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Author Topic: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis  (Read 7226 times)

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Offline archivum

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Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« on: January 03, 2009, 11:10:09 pm »

There is a nice example of this one, Varbanov (Eng.) 1291, on Francis Jarman and Pat Lawrence's "Prolegomena to a Study of Eros on Roman Provincial Coinage,"

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/ayiyoryitika/ProlegomenaEros/ProlegomenaEros.html,

but it's not found in Varbanov (Bulg.).  Any further auction records etc.?  Thanks for any / all help!

Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

Offline slokind

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 11:17:02 pm »
As I recall, Hristova and Jekov told me of at least one in a Bulgarian private collection.  They are, however, so far as I know, very scarce.  It is a lovely type of Eros, in my opinion. 
Calling a representation of a famous Lysippic Eros type, with two sub-types, known in many marble replicas, a 'Genius' certainly is the last straw, but I suppose that the Gavrailov unpublished specimen, Varb. (Engl.) 1291, probably is identical with the one that Hr & J told me of.  Pat L.
P.S.  The coin is really almost black, true patina, but I thought you might like to see it larger and paler here, since apart from Francis Jarman's and my web page it really is, to the best of my knowledge, unpublished.  You also can see that Septimius had fancy armor.   P.L.
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Offline Britannicus

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 06:23:08 am »
Hi, including yours, I know of only five specimens of this type for Septimius Severus in Philippopolis, the others being: Pat's lovely coin (our illustration in the Prolegomena), a battered one in my own collection, the Varbanov/Gavrailov specimen, and a very worn coin currently on offer on the internet but (wrongly!) described as "Thanatos". I suspect that there may be one or two more out there somewhere, but this is still a seriously scarce coin...
Perhaps you could let me know the weight, diameter and die axis of your specimen? (One day, we hope that our Prolegomena will blossom into a proper full-length study, with catalogue, of these Eros types.)
- Francis

Offline Britannicus

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 06:58:35 am »
Philippopolis also struck this type for Caracalla Caesar, but these are very rare - only two specimens known to us so far, the coin that we have used as an illustration in the Prolegomena, and Varbanov 1603 (quoting Moushmov's 1912 catalogue - this may be multiple specimens, I don't have access to this work).
The other city that struck this reverse type was Nicaea, though these are if anything even rarer than the Philippopolitan coins: just four coins of Commodus (SNG Leypold, and specimens in the Berlin, Rome, and Vienna collections), and a single known coin of Geta Caesar (illustrated in the Prolegomena).

Offline archivum

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 07:27:05 am »
Thank you, Pat and Francis, for this really thorough account.  My coin is an AE18, 3.88g, 180o die-axis, a bit sharper than the scan that I posted, non-cuirassed obverse, and no quiver or torch before Eros, so a different reverse die as well.  Very interesting types, these!
Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

Offline Britannicus

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 08:12:06 am »
Thanks for the infos on the coin!
We've gone with the idea that this is a quiver in front of Eros, rather than a torch. The slightly tapered shape (on Pat's coin) might seem to suggest a torch, while the three protrusions at the top could conceivably be interpreted as flames rather than arrows. However, given what Eros is shown doing, the quiver makes for a more logical ensemble. On our Type 3, Eros is drawing an arrow from a quiver on the ground beside him, and on coins showing Eros reading (a type that has not been uploaded to the Prolegomena yet) there is a quiver (with bow) upright on the ground behind him. The supports to the Eros statues often incorporate a quiver, and where quivers are represented on provincial coins they are often tapered in shape.
http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/thrace/hadrianopolis/Moushmov_2479.jpg

Offline archivum

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 08:32:00 am »

Francis, thank you again for this note and for your very valuable site.  Somewhere I have a specimen of that Eros reading as
well as the Markianopolis drawing-a-bow, though my specimen of that one's in really lamentable shape; someday soon, if I can, I will send you details.  From your better example of the Markianopolis coin I am still of two minds as to whether what's shown is a bow or a bird; we've seen Eros the hunter before * -- it's a fetching motif!  On that score I'll defer to your judgment however.

