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Search results - "Olympian"
1976 Olympic Canadian Memorial Coin71 viewsA gold 1976 Olympic canadian memorial coin.

OBVERSE: Olympians
REVERSE: Queen Elizabeth
6020 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Drachm 134-35 AD Poseidon in hippocamp biga28 viewsReference.
RPC III, 6020 (this coin illustrated). Dattari-Savio Pl. 89, 7759 (this coin); Emmett 1023 (triton biga)

Issue L ƐΝΝƐΑΚ·Δ = year 19

Laureate draped and cuirassed bust of Hadrian, r., seen from rear

Poseidon in hippocamp biga, r.raising hand and holding trident

23.35 gr
32 mm

Poseidon was the Olympian god of the ocean, earthquakes and horses. His father Kronos swallowed him whole when he was born, later Zeus with the help of Metis managed to set him free. During the Titanomachy, the Cyclopes forged a unique trident for Poseidon, and together with his brothers they defeated the Titans and threw them into the Tartaros. The god is well known for his famous attributes such as the Trident, sometimes he also used to carry around a rock with sea creatures on it, and he is pictured on pottery with a wreath of celery leaves. His sacred animals are the dolphin, the bull and the horses. However he is also associated with animals such as the hippocampus, in fact, his chariot was driven by seahorses.
6252 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Tetradrachm 137-38 AD Pronoia standing37 viewsReference.
RPC III, 6252; Emmett 881.22; K&G 32.770; Dattari (Savio) pl. 68, 7457; Köln 1243 var. (distribution of rev. legend)

Issue L KB = year 22

Laureate head of Hadrian, r., drapery on l. shoulder

Pronoia standing left, holding phoenix and sceptre.

13.60 gr
24 mm

Pronoia (“foresight”) was an Oceanid nymph and wife of the Titan Prometheus, who was sentenced to eternal torture for stealing fire from the Olympian gods for use by humans.
2 commentsokidoki
Antiochus I (Soter) * Apollo, 280-261 BC68 views
Antiochus I * Apollo,* 280-261 BC
Ć hemidrachm (?)

Obv: Diademed head of Antiochus right
Rev: Apollo seated on omphalos (Delphi), holding arrow in right hand, leaning on strung bow with his left hand, left-facing.
BASILEOS to the right, [A]NTIOXOY to the left. Monograms to left and right, omitted by strike from the right, effaced by wear from the left.

Weight: ca. 4.0 grams
Die axis: 190 degs.

Patina: Quite lovely 'desert-patina.'

Sear, GCATV * (SG) Number 6866v (This example appears to be bronze, not silver: I have been unable to date to find any reference to an Ć variant of SG #6866).
BMC, 4.9, 10

This coin bears portrait of the middle-aged Antiochus I 'Soter,' from the time of his sole reign (280-261 BC.), following the death of his father, Seleukos I.
The reverse depicts Delphian Apollo holding a single arrow, as opposed to the two arrows as seen on the coins dating from his joint-reign with his father.

* Olympian

Apollonia Pontika, Thrace * Apollon / Anchor * AR Trihemiobol,103 views
Apollonia Pontika, Thrace
Silver Trihemiobol
Date: ca. 450-350 BC(?)
Obv: Laureate Head of Apollo facing
Rev: Inverted anchor, A at center, and perpendicular MA monogram to the left.

Weight: 1.10 g.
St. 12 * (Image shown, reverse is inverted to actual coin)

Similar to, Sear Greek Coins and their Values (SG) Number sg1657
SNG Cop 459-461.

* Olympian
Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, 410 - 323 B.C.8 viewsApollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis.
GS88290. Silver diobol, Topalov Apollonia p. 387, 6 and p. 596, 56; SGCV I 1657, SNG Cop 459 - 461; HGC 3.2 1315, aEF, slightly off center, some porosity, small edge split, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, weight 1.256g, maximum diameter 10.2mm, die axis 180o, 410/404 - 341/323 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo facing with short hair; reverse anchor flukes up, thick flukes, A left, crayfish right; ex Numismatik Lanz (2010)
Mark R1
Caracalla, Silver Denarius "Mars, the Aggressor" * 196-217 AD *84 views
Caracalla, "Mars,* the Aggressor"
AR Denarius

Obverse: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right.
Reverse: PONTIF TR P X COS II, Mars advancing right carrying trophy over left shoulder and spear in right hand.

Mint: Rome
Struck: 213 AD

Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 2.85 grams
Die axis: 180 deg.

Beautiful luster.

