Athens, , , c. 140 - 175 A.D.
Minos demanded that, every ninth year, Athens send seven boys and seven girls to to be devoured by the , a half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth. , son of Aigeus, the of Athens, volunteered to take the place of one of the youths and slay the monster to stop this horror. Upon his arrival to , , Minos' daughter, fell in love with him and gave him a ball of to him find his way out of the Labyrinth. promised that if he escaped he would take her with him. Using the string to mark his path, he made his way to the heart of the Labyrinth, slew the , followed the string out, and then rescued the Athenian boys and girls. told to leave and Phaedra behind on the beach. Distressed by his broken heart, forgot to put up the white sails that were to signal his success. Upon seeing black sails, his father committed suicide, throwing himself off a cliff into the sea, causing this body of water to be named the Aegean.
Maionia, , 161 - 180 A.D.
was queen of the kingdom of , the wife of , the oak-clad mountain of . After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own.
bought Herakles from , who sold him after an oracle declared must be sold into slavery for three years. had sought the oracle to learn what he must do to purify himself, after he murdered his friend Iphitus and stole the Delphic tripod. As a slave, Herakles was forced to do women's and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while and her maidens did their spinning. Meanwhile, wore the skin of the and carried Herakles' olive-wood club. But it was also during his stay in that Herakles captured the city of the Itones and enslaved them, killed Syleus who forced passersby to hoe his vineyard, and captured the Cercopes. He buried the body of Icarus and took in the Calydonian and the Argonautica. After some time, freed Herakles and took him as her husband.
The Greeks did not recognize as a goddess. Omphale's name, connected with , a Greek word meaning navel (or ), may, however, represent a Lydian earth goddess. Herakles' servitude and marriage may represent the servitude of the sun to the of the celestial sphere, the spinners being Lydian versions of the Moirae. This myth may have been and attempt to explain why the priests of Herakles wore female clothing.GB83463. Bronze AE 19,
Roman Republic, L. Marcius Censorinus, 82 B.C.
The moneyer selected the design to play on his name, sounds like Marcius.
found Athena's flute. Inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully. Foolishly he challenged to a musical contest. won by singing to the music of his . As a just punishment for his presumption, flayed alive. His blood was the source of the river , and his skin was hung like a wine bag in the cave out of which that river flows.SH73011. Silver
, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., ,
Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus, an Aethiopian , and Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeia's boasted that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sent a sea monster (Cetus Aethiopicus) to ravage as divine punishment. Andromeda was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but she was saved by Perseus. Later Andromeda and Perseus were married.SH63219. Brass AE 23,
Taras, , Italy, c. 380 - 355 B.C.
Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. The founders were Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). These out-of-wedlock unions were permitted to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens could be soldiers) during the bloody Messenian wars. Later, however, when they were no longer needed, their citizenship was retroactively nullified and the sons were obliged to leave forever. Their leader, Phalanthus, consulted the oracle at and was told to make the harbor of Taranto their . They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a sent to him by Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is the symbol of modern Taranto today.GI85329. Silver nomos,
Taras, , Italy, c. 325 - 280 B.C.
This was struck with dozens of different pose variations on the . In some scenes, it even appears Herakles might lose. There are so many variations that it might be possible to take photographs of the reverses and arrange them in a flip book to animate the fight.GS85294. Silver
Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of
(Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named , would decide. Each of the three finalists offered a bribe. promised he would rule the world. said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the of Sparta. awarded the golden to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.RB71296. Copper
, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
In Roman mythology, and were the twin sons of the Virgin , fathered by the god of war, . They were abandoned in the as infants. , a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf ( ) at the foot of the Palatine . Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the overturned under a fig tree. and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. was the first of .RA73653.
Phoenician (Palistinian Workshop), 4 Stamped Votive Fragments, 1st Century B.C. - 1st Century A.D.
From the collection of , former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
These votive pieces were made to be ritually broken before offering in the of the god or distribution in fields for fertility or under building foundations for fortune. They are almost always found broken.AA32416. 4
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