Theseus was able to kill the beast and to get out of the labyrinth. But when on their voyage back they passed the island of Dias - or Naxos as others say - Artemis has retained her, or Dionysos - because of her beauty fallen in love with her - has abducted her. It's reported too that Dionysos has appeared Theseus in a dream and has threatened him with all evil if he didn't leave Ariadne to him. For fear Theseus has left the island. And Dionysos has abducted Ariadne in this night to the mountain Arios. Deep in sorrow about losing Ariadne Theseus forgot to take back the black sails from his ship when he reached Athens, wherefore his father Aigaios threw himself from the rocks into the sea, which hereafter was called the Aegean Sea.

Some count Ariadne among the godless persons because she has killed her half-brother and her sons. Some are telling too that Theseus has left her furtively when she was asleep, because he suggested that he was blamed in Athens if he came back with Ariadne. Recognizing that she has been left Ariadne hung herself. But referring to others Dionysos has found her on the beach sleeping and half-nude and fell in love with her instantly. We know several ancient paintings which show this discovery and the following marriage. Dionysos should have 6 children by her: Oenopion, Thoas, Staphylos, Latramis, Euanthes and Tauropolis. Dionysos has loved her so much that after her death her crown was placed to the stars. This crown Hephaistos has once forged for Aphrodite who has dedicated it to Ariadne.

It is told too that Ariadne was marooned on Naxos by some boatsmen, where she is said to have married Onaros, a Dionysos priest. They too want to proof that Theseus was not guilty and has not left her with intent because later Deukalion, son of Minos, has given him his daughter as wife. But Ariadne was said too to be pregnant by Theseus and because she has made a spectacle of herself was abondened on Kypros where she died in childbirth. When Theseus came back he was so sad about her death that he erected two statues in honour of her, one from silver, the other from ore.

Background:
Originally Ariadne ws a Minoic goddess of vegetation and probably identical with the labyrinthoio potnia, who was worshipped by ritual dances. Already Homer mentions her dance-floor created by Daidalos. Her name is the Cretic form of Ariagne (= 'most holy'). She was called on Crete Aridela too (=  'most bright'). Both are surnames which conceal her actual name. On Kypros she was worshiped as Aphrodite Ariadne. Her connection to Dionysos is Cretic heritage, her sepulchre in Argos was located in the temple of the Cretic Dionysos (Paus. 2, 20, 4). She is known by Hesiod as wife of Dionysos. But her relations to Theseus are known already to Odysseus. She let abduct herself by Theseus from Crete and died soon after on Dia (a small island near Knossos, usually equated with Naxos) 'due to the testimonyof Dionysos', probably as punishment for her unfaithfullness.

The story of the wool-thread which the king's daughter gave to a stranger so that he could get out of the labyrinth is a classic fairy-tale. Often this myth is traced to the maze of corridors in the ruinous palace of Knossos. Referring to Epimenides Ariadne has given to Theseus a radiate crown whose light has saved him; that would match the tradition that the fight against Minotauros occured in a cave. This radiate crown was a wedding gift of Dionysos and was put later as corona borealis to the sky.

The fact that Theseus left Ariadne on Naxos was not traced from the beginning to her unfaithfullness. Pausanias mentions depictions where Ariadne was raped by Dionysos. But the lonesome and sleeping Ariadne was a favourite motive in the Hellenistic and Roman literature and fine arts: Catull 64, 50ff, Ovid her. 10, so her transfer to the sky. Plutarch mentions the differentiation between an older Ariadne, wife of Dionysos, and a younger one who was abducted by Theseus. But actually the changing between joy and sorrow reflects the nature of the deity of vegatation. It could be too a process of the history of religion, the replacement of one cult by another. Main location of the Ariadne cult was Naxos, beside it Athens (the joyful festival of the Oschophorias with some mourning customs), Delos (crane dance of Theseus; he has brought an ancient image of Aphrodite to Delos given to him by Ariadne), Amathos on Kypros (a festival with very strange customs, f.e. couvade, as remembrance of Theseus' landing on the island with the pregnant Ariadne who died here in childbirth). In Italy she was worshipped as Libera, wife of Liber.

History of art:
From Hellenistic times we know several depictions of the Ariadne theme. The most favourable was the finding of the sleeping Ariadne by Dionysos. This depiction is found on wall-paintings, mosaics and intaglios. There are intaglios too with depictions of the marriage. A picture shows Dionysos leaning back on a chariot, besides him Ariadne, both wreathed with vine leaves and ivy. The chariot is drawn by two centaurs, one playing a lyre, the other two flutes. Between them and Dionysos Eros is flying. In front of the chariot are walking a bacchant with thyrsos, a bachante with timbal, a faun with two flutes and a satyr with kantharos.
Another wonderful picture shows Dionysos and Ariadne sitting in a chariot, pulled by centaurs and with a glorious entourage. On top of the procession are walking persons of both gender, playing on flutes and cymbals. Then an elephant wreathed as sacrificial animal and suggesting the conquest of India. behind Silen riding on an ass. They are accompagnied by fauns, satyrs, and nymphs holding thyrsoi, grapes, vine branches and drinking vessels. This motive is often used on sarkophages. As Holy Marriage it symbolizes the unification of the human and the divine, a consolatory suggestion.

This theme was adopted again by Renaissance artists. We have paintings f.e. from Annibale Caracci and Tizian. We find Ariadne too on paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, f.e. 'La Statua Silenziosa', 1913.

I have added
(1) the picture of a black-figured neck-amphora, showing Ariadne and Dionysos on a kline, from about 510-500 BC
(2) A detail from Caracci's ceiling fresco 'The Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne' in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome from AD 1597-1600.

Sources:
Catull, Carmina 64, 50-201
Ovid, Metamorphoses 8, 169-182
Der kleine Pauly
Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
Karl Kerenyi, Die Mythologie der Griechen
Robert von Ranke-Graves, Griechische Mythologie

Best regards
Logged

slokind
Tribuna Plebis Perpetua
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6725


Art is an experimental science


WWW
« Reply #258 on: September 23, 2008, 02:41:33 pm »

Re: Bacchus and Ariadne, trope for Marriage, often shown drawn by centaurs.  There are further illustrations on coins and, earlier, on vase-paintings, but sarcophagi are a favorite place for this conceit, that the mortal pair enjoyed a union blissful as that of Dionysos and Ariadne.  Here I post a sarcophagus and, much later, a cameo in the Louvre.
Evidently, as at the Centauromachy wrecking a respectable wedding on west pediment of Temple of Zeus at Olympia, centaurs stand for uncontrollable libido...
Pat L.
These go with Jochen's entry of 23 Sept 2008 on this subject, preceding the index.
Click images to zoom
Logged
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #259 on: October 14, 2008, 04:41:11 pm »

The Samian Hera

We know Hera as spouse of Zeus whom she jealous pursuits because of his love-affairs.  Actually she appears a bit boring compared with most of the other gods on the Olymp. Wrong from the beginning!

