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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ SatyrsView Options:  |  |  | 

Satyrs on Ancient Coins

Thasos, Thrace, c. 480 - 463 B.C.

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Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
GA87298. Silver stater, SNG Cop 1013; Svoronos HPM p. 97, 12, pl. X, 21; McClean 4198; Franke-Hirmer 436; BMC Thrace p. 218, 28; HGC 6 331, gVF, well centered and struck, light tone, die wear, weight 8.833 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, Thasos mint, c. 480 - 463 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with lines, she wears a long chiton, her palm is facing, Θ (Thasos) below; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Steven Battelle, ex Harlan J. Berk, buy or bid sale 198 (7 Jul 2016), lot 74; rare with Θ; $1100.00 (968.00)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
SH91802. Silver stater, Le Rider Thasiennes 2; SNG Cop 1008; BMC Thrace p. 216, 2; McClean 4195; Svoronos HPM pl. X, 7; Dewing 1312; HGC 6 331, Choice F, very well centered, toned, typical flat strike, scratches, weight 9.155 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, Thasos mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with dots, she wears a long chiton, her arm fingers and thumb forming a Y shape; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $480.00 (422.40)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Nymphs are nature spirits who appear as beautiful, young nubile maidens. They dwell in mountains, valleys and groves, by springs and rivers, and also in trees and cool grottoes. Nymphs love to dance and sing and are the frequent target of satyrs. Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
SH91179. Silver stater, Le Rider Thasiennes 2; SNG Cop 1008; BMC Thrace p. 216, 2; McClean 4195; Svoronos HPM pl. X, 7; Dewing 1312; HGC 6 331, gF, nice toning, well centered, die wear, minor edge cracks, weight 8.435 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, Thasos mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude ithyphallic satyr kneeling-running right, carrying in his arms a struggling nymph, raising her right hand in protest, both with long strait hair indicated with dots, she wears a long chiton, her arm fingers and thumb forming a Y shape; reverse quadripartite incuse square; ex Frank S. Robinson; $170.00 (149.60)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 404 - 355 B.C.

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In 411 B.C., Thasos revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor. In 407 B.C. Spartans were expelled and the Athenians readmitted. After the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., Thasos again fell under the Lacedaemonians led by Lysander who formed a decarchy there. Athens must have recovered it, for later it was one of the subjects of dispute with Philip II of Macedonia.
GS89789. Silver trihemiobol, Le Rider Thasiennes 27; BMC Thrace p. 221, 53 ff.; SNG Cop 1029 ff., Dewing 1331; HGC 6 351 (S); SGCV I 1755, VF, toned, light bumps and scratches, light etching, weight 0.779 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 90o, Thasos mint, c. 404 - 355 B.C.; obverse satyr kneeling left, on left knee, nude but for cloak tied at waist and flying behind, kantharos in right hand; reverse volute krater, ΘAΣ−IΩN upward on left and downward on right; $90.00 (79.20)


Thasos, Islands off Thrace, c. 411 - 404 B.C.

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In 411 B.C., Thasos revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor. In 407 B.C. Spartans were expelled and the Athenians readmitted. After the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., Thasos again fell under the Lacedaemonians led by Lysander who formed a decarchy there. Athens must have recovered it, for later it was a subject of dispute with Philip II of Macedonia.
GS89783. Silver hemiobol, Le Rider Thasiennes 12; SNG Cop 1033, BMC Thrace 60, SNG Fitzwilliam 3665, McClean 4218, HGC 6 340 (R1), gVF, grainy, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.389 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, Thasos mint, c. 411 - 404 B.C.; obverse horned and bearded head of the satyr Silenos right; reverse two dolphins swimming in opposite directions, Θ−A−Σ−I counterclockwise around dolphin above; $70.00 (61.60)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 404 - 355 B.C.

