Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Type 46: Eros with Dionysus and Apollo in a Biga

Dionysus holding a thyrsus and Apollo playing the lyre are represented on coins of Eumeneia in Phrygia riding r. in a biga drawn appropriately by a goat and a pantheress; riding on the back of the goat is a little Eros playing the double-flute.
On coins like this one the Eumeneians stressed their Achaean (colonist) origins; other issues show Hera of the Argives. There is a similar motif on coins of Tralles in Lydia, a city that claimed to be of Argive origin (though on these coins it is Silenus, not Eros, who is riding on the goat). Far from being mutually excluding Nietzschean opposites, Apollo and Dionysus were half-siblings, both were gods of music, and they shared a temple at Delphi. However, from a modern, (post-)Nietzschean perspective, the image of the gods of rationality and irrationality riding happily together, with Love as their driver, is delightful symbolism! 

* Eumeneia in Phrygia, coins of Antoninus Pius with biga to l. (not illustrated) or to r.

Æ 25, 6 h, 9.95 g. Obv. AYTO KAIC ANTΩ[NEINOC]. Laureate, cuirassed bust r. with aegis Rev. EYMENEΩN AXA[IΩN]. As described above.


Eumeneia / Antoninus Pius (biga to r.) 
References: RPC IV, 1991; BMC 58; SNG Leypold 1539 
Rarity: Scarce

Eumeneia / Antoninus Pius (biga to l.)
Reference: RPC IV, 2966
Rarity: RRR

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