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moonmoth
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« Reply #350 on: July 12, 2011, 01:03:14 pm »

Excellent!  Thanks.

Bill
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« Reply #351 on: August 14, 2011, 11:38:10 am »

I think it's time to continue the Mythology Thread. For half a year I was delayed by the book. Now I got the first books from the print office and I think they are beautiful. I have started to send them to the interested persons. But there are more to order. Please feel free!

Thoth, Hermes Trismegistos

The coin
Phoenicia, Tyre, Valerian I., AD 253-260
AE 30, 15.54g, 29.87mm, 180°
obv.: IMP CP LIC VALERIANVS AVG
        Bust, draped and cuirassed, radiate, r.
rev.: COL TV - RO METRo
       Hermes-Thoth in himation stg. l., holding kerykeion in l. arm and in outstretched r. hand 
       papyros roll, at his feet l. Ibis stg. l., r. beside him date palm, above Murex shell.
ref.: BMC 458
scarce, about VF

This coin has catched my eyes because of the unusual roll in the r. hand of Hermes.Then the deciding hint was the Ibis: It is the ibis-headed god Thoth!  About Hermes and Hermanubis we already have articles in this thread. So we can concentrate on Thoth and Hermes Trismegistos.

(1) Thoth:
Thoth is  the Greek name of the Egyptian god Djehuty, Tahuti or Tehuti. His centre of worshipping was Khemnu (Khnum) in the Nord-East marsh of the Nile delta. In Greek-Roman times Khnum got the name Hermopolis because of his connection to Hermes. Thoth was one of the most important deities and presides in the Ogdoad Pantheon of Khnum the eight main gods. He was suggested as heart (mind) and tongue of the sun-god Ra. Höpfner claims that his name is the oldest name for the Ibis, but really convincing his name could not be explained until now. Usually he is depicted as a human being with the head of an Ibis, but directly as Ibis too. In the underworld he played a major role as judge, who weighs the hearts of the deads and  decides about Good and Evil. Because of his role as Psychopompos the Greeks equated him with Hermes. He existed from the beginning of the world, self created and generated by himself. He was the writer of the gods and the invention of writing and the alphabet (here the Hieroglyphs) were ascribed to him. He was responsible for the  movement of the stars and planets, he was the power which holds together the universe. Because of his power he was a rival to Ra and Osiris. On the sun-boat of Ra we find Thoth as vizier.

As god of wisdom the Egyptians suggested him to be the author of all scientific, philisophical and religious books. And so the Greeks too: For them he was the inventor of astronomy, mathematics and geometry, of medicin, botanics and much more. Thoth was not a messsenger like Hermes (that rather was Hermanubis). He was the registrar and was highly venerated by the writers, here often in the shape of a baboon.

In mythology he played an important role. So in several battles between Good and Evil, especially in the struggle between Horus and Seth, where he was a great help for Isis (look at the referring article in this thread). He assembled the parts of Osiris and reanimated Horus after the murder by Seth. He stood for order against chaos, represented by Seth.

He was seen as inventor of the 365 day calendrier (look at the referring article in this thread). Later he became the moon god and with it an aspect of the sun-god Ra. Because the moon played such an important role in the life of the Egyptians he was seen as god of order, measurement and regulation of the time.

He was closely connected to Seshat, the old goddess of wisdom, his daughter, later his wife.

The book of Thoth from the time of the Ptolemies I mention here without discussing it. It is still used today in esoterism.

The Ibis:
We know that the Egyptians have depicted many gods as animals. We know the hawk, the jackal, the fox and much more. But naturally the Egyptians don't have worshipped animals, at least not the educated. It was the characteristic and the power of the animals which were venerated. The animals were the symbols for the divine powers behind them. The centre of the Ibis veneration was of course Khnum, where Millions of mummified Ibisses have been found which were buried in honour of Thoth. There were real Ibis farms. An opinion is that the Ibis was important for the Egyptians because  he killed poison snakes. A bit rationalistic, eh? More probably the characteristic stoking of 'searching' and 'finding' of the Ibis in the mud of the marsh could be the origin (Der Kleine Pauly). Later the bending of the Ibis neck could  be important for identifying him with the moon god. 

(2) Hermes Trismegistos
This title originally occurs from Thoth's title 'Three times great, great'. It is a typical syncretistic melting of Hermes and Thoth. He is known since the time of Ptolemaios IV. Until modern age it was suggested that Hermes Trismegistos has been a real person and the author of the works named after him 'hermetic', especially the Corpus Hermeticum. This work was rediscovered in Renaissance and came in the hands of Cosimo de Medici. These writings were held for age-old secret knowledge of the Egyptians and were dated to the time of Moses. It was 1614 that Isaac Casaubon based on textcritical analysis could show that they can't be written before the 2nd century BC. This melting of Thoth and Hermes doesn't become accepted in Greeks and Romans in contrast to Hermanubis. But he played an important role in gnosticism.
 

(3) Exkursus: The Orphics
We have mentioned the Orphics already several times in ths thread. Now it is time to concentrate on them.
The Orphic is a mystery cult of the Greek religion, which is originated with songs and poems in the 6th century BC under influence of the fictititous singer Orpheus in Thrace and spread to Attica and  South Italy. It was propagated by itinerant preachers. But even in those days the Orphic was fictititous and hardly concrete. For the Greeks, known for its here and now, it was a very unusual movement. Not so for the Thracians with their belief in the afterworld as we have seen several time in this thread. It is a kind of impact of 'dark' elements on the Greek religion.

Dionysos
The Orphic has developed a global world explanation, testified especially by the Neoplatonists. In the centre of the Orphic stands Dionysos, son of Zeus and Persephone, as god of the Underworld named Zagreus. This so-called 1st Dionysos has been disrupted by the Titans during the struggle against Zeus. But Atheno could rescue his heart, brought it to Zeus who devoured it. From this heart originated the 2nd Dionysos, son of Zeus and Semele. The Titans were burnt by Zeus and his thunderbold to ashes. From this ashes Zeus built the human beings.

Referring to this conception man stands between the divine Dionysos and the Titans. Human has parts of both.  The body was seen by the Orphics as prison of the immortal soul.  Here we find the origin of the Body-Soul-Dualism, which however was disclaimed by Christianism. Augustinus rather said 'House of the Soul'. It's now the challenge of the human to free himself from the Titanic parts. This can be done by asceticism, consecrations, purification rituals, avoiding of meat and so on. We all know that. Only so the eternal reincarnation (metempsychosis) can be avoided. After death the vengeance for his deeds occurs.

The Pythagoreans have much adopted from the Orphics, f.e. the reincarnation (so Philolaos of Kroton). And equally the Platonismus seems influenced. The famous word 'Soma Sema', the body a grave, f.e. is from Plato himself. But naturally a important role has played the ethical component we find in the Orphic. And we see parallels to Buddhism and to Christianism (f.e. its eschatology). Orpheus was seen as pre-christian wise man, yes as forerunner of Jesus. The famous picture where Orpheus has gathered the wild animals and meeked them by his musique was widely spread in middle-ages.

I have attached a pic of Thoth with head of Ibis, from a wallpainting of a burial chamber of the New Kingdom (Wikipedia)

Sources:
(1) Der Kleine Pauly
(2) Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
(3) Karl Kerenyi, Humanistische Seelenforschung (online bei books.google.de)

Online:
(1) Wikipedia
(2) Zeno: Orphiker
(3) Freimaurer-Wiki: Orphiker

Best regards
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« Reply #352 on: August 14, 2011, 11:49:23 am »

The Caduceus (Kerykeion)

Some time before I got a beautiful denarius of Severus Alexander, RIC 192; C. 45; BMC 498. The rev. shows Felicitas with patera and a long Caduceus. The Caduceus usually is the attribute of Mercurius, but Felicitas too and sometimes Pax. Here I have gathered information about the Caduceus hoping that you find something new, even it is an attribute which the collector of Roman coin has already seen so often.

Meaning
The Caduceus (from Latin caduceatur = messenger, herald), Greek Kerykeion (from keryx = herald), is the staff of Hermes (Mercurius), the messenger of the gods. It is the sign of invulnerability, of authority and neutrality. It is the protection of the herald as today the white flag of the negotiator in the case of war. In Homer's Iliad and Odyssee it was a kind of magic wand used by Hermes to open the eyes of deads and to shut them too. So we see a connection to death and to the Underworld. Hermes as Psychopompos was the god who accompanied the dead to the Underworld, see f.e. Orpheus and Eurydike.

Mythology:
Vergil in his Aeneid claims that Apollo has donated the Caduceus to Hermes changing it with the lyra, which was invented by Hermes. Apollo should have the Caduceus from the famous seer Teiresias. And here is the story: Teiresias, the blind seer, once met a pair of copulating serpents. When he was trying to separate them with his blindman's stick, they entwinded his stick and immediately Teiresias changed into a wife and was lasting wife for seven years until he succeeded in reversing this state by a similar event. By the way it is said that Teiresias, now expert for both genders, once should decide a dispute between Zeus and Hera who felt more lust during sexual intercourse, man or wife. Teiresias thought it was the wife and in fact ninetimes more than man! The stick with the two serpents afterwords ended up in the property of Apollo.

Shape:
The shape of the Caduceus has changed in history several times. Originally it could have been a stick with an U or V at top. Then we know depictions with a 8 which was open at top. This is still today the symbol for the planet Mercurius, a circle with 2 horns. Then the 8 was put on a short staff, which could be held in hand. Later it became a long staff set on ground. But there are types too where the staff was extended upwards through the 8.

The serpents were added not before the 5th century BC but remained unusual until Middle Ages and were incorporated not before the begin of Renaissance. Here we find a connection with Hermes Trismegistos, esoterism and alchemy. From here we know the term 'hermetical', meaning something locked and secrete. The wings we sometimes see on the Caduceus were added not before the 4th century BC. That was matching the winged petasos and the winged boots (talaria) of Hermes, signs of his rapidity.

Origin:
There are two explanations: On a Sumerian sacrificial vessel in the Louvre from 3000-4000 BC the Sumerian goddess Ningizzida is depicted already holding a Caduceus. Ningizza is closely connected with Thoth the Egyptian god of wisdom who too holds a Caduceus. And so the Phoenician god Taaut and then the Babylonian goddess Ishtar who is related with the Greek Aphrodite. This theory argues a Sumerian-Babylonian origin.

