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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Dionysus or Bacchus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Dionysos or Bacchus

Dionysos (Bacchus to the Romans) was the god of wine, festivities, and ecstasy. He was the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele. Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysos rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pinecone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.

Eusebeia (Caesarea), Cappadocia, 21 - 20 B.C.

|Cappadocia|, |Eusebeia| |(Caesarea),| |Cappadocia,| |21| |-| |20| |B.C.||AE| |21|
Kayseri, originally called Mazaka or Mazaca, is in central Turkey on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes (Mount Argaios or Argaeus in ancient times). It was renamed Eusebia in honor of Ariarathes V Eusebes, King of Cappadocia, 163 - 130 B.C. The last king of Cappadocia, King Archelaus, renamed it "Caesarea in Cappadocia" to honor Caesar Augustus upon his death in 14 A.D. Muslim Arabs slightly modified the name into Kaisariyah, which became Kayseri when the Seljuk Turks took control, c. 1080 A.D.
GB95831. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 3610 (11 spec.), SNGvA 6337, HGC 7 868 (R2) corr. (date); BMC Galatia -, Choice VF, attractive style, highlighting earthen deposits on nice green patina, porous, lower reverse weakly struck, weight 6.142 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Eusebeia (Kayseri, Turkey) mint, 21 - 20 B.C.; obverse head Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse eagle right atop Mount Argaios, thyrsus inner right, EVΣE/BEIAΣ in two downward lines, staring on the right, ending on the left, monogram and Iς (year 16 [of the reign of King Archelaos of Cappadocia) below; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Pellene, Peloponnesos, Greece

|Peloponnesos|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Pellene,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece||diassarion|
Pellene sided with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, then joined the Achaean League until that League was dissolved by Alexander the Great. In the fourth century it was ruled for some time by a tyrant. In the third century, Pellene was garrisoned by the Aetolian League until the garrison was expelled by Aratus of Sicyon and the Achaeans in the 240s B.C. Pellene then joined the revived Achaean League until the League was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 146 B.C.
SH95334. Bronze diassarion, BCD Peloponnesos 607; BMC Peloponnesus p. 32, 15; Imhoof-Blumer NCP p. 92 (pl. S, XI); SNG Cop -, Dura -, aF, brown patina, legends obscure, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pellene mint, c. 198 - 205 A.D.; obverse L CEΠ CEV EPROC ΠE, laureate head right; reverse ΠEΛΛHNEΩN, Dionysus Lampter standing left, nude, pouring from kantharos in right hand, filleted thyrsus in left hand; ex J. S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $160.00
 


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 168 - 145 B.C.

|Maroneia|, |Maroneia,| |Thrace,| |c.| |168| |-| |145| |B.C.||AE| |18|
Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
GB93472. Bronze AE 18, Schönert-Geiss Maroneia 1556 ff.; BMC Thrace p. 130, 82; SNG Cop 646; Weber 2351; McClean 3982; HGC 3 1541 (S), VF, attractive green patina with earthen highlighting, slight porosity, weight 6.130 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 168/7-48/45 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, band across forehead, and ivy wreath; reverse Dionysos standing left, nude but for chlamys on left arm, bunch of grapes in right hand, two stalks of narthex in left hand, MAPΩNITΩN downward on right, no control monogram; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $88.00
 


Thessalonica, Macedonia, c. 187 - 31 B.C.

|Thessalonika|, |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |187| |-| |31| |B.C.||AE| |23|
Thessalonika was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, daughter of Philip II and half-sister of Alexander the Great. On 22 June 168 B.C., Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated the Macedonian King Perseus at the battle of Pydna, and Macedonia came under Roman rule.
GB95290. Bronze AE 23, SNG ANS 786, SNG Cop 355, gF, golden brown tone, bumps, scratches, corrosion, weight 11.044 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika mint, c. 187 - 31 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos, right, wearing taenia and wreathed in ivy; reverse ΘEΣΣAΛONIKHΣ, bunch of grapes within wreath; scarce; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00 ON RESERVE


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
The obverse legend translates Libero Patri Conservatori Augusti, which identifies Liber Pater, a panther sacred to Bacchus, as a protector of the emperor. Gallienus also identified Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, and others on coins as his protectors.
RA94167. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 713b, RIC V-1 S230, Hunter IV S112, RSC IV 586, SRCV III 10281, VF, traces of silvering, centered on a oval flan, edge ragged, flan cracks, weight 2.520 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse LIBERO P CONS AVG, panther walking left, B in exergue; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.00
 


Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.

|Boiotia|, |Boiotia,| |Greece,| |Boiotian| |League,| |287| |-| |244| |B.C.||AE| |17|
Apollo's most famous attribute is the tripod, symbolic of his prophetic powers. His priestess sat on a tripod chewing laurel leaves and inhaling hallucinating vapors from a fissure in the floor. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it. The tripod is also a symbol of Dionysos because the bowl was used to mix wine. Ancient Greeks sayings include, "wine is truth" and "wine reveals the heart of man," and those who speak the truth were said to "speak from the tripod." Athenaeus wrote, "The tripod is proper to Apollo because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysos it is proper because of the truth of wine" (Deipnosophistae 2).
GB74963. Bronze AE 17, BCD Boiotia 87 corr.; Head Boeotia p. 83, pl. VI, 4; BMC Central p. 40, 72, pl. VI, 5 corr.; Winterthur 1929 corr., F, green patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 3.189 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 287 - 244 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy-wreath; reverse Apollo seated left on cippus decorated with trident head left, bow in right hand, leaning back on left hand on cippus behind, tripod on far side of cippus behind Apollo; Π within wreath on left, BOIΩTΩN downward on right; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "ABH, Oct. 78, £5.-"; rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $48.00
 







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REFERENCES|

Bernhart, M. "Dionysos und seine Familie auf griechischen Münzen" in JNG I (1949).


Catalog current as of Monday, November 30, 2020.
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