RIC 88, RSC 431

* Olympian

1 commentsTiathena
Caracalla, Silver Denarius "Mars, the defender" * 196-217 AD *354 views
Caracalla, "Mars*, the defender."
AR Denarius
Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: MARTI PROPVGNATORI – Mars advancing left, holding spear and trophy

Mint: Rome
Struck: 213 AD

Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 4.5 grams(?)
Die axis: 180 deg.

RIC IVi, 223 (s) Scarce; Cohen 150; D. Sear II, 6819; pg. 521

* Olympian
6 commentsTiathena
CILICIA, Seleucia ad Calycadnum. Septimius Severus72 viewsCILICIA, Seleucia ad Calycadnum. Septimius Severus. AD 193-211. Ć (28mm, 11.64 g, 12h). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Athena standing left, holding shield and spear, about to attack serpent-legged Giant to right. SNG France -; SNG Levante 736 var. (view of bust); SNG Levante Suppl. -; SNG Copenhagen -. Near VF, dark green and brown patina, two scratches before bust.

Ex - CNG Esale 239 lot 320


After Zeus had defeated the Titans in the Titantomachy and apportioned their former relatives to his fellow Olympians, he was compelled to resolve a conflict with the Giants, offspring of Gaia and Cronus. Known as the Gigantomachy, these chthonic half-man, half-serpent creatures attempted to wrestle power from the Olympians by casting them out of Olympus. To accomplish this, the Giants attempted to reach Olympus by heaping up one mountain range on top of the other. From above, Zeus and the other Olympians defended themselves by hurling their weapons. In the end, however, it was the assistance of Hercules, that won the day.
5 commentsecoli
Dionysus * Dionysus, Maroneia * Thrace * AR Tetradrachm * After 148 BC155 views
Dionysus / Front & Back, AR Tetradrachm, Maroneia

Obverse: Beautiful head of Dionysos* wreathed in ivy, right.
Reverse: Nude Dionysus standing left, holding cluster of grapes in right hand, and two narthex wands in his left hand; DIONYSO[Y] to his right; two monograms, one each to the left & the right; [T]WTHPOS, to the left (with test cut through the first letter)

Weight: 16.0 grams
Size: 33 mm.

Sear Greek Coins and their Values:
Vol. 1, p.163, 1635

“After 148 BC (following the defeat of Andriscus and the organization of Macedonia into a Roman Province, the output of the great silver mines was sent to the Thracian mints of Maroneia and Thasos for conversion to coin)

B.M.C. 3, 48-63
These issues were imitated by the Danubian Celts of the interior.”
~ D. Sear, Ibid.

* Olympian

2 commentsTiathena
ETRURIA, Central Italy Uncertain City AE26, 300-250BC.66 viewsETRURIA, Central Italy Uncertain City AE26, 300-250BC. Male figure with Scepter (or lance) and Patera n. l. standing. Dog Rt. Holding a Aryballos in the muzzle hanging on cords for R. 10.17 G. SNG Cop. 44. P. Visonŕ, Due monete etrusche inedite e rare into collezioni italiane, SNR 79 (2000), 30, fig. 5. Very rare. Dark Green patina.

The Etruscan civilization was responsible for much of the Greek culture imported into early Republican Rome, including the twelve Olympian gods, the growing of olives and grapes, the Latin alphabet (adapted from the Greek alphabet), and architecture like the arch, sewerage and drainage systems.
1 commentsancientone
Greece, Athens - Temple of Olympian Zeus321 viewscompleted by HadrianusJohny SYSEL
Greece, Athens - The Temple of Olympian Zeus 212 viewsLloyd T
Herakles and Zeus159 viewsMacedonian Kingdom, Philip III and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.
GS70917. Silver drachm, Price 1515; ADM II Series V, 91 - 95; SNG München 474; Müller Alexander -, VF, attractive style, Troas, Abydus mint, weight 4.097g, maximum diameter 18.1mm, die axis 180o, Leonnatos, Arrhidaios, or Antigonos I;

obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck;

reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, horse leg left, Ξ under throne; ex Nemesis;

Herakles is the son of the divine Zeus and mortal Alcemene who was cursed by the jealous Hera to murder his entire family. He then had to overcome twelve labors given to him by King Eurystheus to repent for the atrocity. The first labor (defeating the Nemean Lion) is portrayed on the obverse of this coin.

Zeus is the main king of the Olympians ruling over the realm of man. He is known to be a notorious womanizer having affairs with several divine and mortal women, which constantly makes his wife Hera extremely jealous. He is associated with lightning and the eagle (as shown on the reverse of this coin) among other symbols.
Colby S
ISLAND OFF THRACE. Thasos62 viewsCirca 480-463 B.C. AR Stater (21mm, 8.80gm). Le Rider, Thassienes 5; HPM pl. X, 12; HGC 6, 331; SNG Copenhagen 1010-2. Obverse: Ithyphallic satyr advancing right, carrying off protesting nymph. Reverse: quadripartite incuse square. VF, toned.