The other theory claims that originally the Caduceus was a simple shepherd's crook with a split end used by the shepherd f.e. to call to order sheep which have run away. In the Lueneburg Heath in Northern Germany the shepherds have long sticks with a kind of small shovel at the top by which they could throw small chunks of earth on the sheep to drive same back to the flock.

The Snake Staff of Asklepios:
Actually Asklepios' staff is not the subject of this article. But in the United States and at the UNO strangely it is not the staff of Asklepios which has been established as symbol of the medical professions but the Caduceus. So here some words about the staff of Asklepios. The main difference is that here it is only one snake coiled around the staff. And usually the staff is depicted more knotty. It is the attribute of the healer god (demigod) Asklepios, Lat. Aeculapius. There is a scientific explanation for its snake: There is a worm in the East, Dracunculus medinensis, called too Guinea worm or Medina worm, who after a complicated development grows to a 2mm broad but 1m long worm who bores long ducts under the skin of the patients and tantalized his victims. Already in ancients times the physicians have extracted the worm by making a small cut in the skin in front of the worm and then very slowly spooling the worm around the stick. So it should not be a serpent around the staff but the Guinea worm which became the sign of the physicians.

Why in the USA and at the UNO the Caduceus became the symbol of medical professions is not clear because the Caduceus is rather the symbol of trading and commerce. I don't hope that this became the centre of medicines!

I have attached the pic of the denarius Severus Alexander RIC 192 and of the denarius Caracalla RIC 253 var. with the standard depiction of Asklepios.

I hope that there was something new for one or another.

Best regards
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Steve E
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« Reply #353 on: August 18, 2011, 01:08:44 am »

Dear Jochen,

I do hope you consider publishing an English version of your book!

No disrespect to your native language, but I'm sure there are many non-German readers who would benefit from and greatly enjoy it in English!

Though I have German blood in my ancestery, Alas I don't speak it and am too old, or lazy, at this point in my life to learn.

Thanks for your great efforts and contributions!

Best Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #354 on: August 18, 2011, 03:28:01 am »

Hi Steve!

Thanks for your reply. In my opinion the style of my English articles is not so good as it should be and full of errors.  For the thread in the Forum this could be tolerated, but a printed book needs a revised version I think.  That's the problem!

After having edited the German book, the first ordered copies I have sent to the buyers, I know how to change the html-Files into Pdf-Files. And I think the layout is not so bad. Altogether 1.8kg full of information.

It's the style of my English text.

Best regards
 
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« Reply #355 on: August 18, 2011, 09:16:24 pm »

I'm glad to see the inclusion of a CD with the book.  Nine years ago when Victor Failmezger wrote his book Roman Bronze Coins we decided to include a CD not including the book but just the plates.  Each image was clickable so it could be examined in enlarged size and a few special coins were included in the full size that my (now antique) digital camera produced.  I thought that this was a great idea but it went over like a lead balloon.  I doubt very many people even even looked at the disk or bothered to request one (if their book was not packed with one).  I got a very few notes of positive feedback.  

I thought the plates only was a good idea since it did not carry the risk of financial loss to the author from people copying the book but it allowed the coins to be seen in a much better way than possible in the little plates printed on paper.  We encouraged people to copy the disk and give it to people who owned a book without one (bought from the publisher rather than from the author, as I recall, we only made disks for the first run of books).  Without the book, the images were just pictures of ordinary bronzes so bookless people would hardly want one.  

Despite the failure, I still think the correct answer is to print a book with CD images of the coin plates that allow microscopic examination of the coins.  Perhaps we erred in giving them away thus setting the value at zero.  

Those not knowing what I am talking about could read my review of the book first posted in 2002.  

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/vf.html

It included one plate with sample clickable images

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/vfplate01.html

including one of the huge ones which I won't post on this page out of respect for those who pay for their bandwidth by the byte.  Others can see it by clicking on the link "larger" on the above plate.

I believe such a disk would be nice with a book full of beautiful coins of Mythological interest.
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« Reply #356 on: August 18, 2011, 11:27:49 pm »

For me Failmezger's idea of organization is so disagreeable and difficult that it is the plates and the CD, for enlarging the images, that make the book useful for me.  They serve me as an index!  It is the only way I ever find anything in Failmezger's system,  by far the most idiosyncratic I have ever seen.  It is Doug's contribution and his offering the CD that for me make the book worth owning.
As for German, one can get the fundamental grammar and syntax in a single summer-session course at any respectable college or university.  The vocabulary is easily acquired, since it is basically either numismatic or Greco-Roman.  I trust Jochen will not have vied with Hegel and Nietsche, for example.
Pat L.
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Jochen
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« Reply #357 on: August 18, 2011, 11:46:47 pm »

Or even more abhorrent: Heidegger!  Wink

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« Reply #358 on: August 19, 2011, 12:52:21 am »

It was I who asked Jochen for a CD.  I think this CD is doubly, if not triply, useful. 

Non-German readers can copy chunks of text and drop them into Google Translate.  This does not begin to compare with Jochen's own English versions on Forum, but it immediately gives you the basic meaning, and you can see from the original text how the sentences were actually put together. 

The coin images are very good.  You can blow them up to 200 per cent without them becoming pixellated. 

And you can search the text.  True, there is a perfectly good table of contents, but that does not pick up all references, and even when going to a main section it is sometimes cumbersome to page through a pdf  file.

Nice work!  Congratulations to Jochen.

Bill
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« Reply #359 on: August 19, 2011, 01:50:36 am »

Thanks! The English text is often the literal translation of the German text and vice versa.

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« Reply #360 on: August 20, 2011, 03:00:15 pm »

Thank you both for not rebuking me!  I ought to have made it clearer that I meant only that Jochen has given us so much that it seemed a shame to ask him to translate as well.  And it is true that German is less formidable than many think it is.
Pat L.
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« Reply #361 on: August 20, 2011, 03:13:03 pm »

As for German, one can get the fundamental grammar and syntax in a single summer-session course at any respectable college or university.  The vocabulary is easily acquired, since it is basically either numismatic or Greco-Roman..

Yes. Verb at the end. Nouns have capital Letters. Pull out all those "and by the way" Clauses and look at them as if separate Sentences. The Umlauts look less forbidding when you realise their Effect is just to add an "e" after the Letter. And those Overlongcompoundnouns make a lot more Sense when you mentally split them into their Components.

Mark Twain wrote a tongue-in-cheek comedy piece which actually explains some useful grammar:

http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html

It starts with a cross-over into that other recurrent topic on Forvm, Rarity!

"I went often to look at the collection of curiosities in Heidelberg Castle, and one day I surprised the keeper of it with my German. I spoke entirely in that language. He was greatly interested; and after I had talked a while he said my German was very rare, possibly a "unique"; and wanted to add it to his museum."
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« Reply #362 on: September 03, 2011, 11:48:25 am »

Crescent and the ash-grey moonlight

The 2nd coin I got this morning and it was the reason to look a bit closer at the strange depiction of its reverse. At the first glance I thought that both coins depict a circle, but please look for yourself:

1st coin:
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Septimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 17, 2.74g, 17.44mm, 195°
obv. AV KAI - CEVHROC
       Head, laureate, r.
rev. NEIKOPOLI PROC ICTRO.
      Crescent with closed circle, star left above outside of the circle
ref. a) not in AMNG
     b) not in Varbanov (engl.)
     c) Hristova/Jekov (2011) No. 8.14.48.14 (this coin)
very rare, F+, dirty green patina, partially damaged

2nd coin:
Moesia inferior, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Septimius Severus, AD 193-211
AE 19, 2.96g, 18.54mm, 225°
obv. AV LC - CEVHROC
       Head, laureate, r.
rev. NEIKOPOLI PROC ICTRO.
      Crescent with closed circle, star left above outside of the circle
ref. a) not in AMNG
      b) not in Varbanov (engl.)
      c) not in Hristova/Jekov:
          rev. No. 8.14.48.14 (same die)
          obv. No. 8.14.47.12 (tripod with snake) (same die)
very rare, F+/about VF, dark green patina

If you look closer at these two coins, then you can see, that there are not common circles depicted but that the lower part is thickened and so looks like a crescent which is closed at top. So these are not the usual crescents but something special! BTW Hristova/Jekov writes 'half-moon and star'.

Explanation:
To understand the depiction on these coins we need a bit astronomy: Earthshine is called the sunlight which is reflected by the earth and thrown at the surface of the moon which is not enlighted by the sun. Thus the dark side of the moon which is turned toward us receives a wan colour which - reflected again - reaches the earth as ash-grey moonlight. This can be seen with the naked eye when the conditions are good. The best time is when the crescent is narrow - a short time before and after new moon - when the angular distance to the dazzling sun is sufficient. This f.e. is true in March (Volkssternwarte Marburg). If the moon is growing the earthshine will be outshined by his light and this phenomenon becomes invisible. 


This phenomenon was already known in ancient times but couldn't be explained correctly. Some meant that the moon itself emits a faint light, others that the moon is transparent so that the sunlight could glimmer through the moon. A poetic paraphrase from that time was the old moon in the arms of the new one. Nice, well? Adding to this idea is the fact that the enlightened crescent appears optically greater than the rest of the moon.

The correct explanation - the secondary light by the residual light (albedo) of earth - was first found by Leonardo da Vinci in his Codex Leicester, AD 1506-1510. Here I have a translation of the important part of his text:
"Some have believed that the moon has some light of its own, but this opinion is false, for they have based it upon that glimmer visible in the middle between the horns of the new moon...this brightness at such a time being derived from our ocean and the other inland seas -- for they are at that time illuminated by the sun, which is then on the point of setting, in such a way that the sea then performs the same office for the dark side of the moon as the moon when at the full does for us when the sun is set...."

And exactly this is depicted on both coins. Hence the depiction on both coins is not only a symbol like the crescents on so many other coins but the illustration of a real astonomical phenomenon!

I have added
(1) the pic from Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester, AD 506-1510 (sometimes ascribed to 
     Michael Mästlin, AD1550-1631)
(2) the photo of a crescent with the ash-grey moonlight, Sept. 1 2005 at 5:24:25 (Wikipedia)

Sources:
(1) Codex Leicester http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/codex/2A2r.html
(2) Wikipedia
(3) website of Volkssternwarte Marburg

I would be glad about any opinion on this theory!

Best regards

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« Reply #363 on: September 07, 2011, 12:57:15 pm »

Today I came across the thread about the planets on coins and the discussion about Venus. Here I have an addition to my last article about the ash-grey moonlight. On this type we can see a star outside the mooncircle.  If we take the depiction for an actually astronomical phenomenon, as I do, then this star can well be the Venus! Take a look on the attached pic, which shows moon and Venus on March 1 2011. We see that Venus is not behind the crescent but in a position like depicted on the above coins.

