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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.

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Irenopolis-Neronias, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Irenopolis-Neronias,| |Cilicia||7| |assaria|
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 pine cone, 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.
RP96990. Bronze 7 assaria, Karbach Eirenopolis - (cf. 146-7 same obv. die, diff. rev. type); Leu web auction 12 (2020), 870 (same dies); SNG Levante -; SNG Paris -; SNG PFPS -, aVF/F, green patina with earthen deposits, weight 12.523 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 225o, Irenopolis (Dzici, Turkey) mint, 258 - 259 A.D.; obverse ΠOY ΛIK Γ/θ>AΛIHNOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; uncertain round countermark; reverse IPHNOΠOΛE (or similar), Dionysos drinking with his entourage, standing facing, kantharos (wine cup) in his right hand, pedum (shepherd's crook) in his left hand, Pan on right supporting him, Satyr on left standing with outstretched right hand, panther seated left at feet on left, Z (mark of value) right; ex Leu Numismatik web auction 13 (15 Aug 2020), lot 921; the second known; $720.00 SALE PRICE $648.00


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Flaviopolis, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Domitian,| |13| |September| |81| |-| |18| |September| |96| |A.D.,| |Flaviopolis,| |Cilicia||AE| |16|
Vespasian founded both the province of Cilicia and the city of Flaviopolis in 74 A.D. as part of an imperial program for urbanization of the Cilician Plain. Prior to establishing the province, the rural hinterland and the city of Anazarbos were probably administered by the Tracondimotid dynasty from Hieropolis Castabala. The location of Flaviopolis is believed to be Kadirli, Turkey were some mosaic floors, inscriptions, and building blocks have been found. This coin was struck in year 17 of the local era, the first year that Flaviopolis issued coins.
RP99177. Bronze AE 16, RPC II 1761; SNG Levante 1533; Lindgren 1495; Imhoof-Blumer MG p. 352, 21, aVF, weight 1.689 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Flaviopolis mint, 89 - 90 A.D.; obverse ∆OMETIANOC KAICAP, laureate head of Domitian to right; reverse ETOYC ZI ΦΛAVIOΠOΛEITΩN (year 17, Flaviopolis), draped bust of Dionysos right, thyrsos over left shoulder; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Herakleia Pontika, Bithynia, Tyrants Timotheus and Dionysios, 345 - 337 B.C.

|Bithynia|, |Herakleia| |Pontika,| |Bithynia,| |Tyrants| |Timotheus| |and| |Dionysios,| |345| |-| |337| |B.C.||stater|
 
SH26918. Silver stater, BMC Pontus p. 142, 22, Dewing 2151, EF, weight 9.705 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Herakleia Pontika mint, 345 - 337 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos left, wreathed with ivy, thyrsos behind; reverse TIMOΘEOY ∆IONYΣIOY, Herakles standing left, wearing lion-skin over left arm and sword in sheath, attaching spear and shield to a trophy of captured arms; ex E. J. Waddell, superb specimen; SOLD


Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 377 - 326 B.C.

|Lesbos|, |Mytilene,| |Lesbos,| |c.| |377| |-| |326| |B.C.||hekte|
Mytilene was famous in ancient times for its great output of electrum coins struck from the late 6th through mid - 4th centuries B.C. The usual denomination was the hekte (1/6th stater). Warwick Wroth noted in the British Museum Catalog, "The Sixths of [this Lesbos electrum series] form one of the most beautiful coin-series of the ancient world. This will be evident from a glance."
SH21934. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 90 (unlisted dies), gVF, weight 2.569 g, maximum diameter 9.9 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 356 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed with ivy; reverse head of Satyr facing within linear square; ex Freeman and Sear; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D.

|Hadrian|, |Hadrian,| |11| |August| |117| |-| |10| |July| |138| |A.D.||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility, equivalent to the Greek god Dionysus. He carried a pinecone-topped staff, and his followers were goat-footed Satyrs and Maenads, wild women who danced energetically during his festivals. Bacchus was the child of Jupiter and Seml, a human. Juno tricked her into asking to see Jupiter as he really was. Since she was a mortal, she was burned up by the sight of his divine form. So Jupiter sewed the infant Bacchus into his thigh, and gave birth to him nine months later. Before he took his place at Olympus, Bacchus wandered the world for many years, going as far as India to teach people how to grow vines. In myth, Dionysius was the last god to join the twelve Olympians. Hestia gave up her seat for him.
SH32539. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RIC II 485; Metcalf Type 101/Type 98 (unidentified mint D), Choice gVF, weight 10.161 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Asia Minor mint, obverse HADRIANVS AVGVSTVS P P, bare-headed bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse COS III, Bacchus standing facing, nude, head left, thyrsus in left hand, oenochoe in right hand over panther left at feet; SOLD


Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 377 - 326 B.C.

|Lesbos|, |Mytilene,| |Lesbos,| |c.| |377| |-| |326| |B.C.||hekte|
 
SH85689. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 81; SNG Cop 322; Boston MFA 1717; BMC Troas p. 165, 82 & pl. 33, 25; HGC 6 1007; SNGvA -, EF, superb style, excellent strike, some die wear, weight 2.565 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mytilene mint, c. 377 - 326 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos right wearing ivy wreath; reverse head of youthful male (Pan?) right, wearing tainia, within linear square in incuse square; ex London Coin Galleries; SOLD


Naxos, Sicily, c. 415 - 403 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Naxos,| |Sicily,| |c.| |415| |-| |403| |B.C.||litra|
The late fifth century saw an explosion in the quantity and quality of dies engraved for the great cities of Sicily. Among the engravers who signed their works is Prokles, who created dies for both Naxos and Katane, on whose tetradrachms we find his full signature. Though the quality of his work for Katane is equally excellent as it is for Naxos, the quantity of his work at Naxos suggests that this was his home city.
SH86583. Silver litra, Cahn Naxos 134 - 137 (also Π on neck, diff. dies); SNG Cop 496 var. (unsigned); BMC Sicily p. 121, 26 var. (same); HGC 2 975 (R2) var. (same), Choice aEF, superb style, well struck, light toning, lightly etched porous surfaces, weight 0.718 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, die axis 0o, Naxos mint, c. 415 - 403 B.C.; obverse NAEΞIΩN, head of young Dionysos left, wreathed in ivy, Π (monogram of master engraver Prokles) on right side of neck; reverse grape bunch on vine, with three leaves and tendrils; extremely rare; SOLD


Mark Antony and Octavia, 39 B.C., Ephesos, Ionia

|Cistophori|, |Mark| |Antony| |and| |Octavia,| |39| |B.C.,| |Ephesos,| |Ionia||cistophoric| |tetradrachm|
Triumvir Reipublicae Constituendae, abbreviated on this coin with III VIR R P C, was the title adopted in November of 43 B.C. by the three Caesarian leaders (Mark Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus) when they formed the Second Triumvirate to oppose the tyrannicides Brutus and Cassius.
SH85436. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, RPC I 2202, Sydenham 1198, Crawford 263, RSC Octavia and M. Antony 3, Sear CRI 263, BMCRR East 135, SRCV I 1513, VF, well centered, toned, weight 12.035 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ephesos mint, summer - autumn 39 B.C.; obverse M ANTONIVS IMP COS DESIG ITER ET TERT, conjoined head of Antony and bust of Octavia right, Antony nearer and wreathed in ivy, Octavia draped; reverse Dionysus standing half left on cista mystica, in his right hand, thyrsus in his left hand, flanked by two interlaced snakes with heads erect, III VIR (triumvir) downward on left, R P C (Reipublicae Constituendae) upward on right; SOLD


Abdera, Thrace, 386 - 375 B.C.

|Abdera|, |Abdera,| |Thrace,| |386| |-| |375| |B.C.||drachm|
A wealthy city and thus a valuable prize, Abdera was repeatedly sacked: by the Triballi in 376 B.C., Philip II of Macedon in 350 B.C.; later by Lysimachos of Thrace, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, and again by the Macedonians. In 170 B.C., the Roman armies and those of Eumenes II of Pergamon besieged and sacked it.
GS66822. Silver drachm, May Abdera 405 (A282/P331), VF, sensuous style, weight 2.875 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 180o, Abdera mint, 386 - 375 B.C.; obverse griffin springing left, spiky bristle mane, raised curled tail; reverse MOΛΠAΓOΠHΣ, head of young Dionysos left, wearing wreath of ivy with berries clustered over brow, hair in long loses locks down the back of neck with single ringlet before ear, slightly concave field; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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


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