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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Pig||View Options:  |  |  | 

Boars, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins

For an interesting article about pigs on coins, see, "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek

Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 475 - 450 B.C.

|Cyzicus|, |Kyzikos,| |Mysia,| |c.| |475| |-| |450| |B.C.||obol|
During the Peloponnesian War 431-404 B.C. Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387 B.C., like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great later captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GA112693. Silver obol, SNG Tb 2228; SNG Cop 50; Klein 266; SNGvA 1215; BMC Mysia p. 35, 121; SNG Kayhan -, gVF, toned, weight 0.831 g, maximum diameter 9.4 mm, die axis 270o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 475 - 450 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, tall mane, dotted truncation, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, bristling main, protruding tongue, backward K above left, all in incuse square; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 16 (25 June 2017), lot 145; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 475 - 450 B.C.

|Cyzicus|, |Kyzikos,| |Mysia,| |c.| |475| |-| |450| |B.C.||obol|
During the Peloponnesian War 431-404 B.C. Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387 B.C., like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great later captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GA111571. Silver obol, SNG Tb 2228; SNG Cop 50; Klein 266; SNGvA 1215; BMC Mysia p. 35, 121; SNG Kayhan -, VF, centered on a tight flan, die wear, marks, weight 0.786 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, die axis 210o, Kyzikos (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 475 - 450 B.C.; obverse forepart of boar running left, tunny fish upwards behind; reverse head of roaring lion left, backward K above left, all in incuse square; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 956 (part of); $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Mytilene, Lesbos, c. 454 - 427 B.C.

|Lesbos|, |Mytilene,| |Lesbos,| |c.| |454| |-| |427| |B.C.||hekte|
Mytilene revolted against Athens in 428 BC but was overcome by an Athenian expeditionary force. The Athenian public assembly voted to massacre all the men of the city and to sell the women and children into slavery but changed its mind the next day. A fast trireme sailed the 186 nautical miles (344 km) in less than a day and brought the decision to cancel the massacre.
SH33290. Electrum hekte, Bodenstedt 41, SNGvA 1694, SNG Cop -, VF, weight 2.5111 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 60o, Mytilene mint, obverse boar forepart right; reverse lion head right in linear square within incuse square; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 340 - 335 B.C., Eleusinian Festival Coinage

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |340| |-| |335| |B.C.,| |Eleusinian| |Festival| |Coinage||AE| |16|
Triptolemus was a demigod of the Eleusinian mysteries who presided over the sowing of grain-seed and the milling of wheat. His name means He who Pounds the Husks. In myth, Triptolemos was one of the Eleusinian princes who kindly received Demeter when she came mourning the loss of her daughter Persephone. The young goddess was eventually returned to her from the Underworld. Demeter, in her munificence, instructed Triptolemos in the art of agriculture and gave him a winged chariot drawn by serpents so that he might travel the world spreading her gift.
SH49956. Bronze AE 16, BMC Attica p. 113, 20; Kroll 38 var. (control mark); SNG Cop 414 (control mark), F, weight 4.006 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, obverse Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, stalk of grain in his right hand; reverse ΕΛΕYΣI, piglet standing right on mystic staff, bee (control symbol) below; ex BCD with his hand-written round tag; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 340 - 335 B.C., Eleusinian Festival Coinage

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |340| |-| |335| |B.C.,| |Eleusinian| |Festival| |Coinage||dichalkon|
"The pig was sacred to Demeter, goddess of grain, and figures prominently on special coinage struck by Athens for use by participants in the Eleusinian Mysteries, a series of very ancient secret rituals held every Spring at Eleusis (now Elefsina, 18 km, or 11 miles, from Athens). Pigs were sacrificed to Demeter as part of the preparation for initiates...Each had carried to the river or lake a little pig, which was also purified by bathing, and on the next day this pig was sacrificed. The pig was offered because it was very pernicious to cornfields. On the Eleusinian coinage the pig, standing on a torch placed horizontally, appears as the sign and symbol of the Mysteries." -- "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek
GB77129. Bronze dichalkon, Kroll 38h-k; BMC Attica p. 113, 14; SNG Cop 416; Svoronos Athens pl. 103, 5, F/aVF, pitting, light scratches, weight 2.993 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, stalk of grain in his right hand; reverse Piglet standing right on mystic staff, EΛEYΣI above, bucranium (control symbol) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Aetolian League, Aetolia, Greece, c. 205 - 150 B.C.

|Aetolia|, |Aetolian| |League,| |Aetolia,| |Greece,| |c.| |205| |-| |150| |B.C.||triobol|
The Aetolian League was a confederation of tribal communities and cities centered in central Greece, probably established to oppose Macedon and the Achaean League. Other Greeks considered Aetolians to be semi-barbaric, but their league had an effective political and administrative structure and a powerful army. By the end of the 3rd century B.C., it controlled the whole of central Greece outside Attica. At its height, the league included Locris, Malis, Dolopes, part of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. Some Mediterranean city-states, such as Kydonia on Crete, joined. As the first Greek ally of the Roman Republic, the league helped defeat Philip V of Macedon. Roman meddling in Greek affairs shifted opinion and a few years later the league sided with Antiochus III, the anti-Roman Seleucid king. Antiochus' defeat in 189 B.C. forced the league to sign a treaty that allowed it to exist but made it an feeble pawn of the Roman Republic.
GS32219. Silver triobol, Tsangari 1153 (D56/R108), BCD Akarnania 477, HGC 4 952, aVF, toned, weight 2.326 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 135o, Aitolian mint, obverse head of Aetolia right, wearing kausia; reverse the Calydonian boar standing right, AITΩΛΩN above, YE monogram below, AP monogram and spearhead right in exergue; SOLD


Aetolian League, Aetolia, Greece, c. 205 - 150 B.C.

|Aetolia|, |Aetolian| |League,| |Aetolia,| |Greece,| |c.| |205| |-| |150| |B.C.||hemiobol|
The Aetolian League was a confederation of tribal communities and cities centered in central Greece, probably established to oppose Macedon and the Achaean League. Other Greeks considered Aetolians to be semi-barbaric, but their league had an effective political and administrative structure and a powerful army. By the end of the 3rd century B.C., it controlled the whole of central Greece outside Attica. At its height, the league included Locris, Malis, Dolopes, part of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. Some Mediterranean city-states, such as Kydonia on Crete, joined. As the first Greek ally of the Roman Republic, the league helped defeat Philip V of Macedon. Roman meddling in Greek affairs shifted opinion and a few years later the league sided with Antiochus III, the anti-Roman Seleucid king. Antiochus' defeat in 189 B.C. forced the league to sign a treaty that allowed it to exist but made it an feeble pawn of the Roman Republic.
GB41349. Bronze hemiobol, BMC Thessaly p. 198, 43 ff.; SNG Cop 28, F, porous, weight 4.937 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 90o, Aitolian mint, 211 - 196 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse AITΩ/ΛΩN, spearhead right over a small bunch of grapes and a boar jaw; SOLD







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