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Amphilochos - The Seer

Valerian I. AD 252-260
Mallos in Cilicia.
AE 31, 19.89g
bust cuirassed, laureate, r..
rev. MALLO COLONIA (lat.)
Amphilochos, nude except Chlamys, standing to l., holding laurel; at his feet
wild boar. Behind him tripod on platform with an egg(?) at top and a snake coiling around to eat the egg.
SC in ex.
SNG Levante 1298 (same obv. die); SNG France 1933 (same obv. die); BMC 13; SGIC 4498
Very rare (only 13 coins known from the time of Valerian), about VF, light roughness, small holes due to the fabrication.

Mallos was one of the oldest cities in Cilicia. It is told that the hero and seer Amphilochos was the founder. He was the son of Amphiaros, also a great hero and seer, and Eripyle.  A brother of Alkmaion he took part in the famous war of the Seven against Theben.  He seems to be one of the suitors of Helena and fought at Troy.  Together with the seer Kalchas he traveled to Klaros near Kolophon.  There Kalchas was defeated by Mopsos in a competition of seers and died of broken heart.

Mopsos, the son of Apollo and Manto, daughter of Teiresias, was the most famous seer in his time. Together Mopsos and Amphilochs founded Mallos in Cilicia. They make an arrangement for ruling Mallos alternately each for one year. Mopsos was first and Amphilochos went to his homeland Argos. When he came back a year later to take over as agreed, Mopsos refused and tried to chase him away. The embarrassed inhabitants suggested to decide the conflict by duel.  In this duel both killed each another. To avoid further controversy between the spirits of Mopsos and Amphilochos the pyres were erected on opposite sides.  But the spirits resolved their controversy, joined in friendship, and decided to establish a combined oracle. This oracle in Mallos was the most famous after Delphi in ancient times, actually it was said that its oracles were more reliable than those of Delphi. The priests got their answers in dreams and wrote them on wax plates. The price is said to have been two copper coins.

Under the reign of Severus Alexander Mallos became Roman colony. Therefore the Latin legends on the coin.

A discussion you can find here https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=22423.msg150311#msg150311

Der kleine Pauly
Robert von Ranke-Graves, Greek Mythology
Kerenyi, Griechische Heroen-Sagen
Hederich, Gründliches Mythologisches Lexikon

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