Thursday, March 17, 2011

Type 47: Two Erotes with Leto and her Twins

The Titan Leto was one of Zeus’s many extramarital adventures. Persecuted by his angry wife Hera, she wandered from place to place until (according to one version of the legend) she finally reached Delos, where she gave birth to the twins Apollo and Artemis. 

On coins of Cremna in Pisidia she is shown holding up her childrenwith Erotes bearing torches at her feet.

There is a unique coin of Marcus Aurelius in Corinth (RPC IV, 10089, in Berlin) which might show Aphrodite/Venus (or Io, or Leto?) advancing r., holding a single child (Eros/Amor, or Melicertes-Palaemon?) and with a dolphin, head downwards, on the r. below.

* Cremna in Pisidia, coins of Septimius Severus (illustration), Julia Domna, Caracalla and Aurelian (illustration). On the Severan coins, the empress and her sons Caracalla and Geta can be identified with Leto and her twins. The first part of the reverse legend refers to Julia Domna as Mother of the Camps”: she accompanied her husband on his military campaigns and was thus a mother figure to the troops, though it could also be seen as a salutory reminder of the loyalty of the army to the house of Severus and to the hereditary succession represented by the two children.

Æ 33, 21.78 g. Obv. IMP C L SEP SEVER P PER AVG. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Septimius Severus r., seen from behind. Rev. IVLI(ae) AVG(ustae) MAT(ri) CASTR(orum) C(oloni) CR(emnenses), COL CR. As described above.
Note: I made no record of the origin of the above photographs. If the owner of the images or of the coin would be so kind as to contact me, I'd be happy to add an appropriate acknowledgement (or delete the images if required).

Æ 32mm, 18.36 g. Obv. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Aurelian r., seen from behind. Rev. LATO COL CREMNE. As described above (Photos courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group, Inc., www.cngcoins.com).


Corpus

Cremna / Septimius Severus
Reference: von Aulock, Münzen und Städte Pisidiens II, 1167 
Rarity: RRR

Cremna / Julia Domna
Reference: von Aulock, Münzen und Städte Pisidiens II, 1191 (this coin is apparently lost)
Rarity: RRR

Crema / Caracalla
References: von Aulock, Münzen und Städte Pisidiens II, 1199-1201; BMC 7; ANS 1968.244.26
Rarity: RR

Cremna / Aurelian
References: von Aulock, Münzen und Städte Pisidiens II, 1687-96; Lindgren III, 699
Rarity: Common


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