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

Lizards on Ancient Coins
Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

|Kamarina|, |Kamarina,| |Sicily,| |c.| |420| |-| |405| |B.C.||onkia|
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GB69171. Bronze onkia, Calciati III, p. 47, 7 (same dies); Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 180; HGC 2 552 (R1); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -, EF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.295 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, eyes looking left, tongue not protruding; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, pellet (mark of value) in exergue, barley kernel (control symbol) right; rare; SOLD


Thasos, Thracian Islands, Greece, c. 404 - 355 B.C.

|Thasos|, |Thasos,| |Thracian| |Islands,| |Greece,| |c.| |404| |-| |355| |B.C.||drachm|
In 411 B.C., Thasos revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor. In 407 B.C. Spartans were expelled and the Athenians readmitted. After the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 B.C., Thasos again fell under the Lacedaemonians led by Lysander who formed a decarchy there. Athens must have recovered it, for later it was one of the subjects of dispute with Philip II of Macedonia.
GS87871. Silver drachm, West p. 35, 7 ;BMC Thrace p. 220, 41; Boston MFA 861; HGC 6 343 (R1); SNG Cop 1023 - 1026 var. (control); McClean 4212 var. (control), VF, high relief obverse, reverse flatly struck, etched surfaces, tight flan, weight 3.409 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 90o, Thasos mint, c. 404 - 355 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Dionysos left, wreathed with ivy; reverse ΘAΣ-I-ON, bearded Herakles kneeling to right, in archer's stance, drawing bow, Nemean lion scalp on head with paws on chest, salamander or lizard (control) above knee, all within linear square enclosed in incuse square; ex Beast Coins; rare; SOLD


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

|Other| |Macedonia|, |Eion,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |500| |-| |480| |B.C.||diobol|
Athens unsuccessfully attempted to capture Eion during the Ionian Revolt in 497 B.C. The revolt ended with Persia re-establishing control in Thrace. A Persian fortress and food storage for the Persian army was built at Eion, probably in 492 B.C. Xerxes recalled most of the Persian troops from the area in the winter of 480/479 B.C. In 475 B.C., Eion was besieged and captured by the Delian League's Athenian general Cimon. Refusing Cimon's offer of an honorable withdrawal, the Persian commander Boges destroyed the treasure, killed his family, and committed suicide as the food ran out. Cimon turned the course of the Strymon River so that it flowed against the city walls, dissolving the mud brick fortifications. The inhabitants were enslaved. The capture of Eion was the beginning of a military campaign intended to clear the Aegean Sea of Persian fleets and pirates in order to facilitate Athenian access to the Hellespont. The Athenian colony Amphipolis was founded in 437 B.C. three miles up the Strymon River. After that, Eion served as the harbor of Amphipolis.
SH92982. Silver diobol, BMC Macedonia p 74, 14; SNG ANS 288 var. (no H below); Babelon Traité 1732 and pl. LV, 10 var., VF, toned, well centered, light marks, slightest porosity, edge cracks, weight 0.826 g, maximum diameter 11.93 mm, Eion (near Amfipoli, Greece) mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above, H below bird's breast; reverse incuse square; ex Pegasi Coins; SOLD


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 437 B.C.

|Other| |Macedonia|, |Eion,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |500| |-| |437| |B.C.||trihemiobol|
Athens unsuccessfully attempted to capture Eion during the Ionian Revolt in 497 B.C. The revolt ended with Persia re-establishing control in Thrace. A Persian fortress and food storage for the Persian army was built at Eion, probably in 492 B.C. Xerxes recalled most of the Persian troops from the area in the winter of 480/479 B.C. In 475 B.C., Eion was besieged and captured by the Delian League's Athenian general Cimon. Refusing Cimon's offer of an honorable withdrawal, the Persian commander Boges destroyed the treasure, killed his family, and committed suicide as the food ran out. Cimon turned the course of the Strymon River so that it flowed against the city walls, dissolving the mud brick fortifications. The inhabitants were enslaved. The capture of Eion was the beginning of a military campaign intended to clear the Aegean Sea of Persian fleets and pirates in order to facilitate Athenian access to the Hellespont. The Athenian colony Amphipolis was founded in 437 B.C. three miles up the Strymon River. After that, Eion served as the harbor of Amphipolis.
SH68553. Silver trihemiobol, SNG ANS 280 - 283, SNG Cop 180 corr., SNG Berry 29, Klein 151, BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21, EF, frosty surfaces, toned, weight 0.713 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 270o, Eion (near Amfipoli, Greece) mint, c. 500 - 437 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above; reverse quadripartite incuse square; SOLD


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 437 B.C.

|Other| |Macedonia|, |Eion,| |Macedonia,| |c.| |500| |-| |437| |B.C.||trihemiobol|
Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis and from the late 5th century onwards served merely as a seaport of its much larger neighbor. The denomination is variously described as a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GS68551. Silver trihemiobol, SNG ANS 280 - 283, SNG Cop 180 corr., SNG Berry 29, Klein 151, BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21, VF, grainy, toned, high relief, weight 0.811 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, die axis 180o, Eion (near Amfipoli, Greece) mint, c. 500 - 437 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above; reverse quadripartite incuse square; SOLD







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