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A bronze coin of Septimius Severus from Nikaia showing the infant Dionysos Coin Type: Bronze AE16 of Septimius Severus, 193 CE - 211 CE
Mint and Date: Nicaea in Bithynia, 193-211 CE
Size and Weight: 16mm, 2.86g
Laureate head right.
Reverse: NIKAIΩN
The infant Dionysos seated right in a liknon, raising both arms, with a thyrsos behind him.
Provenance: Lanz Numismatics (eBay), February 2009
Ref: See the Münzen & Medaillen Deutschland GmbH Auction 15, 21 October 2004, lot 326.
BW Ref: 072 040 137
Click on the picture for a larger scale view of the coin

Note: This type is sometimes called Dionysos Liknites. The link of Dionysos with the liknon derives from his Thracian origins as a grain deity (see J E Harrison-Prolegomena). That is before he became a wine loving deity. The child Dionysos in the liknon is said (by K Kerenyi) to be "The awakening child". It may be symbolic of the new sprouting corn. It is also related to the winter solstice. (From a note by the user hannibal2 on the Forum Classical Numismatics Discussion Board )

The content of this page was last updated on 21 February 2009