Featured Ares and Aphrodite

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Jochen1, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Dear Friends of ancient mythology!

    One of the most famous events in ancient mythology was the discovery of the love couple Ares and Aphrodite by Hephaistos.

    The Coin:
    Pontos, Amaseia, Marcus Aurelius, AD 161-180
    AE 34, 19.6g, 33.6mm, 165°
    struck AD 163/4 (year 165 of the era of Amaseia)
    Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
    Rev.: AΔP AMAC NEΩWK.K.MHT K.ΠRΩ ΠON / ET PZE (year 165)
    Left, Ares in armour, stg. frontal, head r., holding spear in right hand, left hand resting on shield; right, Aphrodite, nude, stg. l., covering with r. hand her breasts and with l. hand her private parts.
    Ref.: SNG von Aulock 22; Rec. Gen. 18a; Imhoof-Blumer G.M. 560, 3
    rare, F+
    amaseia_marc_aurel_SNG aulock22.jpg
    (issued by the people) of Adriana Amasia (the city) of the Neokoros and the Metropolis and the First of Pontos

    Ares embodied the very essence of war, which earned him the reputation of a cruel god. He was the son of Zeus and Hera, who were not very proud of their son. In the battle Ares was accompanied by his uncle Hades, the god of the underworld, his sister Eris, the goddess of discord, her son Strife and his two sons Phobos and Deimos (terror and fear). Ares went into battle on the side of the Trojans, in a chariot drawn by his horses Fire and Terror. He drove down to help Aphrodite defend her son Aineas and saved him from certain death by the Achaians. While Ares covered Aineas with his shield, Aphrodite fled to Olympos, where she nursed her wounds.

    Ares never married, but he had a long-lasting affair with Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. They had three children together, Phobos, Deimos and Eros.

    Aphrodite herself was married to Hephaistos, the god of blacksmiths. Hephaistos limped and was dirty and ugly. Aphrodite was not very happy with him. She had many lovers, but her favorite was Ares. Once again they lay jokingly together when their intermezzo was rudely interrupted. Helios, the sun god, from whom little, if anything, could be kept secret, had one day spotted the couple rejoicing at each other. Immediately Helios delivered the news of this incident to Hephaistos, who was understandably angry. Hephaistos decided to catch the couple in flagrante, and so he made a net to catch the illicit lovers. At the right time he threw out the net and caught Ares and Aphrodite in a very intimate embrace.

    But Hephaistos was not yet satisfied with his revenge - he invited the Olympic gods and goddesses to contemplate the unhappy couple. For reasons of shame, the goddesses raised objections, but the male gods came and witnessed. Some made remarks about the beauty of Aphrodite, others said they would only too gladly change places with Ares, and everyone laughed. Of course except Ares, who was beside himself, and except Aphrodite, who, if goddesses could still blush like virgins, certainly did.

    Only with difficulty did they manage to free themselves from the net, and Poseidon helped them. And Aphrodite rushed to Paphos and Ares to his home in Thrace.

    Not even the god of war could resist love. We have heard that not love was defeated by Ares, but Ares by love - by Aphrodite. And since the victor is always stronger than the defeated, and Ares rules over all who are more powerful than others, she must be the most powerful.

    I have added
    (1) the picture of a wall mosaic from Pompeii and

    (2) the picture 'Venus and Mars in the network of Volcano' by Martin van Heemskerk, 1536.


    (1) Homer, Odyssey VIII 361
    (2) Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book II, XI,585

    Best regards
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
    TIF, Sulla80, Ryro and 8 others like this.
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  3. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Stater of Nagidos 374-356 B.C. Obv Aphrodite seated left crowned by cupid. Rv. Dionysos standing left Sear 5585 10.81 grms 22 mm nagidos 1.jpeg
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Funny. I just perchased one of these from Warren Esty. Maybe not as nice as yours, but still it is a fine example. I haven't received it yet, so I'm tempting the post office gods, but here it is:
    Stater of Nagidos in Cilicia. 23 mm. 9.93 grams. 356-333 BC.
    Aphrodite seated left in diaphanous dress, Eros behind crowning her with wreath
    Dionysos standing left, holding cluster of grapes and thyrsos.
    Two test cuts. SNG Levante 13 "c. 360-333 BC." SNG France 2, 28. Sear Greek 5579.
    cmezner, PeteB, Jochen1 and 1 other person like this.
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