The chimera was a mythological monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia composed of the parts of a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimaera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GS90790. Silver triobol, BCD Peloponnesos 288.2; SNG Cop 58; BMC Peloponnesos p. 46, 117, Nice aVF, centered, toned, weight 2.768 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, Sikyon mint, c. 330 - 280 B.C.; obverseChimera walking left, ΣE below; reverse dove flying left, I left; ex V Auctions sale 245 (22 Apr 2010), lot 14; $250.00 (€187.50)
Aegium, Achaea, Greece, c. 37 - 31 B.C., Under Antony and Cleopatra
Kroll connected the types with Antony and Cleopatra, who controlled Achaea when this coin was struck. Dionysos refers to Antony, who called himself the "new Dionysos," and the typically Ptolemaic eagle symbolizes Cleopatra.
GB67910. Bronze tetrachalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 438 - 439, BMC Peloponnesus 6 - 7, Kroll Bronze 3, Weber 3954, F, weight 3.916 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Aegium mint, Theoxios and Kletaios, magistrates, c. 37 - 31 B.C; obverse AIΓIEΩN, head of young Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse ΘEOΞIOΣ KAHTAIOΣ, eagle standing left, head left, wings closed; rare; $225.00 (€168.75)
Orchomenos, Arcadia, Greece, 370 - 340 A.D.
Kallisto, the daughter of King Lykaon of Arcadia, was seduced and impregnated by Zeus. Caught in the act, jealous Hera angrily transformed her into a bear and persuaded Artemis to shoot her. Zeus had Hermes recover the child Arkas from her womb and transformed Kallisto into the constellation Ursa Major. Arkas grew up to become the eponymous founder and king of the Arkadians. Upon his death, he was placed in the heavens beside his mother as Ursa Minor.
In another version of the myth, Kallisto, as a companion of Artemis, vowed to remain a virgin, but was seduced and impregnated by Zeus. Artemis seeing her condition in the bath, in anger, changed her into a bear. When her son Arkas was grown, Kallisto wandered into the sanctuary of Zeus Lykaios. Arkas, not recognizing his mother, would have killed her, but Zeus immediately transformed the pair into Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
BB62604. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 1575, SNG Cop 265, VF, weight 5.317 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 270o, Orchomenos mint, 370 - 340 A.D.; obverse EPXOMEN−IΩN APKAΣ, Artemis kneeling right, holding bow, hound seated right behind her; reverse Kallisto seated left, falling backwards with arms outstretched, an arrow piercing her breast, the infant Arkas below her lying on his back reaching upward toward Kallisto; very rare; $135.00 (€101.25)
Argos, Peloponnesos, Greece, 400 - 375 A.D.
Attribution to Argos is likely but not certain.
GB67146. Bronze hemichalkous, BCD Peloponnesos 1120 (identified as otherwise unpublished), VF, weight 0.776 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, die axis 0o, Argos mint, 400 - 375 A.D.; obverse head of Hera left, wearing stephane; reverse wolf head left; very rare; $90.00 (€67.50)
Achaean League, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. Mid 3rd Century B.C.
The Achaean League, a confederation of Greek city states existing from 280 B.C. to 146 B.C., controlled much of the Peloponnesus, considerably weakening the Macedonian hold on the area. It acquired Sicyon in 251, Corinth in 243 B.C., Megalopolis in 235 B.C. and Argos in 229 B.C.
GB58776. Bronze AE 14, BCD Peloponnesos 377, SNG Cop 229, BMC Peloponnesos 2 - 4, Weber 3984, gF, weight 1.384 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, Achaean mint, c. mid 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reversemonogram of the Achaian League within laurel wreath; ex CNG, ex BCD Collection (with his round tag, not in LHS sale); $85.00 (€63.75)
Argos, Argolis, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 320 - 270 B.C.
Argos is located in the eastern Peloponnese, very near the Aegean Sea. Inhabitants worshipped Hera. Sparta was a close neighbor to the south but the city was a nominal ally of Athens in the continuous conflict between Athens and Sparta in 5th century B.C.
GS64412. Silver triobol, cf. BCD Peloponnesos 1079; BMC Peloponnesus p. 141, 67, F, uneven toning, weight 2.342 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 180o, Argos mint, c. 320 - 270 B.C.; obverse forepart of wolf-at-bay to left; reverse large A, uncertain magistrates name around, N-I(?) flanking above, crescent(?) upwards (control symbol) below, all within a shallow incuse square; $75.00 (€56.25)
Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 265 - 200 B.C.
Herodotus describes the following story relevant to the olive wreath. Xerxes was interrogating some Arcadians after the Battle of Thermopylae. Asked why there were so few Greek men defending the Thermopylae, they answered, "All other men are participating in the Olympic Games." And when asked "What is the prize for the winner?", "An olive-wreath" came the answer. Then Tigranes, one of his generals uttered a most noble saying: "Good heavens! Mardonius, what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight? Men who do not compete for possessions, but for honor."
GB64576. Bronze AE 15, BCD Peloponnesos p. 90, 317.3, gF, weight 2.381 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Sikyon mint, c. 323 - 251 B.C.; obverse dove flying right; reverse ΣI within olive wreath tied on right; ex Ancient Imports; $70.00 (€52.50)
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