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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Demeter or CeresView Options:  |  |  |   

Demeter or Ceres

The known mythology of Demeter and Ceres is identical. Demeter's (Ceres') virgin daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was abducted by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife in the underworld. Demeter searched for her endlessly, lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Demeter searched, preoccupied with her loss and her grief, the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus (Jupiter) sent his messenger Hermes (Mercury) to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because Persephone had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. It was decreed that she must spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.


Elaios, Thracian Chersonesos, c. 350 - 281 B.C.

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The city of Elaios in Thracian Chersonesos occupied a strategic position on what is now called the Gallipoli peninsula. In the ancient world, it was know for its sanctuary of the Trojan hero Protesilaos. Philostratos, writing of this sanctuary in the early third century A.D., speaks of a temple statue of Protesilaos standing on a base which was shaped like the prow of a boat. Of all the references listed in this coin's attribution, SNG Copenhagen is the only to list any coins of this rare city.
GB85370. Bronze AE 13, SNG Cop 898 (also same countermark); BMC Thrace -, Corpus Nummorum Thracorum -, SNG Tub -, SNG BM -, SNG Stancomb -, SNG Pushkin -, VF, well centered, highlighting earthen deposits, some marks, some corrosion, reverse slightly flattened by counter marking, weight 2.392 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 0o, Elaios mint, c. 350 - 281 B.C.; obverse veiled female head (Demeter?) right (wreathed in grain?); countermark: lion forepart right in an round punch; reverse bee upward, seen from above, EΛAIOY/ΣIΩN flanking in two upward lines first on left, ΠA monogram below; extremely rare; $250.00 (222.50)


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 300 - 250 B.C.

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Metapontum or Metapontion was an important city of Magna Graecia, on a plain of extraordinary fertility on the Gulf of Tarentum, between the river Bradanus and the Casuentus (modern Basento). It was distant about 20 km from Heraclea and 40 from Tarentum. The ruins of Metapontum are located in the frazione of Metaponto, in the comune of Bernalda, in the Province of Matera, Basilicata region, Italy.
SH70576. Bronze AE 14, Johnston Bronze 62, SNG ANS 574, SNG Cop 1261, SNG Fitzwilliam 534, SNG Forbat 55, SNG Lloyd 420, SNG Evelpidis 232, HN Italy 1698, BMC Italy -, gVF, nice style, well centered, weight 3.426 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion mint, c. 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, hair rolled and wreathed with barley, wearing pendant earring; reverse META (upwards on left), head of barley with leaf right, fly (bee?) on right flying right above leaf; $215.00 (191.35)


Dionysopolis, Moesia Inferior, Late 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.

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Dionysopolis was founded by Thracians and later colonized by Ionians who named it Krounoi. The city was renamed Dionysopolis during the second half of the 3rd century B.C., after a statue of Dionysus was found in the sea nearby. Most of the types from Dionysopolis are scarce or rare. Today it is Balchik, Bulgaria, a Black Sea seaside resort town. IΦI is the only magistrate Draganov lists for this type.
SH75655. Bronze AE 17, Draganov Dionysopolis 5, SNG Stancomb 115 - 116, SNG BM -, SNG Cop -, AMNG II -, BMC Thrace -, aVF, tight flan, weak reverse center, weight 5.502 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 270o, Dionysopolis (Balchik, Bulgaria) mint, magistrate Iphia, c. 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right wearing veil and crown made of city walls; reverse ∆IONY / IΦIA, poppy head on stalk on left, stalk of grain on right; very rare, unpublished until 1997; $200.00 (178.00)


Menaion, Sicily, c. 204 - 190 B.C.

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In the West foothills of the Hyblaei Mountains of Sicily, an indigenous settlement on a high peak under the name of Menai, flourished until 453 B.C. when its inhabitants were moved to nearby Palik near the well-known sanctuary of the Palici. No traces of life survive from between the second half of the 5th c. B.C. and the end of the 4th c. B.C. The city, under the name of Menainon, began once more to flourish in the Hellenistic period, as attested by its rich necropolis. After the Roman conquest the city minted its own coinage. Its existence during the Roman period is attested by Cicero (Verr. 3.22.55; 3.43.102) and Pliny (HN 3.91). The site continued to be inhabited until the Arab Conquest and again during the following centuries.
GI76345. Bronze trias, Calciati III p. 186, 7; SNG Cop 384; SNG Munchen 617; BMC Sicily p. 97, 5; HGC 2 760 (R1); SNG ANS 290 var. (∆ vice IIII), VF, scratches, porosity, weight 3.135 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Menaion (Mineo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman Rule, c. 204 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Demeter right; reverse MENAINΩN, crossed torches, IIII (mark of value) below; scarce; $195.00 (173.55)


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Anchialus, Thrace

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When the Odrysian kingdom was abolished in 45 A.D., Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria today) became part of the Roman province of Thrace. It was formally proclaimed a city under Trajan. Anchialos thrived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries serving as the most important import and export station of Thrace and acquired the appearance of a Roman city under the Severan Dynasty.
RP68711. Bronze 4 assaria, Varbanov 464 (R5), AMNG II 555, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, aVF, glossy green patina, weight 14.534 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 45o, Anchialus (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, 209 - 212 A.D.; obverse AY K Π CEΠ ΓETAC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse OYΛΠIANΩN AΓ-C-IAΛEΩN, Demeter standing left, reaching with right toward serpent coiled around large torch before her, small torch cradled in her left, two small pellets over ∆ in center field; rare; $190.00 (169.10)


Katane, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 50 B.C.