Ionia, Samos, Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161
AE 19, 5.33g
obv. [A]NTWNINOC - KAICAR(?)
Head, laureate, r.
rev. C[A]MIWN
Cult-statue of the Samian Hera in long garment and wearing polos, stg. r.,
holding in both hands staffs from small pellets.
BMC 239; Sear GIC 1417
good F

And here a second coin in this context as we will see:

Ionia, Samos, Geta as Caesar, AD 198-209
AE 16, 3.18g
obv. AV K - AI GETAC
        Head, r.
rev. CAM, and in ex. IWN
       Rivergod Imbrasos, wearing himation, nude to hips, leaning l., holding in r. hand
       reed and resting with l. elbow on cornucopiae and vase from which water flows l.
SNG Copenhagen 1744
about VF
In the marshes at the mouth of the river Imbrasos the Ionian colonists under Proklos are said to have found a wooden image of Hera which was caught in a willow brushwood. Therefore they built an altar beside this tree. From this altar the famous temple of Hera, the Heraion, originated. Imbrasos himself has a daughter Okyrrhoe by the Samian nymph Chesias (a hypostasis of the goddess Artemis). Okyrrhoe later was seduced by Apollo (Aelian, Hist.animal. 15.23).

According to Homer Hera is known as the highest goddess of the Olymp, the consort of Zeus. But this relatively colorless mythological representation is only one aspect of the goddess and does present the whole picture of her religious significance and her essence as a divine power in Greek belief. The Hera cult corresponds not to the spouse of Zeus and the Queen of the Olymp, but to a goddess who was worshipped long before her union with Zeus, that highest god of the migrating Greeks at the end of the 2nd Millenium B.C. Zeus, moreover, seems to have played no part in the Samian Hera cult, which had been in existence since the late Bronze Age.The more recent science of religion regards Hera as an old, originally pre-Hellenic nature and fertility goddess, indeed nothing short of the primordial goddess of the pre-Hellenic inhabitants of Greece. This original independence from the Olympian Zeus myth is also expressed later in Hera's autonomous cult. The ancient poet Alcaeus of Lesbos (7th/6th Century B.C.) still calls the goddess "genetrix of all things panthon genethla". Archaeological research further testifies, even more than poetic expressions such as this one, to the universal character of Hera during the early Greek period: the Heraia of Argos, Olympia and Samos belong among the oldest significant sanctuaries of the gods in ancient Greece. It has been convincingly observed that the broad, fertile plain, so characteristic of the great Hera sanctuary, expresses a fundamental trait of the goddess: her power over vegetation and fertility. Such an idea can be perceived amongst the older votive offerings of the Heraion. Here are to be found many ivory or clay representations of poppy heads and pomegranates, which were known as symbols of fertility because of their abundant seeds. Numerous votive offerings of clay oxen from earlier levels of the Samian sanctuary, just as the ox 'emblem' of later Samian coins, indicate a related sphere under the goddess's protection, namely ownership of herds and agricultural wealth.

Mythology:
Her name probably means something like 'Dame' or 'Lady'. She was the daughter of Kronos and Rhea and was born on the island of Samos or, according to others, at Argos. She was educated in Arcadia by Temenos, son of Pelasgos, and she was nursed by the Seasons
When Hera's twin Zeus has banished their father Kronos, he called her at Knossos on Crete, or possibly on the mountain Thornax in Argolis as other says which today is called Cuckoo mountain. Here he wooed her without success. But when he took the shape of a tousled cuckoo she took pity on him and warmed him tenderly at her bosom. But then he took his true shape and raped her, so that she - to escape the disgrace - was forced to mary him. All gods brought gifts. Mother Gaia gave her a tree with golden apples which after that was kept by the Hesperids in Hera's garden on the mountain Atlas. They celebrated the wedding night, which lastened 300 years, on the island of Samos.

Background:
Several locations are known where Hera was worshipped. One main focus was the Peloponnesos, especially Argos. One of her surnames at Homer was Argeia. Possibly she was an ancient palace goddess who lived on to the Mykenian time as Athena did in Sparta or Mykenae. But she is seen too as a kind of the great pre-olympic mediterranean Hera Pelasga.The other centre of her worship was the island of Samos. In any case she was a goddess of the women who defended the rights of women. Connected with Zeus in the hieros gamos she was the guardian of the marriage-law. To look upon her only as a fertility goddess does not seem correct. So she always appears as Zeus' spouse but never as mother of his children. In this context the myth fits where Zeus has hung Hera at her feet forcing her to swear by the river Styx that the birth of her son Hephaistos was parthogenetical. She is described in the Iliad as domineering, proud and jealous. Often she was at open strife with Zeus. During the Troyan War she was on the side of the Greek and she was the tutelary goddess of Jason during the Voyage of the Argonauts.

The Heraion:
Traces of the Hera-cult are known in Samos from the midst of the 2nd millenium BC. The centre of her cult was the chasteberry tree whose trunk still was found at the excavations beginning in 1911 AD. Under this tree Hera is said to be born.Here the annual spring festival was celebrated with the Holy Wedding and agons. Beside the stony altar of Hera already in the 8th century BC was built a 'hundred-footed' temple which was later enlarged by auxiliary buildings, altars, great halls with marble-columns and bathrooms. A giant temple, built in the 6th century BC was destroyed soon by fire and then replaced by a new giant temple probably under Polykrates after 321 BC. This temple never was completed. In the time of Strabon it was used as pinakotheca and seen as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. One of the columns on the southern front all the time stood upright as lonely sign of the sanctuary. Therefore this location was called 'Kolona'. This last temple probably was destroyed by the Heruls in the 60th of the 3rd century AD.

The cult in Samos:
There is known the age-old willow lygos (yes, there is some confusion with the kind of this tree!) in the sanctuary of Hera at Samos at the river Imbrasos. Pausanias, who has seen it yet green, names it the oldest of all he holy trees known to the Greeks. Under this tree Hera is said to be born and nursed. So it is undoubtful that the altar of the goddess must have stand under this tree. Because Pausanias mentions that the Argonauts have donated the sanctuary and have brought the image of Hera from Argos to Samos, this suggests a connection with another myth, where Admete, daughter of Eurystheus, escapes from Argos to Samos and here, due to the epiphany of Hera, consecrates her services to the goddess and becomes servant of the temple. In this story a willow too plays an important role, when the Argives - taking revenge for the escape of Admete - robbed the wooden image of the goddess which was guarded by Admete. When the Argives put the robbed image on their ship it became so heavy that it was impossible to sail away. So they put the image back on the beach and sacrifice expiation cakes. Then quickly they sail away. The people sent by the Samian to search for the image found it but suggested that it itself was gone to this place. They leaned it to the stem of a willow and braided it with long willow twigs completely so that it was invisible. Admete found it, detached it and brought it back to the temple where it was set on its frame (bathron) again and newly consecrated. From this time on this tonea called festival of the willow bed was annually celebrated on Samos. The entire procedure was repeated: each year the image of the goddess was brought to the beach and enfolded in willow twigs (as fascelites) just as if it became invisible again. After sacrificing it was bedded on a willow braiding bed and brought back to the temple. This is the reason for the great holiness of the willow on Samos. It is said that this rites were commended by the oracle of Apollon, because the inhabitants of Samos (the Carians) have bound the goddess with willow twigs. Therefore they have to wreath themselves with willow twigs and to lay on willow twigs at all festivals of Hera. Only the priests were allowed to wear laurel wreaths.

