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   View Categories Home > Catalog > |Greek Coins| > |Geographic - All Periods| > |Anatolia| > |Mysia| > |Pergamon| > GS81786
Pergamon, Mysia, c. 133 - 67 B.C.
|Pergamon|, |Pergamon,| |Mysia,| |c.| |133| |-| |67| |B.C.|, The cista mystica was a basket used for housing sacred snakes in connection with the initiation ceremony into the cult of Bacchus (Dionysus). In the Dionysian mysteries a snake, representing the god and possibly symbolic of his phallus, was carried in a cista mystica on a bed of vine leaves. The cista in the mysteries of Isis may also have held a serpent, perhaps associated with the missing phallus of Osiris.

The thyrsus is the staff carried by Bacchus and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy.
GS81786. Silver cistophoric tetradrachm, Pinder 95; BMC Mysia p. 125, 108, VF, toned, Pergamon (Bergama, Turkey) mint, weight 12.639g, maximum diameter 28.1mm, die axis 0o, c. 133 - 67 B.C.; obverse Cista mystica with half-open lid, from which a snake emerges, all within wreath of ivy with berries; reverse Bow-case with snakes, ∆I above, Pergamon monogram to left, thyrsos to right; SOLD











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