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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Mythology||View Options:  |  |  | 

Mythology and the Ancient Gods

Many ancient coins depict the gods and goddesses of the Greeks, Romans and other ancient cultures. Collecting as many different gods and goddesses as possible is a fun, educational and affordable collecting theme. Every ancient gods and goddesses has their mythical function, biography, lineage and other facts and fictions that make them interesting. Here we will present as many different gods and goddesses as we can and provide some of the stories about them that fascinate us. We hope they fascinate you too.

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 140 - 175 A.D.

|Athens|, |drachm|
King Minos demanded that, every ninth year, Athens send seven boys and seven girls to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth. Theseus, son of Aigeus, the king of Athens, volunteered to take the place of one of the youths and slay the monster to stop this horror. Upon his arrival to Crete, Ariadne, King Minos' daughter, fell in love with him and gave him a ball of thread to help him find his way out of the Labyrinth. Theseus promised Ariadne that if he escaped he would take her with him. Using the string to mark his path, he made his way to the heart of the Labyrinth, slew the Minotaur, followed the string out, and then rescued the Athenian boys and girls. Athena told Theseus to leave Ariadne and Phaedra behind on the beach. Distressed by his broken heart, Theseus forgot to put up the white sails that were to signal his success. Upon seeing black sails, his father committed suicide, throwing himself off a cliff into the sea, causing this body of water to be named the Aegean.
GB77873. Bronze drachm, BMC Attica p. 105, 764; SNG Cop 341; Svoronos Athens, pl. 96, 1; Kroll 276, aF, corrosion, weight 7.132 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, pseudo-autonomous under Rome, c. 140 - 175 A.D.; obverse helmeted head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse AΘHNAIΩN, Theseus right, preparing to slay the Minotaur, nude, planting knee on the back of Minotaur, raising club in his right hand, a horn of the Minotaur in his left hand, the Minotaur falling right on left knee; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren (Antioch Associates); very rare; SOLD


Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 272 - 235 B.C.

|Italy|, |nomos|NEW
Taras was named after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The reverse depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today. This coin was issued during the war against Rome lead by Pyrrhus. To help finance the war, the weight of Nomoi was reduced from c. 7.9 g to c. 6.6 g.
SH90002. Silver nomos, Vlasto 877 ff.; SNG ANS 1202; HN Italy 1033; HGC I 890, VF, toned, tight flan, tiny edge split, die wear, light marks, weight 6.375 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, at war with Rome, under Phyrrus, c. 272 - 235 B.C.; obverse nude youth on horseback right, shield and two lances in left hand, spear pointed downward in raised right hand, ∆I above left, API-ΣTI/K Λ-HΣ (magistrate) in two divided lines below; reverse Taras astride dolphin left, nude, kantharos in extended right hand, trident pointed upward in left hand; head of his mother, the nymph Satyrion, behind looking left; TAPAΣ below; SOLD


Roman Republic, L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, 89 B.C.

|99-50| |B.C.|, |denarius|
The reverse refers to the rape of the Sabines. This moneyer traced his descent form the Sabines and perhaps from King Tatius himself. -- Roman Silver Coins edited by David R. Sear and Robert Loosley
RR85560. Silver denarius, Crawford 344/1a, Sydenham 698, RSC I Tituria 1, BMCRR I Rome 2322, SRCV I 249, EF, well centered, areas of reverse struck a little weak, edge cracks, weight 3.886 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 270o, Rome mint, 89 B.C; obverse bare head of Sabine King Tatius right, SABIN downward behind, TA (Tatius) monogram before; reverse two Roman soldiers running left, each bearing a Sabine woman in his arms, L·TITVRI in exergue; SOLD







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