Sunday, March 13, 2011

Type 42: Eros or Erotes with a Standing Figure of Heracles

Eros is represented with a standing figure of Heracles on coins of Pautalia in Thracia, Bithynium-Claudiopolis and Nicomedia in Bithynia, and Temenothyrae in Phrygia.

* Pautalia in Thracia, large coins (medallions?) of Antoninus Pius. The complex reverse shows Heracles standing three-quarters l., holding a torch in his extended r. and a club in his l. (with his lionskin draped over his arm), behind him to l. a column topped by a standing figure, at his feet two small Erotes.

Æ 40, 7 h, 64.38 g. Obv. AVT KAI T ΛI AΔPI ANTΩNINOC. Draped bust r. Rev. HΓEM ΠON[sic]ΠEIOY OΠEICKOY, in ex. [Π]AVTAΛIΩNTΩN. As described above (Photos courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.,

* Bithynium-Claudiopolis in Bithynia, a coin of Caracalla (not illustrated), with Heracles and Eros standing r.

* Nicomedia in Bithynia, a coin of Commodus, showing Heracles standing r. in something like the “Weary Heracles" pose, his r. behind his back, his l. holding his club and lionskin downwards onto an altar (?), and with a tiny figure (Eros?) fluttering in front of him. The figure has no obvious wings, and Heracles is sometimes represented holding his son Telephus (see But None of These is Eros), but why should Telephus be floating in the air? Eros therefore seems the more likely interpretation of the figure.


Æ 26, 8 h, 11.83 g. Obv. [A K ] M AY KO ANTΩNIN. Laureate bust r., some drapery over far shoulder. Rev. MHTP NEΩ NIKOM. As described above. 

* Temenothyrae in Phrygia, large coins (medallions?) of the period of Philip I (not illustrated), with head of the Senate on the obverse and on the reverse Heracles with Eros.


Pautalia / Antoninus Pius
Reference: Varbanov 4388
Rarity: RR-RRR (according to the auction house CNG, there are altogether three known examples of this coin)

Bithynium-Claudiopolis / Caracalla
Reference: SNG von Aulock 304 
Rarity: RRR

Nicomedia / Caracalla
Previously unpublished? 
Rarity: RRR

Temenothyrae / Senate
References: BMC 12; Macdonald/Hunter, II, 494
Rarity: RRR

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