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.
Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
Herakles' fourth labor was to capture the giant fear-inspiring Erymanthian Boar that lived on Mount Erymanthos in the primitive highlands of Arcadia. The centaur Chiron advised Herakles to drive the boar into thick snow. Herakles caught the boar and carried it back to Eurystheus, who was frightened, hid and begged Herakles to get rid of the beast. Three days later, Eurystheus, still trembling with fear, sent Herakles to clean the Augean stables.
RB65623. Copper quadrans, RIC II 702 var, BMCRE III 1062 var, Cohen 341 var, SRCV II 3248 var (all refs Hercules is diademed, not laureate), VF, green patina with some edge flaking, weight 1.454 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 101 A.D.; obverseIMP CAES TRAIAN AVG GERM, laureate bustHercules right, Nemean lion skin tied around his neck; reverseErymanthian Boar walking right, S C in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€60.00)
Iasos, Caria, c. 250 - 190 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit(?)
According to myth, Hermias, a young boy from Iasos, became friendly with a dolphin but died at sea while they were playing. The dolphin carried him to land, and then immediatly died of grief on the shore. The people of Iasos constructed a stele of the youth riding the dolphin, to remember the unfortunate event.
A similar but larger Iasos bronze with the ethnic below the dolphin is common. This size bronze is also common but with IA above Hermais and a magistrates name vice the ethnic below. On both denominations, Apollo normally has wavy curls, not formal archaized curls as on this coin. This coin may be the base core of a once silver plated ancient counterfeit fourreedrachm.
GB67147. Bronze AE 16, apparently unpublished; cf. SNG Tübingen 3397 (6.75g) and 3399 (magistrate name vice ethnic), SNG Cop 410 (6.41g), Klein 520 (6.24g), F, weight 2.369 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 45o, Iasos mint, c. 250 - 190 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, hair in formal archaized curls down neck; reverse Hermias swimming with dolphin right, IAΣΩΣ below; $80.00 (€60.00)
Valerian II, Caesar, Early 256 - 258 A.D.
The infant Jupiter was suckled by the goat Amaltheia on Mount Ida.
RA65663. Silver antoninianus, Göbl MIR 907e, SRCV III 10731, RIC V 3 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 26, VF, weight 2.987 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne) mint, 1st emission, 257 - 258 A.D.; obverse VALERIANVS CAES, radiate and draped bust right, from behind; reverseIOVI CRESCENTI, child Jupiter riding right on goat, looking back, raising right hand; $80.00 (€60.00)