The cult image of the Samian Hera:
The Samian Hera is depicted as a woman who has on her head a crescent or a basket and a great blanket from the crescent to her feet, and under her feet a crescent again and resting with her hands on two staffs made off small round pellets (Spanhem. ad Callim. Hymn. in Dian. v.228). Her temple is said to be built by the Argonauts and the image of the goddess brought from Argos to Samos. The cult statue is said to be made by Smilis from Aegina, son of Eukleides and from the same time as Daidalos (Pausan. 7.4.4.7). At first the image should have been only a wooden plank. This origin from Argos was always vehemently denied by the inhabitants of Samos!

Besides the two coins I have added he following:
(1) a pic of the Heraion of Samos as you can see it today with the famos column.
(2) a pic of the famous votive statue consecrated by Cheramyes

Sources:
- Der Kleine Pauly
- Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
- Robert von Ranke-Graves, Griechische Mythologie
- Bötticher/Bötticher, Der Baumkultus der Hellenen, 1856
online:
- http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0008&query=bibl%3D%233
- http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/sosahera/hera.html
- http://www.moonspeaker.ca/Hera/pomegranate.html
- http://www.wbenjamin.org/nc/heraion.html

Best regards
Logged

Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #260 on: October 14, 2008, 04:45:58 pm »

Shamash - The Babylonian sun-god

In this thread we have already talked about several deities from the Middle East. Here I want to present another one, from whom most of you, I think, have never heard: The Babylonian sun-god Shamash.

The coin:
Syria, Seleukia and Pieria, Emesa, Macrinus, AD 217-218
AE - Billon-tetradrachm, 25.5.mm, 13.17g
obv. AVT KM OP CE(?) - MAKRINOC C-E-B
       laureate bust r.
rev. DHMARX EZ VPATOC PP
      Eagle with opened wings, stg. frontal, head l., holding wreath in beak; between his legs   
      bust of Shamash, draped (and cuirassed), radiate, r.
      below beak H (for officina)
Prieur 987; Bellinger 199
about VF

Mythology:
Shamash is the common name of the sun-god in Babylonia and Assyria.  The Semitic name signifies something like 'bright, shiny'. The ancient Sumerians has called him Utu. The moon-god Sin (Nannar) was the son of the god Enlil. The sun-god Shamah in turn was the son of Sin. In the early morning he raised from the mountains in the East, rays emanating from his shoulders, went in his chariot dragged by fiery mules over the sky to the West, where he in the evening entered through the gates of West the Underworld. These gates opened to the Mt.Mashu (Gilgamesh, tabl.IX) and were guarded by scorpion-men, half scorpion, half man. Like the sun disperses the darkness and sees all, so Shamash brings evil and injustice to light. Shamash was the god of justice. He punished the bad and rewards the good.

Background:
Both in early and in late inscriptions Shamash is designated as the 'offspring of Sin (Nannar)', i.e. of the moon-god, and since, in an enumeration of the Babylonian pantheon. Shamash so to say belongs to a second generation of gods, or even to a third one (Aren't that similarities to the Greek gods?). Sin generally takes precedence of Shamash, it is in relationship, presumably, to the moon-god that the sun-god appears as the dependent power. Such a supposition would accord with the prominence acquired by the moon in the calendar and in astrological calculations, as well as with the fact that the moon-cult belongs to the nomadic and therefore earlier stage of civilization, whereas the sun-god rises to full importance only after the agricultural stage has been reached. The two chief centres of sun-worship in Babylonia were Sippara (Sippar), represented by the mounds at Abu Habba, and Larsa, represented by the modern Senkerah. At both places the chief sanctuary bore the name E-barra, meaning 'the shining house# - a direct allusion to the brilliancy of the sun-god. Of the two temples, that at Sippara was the more famous, but temples to Shamash were erected in all large centres - as Babylon, Ur, Nippur and Niniveh.

The attribute most commonly associated with Shamash is justice. Hammurabi attributes to Shamash the inspiration that led him to gather the existing laws and legal procedures into a code, and in the design accompanying the code the king represents himself in an attitude of adoration before Shamash as the embodiment of the idea of justice. Several centuries before Hammurabi, Ur-Engur, king of Ur (c. 2600 BC) declared that he rendered decisions 'according to the just laws of Shamash'. It was a logical consequence of this conception of the sun-god that he was regarded also as the one who released the sufferer from the grasp of the demons. The sick man, therefore, appeals to Shamash as the god who can be depended upon to help those who are suffering unjustly. This aspect of the sun-god is vividly brought out in the hymns addressed to him, which are, therefore, among the finest productions in the entire realm of Babylonian literature. In the library of king Assurbanipal (668-633 BC) fragments of hymns were found were Shamash is celebrated as universal god, as god of earth and Underworld and Saviour.

It is evident from our material that the Shamash cults at Sippara and Larsa so overshadowed local sun-deities elsewhere as to lead to an absorption of the minor deities by the predominating one. In the systematized Babylonian pantheon these minor sun-gods become attendants of Shamash. Such are Bunene, spoken of as his chariot driver, whose consort is Atgimakh, Kettu ("justice") and Mesharu ("right"), who are introduced as servitors of Shamash. Other sun-deities, as Ninib and Nergal, in earlier times the patron deities of important centres, retained their independent existence as certain phases of the sun, Ninib becoming the sun-god of the morning and of the spring time, and Nergal the sun-god of the noon and of the summer solstice, while Shamash was viewed as the sun-god in general.

Together with Sin and Ishtar, Shamash forms a second triad by the side of Anu, Bel and Ea. The three powers, Sin, Shamash and Ishtar, symbolized the three great forces of nature, the sun, the moon and the life-giving force of the earth. At times, instead of Ishtar, we find Hadad, the storm-god, associated with Sin and Shamash, and it may be that these two sets of triads represent the doctrines of two different schools of theological thought in Babylonia which were subsequently harmonized by the recognition of a group consisting of all four deities.

The consort of Shamash was known as Aya. She, however, is rarely mentioned in the inscriptions except in combination with Shamash.

