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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > n.igma > Peloponnesos

Arkadia, Pheneos, ca. 300-240 BC, Dichalkon
Wreathed bust of Artemis Heurippa right, with bow and quiver over shoulder.
ΦENEΩN Mare grazing right; AP monogram below, HP monogram in exergue.

HGC 5, 988; BCD Peloponnesos 1626; SNG Copenhagen 274; BMC 24.

(16 mm, 3.07 g, 3h)
Gorny & Mosch 216, 16 October 2013, 2446.

Amongst the finest examples of the type known, with a beautifully detailed bust of Artemis.

Pheneos lies at the foot of Mount Kyllene, located near the modern village of Kalyvia and in the ancient region of Arkadia in the Peloponnese. It served as an important cultural centre, notably for holding the Hermaea, a series of ancient Greek festivals in honour of Hermes. The latter god figures prominently on most of the coinage of Pheneos. However, the basis for the iconography of this rare coin is the tradition that Odysseus discovered his lost mares in Phenean territory. In gratitude he erected a temple to Artemis Heurippa (the finder of horses). The legend is recounted by Pausanius (8.14.5) "There stands also a bronze Poseidon, surnamed Horse, whose image, it is said, was dedicated by Odysseus. The legend is that Odysseus lost his mares, traversed Greece in search of them, and on the site in the land of Pheneos where he found his mares founded a sanctuary of Artemis, calling the goddess Horse-finder (Heurippa), and also dedicated the image of Horse Poseidon." Little remains of the ancient city of Pheneos. Like many ancient cities, its coinage, which is of limited volume, remains the most tangible evidence of its existence.
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