The pic is from http://www.venustransit.de/himmel.htm

Best regards
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« Reply #364 on: September 09, 2011, 04:19:26 am »

As promotion for my Mythology Book I have recalled this aphorism of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799):

"Wer zwei Paar Hosen hat, mache eins zu Geld und schaffe sich dies Buch an."

Translated to "Anyone who has two pairs of trousers, should turn one into cash and purchase this book!."  Smiley Smiley

Jochen
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« Reply #365 on: September 11, 2011, 04:28:58 am »

The Mythology of Tenedos

Preparing a longer article about Janus I came across the old silver coins of Tenedos which show a double head too but a mixed male and female. Here is the background.

The coin:
Troas, Tenedos, 555-470 BC
AR - Obol, 0.51g, 8.29mm, 270°
obv. Janiform head, female l., male, bearded, r.
rev. Labrys (double axe), l. and r. beside the shaft T - E
      all within a square incus
ref. Rosen 536; SNG von Aulock 1587
rare, about VF

Note: The Labrys (Greek Pelekys) was the sign of Tenedos. Its meaning was discussed controversially already in ancient times. Aristoteles writes, that it represents the axe by which adultery was punished on Tenedos. Ridgeway says, that the axe was a kind of pre-monetary currency. But because on later coins the axe was accompanied by a bunch of wine-grapes it is more probably an attribute or cult object of a Dionysos cult who perhaps was worshipped as Dionysos Pelekes like in Pharsa Thessaly (HN). There was an old sanctuary too on Tenedos for Apollo known from the 8th century BC who was mentioned by Homer (Ilias I) as 'Supreme deity of Tenedos'.

Geography:
Tenedos is a small island direct in front of the coast of Troy. Mountainous, water-rich and famous already in ancient times for its wine. Especially because its situation and two natural harbours Tenedos played an important role already in ancient times for the control of the Dardanelles and the access to the Black Sea.  Tenedos  was settled by Aiolians from Lesbos and became Persian after the Ionian Revolt. The coinage of silver coins starts already before the Persian times.
By the Delian League Tenedos had to pay a tribute, and so too by the 2nd League. After the naval victory of Lucullus against Mithradates Tenedos became Roman. The infamous Verres who later was accused by Cicero ('In Verres') looted its treasures. Later it joined Alexandreia/Troas. Aristoteles refers to 'the Politics of the Tenedians'. 'Tenedian' was proverbial for severity, crudeness and falsehood (Pauly). In the beginning Tenedos has the name Leukophrys, Today it is Bozcaada in the Turkish province Canakkale

Mythology:
The double head on the silver coins of Tenedos were often called Hera and Zeus. This is surely true for the later coinage (HN).  But there is another interpretation which I want to present here: It can be Tennes and Hemithea! Calling it Tennes and Philonome which I have read too must be refused if you know the mythology.

Tennes (or Tenes), twin brother of Hemithea, was the son of Apollo or the son of Kyknos, king of Kolonai in Troas, a son of Poseidon, and his wife Prokleia, daughter or grand-daughter of Laomedon of Troy. When Prokleia died Kyknos married Philonome, daughter of Tragasos (or Kragasos). Pholonome fell in love to her stepson Tennes who didn't answer her advances. Deeply offended she accused him at Kyknos for attempted rape. Kyknos believed in her accusation because she had a witness, the flute player Molpos, and in his rage he condemned Tennes to death. He csaged him into a wooden chest together with his twin sister Hemithea, because she didn't want to live without her brother or because she lamented too loud about the death sentence, and let them throw into the sea. But the chest, perhaps by the help of Poseidon, was washed up on the beach of Leukophrys and both twins survived. The inhabitants choosed Tennes for their king and the island was named Tenedos after him.
Later on Kyknos learnt the full truth, killed Molpos and buried his wife Philonome alive. To reconcile with his children he sailed to Tenedos. But Tennes refused any contact with his father took his axe and cut the ropes of the ship. The phrase 'cut with the axe of Tennes' should be originated from this story.  It means something like 'nothing to deal with somebody'.

About the death of Tennes we know several different versions. He has fought with the Trojans against the Greeks and was slain by Achilles though Thetis has warned her son to do that because Apollo surely would take vengeance for the death of his son. Tenedos stood under the special protection of Apollo.
Others tell that Achilles has slain Tennes together with his father Kyknos when he on the voyage to Troy has made an indermediate stop on Tenedos.
Another version reports that Achilles during this intermediate stop has pursued Hemithea and Tennes has tried to stop him.  But Achilles not knowing that Tennes was a son of Apollo has slain him (Plutarch).
It is told too that Poseidon has made his son Kyknos invulnerable so that no sword could wound him. In the Trojan War against the Greeks he was strangled by Achilles. After his death Poseidon has changed him into a swan (Greek kyknos = swan). But there are several heroes named Kyknos too, all connected to the swan.

After their death Tennes and his twin Hemithea were worshipped as divine. Diodorus Siculus reports that the inhabitants of Tenedos has built a sanctuary for Tennes to
celebrate his virtues. It was not allowed for flute players to enter the sanctuary and to pronounce the name of Achilles was prohibited. Hemithea was equated with Leukothea, mother of the sea-god Palaimon and venerated as deity too. It is known that the inhabitants of Tenedos has sacrificed children to the gods until historic times, the rare example of human sacrifices in ancient Greece!

Tennes (or Tenes) is the eponym of Tenedos. But probably it was the other way around: Tennes was named after the island. The reported mythology is dated back to later times. The story with the axe can be explained aetiologically and refers to the double axe on the Tenedian coins. The mythology itself is the well known Potiphar theme (Pauly). But probably we have a mix of several different myths. So we have another myth of king Staphylos from Naxos who too has a daughter Hemithea and we find the motive with the chest thrown into the sea. Hemithea was rescued by Apollo and a big sanctuary was built for her in Kastabos on the Chersonesos (Diodorus Siculus).

Tenedos in the Trojan War:
Later Tenedos played an important role in the Trojan War. When the Greek armada sailed aginst Troy it made a stop on Tenedos to take water and provisions. At a sacrificial meal the famous bowman Philoktetes was bitten by a snake. Probably at the behest of Apollo because of the murder of his son Tennes by Achilles. Philoktetes was brought back to Lemnos but his companions let him alone because they were not able to take the stink from his wound (Kypries). But because the Trojan seer Helenos - captured by Odysseus - forecasted that without Philoktetes and his bow it would be impossible to conquer Troy Diomedes brought him back to Troy.

When the Greeks after 10 years of war realized that they couldn't achieve anything against Troy they tried a trick. On the advice of Odysseus they built a wooden horse in which Odysseus with some companions were hidden, left it on the beach, entered their ships and sailed away. Actually the Greek armada concealed itself behind the island of Tenedos so that the Trojans must believe that they have sailed back to Greece (Vergil, Aeneis). The rest is known: The Trojans pulled the horse into the city and celebrated their victory. In the night the Greek warriors climbed out of the horse, opened the gates of the city for their companions which has been back with their armada.

The two giant snakes which strangled Laokoon and his two sons are said to have come from Tenedos on behest of Apollo because he has married against his command and has get two sons. The Phrygians thought that he was killed because he has thrown a spear against the wooden horse (Pseudo-Hyginus fab. 135; Vergil Aeneis 2.214).

History of Art:
I couldn't find any pic dealing with this myth. The added pic shows a view of Tenedos with a fortress, probably Venetian. In the background you can see the Troic coast.

Sources:
[1] Homer, Odyssee
[2] Vergil, Aeneis
[3] Apollodor, Bibliotheka
[4] Diodorus Siculus
[5] Pausanias, Voyages in Greece

Literature:
[1] Lessing, Laokoon oder über die Grenzen der Mahlerey und Poesie, 1766
[2] Der kleine Pauly
[3] Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
[4] Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher, Lexikon der Mythologie

Online-sources:
[1] www.theoi.com/Heros/KyknosKolonaios.html
[2] www.theoi.com/Ouranios/ApotheothenaHemithea.html
[3] Wikipedia

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« Reply #366 on: September 11, 2011, 04:50:50 am »

As usual wonderful information from Jochen. Shows the treachery of the greeks.
Equo ne credite, Teucri / Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Virgil. Aeneid.
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« Reply #367 on: September 11, 2011, 06:50:38 am »

Thanks for your comment. There are some articles more to come!

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« Reply #368 on: September 15, 2011, 01:30:45 pm »

Tyana

The coin:
Cappadocia, Tyana, Trajan, AD 98-117
AE 26, 13.86g, 25.68mm, 0°
struck under legate T. Pomponius Bassus AD 98/99 (year 1)
obv. AVT NEROVAC TRAIAN KAICAR GER (from 1 o'clock)
        Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
        c/m under chin: triangulare incus
rev. EPI BA - CCOV PRECBEVT - TVANEWN (from 4 o'clock)
       Tyche of Tyana, in long garment and wearing mural-crown, std. l. on cippus,
       holding two grain-ears in outstretched r. hand and resting with l. hand on
       cippus; beneath river-god Lamus swimming r.
       in l. and r. field ET - A (year A)
ref. BMC 3
rare, F/good F
Note: Tyana was situated on a tributary of the river Lamus. Because the river-god sometimes holds a torch it seems to be the river Phoibos (Note of Prof. Nolle in R. Falter, Fluß- und Berggötter in der Antike)

Mythology:
At first - according to Arrian - Tyana was called Thoana after Thoas, king of Thracia, who has persuited Orestes and Pylades so far and then has founded this city. This myth is mentioned by Stephan. Byz. too. In the neighbourhood of Tyana a temple of Jupiter was located with a lake in a swampy plain from which a spring named Asbamaeon and sacred to Jupiter arose, boiling and brimming over, whereas the water of the lake itself was very cold and never overflowed its shores (Philostrat. vit. Apollon; Ammian 23, 6; vgl. Strabo.). After this spring Jupiter here had the surname Asbamaeus. By the way: at the beginning of the 19th century Hamilton (Researches) found this remarkable lake or pool south of Kiz Hissar just so as Ammian and Philostratos have described it.

Background:
Tyana is probably the same city to which the Hittite archives refer under the name Tuwanuwa. Already in the time of the Hittite kings (17th century BC) Tuwanuw was the residence of a royal governor. In the 8th century BC the Luwian Tyana under the rule of king Warpalawa rose to a reginal important center which could hold its position in close contact to the Phrygean Empire.