Like mentioned above the Babylonian king Hammurabi (1728-1686 BC) should have got his famous code of law, the Codex Hammurabi, which is suggested as oldest written code of law, from the sun-god Shamash. At top of the stele where the cuneiform texts are engraved we see Shamash throning and handing over the Codex to king Hammurabi.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, whose last version was written c.1200 BC on twelve tablets, Shamash plays an important role as personal god of Gilgamesh and as victorious fighter. It was Shamash who challenged Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, to defeat Chumbaba, the guardian of the cedar woods in Lebanon. Gilgamesh together with his consort Enkidu promised to extinguish from earth all evil. In the evening before they left Uruk they sacrificed cool water to Shamash (tabl. III). When fighting against Chumbaba Shamash helped them by arousing twelfe havy gales against the monster. Later, as thanks for defeating the heaven's bull who was send by Ishtar against them, Enkidu and Gilgamesh sacrificed to Shamash again (Epic of Gilgamesh, tabl. VI).

In later times we find Shamash as part of individual names too, so in Shamash-shum-ukin, who was king of Babylon in 668-548 BC. But that phenomena we know already from Mithras. When in the Holy Bible in the Book of Kings is the talk of horses and a chariot which was set by the kings of Juda before the temple of Jerusalem in honour of the sun, which then were removed by Josia (7th century BC), then the horses and the chariot of Shamash is meant (Bellinger, 427).

Later Shamash was the sun-god of the Arabs especially of those from Hatra, an indepent kingdom between Parthia and the Roman Syria. Hatra issued coins showing the portrait of Shamash in the time of the Severians. Its legend was Aramaic HTR DSMS (Hatra of Shamash). I have added a pic of SNG Copenhagen 232.

We find Shamash in the Judaism too. Here it is a kind of helper-candle which is used during Chanukah to set fire to the Mitzvah candles. Theses were sacred and should not be violated by such profane acts like lighting candles. The Shamash was not allowed to be exstinguished during the festivities.

I have added the following pics:
(1) a pic from the top of Hammurabi's stele showing the scene where Shamash, seated l.,  handed over to king Hammurabi, stg. r.,  the text of the Codex Hammurabi.
(2) a pic of the tablet of Shamash from the 9th century BC, found in Sippar/Southern Iraque, today in the British Museum. This tablet reports a fascinating story: The restauration of the image and the temple of the sun-god. The cuneiform text describes how the Temple of Shamash at Sippar had fallen into decay and the image of the god had been destroyed. During the reign of Nabu-apla-iddina, however, a terracotta model of the statue was found on the far side of the Euphrates and the king ordered a new image be constructed of gold and lapis lazuli. The text then confirms and extends the privileges of the temple.
The tablet was discovered some 250 years later by King Nabopolassar (625-605 BC), who placed it for safe keeping, together with a record of his own name, in the pottery box. The clay impressions of the carved panel were placed as protection over the face of the stone. The original one placed by Nabu-apla-iddina was broken when the stone tablet was recovered by Nabopolassar. He replaced it with a new one while keeping the original safely in the box with the tablet.
At top of the tablet we see Shamash seated on the right, holding emblems of his authority, a staff and ring, and the king with two attendants on the left. In the center, on an altar, is a large 4-point sun image, with additional small wavy rays between the points, an old symbol for Shamash himself.
(3) A pic of the coin from Hatra with the bust of Shamash on the obv.

Sources:
- Wikipedia
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
- The Codex Hammurabi
- Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 (online)
- www.sungaya.de (Das schwarze Netz)
- www.britishmuseum.org
- H.J.W.Drijvers, Monotheismus und Polytheismus in der haträischen Religion, Proceedings of the Xiith International Congress of the Int. Assoc. for the History of Religions, 1970).

Best regards
Logged

Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #261 on: November 10, 2008, 01:14:00 pm »

will be deleted
Logged

kerux
Guest
« Reply #262 on: November 12, 2008, 08:49:41 am »

The Star of Bethlehem: Mythology or not?

Syria, Antiochia ad Orontem, quasi-autonomous, AD 13/14
AE 21, 4.46g
struck under the governor of Syria,Metellus Creticus Silanus
obv. bearded head of Zeus, r.
rev. EPI SILANOV ANTIOXEWN
      Ram, leaping r., head turned back, star above
      beneath DM (year 44 of the Actian era)     
Ref.: SNG Copenhagen 97; SNG München 645; BMC 65; RPC 626, 4269
about VF, black-brown patina, light roughness
Q. Caecilius Metellus Creticus Silanus was legatus Augusti pro praetore in Syria AD 11-17

Molnar starts from a new conception. Suggesting that the wise men from the east are men with knowledge of stars and planets and astronomy and astrology was not separated in ancient times, he puts himself in the world of ancient astrologers and asks what could have been the belief of the ancient astrologists. One of his main sources is the Tetrabyblos of Ptolemaios. In this work the ram (Lat. aries) was called the sign of "Judaea, Idumea, Samaria, Palaestina and Coele Syria", exact the countries ruled by King Herodes. So this coin may be edited to commemorate the take-over of Judaea by the Romans in Antiochia in AD 6. In any case not the Pisces (fishes) were the sign of Judaea, as it is claimed often today, possibly because the fish (Greek ichthys) was an important symbol of the early Christians. Others suggest the lion as the sign of Judaea probably because they think of the 'Lion of Juda'. Others suggest Virgo possibly because of the Virgin Mary. But actually it was Aries, the ram, where the ancient astrologers were looking in searching for news for Judaea.

The star on the rev. of the coins not only is a sign of divinity but a symbol for Jupiter/Zeus too, who is depicted on the obv. So the rev. means "Jupiter in the sign of Aries". Naturally the coin itself has no direct relation to the birth of Jesus. But it was the starting point Molnar used to get new conclusions for the Star of Bethlehem


Forgive this belated response, but I just recently found this thread.

Molnar's theory about the Star of Bethlehem is interesting, but appears to be Biblically unsupportable. If one accepts the Scriptures as inspired truth (I know many do not)...then several major problems with the theory appear.

FIRST - In Matthew 2:7 Herod questions the Magi about "the exact time the star appeared". While not conclusive, This would seem to imply an entirely NEW astronomical phenomena, not merely the lining up of existing astronomical lights (which the Magi would surely already be aware of).

SECOND - In Matthew 2:9 the star is given 2 attributes that are absolutely unique. The star "went on before them"...inotherwords, a MOVING star. This star did more than give a general direction (every star in the sky does that), it "went" before them like no other star. Also, this star "came and stood" over the place Christ was. Pick out a typical star in the night sky and start walking toward it...at what point will it STAND OVER a particular house in a particular city? Typical stars NEVER do this...walk as long as you like in it's direction, and a star will remain a distant light in the sky forever.

THIRD - There is a reasonable question as to whether this "star" was something ANYONE could see. Remember Herod was quite anxious to find (and kill) this potential usurper. Why couldn't he (or his soldiers) follow a light in the sky that everyone could see? His dependance on the Magi to inform him would be understandable if this "star" was something only they could perceive. No mention of the Magi or the "star" (or anyone else seeing such a star) is found in the other Gospel accounts which would seem to add weight to the idea that the "star" was something only they (the Magi) experienced.

I understand that people will believe what they want. However, it seems the only way to embrace Molnar's theory is to largely reject the Biblical record which is, after all, the only historical record of the "star" phenomena related to Christ.