   * https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=25011.msg288953#msg288953
Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

Offline Britannicus

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 09:38:58 am »
However lamentable the condition, please do send me digital images (and weight, diameter and die axis infos), my contact address is on the Prolegomena site - also, if you're happy with our using the images on the site, a note on how you'd like to be acknowledged (e.g. "Photos courtesy of Fred Bloggs"). These coins are so rare, and we're usually working from just a handful of known specimens, that every little bit helps!   :)
Regarding the drawing-a-bow coins (our "Type 4"), they are a good case in point. Only the Aphrodisias coins are reasonably common. There are single specimens of this type from Parium and Tralles, a newly discovered coin from Prusa (not in the Prolegomena yet), three known coins (including yours) from Marcianopolis (one of which has disappeared), and three specimens from Apameia. That's not much material, certainly when compared with the "Torchbaby" coins, which have survived in their hundreds.

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2009, 12:58:02 pm »
Here's my Eros with scroll, AE18, 3.22g, also Hadrianopolis, of course, and indeed with a quiver and bow clearly featured behind him:
Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

Offline archivum

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Re: Eros drawing a bow Markianopolis
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2009, 07:31:24 am »
Here at last is my specimen of this uncommon issue,  Sept. Severus / Eros standing left holding a bow or a bird, AE17, 2.52g, die-axis 180o ("Varbanov [Eng] 736," 2 other specimens known, with the [lost] better specimen pictured on the Eros page where we began):
Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2009, 07:41:11 am »
-- And another rare issue from Parium in Mysia, RPC 3151 (later versions in Isegrim for Otacilia Severa and Gallienus), where the quiver or torch beside Eros or Cupid gives way to a miniature herm:

City; Province; Region Parium; Asia: Conventus of Adramyteum; Mysia
Date 184–190
Obverse design laureate-headed bust of Commodus wearing cuirass and paludamentum, r.
Obverse inscription IMP C[ ] COMODV
Reverse design Amor/Eros standing, facing, head, r., holding r. hand over small herm, resting l. arm on hip
Reverse inscription DEO CVPIDINI [COL GEM?] IVL H[
Metal Bronze
Average diameter 24 mm
Average weight 6.93 g
Average die-axis 6

Specimens of this coin type # Reference Diameter Weight Axis Image
1 L 1979-1-1-1586 (= vA 1338) 24 mm 6.93 g 6 Pictured

First RPC's specimen, then mine (AE24, 5.59g, die-axis 180o):


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Offline slokind

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2009, 07:09:30 pm »
Vocabulary can become a problem—and not only with regard to the 'Genius' kind of problem.
'Type' is, as any theologian will agree, the devil's blunt instrument.  It is a case where going to the history of the word really is useful.   :Greek_Tau: :Greek_Upsilon: :Greek_Pi_3: :Greek_Omicron: :GreeK_Sigma: literally was an image made as an impression produced by a blow.  The closest modern usage is as with metal fonts of type.  For the Biblical usage, which arose immediately when the church wanted to prove that Christ was the fulfillment of every significant thing in the Hebrew Bible, see TWNT (Theologisches Wörterbuch...).  Even in modern Greek, the word for 'impression' is entyposi and to the post office entypa is 'Printed Matter'.
WHENCE writers on ancient art use it for the recognizable original of any copia of exempla.  But writers more concerned with texts use it very often for all images that can be described in the same words.
THENCE the need to be careful about stopping with a description in, say, the ANS catalogue or ISEGRIM!
I once had a visually disabled student, many years ago, who, given a quiz featuring some slides not shown in lectures or in the textbooks (or in handbooks generally, but very typical of the artist's style and manner), identified a François Boucher, replete with winged putti, as Fra Angelico.  She thought it unfair because it was "pink and blue and gold with angels".  A request to see her study notes revealed that she had followed her natural attrait and put aside all those confusing pictures in favor of a plain string of words that made sense to her.
On coins, care with the word Type is especially critical when the reverse image represents a famous statue.  The leading coin of this thread is a particular Eros by Lysippos, not just Eros stringing his bow, generically.
This week, also, in COTD, we have seen two medals that are generically Venus Pudica (there are others), but they are two specific types, di Milo and Medici.
Pat L.