The motif of the satyr abducting a maenad appears on several northern Greek coins. In the case of Thasos, an island just off the coast of Thrace in northern Greece, this Dionysiac motif serves to promote the island's famous wine. Satyrs belong to the retinue of Dionysos, the god of wine. They are only interested in drinking wine and having sex, usually with the maenads, the female followers of Dionysos. Satyrs are commonly represented as half-man, half-horse or goat, often with a horse tail and pointy horse ears. On the obverse of this coin, however, the satyr has mostly human traits, except for his goat legs. In addition, his bestial nature is made clear by means of his nudity (which visibly contrasts with the maenad's modest chiton), his obvious sexual arousal, and the fact that he is trying to abduct a maenad against her will, as evidenced by raising her right arm in protest (and about to slap her abductor!). The overtly sexual displays seen on many early Greek coins can be disconcerting to the modern eye, viewing them through the lens of centuries of Christian fulminations against ‘paganism’ and its erotic excesses. These scenes are at their most graphic in northern Greece, for example, on the archaic coins of Lete and the island of Thasos, showing the interplay of nymphs and satyrs. The towns and tribes of this region were only newly introduced to the ‘civilizing’ influences of the south, and were still close to their roots in farming and herding cultures. Their gods were not the Olympian super beings, but the spirits of nature, and the emphasis was on celebrating the fecundity of fields and flocks. Thasos gained its enormous wealth by virtue of its local silver mines as well as mines it controlled on the Thracian mainland opposite the island city-state. According to Herodotos (VI, 46), the city derived 200-300 talents annually from her exploitation of this mineral wealth. Such source of the sought-after white metal attracted foreign interest on the mines. The famous of these was when Athens attacked Thasos, ironically one of its members in the Delian League, in 465 B.C. with a single purpose in taking control of these mines. Additionally, Thasos gained much material wealth as a producer and exporter of high quality wines, which was tightly regulated by the government, and it was perhaps due to this trade in wine that her coinage spread throughout the Aegean making it a widely recognized and accepted coinage in distant lands.

2 commentsJason T
Julia Mamaea, Juno with peacock, Silver Denarius * 222-235 A.D.66 views
AR Denarius

Obv: IVLIA MAMAEA AVG. Draped bust, right.
Rev: IVNO CONSERVATRIX. Juno* standing left, holding patera in left hand and scepter in right hand, peacock at her feet to left and both left-facing.

Mint: Rome
Struck: 222 AD.

Size: 1.9 cm.
Weight: 3.1 grams.
Die axis: 0 degs.

Beautiful clear luster, with ‘minor’ shock damage to lower edge.

RIC IV/2, 343; C.35
Sear 2310

* Olympian

Mamaea's imperial title was Iulia Augusta, mater Augusti nostri et castrorum et senatus et patriae, recalling the titulature of Julia Domna. Her position in the government was confirmed by the title consors imperii. Recognized as religiosissima, she had conversation with Origen while in the East as She accompanied Alexander on campaign there against the Persians in 230-231. In 235, she was with him in Germany, at Mainz, when they were assassinated by the troops, with Maximinus Thrax chosen as successor. She suffered damnatio memoriae.
Julian II 'The Philosopher' (as Augustus)29 views361-363 AD
AE3 (19mm, 2.65g)
O: Diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding shield and spear; DN FL CL IVLIANVS PF AVG.
R: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; BSISC· below.
Siscia mint
RIC VIII 421; Sear 4074v
ex Munzen Sann

“Are you not aware that all offerings whether great or small that are brought to the gods with piety have equal value, whereas without piety, I will not say hecatombs, but, by the gods, even the Olympian sacrifice of a thousand oxen is merely empty expenditure and nothing else?”
~ Julian
1 commentsEnodia
Macedonian Kingdom. Philip II, Amphipolis mint58 viewsMacedonian Kingdom. Philip II, 359-336 BC. Silver Tetradrachm, Amphipolis mint. Early posthumous issue, struck under Kassander.
O: Zeus right wearing laurel wreath with berries.
R: Φ I Λ I Π - Π OY (Of Philip) Naked youth on horse prancing right holding long palm branch and reins; aplustre below; Γ under foreleg. Rider pl. 46, 18; SNG ANS 740. Light golden toning.

Plutarch (Alex., 3)
"To Philip, however, who had just taken Potidaea, there came three messages at the same time:
the first that Parmenio had conquered the Illyrians in a great battle, the second that his race-horse had won a victory at the Olympic games, while a third announced the birth of Alexander. These things delighted him, of course, and the seers raised his spirits still higher by declaring that the son whose birth coincided with three victories would be always victorious."