Joe W.
Logged
Robert_Brenchley
Procurator Caesaris
Caesar
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7311

Honi soit qui mal y pense.


WWW
« Reply #263 on: November 12, 2008, 03:39:19 pm »

Matthew's star shares the remarkable ability to 'stand' in one place with the War Star in Josephus, the two even use the exact same Greek phrase. Balaam's star prophecy in Numbers 24 was believed to refer to the messiah; it's used, if I remember right, four times in the Dead sea Scrolls,and always in a messianic context. Several faction leaders in the first Revolt were probably regarded as messiahs by their followers, and there actually was a comet seen just before the war broke out. So Josephus' 'star shaped like a sword, standing over the city' is easily explained. Since I don't regard the Bible as 'inspired truth', I think Matthew borrowed the image of the War Star, and moved it to the time of Jesus' birth as a way of saying that he was the 'proper' messiah.
Logged

Robert Brenchley

My gallery: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/index.php?cat=10405
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #264 on: November 12, 2008, 05:33:43 pm »

I have listed three different explanations of the Star of Bethlehem (A to C). There may be more. But I think explanation (A) is the correct one: 'The Star has never existed. It was added later as sign of divinity and choiceness and so like the story of the virgin birth and other miracles.' If I'm correct, that would match Robert's opinion.

Best regards
Logged

His Star
Guest
« Reply #265 on: November 15, 2008, 01:27:33 am »

Doing a little catching up on these posts, and this is really neat that you found a statue
of almost the same image on the coin. Great posts, and still being enjoyed well past your post date!

The snake cult of Alexander of Abounoteichos (called the FALSE PROPHET)

Geta AD 209-211
AE 30, 16.5g
obv. AVT KP CEPT - IMOC GETAC
        Bust, cuirassed, seen from behind, radiate, r.
rev. AVGOVCTHC - TRAIANHC
      Snake in four elaborate coils erecting, with nimbus and radiated
not in Varbanov

On ancient coins we find many depictions of snakes. I remind of the snake as attribute of Salus, or the famous Cistophori where a snake is climbing out of a Cista mystica, the snake basket, belonging to the cult of Dionysos and playing an important role in the  Eleusinic Mysteries too. But this is not the matter with the snake on this coin.

There is some evidence that the snake erecting here in four elaborated coils and has a radiate head with nimbus is Gykon, the Snake God. Thanks to Pat Lawrence for her invaluable help.

Best regards

Logged
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #266 on: November 22, 2008, 07:44:58 am »

A founder myth from Lanuvium

In this thread we have already several myths covering the time of Aeneas' arrival in Italy, the founding of Rome and the time of the early Republic. Here is a list in informal order:
The white sow of Lavinium
The rape of the Sabinian women
Anna Perenna
Juno Sospita
Acca Larentia
Venus Cloacina
Mars and Rhea Silva
Faustulus and the twins
Romulus and the first triumph
Juno Caprotina

Here is another myth which could be dated in the time after the myth of the white sow of Lavinium. This myth plays in the time where the Trojans were looking for land for their settlement in Latium.

Roman Republic, L. Papius Celsus, gens Papia
AR - denarius, 18mm, 3.66g
Rome, 45 BC
obv. Head of Juno Sospita, wearing goat-skin, r.
rev. She-wolf r., with a wood stick in her mouth for throwing it in fire, which is burning r. before her, on its r. side an eagle stg. l., fanning the fire with his wings.
above CELSVS.III.VIR
in ex. L.PAPIVS
ref. Crawford 472/1; Sydenham 964; Papia 2
VF, attractive toning

Mythology:
Aeneas having accepted this proposal, a treaty was made between the Trojans and the Latins and confirmed by oaths to this effect: the Aborigines were to grant to the Trojans as much land as they desired, that is, the space of about forty stades in every direction from the hill; the Trojans, on their part, were to assist the Aborigines in the war they were then engaged in and also to join them with their forces upon every other occasion when summoned; and, mutually, both nations were to aid each other to the utmost of their power, both with their arms and with their counsel.

After they had concluded this treaty and had given pledges by handing over children as hostages, they marched with joint forces against the cities of the Rutulians; and having soon subdued all opposition there, they came to the town of the Trojans, which was still but half-finished, and all working with a common zeal, they fortified the town with a wall.

This town Aeneas called Lavinium, after the daughter of Latinus, according to the Romans' own account; for her name, they say, was Lavinia. But according to some of the Greek mythographers he named it after the daughter of Anius, the king of the Delians, who was also called Lavinia; for as she was the first to die of illness at the time of the building of the city and was buried in the place where she died, the city was made her memorial. She is said to have embarked with the Trojans after having been given by her father to Aeneas at his desire as a prophetess and a wise woman.

While Lavinium was building, the following omens are said to have appeared to the Trojans. When a fire broke out spontaneously in the forest, a wolf, they say, brought some dry wood in his mouth and threw it upon the fire, and an eagle, flying thither, fanned the flame with the motion of his wings. But working in opposition to these, a fox, after wetting his tail in the river, endeavoured to beat out the flames; and now those that were kindling it would prevail, and now the fox that was trying to put it out. But at last the two former got the upper hand, and the other went away, unable to do anything further. Aeneas, on observing this, said that the colony would become illustrious and an object of wonder and would gain the greatest renown, but that as it increased it would be envied by its neighbours and prove grievous to them; nevertheless, it would overcome its adversaries, the good fortune that it had received from Heaven being more powerful than the envy of men that would oppose it. These very clear indications are said to have been given of what was to happen to the city; of which there are monuments now standing in the forum of the Lavinians, in the form of bronze images of the animals, which have been preserved for a very long time.

Background:
This myth only appears at Dionysios of Halicarnassos and in a note of Horace. Dionysios lived in the 2nd half of the 1st century BC and settled in Rome from 30 to 7 BC. He wrote a history of Rome ('Antiquitates Romanae') in 20 volumes covering the time until the Punic war 264 BC which is preserved in excerpts. In this work he describes the Roman history from the teleological view: Why Rome was predetermined from the beginning to become the ruler of the world. He is known as rhetor too and has written a book about the Greek rhetor Demosthenes and about 'The arrangement of words'. He was an exponent of the Atticismus against the Asianismus.

This myth according to Dionysios occured not in Lanuvium but in Lavinium. And there too the group depicting the myth should have been found. This localisation seems to be an error of the author. On the obv. of this coin appears Juno Sospita. the main centre of her worshipping was Lanuvium, not Lavinium. The allusion to this myth at Horace (Hor. epod. 3, 27, 4) appears directly after the mention of Lanuvium. The confusion of these two sites is not astonishing. Lanuvium and Lavinium were swapped very often and in important documents too like the Fasti. The strong connection with Aeneas in this story of Dionysios can be explained as addition of the author who doesn't miss the chance to beautify the myth. Dionysios ascribes an old age to the myth but this can't be looked at as reliable. But rather a group of statues whose meaning has been lost may be the reason of this aetiological myth (Krumme).