In Greek myythology it was first called Thoana because the Thracian king Thoas was suggested as its founder (Arrian, Periplus Ponti Euxini, VI). It was situated in Cappadocia at the foot of the Taurus mountains and close to the Cilician Gates (Strabo, XII 537; XIII, 587). It was mentioned by Xenophon in his Anabasis under the name of Dana as a great and flourishing city. The surrounding plain was called Tyanitis after the city. In the Roman imperial time until the end of ancient time Tyana could hold its position most of all because of its geographically favourite position for traffic. Crucially was the position of the city north of the Cilician gates, the most important mountain pass road through the Taurus mountains, connecting the Anatolian high plateau and the Propontis with Cilicia, Syria and the Levante. As a result of the long-lasting wars at the eastern border of the Roman Empire Tyana became one of the most important nodal points of the land-based supplies. The imperial prosperity of the city was caused by this development.

Tyana was the birthplace of the celebrated neo-Pythagorean philosopher (and reviled magician) Apollonius of Tyana in the 1st century AD. He was widely renowned when he has foreseen the death of Nero and Domitian. He was venerated especially by the Severan dynasty. Under Caracalla the city became Roman colony under the name Antoniniana Colonia Tyana.

After having changed sides to queen Zenobia of Palmyra it was conquered in AD 272 by Aurelian. But he didn't allow his army to loot it because Apollonius has appeared in one of his dreams and begged him to save the city. The result of his indulgence was that further cities surrendered without resistance. In AD 371 Valens created a second Cappadocian province 'Cappadocia Secunda' and made Tyana its capital.

Tyana played an important role too as Christian commune. Even though today there are only ancient ruins Tyana is still the official centre of the Roman-Catholic titular archdiocese of the ancient Roman province Cappadocia Prima!
 
The ruins of Tyana are located in the vicinity of present Kimerhisar, 3 miles south of Nigde (in the former Ottoman province of Konya). There are remains of a Roman aquaeduct, of cave cemeteries and burial grottos. Nowadays excavations take place under leadership of the University of Hamburg.

Sources:
(1) Albert Forbiger, Handbuch der alten Geographie, 1844
(2)  Reinhart Falter, Fluß- und Berggötter in der Antike, in: Sieferle/Breuninger (Hg.), Naturbilder-Wahrnehmungen von Natur und Umwelt in de Geschichte, Campus 1999
(3) http://www.uni-hamburg.de/Wiss/FB/09/ArchaeoI/KlassAr/projekte/bergesty.htm
(4)  http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Arrian's_Voyage_Round_the_Euxine_Sea_Translated.djvu/10
(5) http://www.livius.org/ap-ark/apollonius/apollonius01.html
(6) Wikipedia
(7) Der kleine Pauly

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« Reply #369 on: September 17, 2011, 06:50:44 am »

Maron - Eponym of Maroneia

The coin:
Thrace, Maroneia, after 148 BC
AR - Tetradrachm, 16.47g, 32.65mm, 15°
obv. Head of youthful Dionysos r., wreathed with ivy leafs and blossoms, wearing a
        taenia on his forehead
rev. r. DIONYSOS - l. SWTHROS (each from top to bottom)
       Dionysos, nude, stdg. half left, chlamys (nebris?) over l. arm, holding 2 narthex
       sticks in l. arm and bunch of wine-grapes in lowered r. hand
       l. beside monogram, beneath MARWNITW
ref. cf. Schönert-Geiss 995 var.

This coin is a Slavey fake. But Slavey says, that he isn't a faker but an artist! This type can be found from the same dies in the Fakes Reports of Ilya Prokopov in the American Forum http://www.forumancientcoins.com/fakes/displayimage.php?pos=-8290 and at forgerynetwork
Remarkable is the grammatical error you find on the coin: DIONYSOS  is nominative case, whereas SWTHROS is genitive case (nominative case is SWTHR!). Correct it should be DIONYSOY SWTHROS, of Dionysos the Saviour! Such an error is unusual in ancient times but typical for a modern faker who doesn't master Greek very well. Pat Lawrence has written: Interestingly, the "look alike" mistake, common in children beginning to learn the 2nd and 3rd declensions in Latin, is not common on ancient coins, in either Greek or Latin. That is, when I saw sôtêros with Dionysos, as if both ending in -os were agreement, when the usual legend recognizes that sôtêros is genitive case, the possibility of its being a MODERN mistake at once came to mind. Even CNG was cheated by this fake: http://www.acsearch.info/ext-record.html?id=176167

Mythology:
Maron was the son of Euanthes, referring to others of Oenopion or Silenos, whose pupil he was too. He was the grand-son of Dionysos and Ariadne. In the Thracian city of Ismaros he served as priest of Apollo. He was the hero of sweet wine and should have been a companion of Dionysos at his famous journey to India. He is said to have been the equerry of Dionysos. And he should have been together with Dionysos at the famous drinking contest between Herakles and Dionysos (take a look at the related article in this thread). 

He became famous because Homer mentioned him in his Odyssee (9.200). Odysseus reports: "With me I had a goat-skin of the dark, sweet wine, which Maro, son of Euanthes, had given me, the priest of Apollo, the god who used to watch over Ismaros. And he had given it me because we had protected him with his child and wife out of reverence; for he dwelt in a wooded grove of Phoibos Apollo. And he gave me splendid gifts: of well-wrought gold he gave me seven talents, and he gave me a mixing-bowl all of silver; and besides these, wine, wherewith he filled twelve jars in all, wine sweet and unmixed, a drink divine." This was the wine which Odysseus later gave to the Kyklop Polyphem to make him drunken so that he and his companions could flee.

But actually it was the following which happened:
The Kikones lived on the southwestern coast of Thrace. During the Trojan War they fought with Troy against the Greeks. Their leader was Euphemos, who therefore was listed as Trojan Leader. Annother leader was Mentes in whose shape Apollo encouraged Hektor to fight for the arms of the dead Patroklos.

After sacking Troy, Odysseus with 12 ships came to the coast of the Kikones, where he pillaged the city of Ismaros and killed everyone except Maron, the priest of Apollo, son of Euanthes. Euanthes was king of Maroneia, son of Oenopion, who is known for blinding Orion.

The land of the Kikones the Greeks gave themselves to plunder and murder. When they had taken women and treasures, Odysseus said to his men that they ought to be off. But his warriors, enyoyed by the Kikonian wine, kept drinking and butchering animals by the shore, refusing to leave.

In the meantime the Kikones received reinforcements from their neighbours, who were good fighters from chariots and on foot. They attacked the Greeks by the ships and fighting for a whole day they broke the Greek ranks. The Greeks had to flee having suffered heavy losses since more than seventy men of Odysseus'  warriors were killed.

The city of Maroneia was called after Maron who was venerated in a sanctuary.

Background:
Referring to Diodorus Maron came to Thrace together with Osiris (= Dionysos) and stayed there because he was already aged (Pauly). He founded Maroneia and there were cults for him in Maroneia and on Samothrake. Maroneia was famous for its wine. This wine was sweet and rich. It was said that this wine was tasteful even diluted with the twentifold amount of water.
Nonnus emphasizes Maron's connnection to Dionysos. He was described as an old man with tumbling limbs whose power was sufficing only to drink and for songs praising Dionysos. He was the personification of a drunkard. Near the Pompejan gate in Rome there was a statue where he was depicted as a sleeping fountaine figure.

Maron means litterally "the blazing, the shining". The connection to Dionysos probably has its origin in the story of the wine at Homer. Referring to Welcker Maron was primarily the Silenos of Maroneia and his name related to Marsyas, Silenos of Kelainai. The interpretation of the bearded face on the coins of Maroneia as Maron is wrong because the legend is naming Dionysos. But there are coins too on which Maron is mentioned explicitely (Eckhel Doc. num. vet.) V. Hehn has an interesting suggestion: Maron is nothing else but the mythical personification of the city of Ismaros. After omission of the s before m and expanding suffix it is the same as Maroneia!

History of Art:
Pseudo-Kallisthenes mentions a statue showing Maron sitting on a draft animal.

I have attached 3 pics:
[1] The pic of a mosaic from the 3rd century AD, showing Maron and Dionysos.
      Today  in the Miho Museum, Kyoto
[2] The pic of a floor-mosaic, today in the Shahba Museum, Shahba, Syria. Its the
      depiction of the drinking contest between Herakles and Dionysos. The figures in
      the upperline are named: Maron, Ariadne, Pothos, the winged god of desire,
      holding a flaming torch, Dionysos with thyrsos, Herakles laying on the ground with
      a drinking jar at his feet, Eros playing with his club. (theoi.com)
[3] The pic of a Sicilian kalyx-krater of the Maron painter from the midth of the 4th
      century BC, today in the Museo Archeologico Regionale Eoliano of Lipari. It
      depicts the scene of Homer's Odyssee where Odysseus gets the wine by Maron.

Sources:
[1] Homer, Odyssee
[2] Nonnus, Dionysiaca
[3] Diodorus Siculus

Literature:
[1] Der Kleine Pauly
[2] Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon (online too)
[3] Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen
     Mythologie (online too!)
[4] Pierre Grimal, The dictionary of classical mythology (online too!)

Online-Sources:
[1] www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Maron.html
[2] www.wikipedia.com
[3] www.theoi.com

Best regards
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« Reply #370 on: September 17, 2011, 06:54:20 am »

The Return of Odysseus

The coin:
Roman Republic, C. Mamilius Limetanus, gens Mamilia
AR - denarius serratus, 20mm, 3.78g, 45°
         Rome, 82 BC
obv. Bust of Mercurius, draped and with winged petasos, r.; caduceus over r.
        shoulder; upper left A (control mark)
rev. left from top to bottom C.MAMIL, right from bottom to top LIMETAN (TA
       ligate)
       Ulixes (Odysseus), bearded, with mantle and pilos, clad as beggar, advancing r.,
       resting with raised l. hand on staff and stretching r. hand to his old dog Argus,
       who stands r. before him looking up to him.
 ref. Crawford 362/1; Sydenham 741; RCV 282; Albert 1253; Mamilia 6
rare, SS

Note:
(1) The gens Mamilia claims her origin from Mamilia, daughter of Telegonos, the son of Circe from Ulixes, who himself was a son of Mercurius: Telegonos is said to be the founder of Tusculum, which was the city of the gens Mamilia
(2) Lat. pilos = Greek pileus, a felt cap, often equated with the  bonnet of liberty worn by the French Jacobins, but in error
 
Mythology:
[1] After the fall of Troy Odysseus has set to return to Ithaka. He has known that his journey would last 10 years due to the merciless hate of Poseidon. Here is not the place to spread out all his countless adventures. But Calypso alone hold him for 7 years on her island of Ogygia. When Poseidon once was absent Zeus sent Hermes to Calypso with the order to release Odysseus. Yet he built a float and sailed away. When Poseidon recognized his escape he sent a heavy storm so that Odysseus could save himself just barely to the beach of the island of Drepane where he exhausted fell asleep. This island belonged to the Phaiakians, known for their hospitality. Nausikaa, the king's daughter, found the beached next morning and took him to the palace of her royal parents, Alkinoos and Arete. He was dressed and hosted friendly. But Odysseus longing for coming home asked them for bringing him back to Ithaca. So Phaiakian companions brought him to Phorkys on Ithaca putting him down gently on the sand of the beach not to disturb his sleep of fatigue.

