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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Olympians ▸ Hermes or MercuryView Options:  |  |  |   

Hermes or Mercury

Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.


Roman Egypt, Antinoopolites Nome(?), Portrait of Antinous, c. 130 - 153 A.D.

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Antinous probably joined the entourage of Hadrian when it passed through Bithynia in about 124. He became Hadrian's constant companion and lover but in October 130 Antinous drowned in the Nile. Hadrian's grief knew no bounds; he enrolled him among the gods, erected a temple, and on 30 October 130 A.D., Hadrian founded the city of Antinoopolis on the very bank of the Nile river where Antinous drowned. It was the capital of a new nome, Antinoopolites. Artists vied with each other in immortalizing his beauty. Temples and statues to his memory were erected all over the Empire, and there began a Cult of Antinous. On this coin he is depicted in the guise of Hermanubis.
RX90575. Lead tessera, Dattari 6536, Geissen 3559 var. (11.23g), Emmett 4397 (R4), F, weight 4.666 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Antinoopolis (or Alexandria?) mint, c. 130 - 153 A.D.; obverse draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown of Harpocrates, crescent before; reverse Serapis standing left, wearing chiton, himation, and kalathos on head, right hand raised, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $250.00 (222.50)


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

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Mineo, Sicily (ancient Menaion) is inland about 64 km southwest of Catania. It was a Sikel city, founded around 458 B.C. by King Douketios. In 396 B.C. it was captured by Dionysios I of Syracuse. Under Roman rule Cicero mentions Menaion among the "civitatis decumanae," cities that pay one tenth of their annual harvest to Rome. Today it has about 5,600 residents.
GB65650. Bronze hexas, Calciati III p. 189, 13; BMC Sicily p. 97, 4; SNG Mnchen 624; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Morcom -, VF, weight 1.645 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 45o, Menaion (Mineo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 204 - 190 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Hermes right, wearing winged petasos; reverse MENAI/NΩN, kerykeion (caduceus), two pellets (mark of value) lower left; very rare; $150.00 (133.50)


Ainos, Thrace, c. 427 - 424 B.C.

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Aenus, Enez, Turkey today, was on the southeastern coast of Thrace, near the mouth of the Hebrus River, not far from the Melas Gulf (modern Gulf of Saros), which is formed by the Thracian Chersonesus to the east. The city was said to be founded (or at least settled) by Aeolian migrants from Lesbos. Its mythical and eponymous founder was said to be Aeneus, a son of the god Apollo and father of Cyzicus. Another mythical ruler, named Poltys, son of Poseidon, entertained Heracles when he came to Aenus. In the Iliad, Homer mentions that the leaders of Troy's Thracian allies, Acamas and Peiros, came from Aenus.
GS68735. Silver diobol, May Ainos 176 - 204, AMNG II 303, SNG Cop 405, SNG Lockett 1164, Pozzi 1033, McClean 3892, F, grainy, weight 1.167 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 45o, Ainos mint, c. 427 - 424 B.C.; obverse head of Hermes right, wearing petasos; reverse AIN, goat standing to right, coiled snake (control symbol) lower right; $125.00 (111.25)


Marathos, Phoenicia, 173 - 172 B.C.

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Marathos, the most northern coastal town in Phoenicia, was apparently under Ptolemaic hegemony when this coin was struck. The bust of Hermes is usually attributed to be also that of Ptolemy VI. Destroyed by its neighbor and rival Aradus, c. 145 B.C., Marathos was later rebuilt as a colony of Aradus.
GP73972. Bronze AE 21, Svoronos 1082 - 1085 (various controls); Duyrat Ateliers 252 - 261 (same); Cohen Dated 832; cf. HGC 10 194 (S); SNG Cop -; BMC Phoenicia -, F, black patina, rough, corrosion, weight 6.489 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Marathos (near Tartus, Syria) mint, 173 - 172 B.C.; obverse laureate and draped bust of Ptolemy VI as Hermes, kerykeion over shoulder; reverse Marathos standing left, apluster in right, Phoenician date IIIIIIINNNN (year 87) on left, Phoenician MRT (Marathos) right, Phoenician control letters low across field; $115.00 (102.35)


Roman Republic, Second Punic War Vanquished Enemy Overstrike, 211 - 204 B.C.