Sources:
(1) Dionysios of Halicarnassos, Antiquitates Romanae
     online under
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Dionysius_of_Halicarnassus/home.html
(2) Michael Krumme, Römische Sagen in der antiken Münzprägung, Hitzeroth 1995
(3) Wikipedia

Best regards
Logged

His Star
Guest
« Reply #267 on: November 22, 2008, 01:55:53 pm »

Thank you for taking the time to provide this information.  A lot of research done and all of it placed in one convenient location for us!  Thank you!
Logged
His Star
Guest
« Reply #268 on: November 22, 2008, 01:58:56 pm »

Also wanted to add the Outline or grouping is very convenient - thank you
Logged
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #269 on: November 22, 2008, 03:33:21 pm »

Thank you for your comments. Any feedback highly appreciated. There are some more themes to come but it needs time.

Best regards
Logged

Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #270 on: November 30, 2008, 04:05:15 pm »

A word about Aequitas

Always when I found an interesting coin - you know - I try to get as much informations as I can get. Naturally these are the history of the issueing emperor, his deeds, his importance, but the meaning of the depiction on the rev. too. Then even coins which you already have had in hand many times can appear in new light. This happened to me with this antoninianus of Carinus.

Carinus, AD 283-285, oldest son of Carus
AR - antoninianus, 3.95g, 22.6mm
Lugdunum, 1st offizina, AD 282(?)
obv. IMP CM AVR CARINVS AVG
Bust, draped and cuirassed, radiate, r.
rev. AEQVITAS AVGG
Aequitas stg. l., holding scales and cornucopiae
in r. field A
RIC V/2, 212; C.8
about EF, rest of silver boiling

I have traced Aequitas and here are my results:

1) As a first translation we find 'tranquillitas, equanimity, serenity'. In this sense Aequitas correspondends to theGreek 'ataraxia' and is a central idea of the Stoic philosophy  and therefore often called 'stoicism'. It doesn't mean carelessness for one's surrounding, but bravery in bearing of strokes of fate. But I don't want to emphasize this aspect because I think on our Carinus coin this is not meant.

2) As 2nd meaning we find 'equality before the law, justice, fairness'. This corresponds approximately to the Greek 'dikaiosyne'. Here Aequitas means a very special aspect of justice. Its already linguistic connection with equality doesn't mean formal equal treatment but equal decisions in equal situations. In this sense justice is not the equal treatment of all cases, but the challenge to treat equal cases equally und unequal cases unequally! Pauly explicates: In this sense fair decisions are consistent with Aequitas. If we understand Aequitas as fairness in law it doesn't mean however the blundering softening of firm law traditons (in the sense of a modern fairness jurisprudence), but the realisation of justice in law, particularly the material correctness of legal decisions.
Here already is distinguished between law and justice. This reference of Aequitas in the Roman right is very old. Already very early Aequitas and Ius (right) have been arranged. But naturally the fact became clear very early too, that Ius and Aequitas can 
fold apart (we know that this is true today too!).

Especially in the later Empire and then especially from Constantine I on the diverging of Ius and Aequitas became obvious. During the time of the Dominate this led to a bizarre hypocrisy because the Emperor wanted to stick to Aequitas but his actions were in blatant contrast to it. From Theodosius on the Imperial Chancellery alone has defined what has to be understand under equality. By this administration the meaning of Ius and Aequitas ultimately has been split in two. But this was no disadvantage for Aequitas - rather for Ius -, but strengthened its significance. In this sense Aequitas became the standard of criticism on legal practice.

The depiction of Aequitas has a lasting impact on our image of Aequitas. Justitia too is holding scales but her eyes are veiled which should say that she comes to a decision without looking at the person.

3) A view on the real depiction of the coin's rev. shows us a near relation between Aequitas and Moneta. Both are holding scales and cornucopiae, indeed we could confuse them unless the rev. legend makes it clear. In this connection Aequitas clearly has an economic, financial meaning too, that is to say the just and equal distribution of goods to the people. That could be the largitio, the money donation of the Emperor to the people, which is often depicted as Liberalitas with the counting board. But it could be too the fair and equal distribution of the regular grain supplies to Rome. In this sense Aequitas has a strong relation to Annona.

Which of these different meanings is meant in this coin of Carinus I can't say definitely. Personally I suggest that it is the last one. The people of Rome was existentially depending on the fair and equal distribution of grain and other goods - but not only the people, but the emperor too! If obvious injustices should have occur during the supply the emperor would have come in a severe situation. That has occured several times in Roman history. Naturally the meaning of Aequitas as the idea of right is playing an inseparable role here too.

Sources:
Der 'Kleine Pauly'
Stowasser (Latin dictionary)

Best regards
Logged

His Star
Guest
« Reply #271 on: November 30, 2008, 05:40:45 pm »

Very interesting -

A word about Aequitas

equality doesn't mean formal equal treatment but equal decisions in equal situations. In this sense justice is not the equal treatment of all cases, but the challenge to treat equal cases equally und unequal cases unequally! Here already is distinguished between law and justice.
Logged
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #272 on: December 18, 2008, 02:54:30 pm »

Doros - son of Poseidon

Phoenicia, Dora, Trajan, AD 98-117
AE 29, 13.85g
struck AD 111/112 (year 175)
obv. [KAIC] NER TRAIANOC CEB GERM
Bust with slight drapery on l. shoulder, laureate, r.
eight-pointed star before
rev. DWR IER ACYL AYTON NAYAR
Bust of Doros, bearded, laureate, r.
aphlaston before
in ex. ROE (year 175)
ref. Rosenberger 26; BMC 30-1; Meshorer 'Te Coins of Dora', 33;Hendin 850

Dora, the recent Tel Dor, is an very old city located on the Phoenicean coast of the Mediterranean, 30km off Haifa. About 1100 BC Dora was occupied by the so-called Sea Peoples. It is mentioned several times in the Bible: Josua 11, 1-2; Josua 12, 23; Josua 17, 11; Richter 1, 27; 1.Könige 4, 11; 1.Chronik 7, 29. But it was autonomous and not dependent on the immigrating Israelites. 734 BC it was probably a maintown of an Assyrean province. 63 BC it became Roman. Until today no mayor excavations occured

Doros was a son of the sea-god Poseidon. Often you can read the statement that there are two different sons of Poseidon named Doros, a Greek and a Phoenicean one. But then I found the following passage of Stephanus of Byzantium (probably 5th century AD), who wrotes about Dora: Next to Caesarea lies Dor, a very small city inhabited by Phoeniceans. They settled here on somewhat rocky nature beaches and the abundance of the purple fish. When their business prospered, they split the rock, and made a harbour with good and safety anchorage. They called the place in their native tong Dor. But, the Greeks, for the sake of its more pleasing sound, agreed to call the city Dora. And some make the statement that Doros, the son of Poseidon was its founder.

