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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Dioscuri||View Options:  |  |  | 

Dioscuri

The Disocuri were Castor and Pollux (or Polydeuces), the twin sons of Leda and brothers of Helen of Troy. The twins shared the same mother but had different fathers. Pollux, the son of Zeus, was immortal but Castor was mortal. When Castor died, Pollux asked to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together. They were transformed into the Gemini constellation and the two spend alternate days on Olympus (as gods) and in Hades (as deceased mortals). The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo's fire.

Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 250 - 225 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |250| |-| |225| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the area in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and becoming a cultural center of the Roman Republic. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling center of trade, was captured by the Samnites; however, the Romans soon took the city and made it a Roman colony. During the Punic Wars, when this coin was struck, the strong walls surrounding Neapolis repelled the forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
GB92739. Bronze AE 16, Sambon 761; HN Italy 593; cf. SNG ANS 538 ff. (initials); SNG Cop 555 ff. (same); BMC Italy p. 117, 249 (same); HGC 1 479 (R1, same), aF, some corrosion, weight 3.609 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 250 - 225 B.C.; obverse head (a Dioskuros?) right, star with eight rays behind; reverse rider (Kastor?) on horse galloping right, wearing pileus, chlamys flying behind, XAI (magistrate initials or control) below, NEAΠOΛIT in exergue; very rare; $105.00 (96.60)


Kingdom of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Chalkis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Chalkis,| |Coele| |Syria,| |Ptolemaios,| |85| |-| |40| |B.C.||AE| |20|
Ptolemaios son of Mennaios (also known as Ptolemy I), an Ituraean Arab dynast, established the Kingdom of Chalkis, c. 85 B.C., during the collapse of the Seleukid Empire. The kingdom, with its capitol at Chalcis sub Libano at the foot of Antilibanus, included Heliopolis, the valley of the Marsyas, and the mountainous region of Ituraea. In 64 B.C., he bribed Pompey the Great to forgo annexing his kingdom into the new Roman province of Syria and to allow him to continue ruling his territory as Tetrarch. Ptolemaios was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift.
GB88239. Bronze AE 20, Herman 9.a (same countermark), Lindgren III 1232 (same countermark), HGC 9 1445 (R1), SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, BMC Galatia -, aF, well centered, bumps and marks, corrosion, rough, weight 4.162 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis ad Libanon mint, 85 - 40 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena right, draped, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; countermark: male head right in round punch; reverse Dioskouroi standing facing each other, each holding a spear; monograms around; ex Forum (2000), ex Phil DeVicchi Collection; rare; $90.00 (82.80)


Indo-Greek Kingdom, Baktria, Antialkidas Nikephoros, c. 130 - 120 B.C.

|Indo-Greek| |Kingdoms|, |Indo-Greek| |Kingdom,| |Baktria,| |Antialkidas| |Nikephoros,| |c.| |130| |-| |120| |B.C.||AE| |22|
Brahmi is the modern name for a writing system of ancient India. The Brahmi script appeared in South Asia in the third century B.C. Its descendants, Brahmic scripts, continue to be in use today in South Asia and also in Southeast Asia.
GB95884. Bronze AE 22, HGC 12 261 (R2), SNG ANS 1106, Bopearachchi 15a, Fair/Fine, corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 4.467 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Baktria mint, 130 - 120 B.C.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ NIKHΦOPOY ANTIAΛKI∆OY, bust of Zeus brandishing thunderbolt; reverse Brahmi: Maharajasa jayadharasa Amtialkidasa (of Great King Antialkidas the Victory-bearer), two caps of Dioskouroi with palm branches in center, monogram below left; rare; $80.00 (73.60)







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