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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: Beehive or Omphalos? Or egg? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Beehive or Omphalos? Or egg?  (Read 20125 times)
Dapsul
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2005, 07:06:48 am »

I've never seen anything like that. I scanned a photo of the mentioned cippi, not Etruscan, but from the Palestrina museum. The earliest, onion shaped, are 4th century B.C. Later the shape becomes more like a pine cone, but the earlier are very close to the shape of the Thing. But I can see no relationship.
Another finding was the cult pillar of Apollon Agyieus which is represented on coins of Ambrakia, Megara and Megalopolis and which shows that there are other examples on the Balkan peninsula and not only in the Orient. The representation on this vase in the Lecce museum is quite interesting (Trendall and LIMC are sure it is Agyieus).

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Dapsul
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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2005, 07:59:35 am »

Further research on baityliai led me to this Byblos coin. Pics are from coinarchives http://www.coinarchives.com/a/results.php?results=100&search=bait+and+byblos
The baetyl is standing inside a temenos. The detail shows striking similarity to the representation on the deultum coins with the temple front or the propylon so that we can imagine a precinct around the object and the columns as pars pro toto, indicating that precinct.
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slokind
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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2005, 05:47:17 pm »

The Lecce vase is western, probably Apulian, red-figure of the 4th century BC, so some colonists would be presumed to have brought the cult with them from Ambrakia, Megara, or Megalopolis (just to name the three).  Since A. D. Trendall says it is that cult, I would hesitate to question it (he devoted his life to these funerary, mostly, vases: Apulian, Campanian, Paestan).  If, however, he hadn't said that the object in the naiskos (where we usually see a statue, because these are usually representations of grave naiskoi) is a baetyl, I'd have thought it was a big pelike with its lid, with fillets tied around its neck, and I'd suppose, perhaps wrongly, that it was being used as an ash urn.  It is the appearance of a lid that would make me think so.  Either way, I must say that the picture is unique in my experience.  Most interesting.  Now, that Byblos coin, on the other hand, I agree, is a perfect parallel to the most elaborate of the Deultum representations.  Pat L.
But there's more on the Byblos sanctuary in Price & Trell, which I'll check out.
P.S.  Indeed, between the Paphian Aphrodite and shrines to her elsewhere with the scheme of her sanctuary at Paphos and the Byblos sanctuary already illustrated in coins of Macrinus by Dapsul and other shrines with Stones (one at Chalcis in Euboea), there is more available and relevant than I can summarize or illustrate.  Just go to Martin Price & Bluma Trell, Coins and their Cities,  and follow their index to 'baetyl' and 'stone'.  A couple of these seem, too, to go back to the Bronze Age and as far east as Mari.
They all, however, are of a less distinctive (more conical) shape than the 'beehive' shape nipped in at the bottom and with a knob on the top of Deultum, and we still are left with the fact that the cippi are what, no matter why, do resemble the Deultum ones most nearly.
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Jochen
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« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2005, 05:13:35 am »

Hi Dapsul!

You have added very interesting and convincing pics! I wonder why 'Pauly' says the interpretation of the Omphalos as baetyl is obsolete!

Best regards
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« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2005, 01:41:30 pm »

Knowing that I am outside my own field, and being limited by regional libraries, and having no argument but being very curious about the subject (and always wishing to check auctoritas, not wishing to resemble the novice in Umberto Eco's great novel, The Name of the Rose), I have posted this question to the list CLASSICS-L, where some of the members may be of help.  Some will just argue, but some will know the Lehmann-Hartleben article that needs to be assessed (it is itself not so recent).

My posted question: The stone Pausanias saw at Delphi was of marble (leukos lithos), and LSJ says a baetyl was a meteorite (well, the Emesa one surely was), but modifies the definition in the Supplement, acknowledging the 'beth El' derivation.  It occurs to me (a) that the identification of a baetyl as a meteorite may not be intrinsic to the meaning of these cult objects, (b) that the stone Pausanias saw could be a 'replacement', and (c) that since that world navel was anointed as baetylia were and draped with raw wool fillets and was regarded as divine, the Omphalos is itself generically a baetyl.  Or, should we limit the word (meaning, did the ancients limit the word) to stones that contained, that were, the numen or the substance of a specific deity?