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This coin is from Andrew McCabe's group H1, a previously unrecognized late Second Punic War issue, overstruck on the coins of Rome's vanquished enemies, from a mint or mints in Southern Italy, Sicily or Sardinia (this coin was struck on Sardinia). The most common undertype is Carthaginian Tanit / horse types, but coins of Capua, the Bretti, Syracuse and other coins of the vanquished were also overstruck. For reasons unknown, these coins were overstruck on types that weighed half the standard for the same denomination at Rome. In the past these coins were often assumed, based on their weight, to date to the late second century or first century B.C.
RR72285. Copper Sextans, cf. McCabe Anonymous group H1.Sx; Crawford 63, 64 and 65 (MA, AVR and C issues), F, probably overstruck on a Carthaginian bronze, weight 1.684 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Sardinia mint, 211 - 204 B.C.; obverse head of Mercury right in winged petasus, two pellets above; reverse prow of galley right, ROMA above; $95.00 (84.55)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Heliopolis, Coele Syria

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Baalbek, a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, east of the Litani River, was known as Heliopolis during Roman rule. It was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire and contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon. The gods worshiped at the temple, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design.
SH79780. Bronze AE 16, Sawaya 383 ff. var. (D74/R152) unlisted die combination, SNG Cop 430, Lindgren-Kovacs A2162A, BMC Galatia -, VF/F, green patina, tight flan, weight 3.400 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 45o, Heliopolis (Baalbek, Lebanon) mint, 211 - 212 A.D.; obverse M AVR ANTONI, laureate head right, from behind; reverse COL HEL, Hermes standing slightly left, head left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, purse in right hand, caduceus in left hand; $95.00 (84.55)


Herennius Etruscus, Early 251 - First Half of June 251 A.D.

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In 250, Decius, demonstrating his pietas, began a persecution of Christians in an attempt to restore the religion of Rome. Pope Fabian was one of the first martyrs.
GS84400. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 142b, RSC IV 11, Hunter III 4, SRCV III 9520, VF, nice portrait, choice obverse, reverse struck with worn dies, weight 4.072 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 250 - early 251 A.D.; obverse Q HER ETR MES DECIVS NOB C, radiate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse PIETAS AVGG (to the piety of the two emperors), Mercury standing left, purse in right hand, long caduceus transverse in left hand; $90.00 (80.10)


Phokaia, Ionia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Hermes is the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of thieves and road travelers, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures, of invention, of general commerce, and of the cunning of thieves and liars. His symbols include the tortoise, the rooster, the winged sandals, and the caduceus. The analogous Roman deity is Mercury.
GB71725. Bronze AE 18, BMC Ionia 217, 105; SNG Cop 1038; SNGvA 7959; SNG Mnchen -, gVF, dark green patina, a little rough, weight 3.433 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Phokaia (Foca, Turkey) mint, magistrate Pythis, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Hermes right, wearing chlamys and petasos; reverse forepart of griffin right, Φ−Ω divided above body and forelegs, ΠYΘIΣ below; ex Roma Numismatics auction 4 (30 Sep 2012), lot 1681; $70.00 (62.30)


Seleukid Kingdom, Demetrius III Eucaerus, c. 96 - 87 B.C.

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Demetrius III Eucaerus ("the Timely") was nicknamed Acaerus ("the Untimely) by the Jews. He defeated the Hasmonaean Priest King Alexander Jannaeus but was forced to withdraw from Judaea by the hostile population. While attempting to dethrone his brother, Philip I Philadelphus, he was defeated by the Arabs and Parthians, and taken prisoner. He was held in confinement in Parthia by Mithridates II until his death in 88 B.C.
SL46356. Bronze AE 17, Houghton-Lorber II 2455(3) (referencing only Spaer); SNG Spaer 2851; Galilee Hoard H44 (this coin), NGC Fine, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (4161251-008), weight 3.107 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, 95 - 94 B.C.; obverse diademed, lightly bearded head of Demetrius III right; reverse BACIΛEΩC ∆HMHTPIOY ΘEOY ΦIΛOMHTOPOC CΩTHPOC, Hermes standing facing, palm frond in right, kerykeion in left, N over A outer left, HIΣ (year 218) in exergue; ex Galilee Hoard (found north of the Sea of Galilee in 1989), NGC Certified (photographed before the coin was slabbed); $60.00 (53.40)


Tragilos, Macedonia, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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Tragilos, a small Greek settlement in Bisaltia, was destroyed either by Thracians or during the great Celtic invasion and abandoned in the 3rd century B.C.
GB75671. Bronze AE 16, SNG Cop 453, Lindgren III 1259, SNG ANS -, BMC Macedonia -, AMNG III -, F, tight flan, green patina, weight 3.735 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, Tragilos (Traelium) mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of Hermes right wearing petasos; reverse TPAIΛION, rose, grain ear (control symbol) lower left; rare; $60.00 (53.40)




  



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Hermes or Mercury