While Odysseus was twenty years away from Ithaca more than 120 impudent suitors have had gathered in his palace who courted his wife Penelopeia hoping to get his throne. During the whole time they lived and feasted in his palace, drank his wine, butchered his pigs, sheep and cattle, and pleasured themselves with his maidservants. Telemachos, the son of Odysseus, being on search for his father at Menelaos in Sparta, they wanted to kill when he came home.

When Odysseus awoke Athena appeared, transformed him into a beggar and brought him to Eumaios his loyal old swineherd, which didn't recocnized him but hosted him friendly. Athena sent back Telemachos to Ithaca where father and son recognized each other with the help of Athena. Disguised again as beggar Odysseus betake himself to his palace where he met Melantheus, the goatherd, who mocked him and kicked him with his foot. But Odysseus still suspended his avenge. When he entered the court-yard of his palace we come to the scene which is depicted on the coin.

[2] Here is the relevant text from the Odyssey (Book 17):
As they were speaking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any enjoyment from him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaios seeing it, and said:
"Eumaios, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?"
"This dog," answered Eumaios, "belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him."
So saying he entered the well-built mansion, and made straight for the riotous pretenders in the hall. But Argos passed into the darkness of death, now that he had seen his master once more after twenty years.

Note: Naturally Odysseus' dog is the symbol of unconditional loyality, which was
demanded from Sulla too (see 'History'!).

[3] What happened thereafter:
To check the suitors Odysseus paced from one to the other and asked for leftovers. But the suitors were not only greedy but stingy too. The most impudent of them all was Antinoos, who even threw a stool at him. On the next day Penelopeia announced that she was ready to take as spouse the one who was able to shoot an arrow through twelve axe holes, and gave them the bow of Osysseus. But no one of the suitors could even bend the bow. Thereupon Odysseus took the bow, bent the bow easily and shot an arrow through all twelve axe holes. Odysseus announced himself as the true king and killed Antinoos by a shot through his throat. Horror-stricken the suitors jumped up, but Odysseus shot one after the other with his arrows. In the same time Athena in the shape of a swallow flew twittering through the hall, while Odysseus pursued his bloody profession until all were dead. Only Medon the herald and Phemios the singer he spared.

Then he called Eurykleia his old nurse and asked her for the loyality of his maidservants. The twelve guilty ones were brought and had to clean the palace hall from the blood. Then Odysseus hung them one after the other. Thereafter he cut off the limbs of Melantheus the goatherd, nose, ears, hands, feet and genitals and threw them to the dogs.

This excessive avange of Odysseus is described totally unemotionally, and we are terrified by his exorbitance. But how much more terrible is reality!

[4] The end of Odysseus:
Years later Odysseus - according to a prophecy of Teiresias whom he had consulted on his visit of the Underworld - should have introduced the cult of Poseidon at the Thesprotians (in Epiros) to become reconciled with Poseidon. The queen of the Thesprotians fell in love with Odysseus and Odysseus stayed as king with her. Only after her death he returned to Penelopeia. In the meantime Telegonos, his son from Kirke, has grown up and was on search for his father. When once by chance he came to Ithaca and robbed some cattle he met Odysseus. They got into a fight and Odysseus was killed by his own son (Apollodor, Bibliotheka, X 33-36).

History:
The depiction on the reverse of the coin should be an allusion to the return of Sulla to Rome. Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (138-78 BC), the leader of the patrician party against the populares under Gaius Marius has captured Rome twice: 88 BC at the 1. march on Rome and 82 BC after the battle at the Porta Collina. After that he was appointed dictator legibus scribundis et rei publicae constituendae. Both captures were assiocated with terror, but the terror beginning in 82 BC was excessive. It was a massacre. Some thousands of Samnites were slaughtered on the Campus Martius. His enemies enclosed in Praeneste were killed undiscriminately after they have surrendered. But the most outrageous sanctions were the beginning proscriptions, lists with names of persons who were declared as outlaws. The legal basis was created by the lex Valeria but only afterwards. Everyone could suspect anyone who then was killed without the judgement of the court. Tens of thousands became victims of the proscriptions, not only enemies of Sulla, but all who displeased somebody. A number of 4700 Roman citizens is reported. But we must add the number of entire families together with children and grandchildren. The latifundia of the killed were sold to Sulla's followers or sold by auction. In this way f.e. Crassus became the richest man of his time.

It was the merciless avenge of a man who didn't knew any limits. There is a striking similarity with the blood rage we have seen at Odysseus, when he killed the suitors one after the other and then hung the maidservants with his own hands. At the end he was so full of blood that even his wife Penelopeia could not recognize him. And Sulla we see as man with two faces: the conservative statesman who tried to save the old republican state order, and as brutal dictator who rang the bell for the end of the res publica. But his terror regime could delay the doom of the republic only for a short time. Even Schiller's word about Wallenstein: "Confused by the favour and hate of the parties his character sketch sways in history" doesn't match Sulla. His name stands until today for cruelty and terror.

History of art:
Naturally the adventures of Odysseus already in ancíent times were a rich source for
depictions. In the Vatican Museums we find the part of a group where Odysseus gives Polyphem the cup of wine, 1st century AD. In the museum of Sperlonga we have the same-aged Skylla Group from the cave of Sperlonga. On a hydria from Caere the blinding of Polyphem is depicted lively (Rome, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia, 6th century BC). The killing of the suitors we find on an Attic skyphos from c.450 BC, today in the Antikensammlung, Berlin (attached!). There are scenes with Kirke, the Sirens, with Kalypso and so on. These scenes appear as vase paintings, on coins, as glyptic and as sculptures. When Odysseus is depicted alone then regularely in a thoughtful position, as patient sufferer, as he is called by Homer, always bearded and with the pileus on his head.

In Renaissance these themes were picked up again. P. Tibaldi has created a cycle of paintings in the Palazzo Poggi in Bologna (1554-56), Annibale Caracci in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome (1597-1600) and Niccolo d'Abbate (1550-60) in Fontainebleau, destroyed but known from several copies. Max Beckmann has painted Odysseus and Kalypso 1943 (Kunsthalle, Hamburg) and by Kokoschka we have 44 lithographies (1963-65). The total number of depictions can't be overlooked (Aghion). I have choosed the pictures from two skyphoi of the Penelope painter, because they cover our theme, the return of Odysseus.

Poets too were fascinated by the dubious figure of Odysseus. We know tragedies of Sophokles and Euripides. Seneca has written the "Trojan Women" and naturally we find these themes in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In Dante's "Divina Comedia" Odysseus is banned to the 8th circle of hell as liar and deceptive advisor. In Shakespear's "Troilus and Cressida" too he is depicted as doubtful.
Calderon de la Barca describes 1637 the adventures of Odysseus with Kirke. In the evolution of musique the opera "Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria" of Claudio Monteverdi, 1640, plays an important role. It is one of the highlights of the early opera which was invented only some decades before.

With reference to modern times I mention Jean Gireaudoux' "There will be no Troyan War", 1935, where he points to the conflict between Germany and France and where the prevention of the war fails prophetically. Nikos Kazantzakis has written a spin-off of the Odysseus-Epos  in 33.333 neo-Greek verses. And last not least the phenomenal novel "Ulysses" from the Irishman James Joyce, 1922, must be mentioned. In his work he tells 24 hours of a Dublin citizen, which are based on the chants of the Odyssey.

Ikonography:
Nikomachos von Theben, a painter from the 4th century BC is said to be the first one who has depicted Odysseus with a pileus. This cap was perfect to illustrate the versatility of our hero. At first this cap, used as inner lining of helmets, is a symbol of fighters. Then it was worn in Greece by voyagers, craftsmen - especially artists - and sailors. All of these groups are connected with Odysseus, and just this versatility makes the pileus a special attribute of Odysseus. By this cap he is signed as figure of identification for all Greeks (Niederberger).

I have added 3 pics:
[1] Penelope and Telemachos waiting for Odysseus, Penelope painter, side A of a
      Attic red-figured vase (skyphos) from Chiusi, c.430 BC, high classical
[2] Odysseus and his nurse, washing his feet, as above, side B
[3] Odysseus kills the suitors, Attic red-figured vase (skyphos), Penelope painter,
      c.440 BC, from Tarquinia, now in the Antikenmuseum Berlin (l. and r. part!)

Sources:
[1] Homer, Odyssey
[2] James Joyce, Ulysses

Literature:
[1] Der kleine Pauly
[2] Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon (online too)
[3] Wilhelm H. Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen
      Mythologie, 1884-1890  (online too!)
[4] Robert von Ranke-Graves, Griechische Mythologie
[5] Oliver Primavesi, in 'Die Heimkehr des Odysseus', Beck 2007
[6] Karl Christ, Sulla, Beck 2002
[7] Aghion/Barbillon/Lissarrague, Reclams Lexikon der antiken Götter und Heroen in
      der Kunst, 2000
[8] Gerhard Fink, Who's who in der antiken Mythologie, dtv 1993

Online-Sources:
[1] Wikipedia
[2] www.perseus.tufts.edu (pics)
[3] Thomas Niederberger, Das Mützchen des Odysseus
      www.gymipro.de/facharbeiten/odysseus-gut.pdf (Pilos)

Best regards
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« Reply #371 on: September 21, 2011, 10:22:39 am »

Excursion: The island of the Phaiakians - Homer's Atlantis?