This is not strictly a numismatic question, but once a question has arisen, one wants to be careful to get to the bottom of it.  Pat Lawrence

P.S. 06 XII 05.  I got two answers plus a picture of the currently exhibited omphalos which is certified Roman in date.  Both replies are useful, but the List seems at the moment concerned with general questions.  These are from John Isles, whom I name because he also is in Moneta-L and, for all I know, in Forvm.
The stone described by Strabo 9.3.6 as "a kind of navel to be seen in
the temple; it is draped with fillets, and on it are the two likenesses
of the birds in the myth" is apparently not the same as the man-made
marble object that stood on the esplanade outside the temple, where it
was seen by Pausanias (3) 10.16.3, and that is preserved to this day
(according to OCD, which here  refers to G. Roux, Delphes (1976) 130-1,
cf. C. Morgan, Athletes and Oracles (1990) 225).  (Strabo's brief
description of the omphalos is apparently the fullest available, so it
may not now be possible to say whether the stone was man-made or
natural, marble, meteoritic, or what.  I haven't been to Delphi and
don't know what's now to be seen there.)

John Isles

I should have checked Pausanias before sending that.  In Peter Levy's
Penguin translation it's X 16 [2]: "What the Delphians call the Navel is
made of white stone...." with a footnote: "... The stone itself seems
possibly to have been recovered; it is a dismal object and there are
some suitably gloomy photographs of it in Fouilles de Delphes (La
Terrasse du temple, 1927, pp. 73-7).  Several imitation Navel-stones
have also been found; originally the stone was inside the temple, but
whether Pausanias's stone is a substitute or the real cult object who
knows?..."

John Isles

I suppose the 'birds' were Apollo's ravens?  The Stone at Paphos for Aphrodite had birds, too, her doves.
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« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2005, 03:42:25 pm »

The word 'cippus' lexically means just a marker, and a trip to ten pages of Google images will show what a wide variety of markers it has been applied to.  In archaeology it has been used (perhaps not most recently) for a funerary marker.  The rather good catalogue of exhibits in the Museo Civico Archeologico in Bologna, chosen because it is at the heart of both Villanovan and Etruscan sites and because it exhibits so much stuff in nice, old tightly crammed cases (whether 'sexy' or not) and lists and illustrates them in its Guide published by the University Press of Bologna, shows the kind of object already posted from partly Etruscan, partly Italic Praeneste, only post-Villanovan from Etruscan cemeteries (and I saw a couple of them in a general photo of one of the streets of the great Cerveteri cemetery, in front of the entrance to an Etruscan tomb).  The Bologna catalog calls them cippi, but I wouldn't worry about the word, and I think we should refrain for the time being from calling the Deultum one, which certainly is a marker, either a cippus or a baetyl.  It does not quite look like the Near Eastern ones.  It is not Etruscan.  It is not funerary, unless perchance (and where would we get the evidence?) it is the marker of a hero cult or a founder cult (is anyone a specialist on pre-Colonia Deultum?).  The coins tell us the most: it has a cult; it has a naos in the Imperial period: in that particular it is not unlike the Syrian and Anatolian ones.
Until and unless I learn more, I must say that this clearly designed and refined shape of a plainly deliberately man-made object is no heaven-born (or borne) stone, and the only good comparanda that I know for that shape are Etruscan or Praenestine.  I think the word 'cippus', except in the most generic sense, should be avoided except as 'funerary cippus' is fancy for 'funerary marker'.
Here attached are the two I found in the Bologna catalogue and the link for the one in Google images from an equally Etruscan cemetery and stored in the Florence Museo Archeologico, where I THINK I saw a lot more (ordinarily, these are not the main attraction for me in that museum, even when there are roomsful).  Note that each of these has a decorative animal attached; I don't think that is essential, but it is there.  The foot-high, more or less, cylindricals on coins are like a bunch of similar objects lying around in, e.g., the Kerameikos cemetery in Athens (and I think I've seen them in Rome at the Terme, too: see the above disclaimer).  These are certainly 'generic cippi' but they have, I think, really nothing to do with the Deultum puzzle.
Here's the link to the one in Florence (attached to someone's perhaps wild hypothesis about its context):
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN]
and here below are the two in Bologna:
Pat L.
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*Alex
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« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2005, 06:06:04 am »

