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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.


Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 412 - 378 B.C.

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Mytilene was famous in ancient times for its great output of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid - 4th centuries B.C. The usual denomination was the hekte (1/6th stater). Warwick Wroth noted in the British Museum Catalog, "The Sixths of [this Lesbos electrum series] form one of the most beautiful coin-series of the ancient world. This will be evident from a glance."
SH86296. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 75; SNG Cop 327; SNGvA 1725; SNG Fitzwilliam 4358; BMC Lesbos p. 163, 69; Boston MFA 1714; Weber 5644; HGC 6 1001 (R1), VF, fine style, toned, tight flan, light marks, obverse off center, weight 2.547 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 90o, Mytilene mint, c. 412 - 378 B.C.; obverse head of Kybele right, wearing a pendant earring and a turreted crown ornamented with a scanthus pattern; reverse head of Hermes right, wearing petasos, tied around chin, strap around back of head, in linear square within shallow incuse square; $560.00 (476.00)


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; $200.00 (170.00)


Ainos, Thrace, c. 117 - 138 A.D.

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This extremely rare type is unpublished in references and missing from major collections. The only other example we know is the referenced example sold in Nomos obolos 7. Nomos dated the type c. 280 - 200 B.C. AMNG and RPC Online IV list a similar type with both Hermes and the goat right. RPC dates that type to the 2nd Century A.D. We believe the Hermes portrait is Augusticized and has some resemblance to Hadrian. We tentatively date the type to Hadrian's reign, c. 117 - 138 A.D.
GB86124. Bronze AE 18, Nomos obolos 7 (9 Jul 2017), lot 28 (same dies); cf. AMNG 403, pl. V.26 (rev.) (Hermes and goat right, etc.); RPC Online IV temp. 4495 (=AMNG 403), F/aF, well centered, bumps and marks, corrosion, porosity, centration dimple on reverse, weight 4.132 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ainos (Enez, Turkey) mint, c. 117 - 138 A.D.; obverse head of Hermes left, caduceus before, no centration dimple; reverse AI-NIΩN, goat standing left, centration dimple; unpublished in references, missing from major collections, extremely rare - 2nd known specimen; $200.00 (170.00)


Termessos Major, Pisidia, c. 198 - 217 A.D.

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An ally of Rome, Termessos was granted independent status by the Roman Senate in 71 B.C. This long continued independence is documented by the legends of this coin and by other coins which bear the title "Autonomous." The reverse legend on this coin, eleutheros, is an adjective meaning "free," which is here in the genitive plural case, agreeing with the genitive plural of the ethnic on the obverse. So together the legends literally read, "Of the free people of Termessos," or paraphrased "Of the people of Termessos" on the obverse, "Who are free" on reverse.
RP85011. Bronze AE 25, SNG BnF 2177 (same dies), SNGvA 5353 (same), Waddington 4012 (same), SNG Cop -, SNG Tubingen -, SNG Righetti -, SNG PfPs -, BMC Lycia -, VF, well centered, some corrosion, weight 7.382 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos Major mint, c. 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse T-EPMHC-CEΩN, bare-headed draped bust of Hermes right, kerykeion over far shoulder; reverse EΛEYΘEPΩN, Athena standing left, wearing helmet, long chiton, and peplos, pouring from phiale in right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand; very rare; $180.00 (153.00)


Termessos Major, Pisidia, 2nd - 3rd Century A.D.

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

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice, and skill. Her usual attribute is the owl and Nike is her frequent companion.
RP85005. Bronze AE 25, SNG BnF 2178; SNGvA 5349; SNG Cop 321; SNG Tubingen 4505; BMC Pisidia p. 271, 31; SNG PfPs 547; SNG Righetti -, VF, well centered, highest points struck flat, bumps and scratches, centration dimples, weight 11.601 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Termessos mint, 2nd - 3rd century A.D.; obverse T-EP-MHCCEΩN, draped bust of Hermes right, kerykeion across shoulder; reverse TΩN ME-IZONΩN, Athena Nikephoros standing left, Nike offering wreath in right hand, inverted spear vertical in left hand; scarce; $120.00 (102.00)


Pheneos, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 360 - 340 B.C.

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Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, mythical birthplace of the god Hermes. It therefore was an important cult center for the god, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea. Catullus (Poem 68) mentions the seasonal flooding of the plain and says it was drained by an underground channel dug by Hercules during his Twelve Labors. According to Herodotus the river Styx originates near Feneos. In the Aeneid, Evander's fond memories of a visit by Aeneas' father Anchises to Feneos are one factor in his decision to ally his Arcadian colonists to the Trojans.
GB85885. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 1611; BMC Peloponnesus p. 193, 8; Trait III 893; SNG Cop -; Weber II -, VF, attractive green patina, tight flan, light marks and corrosion, weight 3.452 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 45o, Pheneos (Feneos, Greece) mint, c. 370 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of young Hermes right, cloak tied tied around neck and petasos suspended by cord behind; reverse ΦENEΩN, ram standing right, ΣI below ram; ex J. Cohen Collection; very rare; $110.00 (93.50)


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; $90.00 (76.50)


Roman Republic, Anonymous (Semilibral), 217 - 215 B.C.

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Hermes, Mercury to the Romans, 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.
RR84810. Bronze semuncia, Russo RBW 100, Crawford 38/7, Sydenham 87, BMCRR I 129, SRCV I 620 var. (head, no drapery), VF, rough areas, weight 7.190 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 217 - 215 B.C.; obverse bust of Mercury right, wearing winged petasos and chlamys, no mark of value; reverse war galley prow right, ROMA above, no mark of value; ex RBW collection; $90.00 (76.50)


Pheneos, Arkadia, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 360 - 340 B.C.

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Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, mythical birthplace of the god Hermes. It therefore was an important cult center for the god, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea. Catullus (Poem 68) mentions the seasonal flooding of the plain and says it was drained by an underground channel dug by Hercules during his Twelve Labors. According to Herodotus the river Styx originates near Feneos. In the Aeneid, Evander's fond memories of a visit by Aeneas' father Anchises to Feneos are one factor in his decision to ally his Arcadian colonists to the Trojans.
GB86131. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 1611; BMC Peloponnesus p. 193, 8; Trait III 893; SNG Cop -; Weber II -, F, dark green patina, well centered, bumps, marks, light corrosion, weight 4.465 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Pheneos (Feneos, Greece) mint, c. 370 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of young Hermes right, cloak tied tied around neck and petasos suspended by cord behind; reverse ΦENEΩ[N], ram standing right, ΣI below ram; ex CNG, ex BCD Collection with his handwritten tag noting, "Ex Peirese auction of 25 Nov 95, part of lot 2, the lot of 25 pcs. for FF 750 + 11%"; very rare; $90.00 (76.50)


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; $85.00 (72.25)




  



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Hermes or Mercury