Plutarch (Alex., 4.10)
"...and (Philip) took care to have the victories of his chariots at Olympia engraved upon his coins..."

The reverse-types of Philip’s coins are nearly all agonistic, and refer either to the games celebrated by him at Dium in
honour of the Olympian Zeus (Müller, Mon. d'Alex., pp. II and 344), or, preferably, to the great Olympian games where his
chariots were victorious. We have, indeed, the direct assertion of Plutarch (Alex., c. 4) in favour of the latter
hypothesis, τας εν ‘Ολυμπια νικας των αρματων εγχαραττων τοις νομισμασιν. Philip was also successful at Olympia with the
race-horse (ιππω κελητι νενικηκέναι; Plut., Alex., 3), a victory of which he perpetuated the memory on his tetradrachms. The horseman
with kausia and chlamys is less certainly agonistic, and may (perhaps with a play upon his name) represent the king
himself as a typical Macedonian ιππευς.
Philip’s coins were struck at many mints in various parts of his empire. For the various mint-marks which they bear see
Müller’s Num. d'Alex. le Grand, the local attributions in which are, however, to be accepted with great caution. They
continued to circulate in Europe long after his death, and the Gauls, when they invaded and pillaged Greece, took vast
numbers of them back into their own land, where they long continued to serve as models for the native currency of Gaul and
Britain. (Historia Numorum, Barclay V. Head, 1887)

It is clear that, trying hard to show off, to pass and ultimately to impose his Greek character, Philip was especially
interested in the aesthetic aspect of his coins and also in the propaganda and psychological effects they would have
on the rest of the Greek world, and especially on "those sarcastic, democratic Athenians" and on "the more barbarian" people than himself...

Demosthenes (19, 308)
"And as for Philip,—why, good Heavens, he was a Greek of the Greeks, the finest orator and the most thorough—going
friend of Athens you could find in the whole world. And yet there were some queer, ill-conditioned fellows in Athens who
did not blush to abuse him, and even to call him a barbarian! "
4 commentsNemonater
Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 330 - 290 B.C.90 viewsSilver stater, HN Italy 1581; SGCV I 416 var; Noe-Johnston 3, class C 1.2-72, VF, obverse off center, weight 7.851g, maximum diameter 20.2mm, die axis 150o, c. 330 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right; reverse head of grain, META on left, plough above leaf on right, M[AX] lower right; ex CNG; ex FORVM

Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshipped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
3 commentsAdrian S
Philip II of Macedon -1st- 359-336 BC AE1888 views
Macedonia, Philip II, AE 18 * (copper or bronze)

Obv.: Head of Apollo* right, hair bound with tainia.
Rev.: Equestrian; Nude youth on horseback prancing right. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ above (mostly worn), independent spearhead symbol (nearly completely worn) beneath horse, between horse's legs.

Mint: Pella (?)
Struck: 359-336 BC.
Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 6.5 grams

Patina: Luscious jade-green, semi-glossy

Similar to D. Sear GCATV; 6696v, Vol. 2, pg. 620
Similar to SNG ANS 880-882 (?)

* Olympian
Philip II of Macedon -2nd- 359-336BC Æ 1885 views
Macedonia, Philip II, Ć 18 * (copper or bronze)

Obv.: Head of Apollo* right, hair bound with tainia.
Rev.: Equestrian; Nude youth on horseback running forward, front legs extended, rear legs firmly planted, right facing. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ above (mostly worn), Monogram E beneath horse, between horse's legs.

Mint: Pella (probable)
Struck: 359-336 BC.
Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 5.79 grams

Patina: Light green, flat.

Similar to D. Sear, Greek coins and their values, Vol. II, 6696; pg. 620
SNG Cop. 594

* Olympian
Philip II of Macedon -3rd- 359-336BC Æ 1886 views
Macedonia, Philip II, Ć 18 * (copper or bronze)

Obv.: Diademed head of Apollo* right
Rev.: Equestrian; Nude youth holding long palm(?), on prancing horse, right facing. ΦΙΛΙΠΠ[ΟΥ] above, symbol or monogram formed with Lambda L and pellet centered within, beneath horse, between horse's legs.

Mint: Pella (probable)
Struck: 359-336 BC.
Size: 18 mm.
Weight: ca. 5.9 grams

Patina: Beautiful multi-color, subtle-blending of dark olive, copper, near-jade green and some lighter tones toward silver, gray, brown. Lovely eloquent gloss over-all.

Similar to SNGCop 583 (?)

