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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Dionysus or Bacchus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Dionysos or Bacchus

Dionysos (Bacchus to the Romans) was the god of wine, festivities, and ecstasy. He was the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele. Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysos rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pinecone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.|, |as|
The title of Dii Auspices (the gods-protectors) was given to the deities in general, and to each of them in particular, acknowledging their special protection, and sacrifices were offered to them accordingly. This legend and type help confirm what Dion states, that Severus built a grand temple to honor Hercules and Bacchus. When Septimius Severus advanced into the East against Pescennius Niger, he chose Hercules and Bacchus as his patrons, probably because ancient traditions designated the two as the first conquerors of that region.
RB95802. Copper as, RIC IV 666, BMCRE V 501, Cohen IV 117, Hunter III -, VF, nice coin, attractive brown-green patina, excellent portrait and reverse style, tight flan, areas of porosity, weight 11.884 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 194 A.D.; obverse L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP II, laureate head right; reverse DIS AVSPICIB TR P II COS II P P, Hercules and Bacchus (Liber) standing slightly left, side by side, nude, heads left, Hercules with the Nemean Lion's skin on his left arm and resting his right hand on his grounded club, Bacchus holds a cantharus in his right hand and rests his left on a thyrsus, a panther sits left at his feet, S C in exergue; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 8 (29-30 Jun 2019), lot 1180; ex Kress sale 116 (28 Oct 1960), lot 959; rare; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
 


Lamponeia, Troas, c. 5th - Early 4th Century B.C.

|Troas|, |Lamponeia,| |Troas,| |c.| |5th| |-| |Early| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
Lamponeia was on the southern coast of Troas, on the long crest of a mountain, above the modern village of Kozlu in Canakkale Province, Turkey. From this site, the city could monitor sea traffic on the coast and control a narrow valley which connected Assos to the cities of the middle Skamander valley. The settlement was 800 m long and protected by a 7 m thick circuit wall of rough masonry and boulders, dated to the 6th century B.C. In the 5th century B.C. the city was a member of the Delian League and paid Athens a modest tribute of 1,000 drachms (on one occasion in 430/429 1,400 drachms). In the late 5th and early 4th century B.C. the city minted bronze coinage, but thereafter disappears from the historical record. It is possible that soon after the site was abandoned and its citizens moved to Assos. Late Roman and Byzantine period finds suggest that the site was reoccupied in this period, perhaps as a defensive measure against piracy and brigandage.
GS89698. Silver hemiobol, cf. SNG Cop 444 (obol); SNG Tübingen 2649 (triobol); Traité 2295; BMC Troas p. 72, 12 (hemidrachm); SNG Munchen -; SNG Kayhan -; Klein -, VF, well centered, toned, porous, oval flan, weight 0.270 g, maximum diameter 8.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lamponeia (near Kozlu, Canakkale, Turkey) mint, c. 5th - early 4th century B.C.; obverse bearded head of Dionysos right, hair bound in taenia; reverse facing head of bull, ΛAM around clockwise from lower left, all within a shallow incuse square; ex Beast Coins, this type is apparently unpublished in references as a hemidrachm, but larger denominations with the same types are published, and five hemiobol specimens are known from auctions over the last two decades; extremely rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Pellene, Peloponnesos, Greece

|Peloponnesos|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Pellene,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece|, |diassarion|
Pellene sided with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, then joined the Achaean League until that League was dissolved by Alexander the Great. In the fourth century it was ruled for some time by a tyrant. In the third century, Pellene was garrisoned by the Aetolian League until the garrison was expelled by Aratus of Sicyon and the Achaeans in the 240s B.C. Pellene then joined the revived Achaean League until the League was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 146 B.C.
SH95334. Bronze diassarion, BCD Peloponnesos 607; BMC Peloponnesus p. 32, 15; Imhoof-Blumer NCP p. 92 (pl. S, XI); SNG Cop -, Dura -, aF, brown patina, legends obscure, weight 3.930 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pellene mint, c. 198 - 205 A.D.; obverse L CEΠ CEV EPROC ΠE, laureate head right; reverse ΠEΛΛHNEΩN, Dionysus Lampter standing left, nude, pouring from kantharos in right hand, filleted thyrsus in left hand; ex J. S. Wagner Collection; very rare; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00
 


Rhodos, Caria, c. 1 - 25 A.D.

|Rhodos|, |Rhodos,| |Caria,| |c.| |1| |-| |25| |A.D.|, |drachm|
Although the radiate heads on coins of Rhodes are usually Helios, the wreath of ivy indicates this is Dionysos. Teimostratos was the first official named on the bronze coinage struck at Rhodes after Actium. His title, Treasurer (TAMIA), is unusual. The officials that followed at Rhodes were identified as Legate (EPI) in the inscriptions.
GB86523. Bronze drachm, RPC I 2748; SNG Keckman 759; SNG Cop 888; Ashton Early 107; Lindgren 700; BMC Caria p. 264, 377, F, broad flan, near black patina, earthen deposits, reverse double struck, porous, weight 25.209 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 1 - 25 A.D.; obverse radiate head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse Rose seen in profile, small bud on tendril on each side of stem, poppy to left of stem, stalk of grain to right of stem, PO∆IΩN (Rhodos) above, TA-MIA / TEI-MO/CTP-ATOY (treasurer Teimostratos) in three lines divided across field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins, huge 35mm coin; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 146 - 100 B.C.