The article about the return of Odysseus gives me the opportunity to disgress a bit and to write about the island of the Phaiakians. I don't want to speculate here wether the myth of Atlantis has a real background or not or where it eventually was situated. But the similarity of the depiction of Atlantis by Plato and the depiction of the island of the Phaiakians by Homer was mentioned already by ancient authors. Especially Olaf von Rudbeck has written about that (1630-1702).

We recognize that the geographical description is nearly identical:
Both are islands situated in the north of the Okeanos, at the end of the world, as eschatoi. Direct in front of the king's island (Basileia) we find a sharply falling away rocky island. The Basileia is located in the mouth of a big stream, the Eridanos. On the island itself hills and dunes extend to the sea, behind of that a flat, very fruitful plain.

The description of the king's castle are as alike as two peas in a pod: It is surrounded with walls and canals, there are passages for ships and the access to the harbour is so narrow that only one ship could pass. The castle is decorated with gold, silver and copper. Poseidon is the ancestor of the king's family and the Phaiakians and the Atlantides too, who in this way were of divine nature. There was a big temple of Poseidon surrounded by a wall, and to honour Poseidon bulls were sacrificed. Both nations are famous sailors. The climate was optimal. On top of the society there was no autokrat but a council decided about political events. Both nations were known for their sporting matches and gymnastic exercises.

"The accordances are so numerous, that one can think, that Platon have used Homer's depictions as prototype." (Spanuth)

Tacitus in his "Germania" writes "that according to many Odysseus has been cast away to the northern Okeanos". The same is suggested by Claudian, agreed by Procopius. F.G.Welcker has written "The stories of the Phaiakians must be originated from the North Sea region." (1833, 1845)

Interesting are Homer's sailing instructions. They are geographical and astronomical so precise that they probably are originated from a periplous. Eratosthenes has called Homer a liar because he has written that the stream of the island of the Phaiakians has flowed backwards, and Odysseus has thrown the veil of Ino "into the saline waves of the stream". But this is the typical phenomenon of a river in a tidal range, which was unknown by Eratosthenes because the Mediterranean doesn't not have tides. Homer decribes phenomena of the Okeanos where we don't know where he could have the information. Historically they are not known before Pytheas of Marsilia c.380-320 BC.

Apollonios Rhodios in his "Argonautika" equates the Basileia of the Phaiakians with th "sacred island of Elektris", situated near the stream of Eridanos at the sea of Kronos (Norh sea?). He calls the Phaiakians too as Hyperboreans and as collectors of amber, again a match with the Atlantides. Amber is Greek elektron.

R. Hennig (1934) thinks that all these accordances couldn't be accidental, but that Homer and Platon have both taken their stories from the same original source. Except where Platon has copied Homer!

Note: Periplous = description of an ocean route for orientiation in foreign waters. Forerunner of our nautical charts.

I have added the pic of a drawing from the German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680). It is a fantasy drawing of the "Insula Atlantis" according to the belief of the Egyptians and the descriptions of Platon, made c.1669.

Sources:
[1] Homer, Odyssee
[2] Platon, Timaios
[3] Platon, Kritias
[4] Apollonios Rhodios, Argonautika

Literature:
[1] Jürgen Spanuth, Die Atlanter, Grabow 1989
[2] K. A. Frank, Atlantis war anders, VfS 1978

Online-Sources:
[1] Wikipedia
[2] http://atlantis.haktanir.org/ch3.html (drawing from Kircher)

Best regards
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« Reply #372 on: September 21, 2011, 10:24:59 am »

The so-called Tyche of Antioch

Recently I got this nice tetradrachm of Tigranes II. This should be the cause to write an article about the so-called Tyche of Antioch.

1st coin:
Syria, Seleukis and Pieria, Antiochia ad Orontem, Tigranes II, 95-56 BC
AR - tetradrachm, 16.18g, 27mm
obv. Bust of Tigranes II, wearing Armenian tiara, r.; tiara ornamented with eight-pointed star
       between two eagles, decorated with 5 beaded pyramidal points
rev. BASILEWS - TIGRANOY
      Tyche of Antioch in long garment and with veil, wearing mural crown, std. r. on rock,
      resting with r. ellbow on r. knee and holding in r. hand long palmbranch; stg. with r. foot
      on shoulder of rivergod Orontes, who swims below her r; beneath waves
      in r. field and left below on rock a monogram
      all in laurel-wreath
ref. Bedoukian 17
This is one of the first depictions of this famous statue.

2nd coin:
Syria, Seleukis and Pieria, Antiochia ad Orontem, Augustus, 27 BC - AD 14
AR - tetradrachm, 14.99g, 26.51mm, 15°
        2-1 BC. (Year 30 of Actian era)
obv. KAISAROS SE - BASTOY (clockwise, starting upper r.)
       laureate head r.
rev. ETOYS - L - NIKHS (Year 30)
      The depiction is nearly identical with the depiction on the tetradrachm of Tigranes!
      In field one below the other 2 monograms, in front of the upper one IG
ref.: Prieur 555; RPC 4156; Wruck 7
Note: The upper monogramm can be read as VPA = COS, so its meaning is COS XIII
         The lower one could be ANT AVG.

3rd coin:
Justinus I, AD 518-527
AE - AE 5 (pentanummion), 1.46g, 11.73mm, 180°
        Antiochia
obv. [DN IVSTINVS P P AV]
       Bust, draped and cuirassed, pearl-diademed, r.
rev. Tyche of Antioch, wearing mural crown, std. l. in shrine; below her river-god Orontes
       in l. field retrograde E
ref. DOC 57; MIBE 67; BNP 11-17; Berk 100; Hahn 67; Sear 111
This is the last type showing a classic pagane motive. If you consider that this motive was struck for the first time under Tigranes II now 600 years of Hellenistic culture have ended. It's remarkable nevertheless that it was the Antiochene Tyche.

Some general notes on Tyche:
The etymology of Tyche is clear. It belongs to tynchanein = to happen accidently. So its meaning is chance, fortune and misfortune too. Tyche was not known by Homer. She doesn't occur in his epics. And there is little mythology of her. Hesiod claims that she was one of the daughters of Okeanos, other (f.e. Pindar) suggest that Zeus has been her father. But that doesn't matter anything. She was seen as goddess not before the great families of deities have been established. Therefore there is no genealogy. But when the relevance of the old gods was decreasing she was playing an increasing important role. Her character is similar to that of Nemesis or Themis. Originally she was seen as spirit, who ruled the world blindly, because she brought misfortune to good and wise men, and fortune to fools and bad men. This unjust and senseless role was taken up by the Attic comedies. Certainly this must be seen in connection with the unsure times and the depletion of the conservative belief in the old gods. At first she was an ambivalente deity, later she leant towards a better meaning, especially as Tyche Agathos, the good Tyche.
 
In the first time she has had no cults. But in Hellenism her cult spreads, especially in Thebes, Athens, Megara and Megalopolis. Libanios describes the Tychaion of Alexandria as the most gorgeous of the entire Hellenistic world. She was seen too as personal Tyche, who determines the fate of her owner, like Frederic the Great demanded fortune from his generals.

She is depicted holding a rudder as arbiter of the world, with cornucopiae, symbol of wealth or with a sphere as sign of uncertainty. Often she was wearing a mural crown and thereby seen as city-goddess.

In Rome she was seen almost equivalent to Fortuna, where numerous temples were built for her, the first ones by Servius Tullius in the regio I. Famous was the temple in Antium where 2 Fortunae were worshipped simultaneously.

History of Art:
In 1780 a small marble statue was found in Rome on a manor of the Barberini family at the Via Latina outside of the Porta S. Giovanni. This statue was recognized as Tyche and after a first restauration by Paolo Cavaceppi sold in 1781 to the Vatican. I have attached a pic of the statue before the reatauration. The restaurated statue today stands in the Galleria dei Candelabri in the Musei Vaticani. It is dated back to the time of Trajan and its height is 88cm.
 
10 years later, AD 1790, Ennio Quirino Visconto, son of Giambattista Visconto, who was successor of Winckelmann as Papal Supervisor of the Roman antiquities, discovered this statuette in a niche of the Galleria. Based on the mention by Pausanias VI.2, 6 and especially by the depictions on the coinage of Antioch, he identified it as Tyche of Antioch. Thereby he pointed out the legends on coins of Philadelphia TYXH FILADELFEWN.

The two most important ancient sources are
[1] Pausanias, Perihegesis, 6.2, 6:
"...but Timosthenes (was created) by Eutychides from Sikyon, who has learned at Lysippos. This Eutychides has made a cult statue of Tyche too for the Syrians at the Orontes, which was held in high esteem."
Here already Pausanias made the mistake of calling this statue Tyche!
and [2] Malalas, Chronographia 8, 201:
Malalas was a late antique historian, born c. AD 490 in Antioch, later (from AD 530) working in Constantinopolis. He wrote a history of the world in 18 volumes, beginning with the creation of the world until shortly before the death of Justinian (AD 565). In it he describes the erection of statues of Tyche in Antioch by Seleukos I and Trajan. At both occasions a maid should have been sacrificed, today seen as later probably Christian insertions.
"...he (Seleukos I) had erected a bronze statue of the sacrificed maid (Emathia) as Tyche for the city across the river (Orontes) (seated) and made an offering immediately for the maid."
"And the theatre of Antioch, which was uncompleted, he (Trajan) completed by erecting over four columns in the theatre in the centre of the nymphaeum of the proskenion a gilded bronze statue of the sacrificed maid (Kalliope), who is sitting above the river Orontes and is wreathed by the kings Seleukos I and Antiochos I, for the fortune of this city."

The original statue probably was endowed by Seleukos I Nikator shortly after the founding of Antioch in 300 BC and consecrated in 296. Eutychides was a Greek sculptor from Sikyon regarded as scholar of Lysippos. Sadly there is none of his works preserved. Wether there actually have been different statues or groups as Malalas has written is doubtful. Anyway the famous original statue of Eutychides is not preserved, it probably was destroyed by an earth-quake in the 6th century AD. In ancient times transportable bronze miniature copies of the Antiochene statue were popular. They were produced in series by special handicraft businesses with the aid of reproduction copies (M. Meyer).

Description of the Statue:
The original statue probably was made of bronze because of the large movements of the river-god's arms and the assumed colossal size of the figure. The dating into the years direct after the founding of the city corresponds with Plinius, who puts the flourishing time of Eutychides into the 121th Olympiad (296-293 BC). It was a female sitting figure in chiton and mantle, wearing a mural crown, std. r. with crossed legs on a rock.  Her left hand is resting on the rock and with the right hand she is holding grain-ears. Her right foot is placed on the shoulder of the river-god swimming below her. This is the earliest Greek depiction of a mural crown! Originally the mural crown comes from the Asian Astarte and was adopted by the Greek art not before the 4th/3rd century BC.