* Olympian
1 commentsTiathena
Philip V of Macedonia * Poseidon & Athena Alkidemos (221-179 BC)66 views
Philip V, Ć22 * Poseidon* & Athena* Alkidemos

Obverse: (Kemp) Laureate head of Poseidon, facing right.
Reverse: Athena Alkidemos striding/advancing left with shield, hurling a thunderbolt. Monograms in left and right fields.

Mint: Pella (?)

Bronze *
Size: 22 mm.
Weight: 8.72 grams
Die axis: 0 degs.

Patina: Lovely deep-sea green, towards dark-olive.

This coin appears to be unlisted in standard references; however, it is listed in
SNG Greece 2 - The Alpha Bank Collection #1071 ( I P ) in the right field ( I G{amma} in present instance).
It is also listed in Mamroth ZFN 42 ( a specialized work on Philip V in German).
Mamroth 42

* Olympian

Roman Empire , empress Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D. (Wife of emperor Septimius Severus , mother of emperor Caracalla and co-emperor Geta.)97 viewsSilver Denarius, RIC IV S546, RSC III 14, BMCRE V S10, SRCV II 6576, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, 3.253 gr, 18.9 mm , 0o, Rome mint, struck in year 200 A.D.
Obverse : IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right.
Reverse : CERERI FRVGIF, Ceres seated left, heads of grain in right hand, long torch behind in left hand.
Gorgeous portrait.

The most powerful woman in Roman Empire history.

FORVM Ancient Coins/ The Sam Mansourati Collection / Given as a Christmas present to a superb dear friend.

*Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.

***Julia Domna was the second wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla and Geta. An intelligent, talented and beautiful woman, Julia Domna exercised great influence during her husband's reign and practically administered the empire for her sons. In 217 A.D. after the assassination of Caracalla, she possibly committed suicide by starvation or she died of breast cancer.
3 commentsSam
ROMAN EMPIRE, Caracalla, Silver Denarius "Mars, the defender" * 196-217 AD *656 views
Caracalla, "Mars*, the defender."
AR Denarius
Obv: ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT - Laureate head right
Rev: MARTI PROPVGNATORI – Mars advancing left, holding spear and trophy

Mint: Rome
Struck: 213 AD

Size: 18 mm.
Weight: 4.5 grams(?)
Die axis: 180 deg.

RIC IVi, 223 (s) Scarce; Cohen 150; D. Sear II, 6819; pg. 521

* Olympian
SICILY, Syracuse; Agathokles - Artemis/Winged Thunderbolt. 317-289 BC. Æ Litra80 views
Syracuse; Agathokles, 317-289 BC. Ć Litra

Obv: SWTEIRA type: Adorned head of Artemis* right, wearing triple-pendant, earring and necklace, with quiver over her shoulder.

Rev: Winged thunderbolt, [AGA](Theta)OKLEOS above, B[ASIL]EOS below.

Mint: Syracuse, Sicily
Struck: Period 4 / ca. 295 BC.

Size: 21 mm.
Weight: Litra (5.9 grams)
Condition: Fine
Patina: Rich flat brown

SNG ANS 708; SNG Copenhagen 779.

(Better photo pending)
* Olympian
1 commentsTiathena
Stratonikeia, Caria57 viewscirca 100 BC
AE 20 (20mm, 6.38g)
O: Lareate head of Hekate right, wearing crescent moon crown.
R: Nike advancing right, holding palm and wreath; ΣTPATO above, [NIK]EΩN below.
cf SNG Cop 489; cf Sear 4942; BMC 151,31
ex Aegean Numismatics

Stratonikeia was located in SW Asia Minor, about 11km from Lagina, the largest known sanctuary of the goddess Hekate, "whom Zeus honored above all others" (Hesiod). It is likely that the cult of Hekate originated in this area a millennium or more before Her introduction into Greek religion at the conclusion of the Titanomachy, the legendary battle between the Titans and Olympians.
During an annual ritual the Priestess would lead a procession from the polis to Lagina where she would open the sanctuary with a sacred key. This key would eventually become one of the attributes depicted on later images of Hekate.
5 commentsEnodia
Thessalian League Zeus / Athena, Silver Stater84 views
Zeus / Athena AR Stater
Thessaly / Thessalian League
Date: 196-146 BC.

Obverse: Bearded Head of Zeus*, Crowned with Oak-wreath, Facing Right.
Reverse: Thessalian Athena* Itonia (Paus. x. 1. 10) in fighting attitude, Standing Right, Brandishing Spear in Right Hand, Holding Shield on Left Arm.

Weight: 6.1 gms.
Size: 22mm.

