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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Animals| ▸ |Man-Faced Bull||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins Depicting a Man-Faced Bull

Agyrion, Sicily, 355 - 344 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Agyrion,| |Sicily,| |355| |-| |344| |B.C.|, |tetras|
Agyrion (modern Agira) was a Sikel city ruled by tyrants, one of whom, Agyris, was the most powerful ruler in the center of Sicily. In 392 B.C., he and Dionysius the Elder, together successfully resisted the Carthaginians under Magno. Agira was not colonized by the Greeks until the Corinthian general Timoleon drove out the last Sikel tyrant in 339 B.C. and settled 10,000 Greeks.

According to Caltabiano, Palagkaios was probably the Sikel name for the larger of the two local rivers (Salso Cimarosa today). Molinari and Sisci propose a Semitic origin, from the Akkadian palag-āsú, 'the gushing river.'
GB91174. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 125, 10; Potamikon 14; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Morcom -, VF, dark green patina, undersize flan, weight 2.685 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 270o, Agyrion (Agira, Sicily, Italy) mint, 355 - 344 B.C.; obverse AΓYPINAI counterclockwise before, young Herakles' head left, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse forepart of a man-faced bull (river-god Acheloios Palagkaios) left, ΠAΛAΓKAIOΣ horizontal above, dot border; rare; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00
 


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |The| |Sileraioi,| |Sicily,| |c.| |357| |-| |330| |B.C.|,
Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Metropolis, Thessaly, Greece Late 3rd - Early 2nd Century B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Metropolis,| |Thessaly,| |Greece
Late| |3rd| |-| |Early| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.|, |trichalkon|
The man-faced bull on the coinage of Metropolis is probably Acheloios Pamisos since Metropolis (modern Karditza) is located near the source of the Pamisos River. -- Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity by Nicholas J. Molinari & Nicola Sisci
GB87119. Bronze trichalkon, Potamikon 497; BCD Thessaly I 1208.1; BCD Thessaly II 483.1-3; Rogers 411; Pozzi 2828; BMC Thessaly p. 36, 3; HGC 4 257 (S), VF, well centered, dark patina, part of reverse legend weak, porous, weight 8.951 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Metropolis (Karditsa, Greece) mint, Late 3rd - Early 2nd Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛITΩN, forepart of river-god Acheloios Pamisos as man-faced bull left, head facing, ribbons hanging from head, Ω/Z monogram (control) below; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Herc. ex Macedon, March 1987, 3000 drs."; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


Cales, Campania, Italy, c. 265 - 240 B.C.

|Italy|, |Cales,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |265| |-| |240| |B.C.|, |AE| |20|
The Romans captured Cales in 335 B.C. and established a colony in 334 with Latin rights of 2,500 citizens. It was an important base in the war against Hannibal. Before 184 B.C. more settlers were sent there. After the Social War it became a municipium. Its fertile territory and manufacture of black glazed pottery, which was even exported to Etruria, made it prosperous. Inscriptions name six gates of the town: and there are considerable remains of antiquity, especially of an amphitheater and theater, of a supposed temple, a Roman necropolis, and other edifices.
GB73620. Bronze AE 20, SNG Cop 309; HN Italy 436, SNG ANS 183, cf. BMC Italy p. 79, 23 (star of eight rays vice O below), F, green patina, tight flan, weight 6.161 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 225o, Cales (Calvi Risorta, Italy) mint, c. 265 - 240 B.C.; obverse CALENO, laureate head of Apollo left, star behind; reverse man-faced bull right, star of sixteen rays above, Θ (or O?) below, CALENO in exergue; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.50
 


Metropolis, Thessaly, Greece 3rd Century B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Metropolis,| |Thessaly,| |Greece
3rd| |Century| |B.C.|, |trichalkon|
The man-faced bull on the coinage of Metropolis is probably Acheloios Pamisos since Metropolis (modern Karditza) is located near the source of the Pamisos River. -- Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity by Nicholas J. Molinari & Nicola Sisci
GB85095. Bronze trichalkon, Potamikon 497; BCD Thessaly I 1208.1; BCD Thessaly II 483.1-3; Rogers 411; Pozzi 2828; BMC Thessaly p. 36, 3; HGC 4 257 (S), Fair/Fine, rough, weight 7.229 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 135o, Metropolis (Karditsa, Greece) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛITΩN, forepart of river-god Acheloios Pamisos as man-faced bull left, head facing, ribbons hanging from head, Ω/Z monogram (control) below; from the Molinari Collection; scarce; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 317 - 270 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |317| |-| |270| |B.C.|, |AE| |17|
Before it was refounded as Neapolis (meaning "new city"), Naples was called Parthenope, named for the siren Parthenope, the daughter of the river-god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore. Parthenope cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus. Her body washed ashore at Naples. When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honor. Roman myth tells a different tale, in which a centaur called Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. In jealousy, Zeus turned the centaur into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius's anger is manifested in the mountain's frequent eruptions.
GB85092. Bronze AE 17, Potamikon 259; Taliercio IIa 26; Sambon 625; BMC Italy p. 111, 164; HN Italy 582, F, blue-green patina, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, corrosion, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 135o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 320 - 280 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, E behind; reverse river-god Acheloios Sebethos, as a man-faced bull, standing right, Phrygian helmet above, PMA monogram below bull, NEΠOΛITΩN in exergue; from the Molinari Collection; rare; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 







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REFERENCES|

Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (3 January 2012, New York).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Gardner, P. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 2. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece...Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 4. (Lancaster, PA, 2014).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Zur Münzen Akarnaniens" in NZ X (1878).
Jenkins, G. Coins of Punic Sicily. (Zürich, 1997).
Jenkins, G. The Coinage of Gela. AMUGS II. (Berlin, 1970).
Martini, R. & N. Vismara. Monetazione Provinciale Romana. Collezione Winsemann Falghera I-VI. (Milan, 1992).
Molinari, N. & N. Sisci. Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity. (Oxford, 2016).
Münzen & Medaillen (Deutschland). Sammlung BCD : Akarnanien und Aetolien. Auction 23 (18 October 2007, Stuttgart).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques; provenant de la collection de feu le prof. S. Pozzi. Auction 1. (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Italy. (London, 1873).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Rogers, E. The Copper Coinage of Thessaly. (London, 1932).
Rutter, N. Campanian Coinages 475-380 BC. (Edinburgh, 1979).
Rutter, N. ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. (Copenhagen, 1942-1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung. (Berlin, 1968-present).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection. (London, 1938 - 1949).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society. (New York, 1969 - present).
Taliercio, M. "Simboli, lettere, sigle sul bronzo di Neapolis" in Studi Breglia.

Catalog current as of Thursday, February 27, 2020.
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Man-Faced Bull