In other words, this statement has its source from the assonance of the words only. And indeed there is only one son of Poseidon named Doros. The convention to invent founder myths and to name the founder of a city after a Greek god or Heroe was well-known from the Greek and wide-spread. In this way the Greek provide mythological security for their territorial claims.

I don't think that there are two different heroes. But the story will become much more complicate because their is another Doros who is suggested to be the ancestor of the Dorians. In his myth are many uncertainties too. I hope that I can give an overview with due shortness.

Mythology:
The Doros from the coin, here called Doros(2), was the son of the sea-god Poseidon and the nymph Ellepsis. He gave his name not only to the landscape Doris but from him the Dorians  gave their origin and their name. The Dorians are a part of the Greek nation and after the Dorians the third language of the greeks is called Dorian (Isidor of Sevilla: 9.2.80). But a commentator to Isidor (Servius Comm. in Aen.2.27) already writes: Doros was the son of Poseidon (he doesn't mention Ellepsis). He has founded Dora in Phoenicia; but another was the ancestor of the Dorians, a son of Apollo and Phthia or Hellen and Orseis.

Because Dorian(2) according to the opinion of some authors came to Doris by ship he is suggested to be a son of Poseidon (Bocaccio. I.X.c.2; Johannes Bocaccio was an Italian scholar from Certaldo in the Toscany who died AD 1375. He wrote 15 books De Genealogia Deorum, which was issued AD 1532 in Basel). Doris was an ancient region in middle Greece, located between Phokis, Malis, Aitolia and the Ozolic Lokris on the upper reaches of the river Kephisos. The plain of Doris was enclosed on three sides by mountains and was considered as the homeland of the Dorians. In fact it was a bit too small for that (Prinz). Besides it there was another Doris in Caria/Asia Minor. That was founded by Dorian immigrants.

The other Doros, here called Doros(1), was the grandson of Deukalion and Pyrrha, and the son of Hellen and the nymph Orseis. Deukalion himself was a son of Prometheus who warned him against the Flood and told him to build a waterproof chest. So Deukalion was a man like the Biblial Noah or the Babylonian Utnapischtim of the Gilgamesh epos. After the great Flood he became king in Thessalia. His most famous son was Hellen who became father of all Greeks which where called Hellenes after him (Dio.4.60.2.); Hes.CWE.4, etc.). With the nymph Orseis he procreates Aiolos, Xuthos and Doros. Xuthos has to flee from his brothers to Athens and married Kreusa, daughter of Erechtheus, who gave birth to Ion and Achaios. So the four most important nations of the Greek, the Ionians, the Aiolians, the Achaians and the Dorians were descended from Hellen.

When the paternal countries were divided Doros(1) got the part of Greece north of the Peloponnesos and its inhabitants were named Dorians after him (Apol.lin.b.l.c.7.§2.b). According to others his father, Hellen, has given his reign to his eldest son Aiolos solely and banished all other sons. Doros settled at the Parnassos (Strabo L.VII.p.383) or in the Histiaiotis, a region beneath the mountains Ossa and Olympos (Herod.Clio seu L.I.s.56). Not until later the Dorians immigrated to the Peloponnesos, where Sparta became their most important city. 

Some background:
The Dorians were one of te great Greek nations, but immigrated much later as all others to Hellas. Probably they originated from the Dalmatian-Albanian region. At the time of their immigration the Mykenian castles were already destroyed so that the mythological reminiscence of this immigration, the myth of the return of the Heraclides, nothing kows to tell of it. Their characteristic order of phyla they brought along from their origin and cultic and cultural coincidence existed with Veneters, Illyrians and Philistines. From the Argolis the expanded step-by-step into the Peloponnesos. Only radually they could prevail aainst the Ionian elements. The intensive Dorianization of Megaris seems to be the lasting result of a failed attack on Athens. The first Dorian traces in Sparta are from the 10th century BC, but not before the 1st half of the 8th century BC they succeeded in putting their hands on the kingdom of Amyklai and southern Laconia. in Asia Minor they got to Pamphylia. Importance received their colonies Taranto, Cyrene and then especially the colonies on Sicily, Syracusa, Acragas and Messana, which all the time were a stronghold of the Dorianism (Pauly),

The return of the Heraclides:
Already the ancient Greeks have had difficulties to incorporate the immigration of the Dorians into their mythology. Mythological the Dorians were closely connected to Herakles:
1) The Dorians thought that Herakles had helped their king Aigimios threetimes before they immigrated to the Peloponnesos: against the Lapiths, against the Dryops and finally against king Amyntor of Ormenion - all of them people of Thessalia and Trachis, near the mountain Oita where Herakles burned himself.
2) Herakles didn't not succeed in founding an own dynasty, as much as the genealogists tried to ascribe kings and nations to Herakles. All stories of the children he has had with Deianeira coincide in that they disappeared from the Peloponnesos. Only thereby the genealogists could tell the story of the return of the Heraclides and connect it with the arrival of the Dorians in Sparta (Kerenyi, vol.II).
Prinz assumes the existence of two different myths: the myth of Aigimios and the Dorians on one side, and the return of the Heraclides on the other side. If the Dorian dynasties want to trace themselfs to the Heraclides - and that means to Herakles - then the Dorians under Aigimios must have come to the Peloponnesos together with the Heraclides. The problem is that the Dorians don't appear in the myth of the Heraclides and were not mentioned in the Ilias too. In the so-called Catalogue of Ships all regions were listed as far as Thessalia but Doris is regularly avoided. Prinz assumes: Homer has naturally known the Dorians and Doris suggested for their homeland. But the Dorian myth didn't fit the Troyan cycle of legends. We don't know the Dorian myth, only some allusions, f.e. at Pindar who tells of a conquest of Aigina by king Aigimios and Hyllos, a myth which contradicts all Aiginetic myth. Doris itself couldn't have been the homeland of the Dorians because it is much too small. Much more probably it was a way station on the long migrations of the Dorians. Probably the myth around Aigimios is the older of the two. An argument is too that once there was a not preserved epos of Aigimios. Not until later the myth of the Heraclides was artificially added to the myth of Aigimos (the reception of the fugitive Heraclides and the adoption of Hyllos by king Aigimios).

I have added a pic of the recent coast of Tel Dor.

Sources:
- Der Kleine Pauly
- Benjamin Hederich, Gründliche griechische Mythologie
- Robert von Ranke-Graves, Griechische Mythologie
- Karl Kerenyi, Die Heroengeschichten
- Friedrich Prinz, Gründungsmythen und Sagenchronologie
- Axel Gebhardt, Imperiale Politik und Provinziale Entwicklung
- Isidore of Seville's Etymologies: Complete English Translation, Volume I: The
  Complete English Translation of Isidori Hispalensis Episcopi Etymologiarum Sive
  Originum Libri XX
- http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Archaeology/Tel_Dor.html

Best regards
Logged

His Star
Guest
« Reply #273 on: December 18, 2008, 04:20:54 pm »

I love reading your discoveries, you put a lot of work into your research - I especially found the town of Dor in the Bible fascinating. . .