* Olympian

2 commentsTiathena
Thrace, Lysimachus. 323 - 287 BC. Bronze drachm136 views
AE Drachm

Obv: Head of Athena*, facing right.
Rev: Pouncing lion, BASILEOS above, spearhead and LYSIMACHOY below.

Size: 19 mm.
Weight: 5.50 grams

Mint: Pella (?)
Struck: 323-287 BC.

SNG C 1149

* Olympian
1 commentsTiathena
Turkey, Ephesus - temple of Hadrian961 viewsA magnificent relief of Medusa filling the interior arch of the temple of Hadrian. Other reliefs of Amazons and the Olympian gods grace the interior.memphius
[2400c] Pergamene Kingdom: Attalid Dynasty: Philetairos: 282-- 263 B.C. 60 viewsPergamene Kingdom, Attalid Dynasty; AR Tetradrachm (17.10 gm, 29 mm), VF, Struck in Pergamon under Philetairos, in the name of Seleukos I, circa 279-274 BC. Obverse: head of Herakles right, wearing lion's skin headdress; Reverse: Zeus seated left, holding eagle and sceptre; helmeted head of Athena in left field; crescent under throne. SC 308a. Nicely toned and scarce. Ex Eukratides. Photo by Eukratides.

Philetairos first struck in the name of Lysimachos, then posthumous Alexander types under Seleukos I (such as this specimen), then Seleukos portrait types under Antiochos I, and lastly a type with his own portrait.

The Attalid dynasty was a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon after the death of Lysimachus, a general of Alexander the Great. The Attalid kingdom was the rump state left after the collapse of the Lysimachian Empire. One of Lysimachus' officers, Philetaerus, took control of the city in 282 BC. The later Attalids were descended from his father, and they expanded the city into a kingdom. Attalus I proclaimed himself King in the 230s BC, following his victories over the Galatians. The Attalids ruled Pergamon until Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic in 133 BC to avoid a likely succession crisis.

On the interior of the Pergamon Altar is a frieze depicting the life of Telephos, son of Herakles, whom the ruling Attalid dynasty associated with their city and utilized to claim descendance from the Olympians. Pergamon, having entered the Greek world much later than their counterparts to the west, could not boast the same divine heritage as older city-states, and had to retroactively cultivate their place in Greek mythos.

The Attalid Dynasty of Pergamum

Philetaerus (282 BC–263 BC)
Eumenes I (263 BC–241 BC)
Attalus I Soter (241 BC–197 BC)
Eumenes II (197 BC–158 BC)
Attalus II Philadelphus (160 BC–138 BC)
Attalus III (138 BC–133 BC)
Eumenes III Aristonicus (pretender, 133 BC–129 BC)

The Relationship between the Attalids and the Seleucids

September 281 A.D.: death of Seleucus I; accession of Antiochus I; Philetaerus of Pergamon buys back the corpse of Seleucus I (the father of Antiochos I and a member of the Diodochi: the period of the Diadochi is said to end with the victory of Seleucus I over Lysimachus at the battle of Corupedion in 281, fixing the boundaries of the Hellenistic world for the next century).

Antiochus I Soter (Greek Ἀντίoχoς Σωτήρ, i.e. "Saviour"; 324/​323-​262/​261 B.C.), was an emperor of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. He reigned from 281 - 261 B.C. He was half Persian, his mother Apama being one of the eastern princesses whom Alexander the Great had given as wives to his generals in 324 B.C. In in 294 B.C., prior to death of his father Seleucus I, Antiochus married his step-mother, Stratonice, daughter of Demetrius Poliorcetes. His elderly father reportedly instigated the marriage after discovering that his son was in danger of dying of lovesickness.

On the assassination of his father in 281 B.C., the task of holding together the empire was a formidable one, and a revolt in Syria broke out almost immediately. Antiochus was soon compelled to make peace with his father's murderer, Ptolemy Keraunos, abandoning apparently Macedonia and Thrace. In Asia Minor he was unable to reduce Bithynia or the Persian dynasties that ruled in Cappadocia.

In 278 BC the Gauls broke into Asia Minor, and a victory that Antiochus won over these hordes is said to have been the origin of his title of Soter (Gr. for "saviour").

At the end of 275 B.C. the question of Coele-Syria, which had been open between the houses of Seleucus and Ptolemy since the partition of 301 B.C., led to hostilities (the First Syrian War). It had been continuously in Ptolemaic occupation, but the house of Seleucus maintained its claim.

