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Author Topic: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis  (Read 8948 times)

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Offline slokind

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Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« on: April 30, 2006, 02:12:24 am »
The ID of this coin is:
Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis
Severan Period, Issued by Pontianus
Macrinus and Diadumenian, confronted busts
Nude Apollo stg. l. with a laurel twig in his r. hand, leaning with his l. arm on a tripod behind him, with a burning altar at his feet in front of him.  E coin.
Pick, AMNG I, 1, p. 237, no. 727.

I show here the Apollo, since the obverse is in bad shape and ordinary in typePick cites 5 specimens.  Note that the rev. legend on his first specimen is misspellt: V :Greek_Pi: O :Greek_Pi: NTIANOV, and mine is not.  My obv. also has the longer spelling O :Greek_Pi: E :Greek_Lambda:  :Greek_Lambda: I in the obv. legend, like Pick's first and fourth specimen, but his third has O :Greek_Pi: E :Greek_Lambda:.

Mine is Æ28 and 12.65g.

Interpretation: Is this a specific named Apollo known to have stood in a certain sanctuary?  He certainly is similar in character to some of the Seleucid ones.  Does anyone know why he is here at Marcianopolis (also at Nicopolis ad Istrum, as well).  On p. 192, Pick recognizes them as specific rather than generic coin-Apollos and even mentions the Apollo by Kalamis, which I hasten to say we only know by mentions of the name.  Pat L.
P.S. Because of the variations noted by Pick and because of the partial double-strike (?) on Macrinus's face and because it goes against the grain not to post both, here is the obverse, too.

Offline Bacchus

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2006, 03:10:56 am »
Hi Pat,
I think this type is more scarce that expected (for Mac. / Dia.)- I don't have one and can't recall seeing one for sale in the past few years.  I can't shed any light on the possible statue origin but I have attached one from N.ad.I. in slightly less than perfect condition  :-[

Also (coin archives)
MAGNESIA. Maximus Caesar, 235-238
G. IOU. OUH. - MAXIMOC K. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust r. Rev. îPI GR AUR AKTIA - KOUP MAGNH./TWN. Apollo, nude, standing facing, head turned l., l. ellbow resting on tripod, holding laurel branch in his lowered r. hand; serpent coiled round legs of tripod.

This one shows remarkable similarity in reverse detail, some 20 years later, though with the notable addition of a serpent.

I know the image is common on Greek silver reverses (Seleucid)  so would it be possible that these are derived from local copies of an earlier more famous statue - hence the small changes.

All the best
MAlcolm





Offline whitetd49

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2006, 06:07:29 pm »
I couldn't resist posting this beauty (no, it is not mine).  As far as the original is concerned, this image is ancient and apparently familiar throughout the Greek sphere.  I was surprised to see the same devices (if not the same composition) on Indo-Greek issues.  Also, there are some interesting variations - Apollo leaning against the tripod, still holding his branch.  I imagine the same image is widespread on ceramics?
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Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2006, 06:51:33 pm »
Yes, that is a very pretty specimen.  Who is M&D?  Where did you find it?
Anyhow, very likely same die pair; extremely helpful in identifying the confronted busts, which tend to resemble one another on messy specimens.  The photo and maybe the conservation may be a bit too assiduous: in only one respect my imperfect one is irresproachable; it evidently cleaned easily, probably my mere washing, so that everything that is really from the die is unaffected by cleaning up with finest dental tools.
In any case, this Marcianopolis coin is much more sensitive to the sculptural character of what I take to be a 3rd-century statue than the Nicopolis ones (I have it for Macrinus, too, to go with Malcolm's Diadumenian, which I also have).  I don't have good Seleucid standing ones, to check whether they hold the laurel twig.  Cities would think of their statue as quite their own, considering only 'minor' details: devices identify the cult, usually, but it is composition and proportions that identify the statuary type, where one does lie behind a coin type.  I need to check the convexity of the rib cage and the articulation of the pelvis on the best of those I can find.  But I can't think of one not sighting the straightness of his arrow.  Must study.  The question is whether the origin is Seleucid as Antioch on the Orontes or, say, Ionian as Magnesia on the Maeander, whose coin is less carefully engraved but has genuinely early Hellenistic (or late 4th century) qualities, probably.
Every time I sit down to do a solid job on something, the car battery dies or some other equally dull demand occurs.
The Nicopolis reverse (an Agrippa, not a nice Longinus or Pontianus one) has a board-flat back: less responsive to subtleties.  That Scopasian and Lysippic glamor-convexity of the rib cage nabbed my attention.  Also the subtlety of the facial profile.  When the engraver has been really alert to refinements, I must be so equally.  These aren't campgates.  These dies have sardonyx cameo qualities.
Pat L.

Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2006, 07:16:15 pm »
Unless it is slightly earlier than I think it is, it is too late a creation to appear in vase-painting.  Red-figure vase-painting expired before the end of the 4th century BC.  True, I haven't checked the so-called Kerch vases, imported there (Panticapaeum) from Athens.  This because Tom asked about pictures on ceramics.
Pat

Offline whitetd49

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2006, 07:24:50 pm »
Macrinus and Diadumenian = M&D, on coinarchives.  I admire your appreciation of the nuances of the composition.  Surely, this is an archaic version (well, 2nd of 3rd century BC) of Apollo?  I believe I see "finger curls" in his hair.
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Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2006, 11:21:14 pm »
Yes, well Art Historical period names were not handed down by deity on tablets, but they are very well established and it is good for us to (so to speak) use the same dictionary, talking about periods of art.  So in  general:
After the mess at the end of the Bronze Age, all pre-coinage, Proto-Geometric and Geometric.
The 7th c. BC, Early Archaic with pervasive borrowing of eastern figures, motifs, and techniques.
6th c. BC, and down to c. 480, Archaic
c. 480 to c. 450 Early Classical, also called strenge, roughly translated Severe: from Aegina to the style of the Kassel Apollo (at latest): pre-Parthenon in Athens.
The last two are the ones that the "neo-" artists like to imitate.
Classical c. 450 to about death of Alexander, or, as some prefer, to about 300 or 280: the styles from after the Peloponnesian Wars, roughly, to Alexander are usually called Late Classical (though the Renaissance and, often, the Roman Empire thought this the finest; so did Winckelmann).
Drawing sharp divisions in Hellenistic is harder.
Roughly, the 3rd c., at least to the 230s, is Early Hellenistic; the Pergamene styles and what can be alligned with them is High or Middle or just plain Hellenistic; the period corresponding to Late Republican Rome, after the Punic Wars, and the absorption of the Kingdoms by Rome is Late Hellenistic.

Most of the neo-Archaic (whence the tiptoeing Spes and Mars), the neo-Severe (like those big bronze Dancers from the Villa of the Papiri: casts at Getty villa, and the Conservatori Spinario, as well as the epicene Apollo from Pompeii and the 'Idolino'; and the neo-Attic decorative style (the highly eclectic mixed styles of the famous Grecian Urns), dates from the Late Hellenistic but spills over into the early Empire: this is decorative stuff, and very nice as such: the relief of Endymion in the Capitoline Museum.
So now we know more about Keats than we did before.

Hey, I don't want to subject you to a Course, but Early Hellenistic ≠ Archaic.
See attached:
07 08 02 AE 24  Troas, AlexandriaCaracalla, laureate, draped bust to r.  --]ANTONI      N[VS P]IVS AV.  Rev., Cult statue of Apollo Smintheus, stg. on base, in profile, to r., with quiver, holding bow in his l., pouring libation with his r., over tripod.  On the tripod (under magnification) a cone-shaped object, certainly not either a raven or a dolphinCOL AV    G TROA.
So far as one can tell from coins of Commodus and Caracalla, and the artists did try hard, this cult statue was, give or take, ca. 600 BCE.

