LESBOS, Mytilene

AE15. 3.41g, 15.1mm
MINTED: LESBOS, Mytilene, circa 3rd-2nd centuries BC
REF: BMC 106-20 var.; HGC 6, 1051
OBVERSE: Head of Zeus-Ammon, beardless, horned and bound with taenia.

REVERSE: M-Y/T-I, Facing herm of bearded Dionysos.



Good Fine.  Attractive two-tone colour.  Interesting depiction of a herm of the god Dionysos on the reverse. 

A herm was an ancient Greek statue, typically plain in design and rectangular in shape, but topped with a head or bust, typically of a deity, and sometimes, with male genitals carved on to it.   They were placed in front of houses, tombs, temples, libraries, gymnasiums and other public places.  They were believed to have been able to ward off evil and ill-intent, but sometimes, such as when they were placed at road crossings or at the borders of cities, they also served a practical purpose as signposts or boundary markers. 


Historical Notes:

Mytilene, the largest city on the island of Lesbos in the northeastern Aegean Sea, was known in ancient times for its wealth and culture.  Its famous citizens included the poetess Sappho and the sage and military leader Pittacus, who lived between 7th and 6th centuries BC.  After his time in Macedon tutoring the young Alexander the Great, Aristotle spent two years in Mytilene before returning to Athens.  

LESBOS, Mytilene . 3rd-2nd centuries BC . AE15 . Herm of Dionysos

SKU: 3763
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