|Maroneia|, |Maroneia,| |Thrace,| |c.| |146| |-| |100| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
GB93473. Bronze AE 21, cf. Schönert-Geiss 1527 ff.; BMC Thrace p. 130, 80; SNG Cop 645, SNG Evelpidis 973, Choice VF/F, well centered on a tight flan, green patina with earthen highlighting, some porosity, tiny edge split, weight 6.862 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 45o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 146 - 30 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wearing band across forehead, and ivy wreath; reverse Dionysos standing left, nude but for chlamys on left arm, bunch of grapes in right hand, two stalks of narthex in left hand, monogram lower left, MAPΩNITΩN downward on right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 168 - 145 B.C.

|Maroneia|, |Maroneia,| |Thrace,| |c.| |168| |-| |145| |B.C.|, |AE| |18|
Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
GB93472. Bronze AE 18, Schönert-Geiss Maroneia 1556 ff.; BMC Thrace p. 130, 82; SNG Cop 646; Weber 2351; McClean 3982; HGC 3 1541 (S), VF, attractive green patina with earthen highlighting, slight porosity, weight 6.130 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 168/7-48/45 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, band across forehead, and ivy wreath; reverse Dionysos standing left, nude but for chlamys on left arm, bunch of grapes in right hand, two stalks of narthex in left hand, MAPΩNITΩN downward on right, no control monogram; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


Apameia, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, 10 - 9 B.C.

|Decapolis,| |Arabia| |&| |Syria|, |Apameia,| |Seleucis| |and| |Pieria,| |Syria,| |10| |-| |9| |B.C.|, |AE| |21|
Apamea is believed to be the Biblical city Shepham (Num. xxxiv. 11). Rome received Apamea with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. Pompey razed the fortress and annexed the city to Rome in 64 B.C. Apamea is mentioned in the Talmud (Ber. 62a, Niddah, 30b and Yeb. 115b). By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C. In the revolt of Syria under Q. Caecilius Bassus, it held out against Julius Caesar for three years until the arrival of Cassius in 46 B.C.Great Colonnade at Apamea
RY88994. Bronze AE 21, BMC Galatia p. 234, 11; SNG Cop 300; AMC I 1470; RPC I 4354 (4 spec.); HGC 9 -; SNG Mün -; Lindgren -; Hunter -, F, dark green patina, light porosity, light earthen deposits, light scratches, edge split, weight 6.362 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Syria, Apameia (Qalaat al-Madiq, Syria) mint, 10 - 9 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse cornucopia overflowing with fruits and grains, ΓT (year 303) inner left, AΠAMEΩN / THΣ IEPAΣ − KAI AΣYΛOY in three downward lines (first two on left, last on right), M-A flanking tip of cornucopia; ex Guy Clark's Ancient Coins And Antiquities; rare; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.

|Boiotia|, |Boiotia,| |Greece,| |Boiotian| |League,| |287| |-| |244| |B.C.|, |AE| |17|
Apollo's most famous attribute is the tripod, symbolic of his prophetic powers. His priestess sat on a tripod chewing laurel leaves and inhaling hallucinating vapors from a fissure in the floor. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it. The tripod is also a symbol of Dionysos because the bowl was used to mix wine. Ancient Greeks sayings include, "wine is truth" and "wine reveals the heart of man," and those who speak the truth were said to "speak from the tripod." Athenaeus wrote, "The tripod is proper to Apollo because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysos it is proper because of the truth of wine" (Deipnosophistae 2).
GB74963. Bronze AE 17, BCD Boiotia 87 corr.; Head Boeotia p. 83, pl. VI, 4; BMC Central p. 40, 72, pl. VI, 5 corr.; Winterthur 1929 corr., F, green patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 3.189 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 287 - 244 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy-wreath; reverse Apollo seated left on cippus decorated with trident head left, bow in right hand, leaning back on left hand on cippus behind, tripod on far side of cippus behind Apollo; Π within wreath on left, BOIΩTΩN downward on right; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "ABH, Oct. 78, £5.-"; rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
The obverse legend translates Libero Patri Conservatori Augusti, which identifies Liber Pater, a panther sacred to Bacchus, as a protector of the emperor. Gallienus also identified Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune, and others on coins as his protectors.
RA94167. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 713b, RIC V-1 S230, Hunter IV S112, RSC IV 586, SRCV III 10281, VF, traces of silvering, centered on a oval flan, edge ragged, flan cracks, weight 2.520 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse LIBERO P CONS AVG, panther walking left, B in exergue; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.00
 







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REFERENCES|

Bernhart, M. "Dionysos und seine Familie auf griechischen Münzen" in JNG I (1949).


Catalog current as of Friday, September 25, 2020.
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