29 X 99  Kolophon (Ionia), tetartemorion.  480-450 BC.  Archaic (Sear) "Daedalic" head of Apollo, facing.  Sear, no. 4343 (his weighs 0.23 g.; this one listed as 0.3 g.).  Extremely tiny (max. dim. not more than a quarter inch).  This head is certainly that of a seventh-century image of Apollo, such as that in the gold jewellry from Rhodes, as is proven by the squared-off hair, set of eyes, and facial proportions.  The coin is not so early, but the image Kolophon puts on the small coins (the drachm has a profile Late Archaic head of Apollo, comparable with that of Leontinoi) is quite purely "Daedalic".
[Daedalic is a problematic name for ONE of the Early Archaic styles]


Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2006, 05:54:11 pm »
Progress Report
(1) The Ideal exemplified by the Apollo is earlier than I thought.  It is found in some works that are called both Scopasian and Praxitelean; in other words, in the middle of the 4th century.  A very good example is a painting, one of a very few that are really of very high quality, from a public building in an affluent place, Herculaneum, the Basilica.  The painting of the centaur Cheiron instructing the boy Achilles represents the art of Macedonia, and is practically certainly a copy of Apelles' painting of that subject.  Attached.
(2) The search using photos is very difficult, because the practically Icon-like front views that are usually provided don't show a statue in the round, and I have spent a happy day discovering that sculptures that I thought had that kind of a rounded back, in some cases have it, in others haven't.  Does that mean that the search is 'subjective' (meaning invalid)?  No.  For many statues of this period, this vantage point is very important to the 'body language' of the work of art.  One of the Apollos (and I can't find a full-length copy yet--I'll have to go all the way through Picard) has the kind of face I think the prototype for the coin may have had: Liebieghaus IN 135 and Rome MNR no. 553 are its head.  Bol, who is very careful, thinks it Praxitelean.
(3) It is Seleukos II whose silver has Apollo standing.  Sighting down the arrow notwithstanding, these Hellenistic Apollos, I would venture, are a Seleucid version of the Late Classical, but c. 300 BC, Apollo leaning on a tripod and holding a laurel twig, such as we see on the coin of Magnesia.  Now I have to check every Apollo reverse I can find, because I do not assume that Magnesia on the Maeander, in spite of its importance, necessarily had the fons et origo Apollo statue.
(4) Search both Seleucus II and Seleukos II and you have a lot of examples to study: not all Seleucid engravers were born equally sensitive to sculpture, as the range of Apollos shows.  I chose two that I thought were aware of representing a sculpture, but there are lots more.  The Seleukos II Apollos are much too close to the Moesian M&D ones not to belong to the same succession of types.
Pat L.
In the label on the coins, read Auct, not Arct.

Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2006, 10:21:05 pm »
As one of you remarked, the number of Apollos standing by something (or nothing) and with a twig or a bow or kithara is very large, but the number leaning on a full-size tripod and proffering the laurel twig in his right is remarkably limited.  Here I post one that I bought for other reasons (surely, I ought to have at least one coin from Samaria), which all but corresponds to the type, except in style:
31 01 06  Æ18.7   6.3g  0°  Samaria, CaesareaHadrian, laureate, draped bust to r.  IMP TRA HADRIANO CAERev., Apollo, stg. l., holding serpent (bow?) in r. , resting l. elbow on tripod at right.  CIF AVG CAEAR.  SNG ANS 771.
Info from Forvm, whence coin.
Does that suggest its being really at home in that region?  Anyhow, no laurel twig.
And here is one that is quite a different type: Tripod supports not his elbow but his lyre, and he has his legs crossed like Securitas and "Thanatos". 
Note the value mark, my reason for getting it.
29 10 04 Æ 21 (max)  3.94g  axis 7:30  TomisCaracalla, laureate, draped bust to r.  A . K M . AVRE    ANTONINO[S}.  Rev., Apollo stg. frontal, head to l., legs crossed (free in front), in his r. a laurel twig, with his l. hand supporting his lyre on a tripod.  METR PO N TOMEOS and in the l. field B.  Regling, AMNG I, 2, p. 758, no. 2932, Taf. XIV, 28 (in I, 1).

Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2006, 03:18:01 pm »
HOW TO LEARN: Air your ignorance in public.
Though other Seleucids have bronze bottlecaps of Antioch, with Apollo stg., it is indeed Seleukos II who has tetradrachms, as above.
Magnesia was a Seleucid tetradrachm mint, too, for Seleukos II.  But his have the arrow-sighting motif.
Thereafter it is she whose stephanophoroi have the Apollo reflected on the bronze of Maximus.
You all knew that, but I didn't; I had learned, e.g., Grynion for Myrina, but not this Apollo for Magnesia.
Furthermore, I can't find just the right Apollo except at Magnesia on the Maeander and, various mints, Seleucid Antioch.
The most detailed Magnesia stephanophoroi--I attach a couple from CoinArchives--show the twig with knotted woollen fillets hanging from it (the less detailed at least show the fillets).
These Magnesian ones are post-Seleucid, and I wonder whether the type-statue wasn't at Antioch.  Or one of its satellite towns/sanctuaries.   I have an Antioch exhibition catalogue, but our standing Apollo is not in Mr. Metcalf's Coins section, and I'll have to go through a lot of copy to find anything about Apollo except that kitharoidos who is the last Apollo on a coin.
Also, I'll see what B. V. Head says in BMC Ionia.
Those Magnesia tets are just as unaffordable as Myrina's.  But I just ordered an Antioch one of Seleukos II, with a very good Apollo with arrow-sighting.  At Magnesia, I suppose that the extra height of the tripod might be coin design...
What in the world could Macrinus have to do with Magnesia?  Did any other city borrow their Apollo type?
Pat L.

P.S.
I found an Apollo in the right leaning pose, on a tripod, at Nicaea in Waddington, Rec Gén no. 585, pl. LXXXII, fig. 14, for Severus Alexander, but he has a branch in his l. hand, held over his shoulder, and he holds a ton (though it might be an arrow?) in his r., and a snake is prominent climbing up the tripod.

Offline whitetd49

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2006, 08:26:20 am »
Pat, have you seen this one from Philoppopolis?  The reference provided from WW cites a specimen without the tripod, replaced by a bow.
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Offline slokind

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2006, 01:13:19 pm »
"Replaced by a bow" is an entirely different type, even if in the same tradition and even if the coin is signed by Gargilius Antiquus, as this one is.  Typical sales list writing!  I wish I had one of these!  But never mind, because this sort seems to be the choice for Apollo at Philippopolis (Phlpp).  It is very Antonine taste, just as their Ares is.  The stance with the free leg forward, the straight back.  It is interesting how each of these cities has its own taste: each had its own persons in high positions governing decisions, just as each USA city has: Seattle, S.F., L.A. and so on.
This Apollo coin is one of many inspired by the mid-5th-century Apollo called "Kassel" (though I post the Louvre one because in its photo the standing leg is less obscured by the marble copy's external support).  A number of the actual copies of the Kassel type (see E. Schmidt, Antike Plastik, V) are Antonine.  The work shown on the Philippopolis coin is a spin-off of the Kassel type, and so is another Macrinus-Diadumenian Apollo, without either twig or tripod (another favorite coin of mine).
Now, holding a laurel twig is perhaps the thing most relevant to cult (as the arrow of the Seleucid one is, as Kraay said in the Davis & Kraay picture book, an allusion to both Python and Niobe events).  On the Philippopolis coin the tripod on its own stepped base is an accessory, not an attribute; perhaps Phlpp had a bronze tripod in their sanctuary.  The laurel twig and the perfect nudity do perhaps relate the cult to that at Magnesia, but Phlpp is using a different statuary model, if so.  This Apollo thrusts out his chest and tucks in his pelvis, not vice versa.
BTW, the youths that even Pick cannot decide whether to call Apollo or Bonus Eventus are yet another, Late Classical.
The Apollo type of Seleucus II tetradrachms and of Magnesia (possibly because of an oracle from Delphi??) on its stephanophoroi after c. 190 is in the taste of the bronze Ephesus Scraper (now in another copy, too, in Zagreb, from a shipwreck, besides the marble Uffizi one) and may have been created as early as the beginning of the Seleucid dynasty (and, we must always remember, may have been a painted rather than sculptural image).  Here the tripod is inseparable from the stance, though the other early Seleucid tetradrachms suggest that it is iconographically interchangeable with the omphalos covered with knotted fillets.  The Magnesia Apollo has the knotted fillet with the twig, apparently sufficient for the Delphic allusion.  It seems to me likely that the Seleucid Apollo, if not the Magnesia one too, is not a cult statue but an adornment (agalma) of one of the sanctuaries of or near Antioch, so that the accessories, apart from that arrow-sighting, are not essential to its meaning.
The tripod, however, always possible for a mantic god, is intrinsic to the heavily slouched stance of the Seleucus II-Magnesia type.
We see how Myth and Cult and Art interface all the time, but they aren't the same thing.  The proclivity of the Thracian and Moesian (Inf.) cities to the use of famous art types (like Hallmark putting Sistine Madonna putti on their cards) may be related to their prosperity for a few generations and their having none that they could call their own, as the age-old cities of Asia Minor had, as Athens had, just to name a couple.
Pat L.
07 01 02 AE 27-8  Marcianopolis  Issued by Pontianus  Macrinus, laureate, and Diadumenian, confronted busts, draped (Macrinus's over armor).  AV K OPEL SEVE MAKRINOS K M OPEL and in exergue ANTONEI and below that NOS.  This probably means that this is the same die as Pick nos. 718, 725, 743 (resp. with Zeus, Demeter, and Hermes reverses).  Rev. Apollo stg. l., with hair, stance, and body proportions in the tradition of the Kassel Apollo, holding bow in his left and phiale in his right over a flaming altar.  The bow and long hair being clear and the proportions being adult, this is not Pick 728 (itself Apollo, as Pick deduces), because, besides, the legend is continuous: VP PONTIANOV MARKIANOPOLEITON and the value mark E in the lower r. field.  There are many examples of no. 728, and Pick would have noticed if any had a bow rather than a laurel branch.