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As observed by Strabo the location of Katane at the foot of Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily was both a source of benefits and of evils. On the one hand, the violent outbursts of the volcano from time to time desolated great parts of the city's territory. On the other, the volcanic ashes produced fertile soil, especially suitable for the growth of vines. (Strab. vi. p. 269.).
GI76962. Bronze as, cf. Calciati III p. 101, 14; BMC Sicily p. 54, 91; SNG Cop 206; SNG Morcom 558; SNG Munchen 470; SNG ANS 1303; HGC 2 619 (S), gF, well centered, reverse left side weak, weight 12.263 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, die axis 315o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 212 - 50 B.C.; obverse head of Janus, wearing kalathos, two monograms left, one monogram right; reverse KATA-ΩN-IAN (clockwise from upper right), Demeter standing half left, stalks of grain in extended right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; rare; $160.00 (142.40)


Priapos, Mysia, 3rd - 1st Century B.C.

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Unpublished in the references examined and the only example of the type known to Forum.

Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey today) is located on the Mysian coast, on a small east-facing bay at the mouth of the Biga River, about a third of the distance from ancient Parium to Cyzicus. Strabo mentions that the area produced fine wine and that the god Priapus gave the town its ancient name. Thucydides mentions the town as a naval station. In 334 B.C., the town surrendered to Alexander the Great without contest, prior to the Battle of Granicus. Deities worshiped there included Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus. Under the Eastern Roman Empire, the town was known as Pegae and was the site of a Byzantine fortress.
GB83634. Bronze AE 13, cf. BMC Mysia p. 177, 14 (AE20, full ethnic 2 lines, bucranium); SNG Tub 2500 (same); SNG BnF 2410 (similar); SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Lindgren -, VF, green patina, corrosion, weight 2.400 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 0o, Priapos (Karabiga, Turkey) mint, 3rd - 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, veiled and wreathed with grain; reverse ΠPIA within grain wreath; extremely rare; $160.00 (142.40)


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Philadelphia, Lydia

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Vipsania Agrippina, also known as Agrippina Major, Agrippina Senior, or Agrippina I, was the wife of Germanicus and Caligula's mother. She was the granddaughter of Augustus, the daughter of his daughter Julia. She was the sister-in-law, stepdaughter, and daughter-in-law of Tiberius. She was the maternal second cousin and sister-in-law of Claudius and the maternal grandmother of Nero.
RP84954. Bronze AE 19, RPC I 3032; BMC Lydia p. 195, 55; SNG Cop 372, VF, nice dark patina, scratches, reverse slightly off center, weight 4.126 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Philadelphia (Alasehir, Turkey) mint, magistrate Artemon Hermogenous; obverse ΓAIOC KAICAP ΓEPMANIKOC NEOKAICAPEΩN, laureate head right; reverse AΓPIΠΠINA APRTEMΩN EPMOΓENOYC, Agrippina (as Demeter?) seated right, long scepter vertical behind in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 43, lot 708; rare; $160.00 (142.40)


Akrai, Sicily, c. 211 - 80 B.C.

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Akrai was a small colony founded by Syracuse in 664 B.C. to secure the inland road to Gela. Constructed on the peak of a hill, Akrai was difficult to attack and ideal for watching the surrounding territory. Loyal to Syracuse, it nevertheless had administrative and military autonomy. Thanks to its strategic position, the city achieved great prosperity, peaking during the reign of Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C. Its coinage was only issued after the fall of Syracuse in 211 B.C. when it became part of the Roman province Acre. The city continued to be under Roman rule into the Byzantine period.
GI79952. Bronze AE 23, SNG ANS 902; SNG Cop 9; Calciati III p. 37, 1 var. (KP ligate); BMC Sicily p. 2, 1 var. (same); HGC 2 180 (S) var. (same); SNG Morcom -, aF, glossy lime-green patina, scratches, uneven strike, weight 7.517 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Akrai (Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 210 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Persephone right, hair rolled and wreathed with barley; reverse AK-P-AIΩN, Demeter standing left, wearing long chiton and peplos, torch in right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $140.00 (124.60)


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 100 B.C.

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The torch is a symbol of Demeter. After Hades abducted Demeter's virgin daughter Persephone to be his wife, Demeter searched for her lighting her way through the earth with torches. While she searched, she was preoccupied with loss and grief. The seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because she had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. Therefore, it was decreed that she would spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.
GB84944. Bronze AE 22, SNGvA 1239 var. (r. control); SNG Cop 81 var. (same); Von Fritze III 13 var. (same); SNG BnF 490 ff. var. (controls); BMC Mysia p. 39, 161 ff. (same), VF/F, well centered, reverse flatly struck, tiny flan crack, light corrosion, centration dimples, weight 7.706 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 100 B.C.; obverse bull butting right on exergue line; reverse flaming torch, KYZI/KHNΩN in flanking downward lines starting on the right, monograms (controls) flanking the bottom of the torch; unpublished variant(?); $140.00 (124.60)




  



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Demeter or Ceres