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

Chimera on Ancient Coins

The Chimera or Chimaera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her spine. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has also come to mean, more generally, an impossible or foolish fantasy, hard to believe.

Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 334 - 330 B.C.

|Peloponnesos|, |Sikyon,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece,| |c.| |334| |-| |330| |B.C.||stater|
Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.
SH64029. Silver stater, BCD Peloponnesos 218 (same obverse die); Trait 776; BMC Peloponnesus p. 40, 57, aEF, weight 11.740 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 225o, Sikyon mint, c. late 330s B.C.; obverse chimera advancing left, paw raised, wreath above, ΣE below; reverse dove flying left, N left, all within olive wreath; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7 (12 Dec 2011), lot 374; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 335 - 330 B.C.

|Peloponnesos|, |Sikyon,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece,| |c.| |335| |-| |330| |B.C.||stater|
Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesos between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.
SH79677. Silver stater, BCD Peloponnesos 218; SNG Cop 48; Trait III 776; BMC Peloponnesus p. 40, 57; HGC 5 201, gVF, well centered, toned, light marks areas of porosity, weight 12.150 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, Sikyon mint, c. 335 - 330 B.C.; obverse chimera advancing left on exergue line, right fore-paw raised, wreath above, ΣE below; reverse dove flying left, N left, all within olive wreath tied on right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 5 (7 Jul 2013), lot 101; SOLD


Sikyon, Peloponnesos, Greece, c. 334 - 330 B.C.

|Peloponnesos|, |Sikyon,| |Peloponnesos,| |Greece,| |c.| |334| |-| |330| |B.C.||stater|
Sikyon was located in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea. Sicyon was known in antiquity for its industries including wood sculpture, bronze work, and pottery. Its central location meant it was frequently involved in the wars of its neighbors, Thebes, Corinth, Athens and Sparta.
SH50538. Silver stater, BCD Peloponnesos 218 (same dies); Trait 776; BMC Peloponnesus p. 40, 57, VF, weight 11.752 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 270o, c. late 330s B.C.; obverse chimera advancing left, paw raised, wreath above, ΣE below; reverse dove flying left, N left, all within olive wreath; beautiful rainbow toning; SOLD


Lycia(?), 5th Century B.C.

|Lycia|, |Lycia(?),| |5th| |Century| |B.C.||hemidrachm|
Although unlisted in the major references, this hemidrachm type was first published by 1890. Five examples are listed on Coin Archives, which were offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera (also chimaera) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia in Anatolia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GA84765. Silver hemidrachm, Boston MFA 2325; Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2; Six Monnaies 1890, p. 235, 16bis; BMC -; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; Rosen -; Klein -, VF, light marks, obverse off center, reverse struck with damaged die (left side of incuse), weight 1.946 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, Anatolia, uncertain mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse Chimera standing right, right foreleg raised, jaws open; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; extremely rare; SOLD


Lycian League, Lycia, c. 167 - 84 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Lycian| |League,| |Lycia,| |c.| |167| |-| |84| |B.C.||AE| |15|
The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GB96096. Bronze AE 15, Troxell Lycia, period 1, quadruple unit, p. 18, 1; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Lycia -, F, dark green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 2.446 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Xanthos Valley mint, c. 167 - 84 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Bellerophon facing; reverse chimera to right, ΛUKIΩN above; only one sale of this type recorded on Coin Archives for the last two decades; very rare; SOLD


Lycian League, Lycia, c. 167 - 84 B.C.

|Lycia|, |Lycian| |League,| |Lycia,| |c.| |167| |-| |84| |B.C.||AE| |14|
The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GB17581. Bronze AE 14, Troxell Lycia, period 1, quadruple unit, p. 18, 1a; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; BMC Lycia -, VF, green patina, weight 4.315 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Xanthos Valley mint, c. 167 - 84 B.C.; obverse laureate bearded head of Bellerophon facing; reverse chimera to right, ΛUKIΩN above, ME ligate in exergue; SOLD







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