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A bronze coin of the emperor Gordian III from Hadrianopolis in Thrace showing Cybele and a Corybant. Coin Type:Bronze AE26 of Gordian III, Caesar 238 CE, Augustus 238-244 CE.
Mint and Date: Hadrianopolis in Thrace, 238-244 CE.
Size and Weight: 26mm, 7.94g.
Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind.
Reverse: AΔPI-AN and in ex: OΠOΛEI/TΩN (the ΩN ligate)
Cybele seated facing, head left, on a lion leaping to the right. She is robed and wears a kalathos, rests her right hand on a tympanum supported on the lion's rump, and holds a transverse sceptre in her left arm. Partly obscured by the head and forelegs of the lion, a Korybant dances, facing away, head left. He is bare to the waist, wears a crested helmet and holds aloft a shield in his left hand and a curved sword in his right.
Provenance: slaveycoins (eBay), March 2010.
Ref: Varbanov II (English) 3997 (misnumbered 3797) (double die match); Jurukova 570 (V248/R554).
BW Ref: 060 048 155
Click on the picture for a larger scale view of the coin

Note: Varbanov calls the object in the Korybant's right hand a fackel (torch), but it is not very clear on his specimen. On this one, it is completely on the flan and looks more like a curved sword. Although a torch would make sense for a night-time procession, a sword is also fully in keeping both with the tradition and with the shield. But the identification as either is far from certain as yet.

The content of this page was last updated on 13 March 2010