Thursday, March 24, 2011

Doubtful: Eros in a Temple

The existence of coins with this reverse type remains unconfirmed. The two “sightings” are not from mints that you might expect, like Thespiae in Boeotia or Parium in Mysia, but from Dium in Macedonia and the Koinon of Bithynia, and both are uncertain.

Mionnet (Supplement III, 414) describes a coin of Severus Alexander from Dium, but with an obverse inscription not listed in Varbanov. I suggest that (if the coin is indeed from Dium) this is probably a misreading of a worn coin with the well-known reverse type of Asclepius in a temple.

There is a Koinon of Bithynia coin of Hadrian (Waddington, Recueil général, 42) that purportedly shows two statues above the pediment of an octostyle temple: a winged figure (Eros?), on the left, pursuing a naked figure, on the right. The coin is not illustrated, and is described as having been seen in trade. Its existence has not been confirmed by RPC III. More certain are the coins of Hadrian and Sabina with the same reverse of an octostyle temple (the temple of Rome and Augustus at Nicomedia)  including a tiny figure of a sacrificing Genius” in the pediment (RPC III, 987, 1013-14, 1023-24), but hardly an Eros (the same figure is shown full-size on RPC 965).

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