Offline gordian_guy

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2006, 09:28:45 pm »
Pat:

If you look in my catalog, #237, you will see a Gordian that is very reminiscent of the Seleucus pair that you show. Also, I am am looking for my images of both, there is a type from Patara in Lycia that is similar to the Marcianopolis coin that you first showed, but in the Patara coin there is a crow on an omphalos.

c.rhodes

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2006, 10:39:00 pm »
Ah, they do go in families: your #237 (and I looked under magnification at the high-quality pl.17) seems to be like the one I found in Waddington (P.S. in Reply #9 above):

I found an Apollo in the right leaning pose, on a tripod, at Nicaea in Waddington, Rec Gén no. 585, pl. LXXXII, fig. 14, for Severus Alexander, but he has a branch in his l. hand, held over his shoulder, and he holds a ton (though it might be an arrow?) in his r., and a snake is prominent climbing up the tripod.
Stick, branch, and snake.

Every time we find a significant (repeating) variant, it should enhance the likelihood that relationship to Magnesia ad M. of the Marcianopolis MacDia and Nic. ad I. for father and son separately is not meaningless.
Thank you so much!  If the university gives me all my unused sick leave, there are some refs. I'll be hunting for.
Thank you!  At first I was afraid that observing these differences might be pointless, but there's only one way to find out.  Good empirical scientific sorting.
Pat

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2006, 02:19:01 am »
Another Mac/Dia example (or variation)  I have not see before - though the obverse die is, dare I day it, relatively common.  Want a fantastic reverse design - a very manly pose indeed. 

Why are the best designs always the scarcest?  Or are they the best designs 'in our heads' because they are the scarcest!

philosophically yours..
Malcolm

Offline gordian_guy

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2006, 02:41:48 pm »
While I have some time I will add the following images of some of my Apollos with tripods.

The first is the #237 that I mentioned earlier, that is similar to the Seleucus types.  It is Gordian III, from Hadrianopolis.

The second is the Patara, Lycia coin of Gordian. Not my best example of a rare coin. I think I have another that I need to find and photograph.

The third is another Gordian III from Hadrianopolis - a larger diameter coin than the first one. It is similar to the Patara coin.


Offline Pscipio

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Re: Apollo and Tripod at Marcianopolis
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2006, 02:52:25 pm »
My specimen of your type Nr. 1 seems to be from the same dies:
Leu Numismatik
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