The copy in the Vatican differs significantly from the recorded description. This is true especially for chiton and mantle, so that Messerschmidt in 2003 has doubted the ascription to Eutychides. But an ancient beholder would have surely recognized the Roman copy as the Tyche of Antioch. Why the copyist has deviated so much is unknown.  

Interpretation:
Marion Meyer has realized that the statue is not Tyche (Fortuna), but the personification of the city of Antioch! Here are her arguments:
We have 3 possible interpretations:
[1] It is the personification of the city, the city-goddess
[2] It is a new kind of deity, a guardian deity for the city, probably because in the early hellenism doubts arose about the power of the established deities.
[3] It is Tyche, the goddess of fortune
A. Furtwängler writes: Because the mural crown comes from the Asian Astarte, this goddess is the Greek answer in her function as guardian of the city.
B.  Fehr however thinks, that there was no melting of Greek and indigene elements in the Seleucid Empire. The focus was more on segregation than integration. The concept could be bilingual, especially by the depicted body language. The Greek could have seen Tyche. The crossed legs, the turned upper body and head would represent the wandering and arbitrary character of Tyche, with a touch of Aphrodite. The local inhabitant in contrast has seen, by the dominating role towards the river-god too, the 'Great Mother'. The mural crown was the symbol for the fortified city for both.

Here is M. Meyer: To take the goddess of fortune in her fickleness as symbol for the city after the founding is not convincing. To be Tyche Agathos the cornucopiae is missing. But one should mention the geography of Antioch: The river-god is by common accord the river Orontes. Antioch was situated on its left bank. The rock on which the deity is seated is Silpios, the city mountain of Antioch. The situation of Antioch was dangerous. Especially at the time of snowmelt when torrents coming down the hills. The foot on the river-god symbolizes that the goddess has everything under control. The land itself is fertile, the harvest is safe, therefore the grain-ears in her hand. The goddess is mistress over the natural forces and in the same moment the beneficiary of nature. So there is every indication that the figure is Antioch itself, the personification of the city!

Thus naming her Tyche of Antioch is equally wrong as naming the bull of Julian II Apis bull!

Soon this statue was copied by Seleukeia. As goddess of fortune with cornucopiae she is found first under Demetrios I. Then under the usurper Alexander Balas and so forth.

I have attached:
[1] A pic of the unrestaurated marble statue of the Vatican, the Roman copy from the time of  
     Trajan. The copy was completed by Paolo Cavaceppi 1781 and by Michele Ilari 1819:
     Head, left hand, right forearm with grain-ears, forward section of right foot, and arms of
     the river-god.
[2] Drawing of Visconti, done after restauration.

The pic of the restaurated statue in the Galleria dei Candelabri of the Musei Vaticani in Rome can be found everywhere in the web.

Sources:
- Pausanias, Perihegesis

Literature:
- E.Q.Visconti, Il museo Pio Clementino III., Milano 1790
- Benjamin Hederich, Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon
- Der Kleine Pauly
- Paul Z. Bedoukian, Coinage of the Artaxiads of Armenia, 1978
- Marion Meyer: Personifikation der Stadt Antiochia, in: Bernd Funck, Hellenismus:
   Beiträge zur Erforschung von Akkulturation und politischer Ordnung im
   Hellenismus, 1996, S.243-254 (bei googlebook)
- Marion Meyer, Die Personifikation der Stadt Antiocheia. Ein neues Bild für eine neue
  Gottheit, 2006
- Text und Skulptur: Berühmte Bildhauer und Bronzegießer der Antike in Wort und
   Bild. Ausstellung in der Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik Berlin, Sascha
   Kansteiner, Lauri Lehmann, Bernd Seidensticker
- Wolfgang Messerschmidt, Prosopopoiia, 2003
- Tobias Dohrn, Die Tyche von Antiochia, 1960

Online-Sources:
- Andrea Peine, Agathe Tyche im Spiegel der griechischen und römischen Plastik.
   Untersuchungen klassischer Statuentypen und ihre kaiserzeitliche Rezeption, 1998  
   (Dissertation)
- www.arachne.uni-koeln.de
- www.zeno.org/Meyers-1905 (Zeichung von Visconti)

Best regards
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« Reply #373 on: October 09, 2011, 10:54:29 am »

The horrible fate of Tarpeia

If you come to Rome you can find on the Capitoline Hill, somewhat hidden, the small Via di Monte Tarpeo. At this place in ancient times was the so-called Tarpeian Rock of which nowadays nothing is left. From this steep cliff in ancient times delinquents were hurled down to death guilty of special crimes like false oath, fleeing in a battle, deserting to the enemy, incest, crimes of Vestals, and several crimes of serfs like theft or betrayal. The executions were performed by tribunes or consuls. The last one occured in AD 33 under Claudius (Cassius Dio 60, 18, 4).

The coin
Roman Republic, L. Titurius L. f. Sabinus, gens Tituria
AR - denarius, 3.86g, 19mm
        Rome, 89 BC
obv. Head of king Tatius, bearded, r.
       behind SABIN, under chin palmbranch
rev. Tarpeia, stg. frontal, with dissolved hair, covered by shields until waist, both hands 
      raised  to repel 2 soldiers beside her being about to throw their shields upon her.
      in upper field crescent with star
      in ex. L.TITVRI
ref. Crawford 344/2b; Sydenham 699; Tituri 4
VF/about VF, old cabinet toning
note: The mintmaster family Tituria came from the Sabines and traced themselves back to the Sabine king Titius Tatius.

There is another denarius too from P. Petronius Turpilianus, struck under Augustus, depicting the same motive (RIC I, 299)

Mythology
The mythology of this scene leads us back to the origins of Rome into the time of the Sabine Wars from which the last one was the hardest and most dangerous. Referring to one version of the myth Tarpeia was the daughter of Spurius Tarpeius, the commander of  the castle on the Capitoline Hill. At this time the Sabines besieged Rome. She is said to have opened a gate of the castle to the Sabines under the condition that she then obtained what the Sabines are wearing at their arms. But instead of the golden armlets which Tarpeia has meant the Sabines in an exaggerated interpretation of her condition threw their shields on her and so she was killed.

Titius Tatius according to Roman tradition was king of the Sabines who after the rape of the Sabine women fought a war of avenge against Rome. Referring to Livius he bribed Tarpeia, concluded later a foedus with Romulus and was the originator of a joined reign. He introduced common laws and Sabine cults to Rome like the cult of Janus and Volcanus. After him were called the Titienses and the Titii sodales, a college of Roman priests. He was killed when he was old and his grave was on the Aventine Hill.
 
But there is another version of the myth too: Tarpeia was the daugher of Titius Tatius and was killed by him.

The myth of Tarpeia is found already in the first annalists and has well existed already in the 4th or 3rd century BC (Krumme).

The problem is to explain why the Sabines have killed the one who has helped them to conquer Rome. This dilemma was seen already in ancient times.

The most common motive of Tarpeia is her greed. The traitor has been killed as it is known from Caesar: "I love the betrayal but the betrayer I don't praise (proditionem amo, sed proditores non laudo). And she received her punishment in the underworld too. Dante in his "Divina Commedia" mentions the Gate of Tarpeia in Purgatorio, Canto IX; but here in connection with the robbery of the Roman treasury by Julius Caesar. Greed is one of the Seven Capital Sins!

In Hellenism this motive was attenuated by changing it to a love story. Simylos reports that Tarpeia has been fallen in love to Titius Tatius, the hostile military leader. This love motive is depicted by Propertius en detail: Tarpeia, a vestal virgin - so Varro too -, met Tatius when she was going for cultic water, and fell in love to him immediately.
Antigonos of Karystos reports that Tarpeia has been forced to marry Romulus against her will and then took revenge on the hated.

Later the attempt of retrieval of her honour was started. The greed has been argued away and Tarpeia became a tragic heroine. Piso claimes that she has attracted the shields of the Sabines to disarm the enemy. That could explain the fact that at her grave were made sacrifices and that there was a statue of  her in the temple of Jupiter Stator, not of Romulus, but of Q. Caecilius Metellus, 144 BC, at the Circus Flaninius.

At Simylos the story happened later. He made Celts of the Sabines which does match much better the gold motive!

In Greek mythology this motive is well known from several exemples. Aristoteles mentions the myth of Polykrite from Naxos. Another model could have been the story of Demonike, who opened Brennus (with the famous "Vae victis!") out of love the gates of Ephesos and then was suffocated by the gold of the Gauls. In this thread we have the myth of Skylla's betrayal of her hometown Megara out of love for Minos (take a look). Other names for betrayal and death of a maiden are Komaitho, Leukophryne, Pedas and Peisidike.

Background:
What is the reason for this contradictory story? Originally Tarpeia was the tutelary goddess of the castle of Rome, the Capitoline Hill, which was named after her mons Tarpeius. Tarpeius too was an epithet of Juppiter who generally was called Capitolinus. But these epitheta in early days were identical. The statue of Tarpeia has shields at its base. So the myth could well has been originated aitiological from a tropaion, to explain the grave, the statue and the [/i]Tarpeium Saxum[/i], which later was no more understood by the Romans. Because the resulting myth doesn't match correctly the historical relicts, the moral of the story had to be altered several times as I have described above.

History of Art:
The Greek literary motive was known by the Romans but there were no depictions or statues. So the Romans were compelled to go back to battle scenes. We can see that the two soldiers on the coin don't look as to be about to throw their shields on Tarpeia but more like entangled in a struggle.
In the Basilica Aemiliana was found the fragment of a marble frieze which shows just our scene on the coin. Today in the Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo, Rome. The basilica was restaurated between 54 and 34 BC so that the frieze can be dated to this time. But the motive does match much better the time of Augustus with its glorification of Rome's origins especially because the style has some resemblance to the style of the depictions of the Ara Pacis on the Campus Martius.
In the Stanza con storie dell'antica Roma of the Palazzo Spada in Rome is located e fresco of Giulio Mazzoni (AD 1525-1618) "The Punishment of Tarpeia", AD 1550

If we ask for the meaning of the depiction on our coin we have the following explanations:
(1) The Roman allies in the civil war should be warned about a eventual betrayal by showing
     them quite plainly the consequences of a betrayal.
(2) The depiction shows that Rome despite betrayal and great distress always will be the
     winner!

