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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Chimera||View Options:  |  |  |   

Chimera on Ancient Coins

The Chimera or Chimaera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her spine. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has also come to mean, more generally, an impossible or foolish fantasy, hard to believe.


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 335 - 330 B.C.

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Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.
SH67618. Silver stater, BCD Peloponnesos 219; Traitť III 776; BMC Peloponnesus p. 40, 56; SNG Cop 48 var. (N vice I), VF, toned, struck with a worn obverse die, weight 11.943 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 270o, Sikyon mint, c. 335 - 330 B.C.; obverse chimera advancing left, paw raised, wreath above, ΣE below; reverse dove flying left, I left, all within olive wreath; ex CNG Auction 312, lot 88; from a collection formed in the late 1930s; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 431 - 400 B.C.

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Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.
SH21690. Silver hemidrachm, BCD Peloponnesos 205.2 (same dies), gVF, nicely toned, weight 2.824 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, Sikyon mint, c. 431 - 400 B.C.; obverse Chimera advancing left, ΣI below; reverse dove flying left; SOLD


Corinth, Corinthia, Greece, 345 - 306 B.C.

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The Chimera or Chimaera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her spine. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has also come to mean, more generally, an impossible or foolish fantasy, hard to believe.
GS38613. Silver stater, BMC Corinth p. 26, 255; Ravel 1010; Pegasi I 428, VF, weight 8.311 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, obverse Pegasos flying left, koppa below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, A below chin, P under neck, chimera (control symbol) behind; SOLD


Corinth, Corinthia, Greece, 345 - 306 B.C.

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The Chimera or Chimaera was, in Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of multiple animals. It had the body of a male lion, a tail that ended in a snake's head, and the head of a goat on the center of its back. The Chimera was one of the offthe spring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has also come to mean, more generally, an impossible or foolish fantasy, hard to believe.
GS38610. Silver stater, BMC Corinth p. 26, 255; Ravel 1010; Pegasi I 428, VF, weight 8.249 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, obverse Pegasos flying left, koppa below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left, wearing Corinthian helmet over leather cap, laureate with olive, A below chin, P under neck, chimera behind; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, 400 - 300 B.C.

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The chimera was a mythological monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia composed of the parts of a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimaera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GS37427. Silver hemidrachm, SNG Cop 59 - 60; BMC Peloponnesus, p. 46, 118; BCD Peloponnesos 301.1, gVF, nicely centered, weight 2.809 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 0o, Sikyon mint, obverse Chimera standing left, ΣI below; reverse dove flying left, No above tail; ex BCD collection; SOLD


Lycia(?), 5th Century B.C.

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Although unlisted in the major references, this hemidrachm type was first published by 1890. Five examples are listed on Coin Archives, which were offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera (also chimaera) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia in Anatolia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GA84765. Silver hemidrachm, Boston MFA 2325; Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2; Six Monnaies 1890, p. 235, 16bis; BMC -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Rosen -; Klein -, VF, light marks, obverse off center, reverse struck with damaged die (left side of incuse), weight 1.946 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, Anatolia, uncertain mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse Chimera standing right, right foreleg raised, jaws open; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; extremely rare; SOLD


Anatolia (Lycia?), 5th Century B.C.

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Although unlisted in the major references, a similar hemidrachm type was first published by 1897. Five obols of this type, including this coin, are listed on Coin Archives having been offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GA85627. Silver obol, 5 specimens know from auctions, otherwise unpublished; cf. Boston MFA 2325 (hemidrachm), Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2 (= Boston MFA 2325), VF, well centered, light marks, light corrosion, weight 0.647 g, maximum diameter 7.1 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Lycian?) mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse chimera standing (right?) with heads of a lion (in center with looking left), stag, and serpent, joined on one quadruped body at the center and radiating outward; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; ex Roma e-sale 36, lot 112; extremely rare; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 400 - 360 B.C.

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The chimera was a mythological monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia composed of the parts of a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimaera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
SH26777. Silver hemidrachm, BMC Peloponnesus p. 45, 111; SNG Cop 57, VF, weight 2.755 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 90o, Sikyon mint, c. 400 - 360 B.C.; obverse Chimera advancing left, ΣI below; reverse dove flying left; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 330 - 280 B.C.

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The chimera was a mythological monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia composed of the parts of a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimaera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GS90784. Silver triobol, BCD Peloponnesos 288.1; SNG Cop 58; BMC Peloponnesus p. 46, 117, VF, toned, centered, weight 2.763 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Sikyon mint, c. 330 - 280 B.C.; obverse Chimera standing left, raising forepaw, ΣI below; reverse dove flying left; I below head; ex CNG auction 231, lot 71; ex BCD Collection; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 330 - 280 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The chimera was a mythological monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia composed of the parts of a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimaera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GS90790. Silver triobol, BCD Peloponnesos 288.2; SNG Cop 58; BMC Peloponnesus p. 46, 117, Nice aVF, centered, toned, weight 2.768 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, Sikyon mint, c. 330 - 280 B.C.; obverse Chimera walking left, ΣE below; reverse dove flying left, I left; ex V Auctions sale 245 (22 Apr 2010), lot 14; SOLD




  




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Chimera