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Silver tetradrachm

laureate head of Titus right

bust of Serapis right, wearing taenia, modius on head ornamented with branches of laurel, date LB (year 2) right

Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 79 - 28 Aug 80 A.D
12.254g, 25.4mm

Milne 456 - 457; Geissen 319; Dattari 426; cf. BMC Alexandria p. 34, 281 (year 3); Emmett 235


This is the Wildwinds example

Ptolemy Soter, wanting to integrate Egyptian religion with that of their Hellenic rulers, promoted worship of Serapis as a deity that would win the reverence of both groups alike. This was despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of previous foreign rulers (i.e Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but Amum was more prominent in Upper Egypt, and not as popular in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so an anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.

File information
Album name:Jay GT4 / The Best of Type!
Rating (23 votes): (Details)
File Size:174 KB
Date added:Jun 27, 2011
Dimensions:1200 x 587 pixels
Displayed:349 times
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Bruno V.  [Jun 26, 2011 at 11:22 PM]
Great! 5*
daverino  [Jun 26, 2011 at 11:43 PM]
Interesting coin
Randygeki(h2)  [Jun 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM]
cool addition to BoT
David Atherton  [Jun 27, 2011 at 12:20 AM]
Excellent portrait!