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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.

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

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The title of Dii Auspices (the gods-protectors) was given to the deities in general, and to each of them in particular, acknowledging their special protection, and sacrifices were offered to them accordingly. This legend and type help confirm what Dion states, that Severus built a grand temple to honor Hercules and Bacchus. When Septimius Severus advanced into the East against Pescennius Niger, he chose Hercules and Bacchus as his patrons, probably because ancient traditions designated the two as the first conquerors of that region.
RB95802. Copper as, RIC IV 666, BMCRE V 501, Cohen IV 117, Hunter III -, VF, nice coin, attractive brown-green patina, excellent portrait and reverse style, tight flan, areas of porosity, weight 11.884 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP II, laureate head right; reverse DIS AVSPICIB TR P II COS II P P, Hercules and Bacchus (Liber) standing slightly left, side by side, nude, heads left, Hercules with the Nemean Lion's skin on his left arm and resting his right hand on his grounded club, Bacchus holds a cantharus in his right hand and rests his left on a thyrsus, a panther sits left at his feet, S C in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 8 (29-30 Jun 2019), lot 1180; ex Kress sale 116 (28 Oct 1960), lot 959; rare; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

|Roman| |Macedonia|, |Roman| |Macedonia,| |"Thasian"| |Type,| |c.| |148| |-| |80| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS91475. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 6, 786 (O AE5 / R 624); SNG Cop 1040 ff. (Thasos), aVF, old cabinet toning, well centered, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 16.517 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


Lamponeia, Troas, c. 5th - Early 4th Century B.C.

|Troas|, |Lamponeia,| |Troas,| |c.| |5th| |-| |Early| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
Lamponeia was on the southern coast of Troas, on the long crest of a mountain, above the modern village of Kozlu in Canakkale Province, Turkey. From this site, the city could monitor sea traffic on the coast and control a narrow valley which connected Assos to the cities of the middle Skamander valley. The settlement was 800 m long and protected by a 7 m thick circuit wall of rough masonry and boulders, dated to the 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. the city was a member of the Delian League and paid Athens a modest tribute of 1,000 drachms (on one occasion in 430/429 1,400 drachms). In the late 5th and early 4th century B.C. the city minted bronze coinage, but thereafter disappears from the historical record. It is possible that soon after the site was abandoned and its citizens moved to Assos. Late Roman and Byzantine period finds suggest that the site was reoccupied in this period, perhaps as a defensive measure against piracy and brigandage.
GS89698. Silver hemiobol, cf. SNG Cop 444 (obol); SNG Tbingen 2649 (triobol); Trait 2295; BMC Troas p. 72, 12 (hemidrachm); SNG Munchen -; SNG Kayhan -; Klein -, VF, well centered, toned, porous, oval flan, weight 0.270 g, maximum diameter 8.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lamponeia (near Kozlu, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 5th - early 4th century B.C.; obverse bearded head of Dionysos right, hair bound in taenia; reverse facing head of bull, ΛAM around clockwise from lower left, all within a shallow incuse square; ex Beast Coins, this type is apparently unpublished in references as a hemidrachm, but larger denominations with the same types are published, and five hemiobol specimens are known from auctions over the last two decades; extremely 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| $180.00


Rhodos, Caria, c. 1 - 25 A.D.

|Rhodos|, |Rhodos,| |Caria,| |c.| |1| |-| |25| |A.D.|, |drachm|
Although the radiate heads on coins of Rhodes are usually Helios, the wreath of ivy indicates this is Dionysos. Teimostratos was the first official named on the bronze coinage struck at Rhodes after Actium. His title, Treasurer (TAMIA), is unusual. The officials that followed at Rhodes were identified as Legate (EPI) in the inscriptions.
GB86523. Bronze drachm, RPC I 2748; SNG Keckman 759; SNG Cop 888; Ashton Early 107; Lindgren 700; BMC Caria p. 264, 377, F, broad flan, near black patina, earthen deposits, reverse double struck, porous, weight 25.209 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 1 - 25 A.D.; obverse radiate head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse Rose seen in profile, small bud on tendril on each side of stem, poppy to left of stem, stalk of grain to right of stem, PO∆IΩN (Rhodos) above, TA-MIA / TEI-MO/CTP-ATOY (treasurer Teimostratos) in three lines divided across field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins, huge 35mm coin; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Roman Macedonia, "Thasian" Type, c. 148 - 80 B.C.

