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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. 377 - 326 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."
SH86215. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt Em. 86, - (-/η, unlisted obv. die); HGC 6 1012 (R1); BMC Troas p. 163, 71; SNG Cop 319; SNGvA 7738; Trait II 2190, VF, classical style, obverse die rust, reverse die wear, tight flan, weight 2.529 g, maximum diameter 11.1 mm, die axis 15o, Mytilene mint, c. 377 - 326 B.C.; obverse head of Athena facing slightly right, wearing triple crested Attic helmet, earring, and necklace; reverse draped bust of Hermes right, petasos on string hanging behind his neck, all within a linear square, all in square incuse but not visible because the die was larger than the flan; rare; $750.00 (637.50)


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; $225.00 (191.25)


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)


Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

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The caduceus is a wand or rod, entwined at one end by two serpents, each of whose bodies folds again in the form of two half-circles, while the head passes above the wand. It was an attribute peculiar to Mercury.
RA84495. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 333; RIC V, part 2, 84; Schulzki AKG 78; Cunetio 2426; Elmer 381; Hunter IV 82; SRCV III 10984, aEF, fantastic caduceus detail, well centered, traces of silvering, brown toned copper, light corrosion, edge splits, weight 3.078 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 265 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse SAECVLO FRVGIFERO (fruitful age), winged caduceus; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex VAuction 304 (27 Feb 2014), lot 412; ex Ancient Imports; $170.00 (144.50)


Roman Republic, Anonymous (Corn-Ear and IC), c. 207 - 206 B.C., Overstruck on a Syracuse AE

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In 207 B.C., The Battle of the Metaurus, fought near the Metaurus River in Umbria, was a pivotal battle in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians were led by Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal Barca. The Roman armies were led by the consuls Marcus Livius Salinator and Gaius Claudius Nero. The Carthaginian army was defeated and Hasdrubal was killed. This major Roman victory ended Hannibal's hopes for success in Italy.
RR85325. Bronze sextans, Russo RBW 294, Crawford 69/6b, Sydenham 310d, BMCRR Italy 280, SRCV I 1211; undertype: Calciati II 197, HGC 2 1550, VF, clear overstrike, bumps and scratches, light corrosion, weight 5.868 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, Sicilian (probably Catania) mint, c. 207 - 206 B.C.; obverse head of Mercury right, wearing winged petasos, two pellets (mark of value) above; undertype: head of Poseidon left; reverse prow of galley right, grain ear above, IC(?) before, ROMA below, no mark of value; undertype: trident head; ; scarce; $125.00 (106.25)


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 Munchen 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; $120.00 (102.00)


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; $100.00 (85.00)


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 (Enez, Turkey) 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; $95.00 (80.75)




  



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Hermes or Mercury