While looking for something else I stumbled on this. It is the Baetyl of the Pergaean Artemis. What makes it particularly interesting is that according to Marvin Tameanko, the upper "egg" part of this monument or a similar one was apparently depicted on coins, sometimes within a temple. See (Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Sammlung von Aulock. No. 4759 and Description des Medailles Antiques, Greques et Romaines, by Mionnet, vol.3, no. 93, page 463 as well as Marvin Tameanko's own book Monumental Coins, page 213.)

Alex.

This appears to be the above monument depicted on a rare coin of Trajan.
Rev. COS II. Temple with cult statue of Diana of Perge within; DIANA PERG on frieze.
The object looks very much like the Baetyl and quite unlike a statue as quoted in the above description of the coin.


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Jochen
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« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2005, 06:30:08 am »

Hi *Alex!

Isn't it a rich draped Diana sitting on a throne?

Best regards
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« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2005, 06:43:57 am »

Hi Jochen,

No, I don't think so. The squares look too much like the "niches" shown in the drawing I posted earlier. I think, too, that the very top of the Baetyl is hidden (on the coin) by the pediment of the temple.

Alex.
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slokind
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« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2005, 12:00:15 pm »

I agree.  This coin, I'd wager, is one of those on which Marvin Tameanko's reconstruction is based.  Also, I agree, it's the same sort of thing as on the Deultum coin.  If only we had some written sources on the religious habits of Deultum!  Saxa loquuntur, and so do coins, but textual sources sure help to decipher the language of remains and coin devices!  Even the Perge coin has the ID of the image written on the pediment of the temple.
So: aniconic cult thing.  Not what Romans usually called 'cippus'.  Not, if Liddell-Scott is right (and dictionaries are not always completely right where realia are concerned), a baetyl.  Quite possibly a man-make model of a baetyl (in the Emesan sense), as the Mt. Argaeus mountain-on-an-altar at Caesarea was a man-made stand-in for the mountain?  Pat L.
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slokind
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« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2006, 12:16:10 am »

Anything to revive one of the most generally educational and interesting threads in recent memory!  We all learned so much trying to find something convincing. 
Having gotten the SNG Bulgaria, Ruse, 1: Deultum, by Draganov, I saw that we (not least I myself) might have paid more attention to its calling our type a civic fountain of the meta sudans type.  First, it is a fact, the Preface says, that excavations have been carried out at Deultum since 1980 (but I found nothing on line but interest in tourism).  Second, Draganov thanked Michel Amandry for suggesting the identification.  Third, the SNG lets one see a whole string of them, from Maximinus I through Otacilia Severa, all at once in the plates.
Is there anyone here in or from Bulgaria who knows about the excavations, or where they may be published?  Does anyone know whether the idea, which I find inherently satisfying, is based on anything excavated there? 
Pat L.
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Dapsul
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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2006, 05:31:06 am »

There is still not much published about the Deultum excavations, as far as I know:
S. Petrova, Architectural details from the 1st - 3rd centuries A.D. from Deultum, in: Archeolojia 43 (2002), p. 34ff. (in Bulgarian).
E. Doceva, Deultum im Licht der archäologischen Ausgrabungen, in: Modus in rebus. Gedenkschrift für Wolfgang Schindler, Berlin 1995, p. 138ff. (in German).
Non vidi both of them.
By the way: The catalogue of the libraries of the German Archaeological Institute, where you can lookup such things, went online for the public about 4 weeks ago: http://opac.dainst.org/

Regards - Frank
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Ardatirion
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« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2008, 07:40:45 pm »

I'll throw in my specimen to the mix. It appears to be an obverse die match to the first one posted?
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