|Roman| |Military| |Mint|, |Roman| |Macedonia,| |"Thasian"| |Type,| |c.| |148| |-| |80| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
This Dionysos / Herakles type was first struck by Thasos itself on the island and in its continental territories in the South of the Balkans, c. 168 - 148 B.C. After Rome took control of the area, "Thasian" types were struck by Roman authorities, c. 148 - 80 B.C., mainly in Macedonia but also, perhaps, by mobile military mints on campaigns. Imitatives were also struck by at least several tribal groups (mainly Celtic or mixed enclaves) from as early as 120 - 100 B.C. to about 20 - 10 B.C.
GS79634. Silver tetradrachm, Prokopov Thasos, group XII, monogram 6, 806 - 808 var. (O AE8 / R -); SNG Cop 1040 ff., F, centered on a tight flan, uneven toning, die wear, weight 16.664 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 0o, Roman provincial or military mint, c. 148 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing taenia and wreathed in flowering ivy; reverse HPAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ ΘAΣIΩN, Herakles standing half left, nude but for Nemean lion's skin on left arm, resting right hand on grounded club before him, left hand on hip, (MH monogram) inner left; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 146 - 100 B.C.

|Maroneia|, |Maroneia,| |Thrace,| |c.| |146| |-| |100| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|NEW
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.
GB93473. Bronze AE 21, cf. Schnert-Geiss 1527 ff.; BMC Thrace p. 130, 80; SNG Cop 645, SNG Evelpidis 973, Choice VF/F, well centered on a tight flan, green patina with earthen highlighting, some porosity, tiny edge split, weight 6.862 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 45o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 146 - 30 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wearing 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, monogram lower left, MAPΩNITΩN downward on right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


Amisos, Pontos, c. 85 - 65 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |c.| |85| |-| |65| |B.C.|, |AE| |22|NEW
Amisos was a rich commercial center under the kings of Pontus, a royal residence and fortress of Mithridates, and was the home of the fabled Amazons.
GB93485. Bronze AE 22, SNG BM 1205; SNG Stancomb 698; BMC Pontus, p. 18, 53; Rec Gen p. 65, 24; HGC 7 243, aEF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, attractive style, grainy porous surfaces, weight 8.483 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse cista mystica, on which rests panther skin and thyrsos, monogram upper left field, AMIΣOY below; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


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

|Maroneia|, |Maroneia,| |Thrace,| |c.| |168| |-| |145| |B.C.|, |AE| |18|NEW
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, Schnert-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| $99.00


Amisos, Pontos, c. 85 - 65 B.C.

|Pontos|, |Amisos,| |Pontos,| |c.| |85| |-| |65| |B.C.|, |AE| |16|NEW
The thyrsos (thyrsus) is the staff carried by Dionysus (Bacchus) and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy. It was a symbol of the immortality of his believers.
GB93484. Bronze AE 16, Rec Gen p. 53, 25; HGC 7 251 (R); SNG Stancomb 691 var. (monogram lower left); BMC Pontus p. 18, 57 var. (diff. monogram); SNG BM 1192 var. (same), Choice VF, well centered, attractive dark green patina with buff earthen highlighting, scattered 9999light porosity, weight 3.613 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Amisos (Samsun, Turkey) mint, c. 85 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse thyrsos, bell attached with fillet, AMI-ΣOY flanking across field, ΩΣ monogram lower right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00




  



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REFERENCES|

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


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