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Apameia, Phrygia, 150 - 140 B.C.
Apameia was named for Apama, the mother of the founder, the Seleucid king Antiochos I.
The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.
SH63587. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner-Noe, issue XI, 21; SNGvA 3451 and 8333; cf. BMC Phrygia p. 69, 7 (no star); SNG Cop -, VF, uneven toning, Phrygia, Apameia (Dinar, Turkey) mint, weight 12.522g, maximum diameter 28.0mm, die axis 0o
, 150 - 140 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half open lid, from which a snake emerges left, all within ivy wreath; reverse two coiled serpents with heads erect, between them an ornamented bow-case with strap on right, bow sticking out from the top left side of case, snake on the right wrapped around two flutes, AΠA monogram left, pileus surmounted by star right; interesting ornate cista mystica
Catalog current as of Monday, August 19, 2019.
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