Doros - son of Poseidon

Phoenicia, Dora, Trajan, AD 98-117
About 1100 BC Dora was occupied by the so-called Sea Peoples. It is mentioned several times in the Bible: Josua 11, 1-2; Josua 12, 23; Josua 17, 11; Richter 1, 27; 1.Könige 4, 11; 1.Chronik 7, 29. But it was autonomous and not dependent on the immigrating Israelites.
Logged
Jochen
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
Caesar
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11377


Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.


« Reply #274 on: December 28, 2008, 04:12:20 pm »

The bound Ares

We have talked about Ares in this thread several times before:
1) Ares - the bloodthirsty killer
     http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=25089.25
2) The Love of Ares and Aphrodite
     http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=25089.150
3) The voting pebble of Athena
     http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=25089.225

But the subject of this article is not Ares but the bound Ares!

Cilicia, Syedra, Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180
AE 31, 14.04g
obv. AVT KAI M A - VR ANTWNINOC
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. C - V - E - DRE - WN
       Ares in military cloak and wearing Corinthian helmet, resting with r.hand on his
       shield, stg. l. between Dike, in long garment stg. l., head turned r., and Hermes,
       nude, wearing winged boots and with kerykeion in l. arm, stg. l. and holding Ares
       with his r. hand.
ref. Ziegler, Kilikien - (rev. same die as no.121 for Lucius Verus)
very rare

This rev. motive is known from coins of Lucius Verus, Gallienus, Herennia Eruscilla and Valerian I. I have chosen a coin from CoinArchives because my own coin is in a bad shape.

CNG writes as note on this coin:
Ares slew Halirrhothius, son of Poseidon, for assaulting Ares' daughter, Alcippe. The site where Ares came before the gods for judgement became the Areopagos (Hill of Ares) in Athens, the location of the Athenian law courts. Ares was absolved of murder. It is unknown why this event had such import for Syedra, but the scene appears frequently on its 3rd century coinage.

Here I have the explanation:
In late Hellenistic times the inhabitants of Syedra like the whole coast of Asia Minor had to suffer by the repeated assaults of pirates. In this time of need the people of Synedra contacted the oracle of Klaros. And they got the advice to erect in their city a statue of Ares bound by Hermes and being judged by Dike. This statue was said to protect them against the assaults of the pirates. The base of the statue with the inscription of this action is preserved until now. Lit.: Götter, Städte, Feste. Ausstellung Münzsammlung München 1994, 23f.

It is interesting that we have many stories about the binding of gods, especially Ares. It seems to be a preferred Greek hobby to bind Ares. Pausanias (3.15.7) tells us that in Sparta opposite of the temple of Poseidon Hipposthenes an old statue has existed showing Ares Enyalios in chains. The idea the Lacedaemonians express by this image is the same as the Athenians express by their Wingless Victory; the former think that Enyalius will never run away from them, being bound in the fetters, and that manfulness and fortunes of war were bound to Sparta,.while the Athenians think that Victory, having no wings, will always remain where she is.

In one obscure archaic myth related in Homers Ilias (5. 385-391) by the goddess Dione  to her daughter Aphrodite, two chthonic giants, the Aloades, named Otus and Ephialtes, threw Ares into chains and put him in a bronze urn, where he remained for thirteen months. "And that would have been the end of Ares and his appetite for war, if the beautiful Eriboea, the young giants' stepmother, had not told Hermes what they had done," she related. "In this one suspects a festival of licence which is unleashed in the thirteenth month." Ares remained screaming and howling in the urn until Hermes rescued him and Artemis tricked the Aloadae into slaying each other. This happened on the island of Naxos.

Background:
The mythical and cultic binding of Ares has long evoked interest and commentary. Most scholars seek to explain these stories and practices by Ares' supposedly "dishonored" status, and both ancients and moderns have counted Ares among the "Forces of Evil" from which poleis protected themselves by a magical, prophylactic binding of his statue. But this view fails to place Ares' binding within the larger phenomenon of bound cult statues and do not account for the surprisingly complex image of the god in epic and tragedy. A brief exposition of generally neglected evidence will establish that cult statues, including Ares', were not chained to incapacitate their power, but to ensure their continued presence as protective powers. Moreover, for Ares in particular, literary and epigraphic evidence suggests that he was bound to the city as the avenging protector of the city's land and agent of Zeus' daughter Dike.
The binding of Ares' cult images is not an isolated phenomenon. Several ancient authorities, clearly testify that the images of the gods were bound in an effort keep them tied to their cities. The fifth century sources on this point speak with one voice. Their consistent reference to the binding of "Daidalian" sculptures indicates a practice considered ancient even in the fifth century B.C., and the many mythical bindings of various deities, including Zeus, shows such rituals to be extremely archaic indeed. While it is true that liminal and potentially troublesome deities like Aphrodite, Artemis, and Dionysos account for the lion's share of the explicit evidence for bound cult statues, we should remember that the power of every Greek god was a double-edged sword. Apollo could be the bearer or averter of disease. Demeter could either insure the fertility of crops or drive humans into a frenzy of pre-agricultural cannibalism. The cult of Ares, I would argue, was no different in this respect.
The complex rationales for Ares' binding appear most clearly in two inscriptions from southern Asia Minor, one from Pamphylian Syedra, and another example from Iconium. In both cases, an oracle bade the cities to create a statue group depicting Ares bound before Hermes and Dike. While the position of Ares as suppliant before an image of Justice could imply a malevolent and hostile relationship between Ares and the city, a closer reading of the inscription tends to undermine this reading. The relationship of Ares and Dike had earlier received considerable elaboration by none other than Aeschylus in his 'Septem' and 'Oresteia'. In these four plays, Ares is constantly and consistently depicted as the träger of cosmic, retributive justice. It is in this capacity that Ares appears alongside Zeus and Athena at the heart of the Athenian Ephebic oath, and similar concerns likely informed Ares' binding at Syedra and Iconium. Ares was bound and placed before Dike so that his violent and retributive energies would not harm the polis. Far from diminishing the god's power, cities sought to focus Ares' potentially destructive energies outward by binding his image to the land and subjecting him to Dike. This is the Ares found alongside Athena on the Shield of Achilles and invoked in the Hymn to Ares as "ally of Themis." (Matthew Gonzales)

I have added the pic of the ancient areopag in Athens from an earlier article.

Sources:
Homer, Ilias
Pausanias, Sparta
Homeric Hymns to Ares
Wikipedia, Ares
Karl Kerenyi, Griechische Göttersagen
Matthew Gonzales: The binding of Ares in Myth and Cult
AERIA (pic of the Areopagos)

Best regards
Logged

Pages: 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 [11] 12 13 14 15 16 ... 18 Go Up Print 
FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: Coins of mythological interest « previous next »
Jump to:  

Recent Price Reductions in Forum's Shop


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 7.028 seconds with 70 queries.