Many ancient coins depict the gods and goddesses of the Greeks, Romans and other ancient cultures. Collecting as many different gods and goddesses as possible is a fun, educational and affordable collecting theme. Every ancient gods and goddesses has their mythical function, biography, lineage and other facts and fictions that make them interesting. Here we will present as many different gods and goddesses as we can and provide some of the stories about them that fascinate us. We hope they fascinate you too.
Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.
Felicitas was the goddess or personification of good luck and success. She played an important role in Rome's state religion during the empire, and was frequently portrayed on coins. She became a prominent symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire.
RS41867. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8946, RIC IV 4, RSC IV 136, EF, lustrous, weight 3.905 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, 247 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassedbust right, from behind; reverseP M TR P IIII COS II P P, Felicitas standing half left, long caduceus inf right, cornucopia in left; $85.00 (€65.45)
Bargylia, Caria, 1st Century B.C.
Bargylia was said to have been founded by Bellerophon in honor of his companion Bargylos, who had been killed by a kick from Pegasos.
"Near Bargylia (in Karia opposite the island of Kos) is the temple of Artemis Kindyas, round which the rain is believed to fall without striking it..." - Strabo, Geography 14.2.20
GB82943. Bronze AE 11, SNG Cop 176, VF, weight 2.197 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 270o, Bargylia mint, obverse forepart of Pegasos right; reverseBARGULIHTWN, statue of Artemis Kindyas; $75.00 (€57.75)
Maeonia, Lydia, c. 193 - 217 A.D.
Omphale was queen of the kingdom of Lydia, the wife of Tmolus, the oak-clad mountain king of Lydia. After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own.
Omphale bought Herakles from Hermes, who sold him after an oracle declared Hercules must be sold into slavery for three years. Hercules 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, Heracles was forced to do women's work and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while Omphale and her maidens did their spinning. Meanwhile, Omphale wore the skin of the Nemean Lion and carried Heracles' olive-wood club. But it was also during his stay in Lydia that Heracles 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 part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt and the Argonautica. After some time, Omphale freed Heracles and took him as her husband.
The Greeks did not recognize Omphale as a goddess. Omphale's name, connected with omphalos, a Greek word meaning navel (or axis), may, however, represent a Lydian earth goddess. Heracles's servitude and marriage may represent the servitude of the sun to the axis 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 Heracles, curiously, wore female clothing.
GB83075. Bronze AE 18, BMC Lydia p. 130, 21; SNG Cop 225, aVF, weight 2.539 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Maeonia mint, c. 193 - 217 A.D.; obverseMAIONWN, bearded head of Herakles left; reverseEPI DAMA, Omphale advancing right, wearing lion skin and holding club over shoulder; olive patina; $70.00 (€53.90)