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Katane, Sicily, c. 461 - 445 B.C.
The oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, Silenos was also one of the young god's tutors. He was usually so drunk that he had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy. The Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality, Silenus told him some tales and Midas, enchanted by Silenus’ fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
SH41259. Silver litra, Boehringer, Kataneische, series I, Li 2; SNG München 442; SNG Tüb 590; SNG Cop 182, SNG ANS 5 Appendix 1317; HGC 2 587 (S), VF, toned, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, weight 0.804g, maximum diameter 11.6mm, c. 461 - 445 B.C.; obverse horned, balding, and bearded head of Silenos left; reverse KATANE, winged thunderbolt, flanked by small round shields; ex Hesperia Art XII, 3, Oct 1961 ($160); from the Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection (author of United States Pattern Coins Experimental & Trial Pieces); SOLD
Catalog current as of Sunday, August 18, 2019.
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