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In 411 B.C., Thasos revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor. In 407 B.C. Spartans were expelled and the Athenians readmitted. After the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., Thasos again fell under the Lacedaemonians led by Lysander who formed a decarchy there. Athens must have recovered it, for later it was one of the subjects of dispute with Philip II of Macedonia.
GS89785. Silver trihemiobol, Le Rider Thasiennes 27; BMC Thrace p. 221, 53 ff.; SNG Cop 1029 ff., Dewing 1331; HGC 6 351 (S); SGCV I 1755, F, bumps and scratches, etched surfaces, weight 0.835 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 90o, Thasos mint, c. 404 - 355 B.C.; obverse satyr kneeling left, on left knee, nude but for cloak tied at waist and flying behind, kantharos in right hand; reverse volute krater, ΘAΣ−IΩN upward on left and downward on right; $70.00 (61.60)


Heliopolis, Coele-Syria, c. 198 A.D.

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Septimius Severus conferred the Jus Italicum upon Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) in 193, for supporting him against Pescennius Niger. Prior to that Heliopolis had been part of the territory of Berytus (Beirut) on the Phoenician coast since 15 B.C. This obverse of this coin is copied from a coin of Berytus.

Marsyas found Athena's flute. Inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully. Foolishly he challenged Apollo to a musical contest. Apollo won by singing to the music of his lyre. As a just punishment for his presumption, Apollo flayed Marsyas alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and his skin was hung like a wine bag in the cave out of which that river flows.
RP73451. Bronze AE 13, Sawaya 261 (D48/R100), Lindgren-Kovacs 2156, SNG Cop -, SNG Mnchen -, BMC Galatia -, VF, weight 1.988 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 90o, Heliopolis mint, c. 198 A.D.; obverse Marsyas right, wineskin over shoulder, C - HE (Colonia Heliopolis), border of dots; reverse COL / HEL in two lines at center within wreath, border of dots; scarce; $32.00 (28.16)


Berytus, Phoenicia, 114 - 117 A.D.

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While playing the flute Athena saw her reflection in the water and disturbed by how her cheeks looked, puffed up while playing, threw away the instrument in disgust. The satyr Marsyas picked up the flute and since it had once been inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully on its own accord. Elated by his success, Marsyas challenged Apollo to a musical contest. For the prize, the victor could do what he pleased with the vanquished. The Muses were the umpires. Apollo played the cithara and Marsyas the flute. Only after Apollo added his voice to the music of his lyre was the contest decided in his favor. As a just punishment for the presumption of Marsyas, Apollo bound him to an evergreen tree and flayed him alive. His blood was the source of the river Marsyas, and Apollo hung up his skin, like a wine bag, in the cave out of which that river flows.
GB73439. Bronze AE 11, Sawaya 786 ff.; SNG Cop 89; BMC Phoenicia p. 56, 1 ff.; RPC I -, VF, weight 0.830 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, Berytus (Beirut, Lebanon) mint, 114 - 117 A.D.; obverse Marsyas advancing left, carrying wine skin over shoulder, CO-L divided across field; reverse forepart of galley right, BER above; $32.00 (28.16)


Thasos, Thrace, c. 525 - 480 B.C.

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Satyrs are male companions of Pan and Dionysus with goat-like features, including a goat-tail, goat-like ears, and sometimes a goat-like phallus. As Dionysiac creatures, Satyrs are lovers of wine and women and ready for every physical pleasure. They are obsessed with nymphs.
GS89788. Silver diobol, Svoronos HPM p. 96, 8 & pl. X, 20; Le Rider Thasiennes 4; HGC 6 333; Rosen 144; SNG Cop 191 ff. (Lete); BMC Macedonia p. 80, 29 ff. (same), F, etched, porous, rough, edge cracks, weight 1.004 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, Thasos mint, c. 525/510 - 480 B.C.; obverse nude satyr rushing to right in the archaic kneeling-running position, long hair, pointed beard, horse tail; reverse quadripartite mill-sail incuse square; $30.00 (26.40)







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Satyrs