About 262 B.C. Antiochus tried to break the growing power of Pergamum by force of arms, but suffered defeat near Sardis and died soon afterwards. His eldest son Seleucus, who had ruled in the east as viceroy from 275 BC(?) till 268/267 BC, was put to death in that year by his father on the charge of rebellion. He was succeeded (261 BC) by his second son Antiochus II Theos

263 A.D.: Eumenes I of Pergamon, successor of Philetaerus, declares himself independent.

262 A.D.: Antiochus defeated by Eumenes.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

[2410a] Mysia, Pergamon. Regal Issue, 281-133 BC.75 viewsMysia, Pergamon. Regal Issue, 281-133 BC. AE 14mm (1.94 gm). Obverse: Athena in Attic helmet right. Reverse: ΦIΛE-TAIPOY; bow. SNG France 5, 1683. Good very fine. Ex Tom Vossen.

The Attalid dynasty was a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon after the death of Lysimachus, a general of Alexander the Great. The Attalid kingdom was the rump state left after the collapse of the Lysimachian Empire. One of Lysimachus' officers, Philetaerus, took control of the city in 282 BC. The later Attalids were descended from his father, and they expanded the city into a kingdom. Attalus I proclaimed himself King in the 230s BC, following his victories over the Galatians. The Attalids ruled Pergamon until Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom to the Roman Republic in 133 BC to avoid a likely succession crisis.

On the interior of The Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamon is a frieze depicting the life of Telephos, son of Herakles, whom the ruling Attalid dynasty associated with their city and utilized to claim descendance from the Olympians. Pergamon, having entered the Greek world much later than their counterparts to the west, could not boast the same divine heritage as older city-states, and had to retroactively cultivate their place in Greek mythos.

The Pergamon Museum (in German, Pergamonmuseum) is one of the museums on the Museum Island in Berlin. It was planned by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann and was built over a period from 1910 to 1930. It houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar. Sections of The Telephos Frieze, originaly composed of the sequnce of 52 panels--only some scenes of this beautiful frieze were "saved" by German archeologists in the 19th century--are exhibited there.

The Attalid Dynasty of Pergamum

Philetaerus (282 BC–263 BC)
Eumenes I (263 BC–241 BC)
Attalus I Soter (241 BC–197 BC)
Eumenes II (197 BC–158 BC)
Attalus II Philadelphus (160 BC–138 BC)
Attalus III (138 BC–133 BC)
Eumenes III Aristonicus (pretender, 133 BC–129 BC)

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
[903a] Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.93 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II 228 var (bust type), gVF, Rome, 2.849g, 17.8mm, 180o, 134 A.D.; Obverse: HADRIANVS AVG COS III P P, head right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, scepter in left; excellent portrait; scarce. Ex FORVM. Photo courtesy of FORVM.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Hadrian (A.D. 117-138)
Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

So Edward Gibbon concluded the first paragraph of his massive The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referring to a period which he also styled the happiest of mankind's history. Hadrian was the central figure of these "five good emperors," the one most responsible for changing the character and nature of the empire. He was also one of the most remarkable and talented individuals Rome ever produced.

The sources for a study of Hadrian are varied. There is no major historian for his reign, such as Tacitus or Livy. The chief literary sources are the biography in the Historia Augusta, the first surviving life in a series intended to continue Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars. Debate about this collection of imperial biographies has been heated and contentious for more than a century. The most convincing view is that which sees the whole as the work of a single author writing in the last years of the fourth century. The information offered ranges from the precisely accurate to the most wildly imaginative.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, produced a long history of the empire which has survived, for the Hadrianic period, only in an abbreviated version. Fourth century historians, such as Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, occasionally furnish bits of information. Contemporaries or near-contemporaries of Hadrian, such as Arrian, Fronto, Pausanias, and Plutarch, are also useful. Papyri, inscriptions, coins, and legal writings are extremely important. Archaeology in all its aspects contributes mightily to any attempt to probe the character of a man and emperor whose personality and thoughts defy close analysis and understanding.

Early Life and Career
Hadrian was born on January 24, 76. Where he saw the light of day was, even in antiquity, matter for debate. Italica, in Hispania Baetica, was the birthplace of Trajan and was also considered that of Hadrian. But the HA reports that he was born in Rome, and that seems the more likely choice, since it is the more unexpected. The actual place of one's birth was, however, unimportant, since it was one's patria which was crucial. Hadrian's ancestors had come to Spain generations before, from the town of Hadria in Picenum, at the end of the Second Punic War. Italica's tribus, to which Hadrian belonged, was the Sergia. His father, P. Aelius Afer, had reached the praetorship by the time of his death in 85/86, his mother, Domitia Paulina, came from a distinguished family of Gades, one of the wealthiest cities in the empire. His sister Paulina married Servianus, who played a significant role in Hadrian's career. Trajan was the father's cousin; when Afer died, Trajan and P. Acilius Attianus, likewise of Italica, became Hadrian's guardians.