I have added
(1) a pic of the Via di Monte Tarpeo in Rome
(2) a pic of  the fragment from the Basilica Aemiliana
(3) a pic of Mazzoni's fresco

Sources:
- Cassius Dio, fr. 4, 12
- Livius, Ab urbe condita 1, 11, 5-9
- Ovid, Metamorphosen, 14, 776
- Propertius, Elegien, IV.4: 1-94 (auch online)

Literature:
- Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher, Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen
  Mythologie, 1924 (online)
- Der Kleine Pauly
- Michael Krumme, Römische Sagen in der antiken Münzprägung, Hitzeroth 1995
- Barbara Kowalewski, Frauengestalten im Geschichtswerk des T. Livius, 2002

Online-Sources:
- de.wikipedia.org
- www.superstock.com (Mazzoni)

Best regards
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Jochen
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« Reply #374 on: November 19, 2011, 05:33:38 am »

Janus - the God with 2 Faces

I know that we have already an article about Janus in this thread. It is written by Cleisthenes and I want to recommend it here. But the new article is more comprehensive than the old one.

The double head of Janus is well known for numismatists and coin collectors from the Republican asses.

1st coin:
Roman Republic, A. Caecilius, gens Caecilia
AE - As, 22.99g, 33mm
       Rome, 169-158 BC
obv.  Double head of bearded Janus, laureate, above I (value mark)
rev. Prora r.
      above A.CAE (AE ligate), before I (value mark), below ROMA
ref. Crawford 147/1; Sydenham 355; BMC 8112; Caecilia 8; Albert 653
about VF
pedigree:
bought at Kricheldorf/Stuttgart, before 1970
Note: According to some numismatists the prora should be an allusion to Janus' journey from Greece over the sea to Rome.

2nd coin:
The 2nd coin shows the uncommon depiction of Janus as frontal standing deity. Look at the next note.

Geta, AD 209-211
AR - denarius, 19.8mm, 3.02g, 0°
        Rome, AD 209-211
obv. P SEPT GETA PIVS AVG BRIT
       bearded head, laureate, r.
rev. TR P III COS II PP
      Janus(?), in himation, nude to waist, garment over l. arm, stg. frontal, his 2 faces looking
      l. and r., holding thunderbolt in l. arm and resting with raised r. hand on reversed spear.
ref. RIC IV/1, 79; C. 197; BMCR 13 var., pl. 65, 8 (Sceptre)
scarce, VF, slightly toned
Note; The thunderbolt shows that Janus here has some similarity to Juppiter! Cohen even writes: "Janus or Jupiter." Mattingly: "The 'Janus' with thunderbolt and sceptre is certainly a fanciful expression of the  duality of the Empire. The imperial Jupiter is now 'biceps'. It was assuredly a fancy that pleased Geta better than his brother. Caracalla hated the idea of full equality of rule and was always insisting on his own seniority. In the long run he was unwilling to brook a colleague on any terms."

The third coin is an example of the famous series of temples of Janus under Nero:

3rd coin:
Nero, AD 54-68
AE - dupondius, 13.3g, 27mm
        Rome, c. AD 65
obv. NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER PM TRP IMP PP
       radiate head r.
rev. PACE PR TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT
      Temple of Janus with trellised windows l. and closed double gate r. decorated with
      garlands
      in l. and r. field big S - C
ref. RIC I, 284; C. 150; BMCR 198 (var. 1, l. side of temple)
VF, dark brown patina with earthen highligths around the devices

Solution of the rev. legend: "After having made peace for the Roman people on land and sea he has closed the temple of Janus"
pace parta terra marique in connection with the closing of the temple of Janus has been mentioned first in texts of the inscriptions of the victory monument at Actium, even though according to App. B.C. 5. 130 this phrase probably has been used already after the victory over Sextus Pompeius 36 BC.
terra marique is a Hellenistic phrase, together with pace parta it appears first under Octavian.
(Source: Carsten Hjort Lange, Res Publica Constituta: Actium, Apollo and the accomplishment of the Triumviral, Brill 2009; cites Momigliano 1941

There is a blant inadequacy between the importance of this god and our knowledge (and the knowledge of the Roman mythologists in antiquity too!). So only one inscription with his name  is found in whole Italy (of 2 slaves in Assisi). Other inscriptions found in Africa or at the lower Donau are rather an interpretatio Romana of indigenous deities (Pauly). The natural consequence was, that these gaps were filled with fanciful stories.

Mythology:
The parents of Janus are said to be Apollo and Kreusa, daughter of king Erechtheus of Athens. Kreusa has given birth to him secretly and then brought to Delphi for education. When she was married to Xipheus it appears that she was unable to get children. Xipheus asked the oracle and got order to adopt the first child which he would meet the next day. And that was the infant Janus. He adopted him as son (Aur. Victor de O.G.R. c.2). But this story can't be true because Janus was much older as Erechtheus and even Apollo (Anna Fabra ad Victor. I.c). Hence others claim that his parents were Uranos and Hekate. Because Uranos was seen also as the East itself they suggest that Janus has come from the East. Others claim that he was the son of Saturn and Entoria.

Anyway after the death of Xipheus he was unsatisfied with his inheritance and with a large armada he moved off to Italy. There he occupied a mountain and founded a town on it which was called after him Ianiculum. It is said that he ruled so piously and kindly that no laws are needed to avoid crimes. He is said to have been the first to erect temples to the gods and to offer sacrifices to them. They have consisted of grain and wine.

He was considered as important inventor. So he gave order to surround the cities with walls and to provide the houses with doors and keys. He is said to have invented the ships and the first money. He has made the barbaric inhabitants of Italy who to civilized humans and has taught them agriculture.  Others said that this was actually Saturn. But it is said that when Saturn was expelled by Jupiter Janus has admitted him hostily and permitted him to built the city of Saturnia close to Ianiculum. Other claim that it was Saturn who first ruled Italy and that Janus was his governor. This was the time which was then recalled by the Romans as 'Aurea Aetas', the Golden Age (not before Ovid)

But because it was impossible that Saturn and Janus have lived contemporarily - which was believed in antiquity - the theory emerged that Saturn actually has been Sterkes, father of Picus, king of Laurentium, who was called Saturn only after his deification.

In later times the importance of Janus has been expanded. After the world was created heaven, earth, sea and anything have been closed and opened at his will. He is said to have been the guardian of the world and to send war and peace. Together with the Horae he has watched the gates of heaven (Ovid, Fasti). Hence he was seen as keeper of housedoors and as god of the year. Finally he should have been identical with Chaos, the primal ground!

At sacrifices the first offerings were brought to Janus. The 1st day of the year was sacred to him.

He is usually depicted as venerable king with two faces of which one was looking forwards, the other sitting at the back of the neck was looking backwards. Additionally he was holding a key in his r. hand by which he could open up the temple and in his left hand a rod. At his feet 12 altars were placed. In the Etruscan city of Phalerae (Faleri) the Romans had discovered a statue of Janus with 4 faces. It is said that this was the reason that later Janus temples in Rome had 4 gates. Sometimes he was depicted with the face of a young man and the face of an old man. Plinius writes, that he has raised a hand and has bent the fingers in a way that - according to an old kind of counting - the number of 365, the number of days of the year, was expressed.

It has believed that Janus was originated from Perrhaibia in Northern Greece. There he has taken his sister Kamese as wife and has become with her father of Aithex and Olisthe. He has come to Italy 150 years before Aeneas and have ruled for 16 years. The 2 faces he has got because he has ruled over two different people or because he has ruled together with Saturn. Plutarch suggests that the two faces mean that Janus has made from a barbaric and cruel people a civilized and decent people, even with the help of Saturn. Others believe that the 2 faces mean begin and end, or rising and setting of the sun. Or one face is the Orient the other the Occident. The 4 faces then should mean the 4 parts of the world. The key he has used to open the heaven for the sun and to close it in the evening. The 12 altars at his feet are the 12 months (Hederich).

By others it is doubted that he has taken his own sister as wife. Augustinus f.e. doesn't know of any moral delict of Janus which was so common among the gods. Even though some think that he has pursued the nymph Karne fallen in love with her.

Excursion:
Ovid (Fast.) tells the story of the nymph Cardea who lived in the grove of Helernus at the river Tiber. She made a bad play with her suitors: Appointed to a rendezvous she sent them ahead to a place between the bushes claiming that she felt ashamed under the open sky. When the suitors lost sight of her she slipped away. But that doesn't work with the double-faced Janus and Cardea had to abandon herself. In gratitude Janus bestowed her the control over thresholds, hinges and doorhandles. But that seems to be a confusuion with the nymph Karne (Carne).

The temple of Janus:
After raping the Sabin women the Romans were in war with the Sabins. In this war the following has happened:
When the Sabins wanted to enter Rome the Romans tried to close the city gate at the Viminialis hill. But they didn't succeed. Everytime the city gate opened again. But when now the Sabins used this gate to enter the city a big stream of boiling water from the temple of Janus gushed over them and beyond the gate so that the Sabins were burned or drowned.

In memory of their victory over the Sabins the Romans opened the Romulus temple of Janus always when they were in war hoping that Janus would help them as back then against the Sabins. But when there was peace in the entire Roman Empire this temple was closed in a ritual ceremony. This happened actually in 700 years only threetimes: first under Numa, then after the first Punic War and finely under Augustus after the battle of Actium. This temple had 2 opposite gates (Plutarch).

But it is said too that Romulus has built this first temple for Janus only after his peace agreement with Titius Tatius (Varro). A second temple for Janus was erected later by C. Duilius at the Forum Holitorium and then a third one by Augustus on the Forum Romanum. The temples of Duilius and Augustus had 4 gates (Serv. ad Virgil). Furthermore an Aedem for Janus was built by Horatius bearing the name of the Curiatic Janus in memory of the victory of Horatius over the Curatii. Look below!

How the temple is described on coins of Nero (Jordan in Roscher):
"On coins of Nero the closed Ianus appears as cubiform building of which front and one side are visible. Those consists of a gate with closed valvae, which are made by two Corinthian columns bearing an arch. Of the similar gate which undoubtless made up the backside the corner column can be seen. The sidewall which connects both gates is square and reaches only 3/4 of the height of the gates. Its open upper quarter is closed by a lattice, on the columns in the front as at the side stay two-part beams; but there is no roof with fastigium. Undoubtless the building is not an aedes but a double ianus whose sidewalls are only plutea."  

(will be continued)
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