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

Thanatos

Thanatos (death) is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius, but he holds an inverted torch representing a life extinguished. By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

|Nikopolis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Nikopolis| |ad| |Istrum,| |Moesia| |Inferior||assarion|
The figure on the reverse is most often identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP97238. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.16.16 (R3), Moushmov 926, AMNG I/I 1367 (R3) var. (leg.), Varbanov I 2481 (R3) var. (obv. leg., bust), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, F, rough, edge ragged, part of reverse legend not struck, weight 3.040 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 30o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV KAI CEVHP, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, winged Thanatos standing right, legs crossed legs, leaning on reversed torch on right set on low base; scarce; $60.00 (49.20)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

|Hadrianopolis|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| || |217| |A.D.,| |Hadrianopolis,| |Thrace||AE| |20|
The figure on the reverse is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP89895. Bronze AE 20, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 390 (V199/R379), Varbanov II 3526 (R4), SNG Cop 571, BMC Thrace -, VF, brown tone, attractive style, slightly ragged flan with small edge splits, weight 3.986 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 30o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT K M AVP C EV - ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Thanatos standing right, winged, legs crossed, leaning on inverted extinguished torch; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Sunday, January 23, 2022.
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