At the age of about ten, Hadrian went to Italica for the first time (or returned, if he had been there earlier in his childhood), where he remained for only a brief time. He then returned to the capital and soon began a rapid rise through the cursus honorum; he was a military tribune of three different legions in consecutive years, a series of appointments which clearly marked him for a military career, and reached the consulate as a suffect at the age of 32, the earliest possible under the principate. At Trajan's death, he was legate of the province of Syria, with responsibility for the security of the east in the aftermath of Trajan's Parthian War.

(For a detailed and interesting discussion of Hadrian's reign please see:])

Literary and artistic achievements
Hadrian was a man of extraordinary talents, certainly one of the most gifted that Rome ever produced. He became a fine public speaker, he was a student of philosophy and other subjects, who could hold his own with the luminaries in their fields, he wrote both an autobiography and poetry, and he was a superb architect. It was in this last area that he left his greatest mark, with several of the empire's most extraordinary buildings and complexes stemming from his fertile mind. The anonymous author of the Historia Augusta described Hadrian as Fuit enim poematum et litterarum nimium studiosissimus. Arithmeticae, geometriae, picturae peritissimus.

He rebuilt Agrippa's Pantheon into the remarkable building that survives today, reconstructing the accustomed temple facade, with columns and pediment, but attaching it to a drum which was surmounted by a coffered dome. The latter was pierced by an oculus nine meters in diameter, which was the main source of illumination. Height and diameter were identical, 43.3 meters. The dome remained the largest in the world until the twentieth century. As was his custom, he replaced the original inscription of Agrippa on the architrave; seldom did he put his own name on a monument.

He also left his mark on almost every city and province to which he came. He paid particular attention to Athens, where he completed the great temple of Olympian Zeus, some six centuries after construction had begun, and made it the centerpiece of a new district of the city.

Hadrian's relationship with philosophers and other scholars was generally fractious. He often scorned their achievements while showing his own superiority. An anecdote about an argument which he had with the eminent philosopher and sophist Favorinus revealed the inequity of such disagreement. Although Favorinus was correct, he gave way to Hadrian, and when rebuked by friends, replied, "You advise me badly, friends, since you do not permit me to believe that he who commands thirty legions is the most learned of all."

Hadrian's literary taste inclined toward the archaic and the odd. He preferred Cato to Cicero, Ennius to Vergil, Coelius Antipater to Sallust, and disapproved of Homer and Plato as well. Indeed, the epic writer Antimachus of Colophon supplanted Homer in Hadrian's estimation. The biographer Suetonius held office under Hadrian but was discharged in 122 for disrespect to the empress. The historian Tacitus, who may have lived into Hadrian's reign, seems to have found no favor with the emperor.

His best known literary work is the short poem which he is said to have composed shortly before his death. These five lines have caused commentators much interpretative woe.

animula vagula blandula
hospes comesque corporis
quae nunc abibis in loca
pallidula rigida nudula
nec ut soles dabis iocos! (25.9)

"Little soul, wandering and pale, guest and companion of my body, you who will now go off to places pale, stiff, and barren, nor will you make jokes as has been your wont."
. . .

Hadrian died invisus omnibus, according to the author of the Vita. But his deification placed him in the list of "good" emperors, a worthy successor to the optimus princes Trajan. Hadrian played a significant role both in developing the foreign policies of the empire and in its continuing centralization in administration. Few would disagree that he was one of the most remarkable men Rome ever produced, and that the empire was fortunate to have him as its head. When Aelius Aristides delivered his oration To Rome in 143, he had Hadrian's empire in mind when he said,

"But there is that which very decidedly deserves as much attention and admiration now as all the rest together. I mean your magnificent citizenship with its grand conception, because there is nothing like it in the records of all mankind. Dividing into two groups all those in your empire - and with this word I have indicated the entire civilized world - you have everywhere appointed to your citizenship, or even to kinship with you, the better part of the world's talent, courage, and leadership, while the rest you recognized as a league under your hegemony. Neither sea nor intervening continent are bars to citizenship, nor are Asia and Europe divided in their treatment here. In your empire all paths are open to all. No one worthy of rule or trust remains an alien, but a civil community of the World has been established as a Free Republic under one, the best, ruler and teacher of order; and all come together as into a common civic center, in order to receive each man his due.”

Scholarly work on the emperor, above all biographies, has been varied in quality. Much the best, as the most recent, is by A.R. Birley, who presents all that is known but underscores how much is conjecture, nay even guesswork. We still do not really know the man. An enigma he was to many while alive, and so he remains for us. Semper in omnibus varius; omnium curiositatum explorator; varius multiplex multiformis: these are descriptions of him from antiquity. They are still valid more than 1900 years after the emperor's death.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
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