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Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Tyre, Phoenicia,
The reverse refers to the legendary beginnings of Tyre and its famous purple die. The mythical Ambrosial rocks originally floated about the Mediterranean. Between the rocks, an eagle and snake lived on a sacred olive tree which continuously burned but was never consumed by the flames. The god Melqart (Hercules to the Romans) taught the first Phoenicians to build ships and his oracle told them to capture and sacrifice the eagle. After the sacrifice, the two rocks settled and became the land on which Tyre was founded. Once, when Melqart was nearby chasing the nymph Tyros, his dog found a murex on the beach and ate the small mollusk (Hexaplex trunculus). When the nymph saw the bright color stains on the dog's mouth she demanded Melqart give her a dress this color to win her affection. Of course, Melqart gave in to her demand, inventing the famous purple die in the process.
RP89196. Bronze AE 25, SNG Cop 378; BMC Phoenicia, p. 284, 442; Lindgren III 1478; Rouvier 2477; Boston MFA 269, Fair/Fine, rough, scratches, porous, Tyre mint, weight 13.252g, maximum diameter 25.4mm, die axis 180o
, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP C G VIBIVS TREB GALLVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL TYRO METRO, two baetyls (the Ambrosial rocks) with the sacred olive tree between them, dog of Herakles discovering the murex below; ex C. C. Vermuele Collection; ex Coin Galleries, Mabbot Sale (June 1969), lot 2864
Catalog current as of Sunday, June 16, 2019.
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