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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Medusa||View Options:  |  |  | 

Medusa, Gorgoneion & Perseus on Ancient Coins
Parion, Mysia, c. 500 - 475 B.C.

|Parium|, |Parion,| |Mysia,| |c.| |500| |-| |475| |B.C.||drachm|
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GA96006. Silver drachm, SNG BnF 1347; SNG Delepierre 2526; SNGvA 1318; BMC Mysia p. 94, 1; SNG Cop -, VF, toned, a little off center, die wear, weight 3.536 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 0o, Parion (Kemer, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 500 - 475 B.C.; obverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa); reverse incuse square with angles in the corners forming cruciform pattern, pellet in center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Miletos, Ionia, c. 323 - 315 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Miletos,| |Ionia,| |c.| |323| |-| |315| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||half| |unit|
Struck by Nikokreon of Salamis in the name of King Alexander the Great. Salamis was a maritime town on the east coast of Cyprus, at the end of a fertile plain between two mountains, near the River Pediaeus. Nikokreon, the king of Salamis, along with the other princes of Cyprus, submitted to Alexander without opposition in 331 B.C. To pay homage, Nikokreon visited Alexander at Tyre where he distinguished himself by furnishing magnificence theatrical exhibitions for the Emperor. In the war between Antigonos and Ptolemy in 315 B.C., Nikokreon supported the latter and was rewarded by being placed in control of all Cyprus.
GB93466. Bronze half unit, Price 2069, Liampi Chronologie 223-229, SNG Cop 1128, Müller Alexander -, VF, rough, corrosion, weight 3.545 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 0o, Miletos (near Balat, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 315 B.C.; obverse Macedonian shield, facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) in center, five double crescents and five groups of five pellets alternating around; reverse crested Macedonian officer's helmet facing, flanked by B - A (BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY - King Alexander), and M (controls) below; scarce; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

|Kamarina|, |Kamarina,| |Sicily,| |c.| |420| |-| |405| |B.C.||onkia|
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GB69171. Bronze onkia, Calciati III, p. 47, 7 (same dies); Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 180; HGC 2 552 (R1); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -, EF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.295 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, eyes looking left, tongue not protruding; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, pellet (mark of value) in exergue, barley kernel (control symbol) right; rare; SOLD







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