Offline slokind

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2009, 07:58:43 pm »
I have a different die pair celebrating Parion's claim to fame, its statue of Eros by Praxiteles.  It is one of those that actually label the figure DEO CUPIDINI (in the dative case, Parion as a colonia using Latin) and for Commodus.  These are scarce enough that it is usually a pedigreed specimen that is for sale, as here.
09 05 01  AE 25  Mysia, Parion.  Commodus, bareheaded (?), draped bust to r.   Rev., Eros of Parion with herm by his legs at left.
Gift of the students in ART 4420: Lindgren LK275 specimen
New photo 03 01 2009
This is to go with Archivum's, which is new to me.  They illustrate how two dies, even if both are worn and one is simplified, are quite surely the same Type.  The knee-high herm is not something that a quiver or torch has 'given way to'; it is one of the identifying traits of the Parion statue.
Pat L.
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Offline archivum

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2009, 11:01:40 pm »
Pat, I wasn't suggesting that the source-sculpture behind the two Parium coins was the same as the source behind those Balkan issues; the source of the Parium coins (mine and yours, both for Commodus, and both with legend DEO CVPIDINI) was of course Parium's Eros by Praxiteles.  My point was that there seemed be a remarkable range in the sort of props found next to Eros across several Eros-types.
Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

Offline slokind

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Re: Eros stringing bow Philippopolis
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2009, 01:33:06 am »
Oh, I know that you don't get confused just because the clerical assistants who worked on the catalogues often use the same phrases for motifs that are different.  Beginners, however, new to both classics and archaeology and numismatics do get confused and, by the magic of cut-and-paste, manage to confuse others.
There are very few instances where the identity of an obvious statue is as unambiguous as it is on the Parion Eros and on the Philippopolis Lysippic Eros.
So when there is a good chance that someone will get lost (usually by failing to re-read the whole thread straight through), I think that the "Type" problem may well be raised again.
As for the 'props': on the full-size replicas and variants of assorted Aphrodites and Apollos it seems that different ateliers in different periods preferred one prop or another—literally props to help support the body on thin legs and to balance it.  The "Medici" Aphrodite usually has a dolphin, but almost any Aphrodite may have one, for example.  A herm is an unusual support for an Eros, common for Hermes, so we take it seriously when it occurs consistently on the Parion coins.  Sometimes, when an external support has no particular meaning to the subject, the die engraver has the common sense to omit it.  Naturally, on the other hand, when a lizard needs a tree-trunk and the boy Apollo looks unbalanced without it, too, it is not omitted.  Most statues, however, don't have so much narrative content as that one.
Pat L.
P.S. I ought to have made clear that the word itself, 'type', remains perfectly proper in its original use, where it is exact for an image struck from a die.  But when its extended use, for a replica derived from a known original, or an image with traits to which the same descriptive phrase applies, occur within discussion, clarification is needed.

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Re: Eros stringing bow Pautalia!
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2010, 11:31:47 pm »

Pretty clearly an unlisted Pautalian version of the Eros reverse that heads up this particular thread:

Caracalla, Pautalia, Thrace, AE19, 3.41mm, die-axis 180o, Laur hd. r., AY K M AY SEY ANTWNEINOS / Winged Eros stg. l. braced on his forward leg, stringing his bow, PAYTALIW[TWN]

In Varbanov reverse legend PAYTALIWTWN is unlisted for Caracalla but attested for Geta, Julia Domna, and others, so another anomaly, but a minor one.
Temper thy haste with sloth -- Taverner / Erasmus.

 

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