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   View Categories Home > Catalog > |Greek Coins| > |Geographic - All Periods| > |Anatolia| > |Mysia| > |Pergamon| > GS94496
Pergamon, Mysia, c. 88 - 85 B.C.
|Pergamon|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |88| |-| |85| |B.C.|, 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.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS94496. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Kleiner Pergamum pl. 13, 25; SNG BnF 1726; SNGvA 1369; SNG Cop 425; BMC Mysia p. 124, 97; Pinder 122, VF, light toning, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, weight 12.255g, maximum diameter 27.0mm, die axis 45o, c. 88 - 85 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse bow-case ornamented with apluster, strung bow emerging upper left, snake with head erect one each side, AΠ (control) over Prytaneis monogram and star above between snakes, case straps draped over snakes below, (Pergamon monogram) to left, snake entwined thyrsus right; from an Israeli collection; SOLD











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