Featured Birth of a battlefield godess: Athena

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    You already know of the Victory/Nike carrying godess. The one with the fanciful Corinthian helmet, spear and shield with the head of the gorgon Medusa on it: Athena, godess of wisdom and warfare.
    Whom gave Athens its name and whom, to get revenge on her sister, Aphrodite, helped lead the Achaeans to victory in Homer's Illiad.

    Here we see our action heroine at rest:
    Pella,305-281 BC.
    Tetradrachm AR 27mm., 15,95g. Head of the deified Alexander the Great to right, wearing diadem with fluttering ends and with the horn of Ammon around his ear / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ, Athena, wearing robes and helmet, seated to left on throne, holding Nike on her right hand and resting her left elbow on large round shield adorned with a gorgoneion; to left monogram. very fine. Thompson 253; Müller 471.

    From The Illiad' "Athena flung her richly embroidered vesture, made with her own hands… donned the shirt of Jove, arming herself for battle... She threw her tasseled aegis about her shoulders… On her head she set her helmet of gold, with four plumes, and coming to a peak both in front and behind - decked with the emblems of a hundred cities; then she stepped into her flaming chariot and grasped the spear…''
    Yeah, she was a bad B!:jimlad:

    Even if the die cutters hammer wasn't always steady, Athena's spear was! My archaic Athena:
    Mysia. Lampsakos
    circa 500-450 BC.
    Obol AR
    7mm., 0,77g.
    Female janiform head / Helmeted head of Athena left within incuse square
    very fine. SNG BnF 1128-31.

    But does everyone remember how she was born?
    As you may recall, unlike that big bootied thirsty:kiss: for Ares' war wand (much to Hephaestus chagrin in the odyssey when he catches them in flagrante delicto), sister of hers, Aphrodite, Athena was the warrior to be pierced by nigh a man's spear and so was a virgin.
    But she was not to be any virgin. She was THE virgin that wasn't even born from a woman (at least she didn't enter the world from a woman)!
    For her daddy, Zeus, was told that, just like he had done, one day HIS son would take his throne and power. To avoid this Zeus, after having hurled his mighty massive thunderbolt;) (she says it was more like a light shower:facepalm:) at Metis in bed, turned her into a fly and ate her:yack: (I recommend doing the eating before hand:p)
    This way she could never give birth to the son who would sow his destruction.
    While pregnant and trapped inside Zeus, Metis forged Athena's helmet and robe.
    Zeus being in constant agony from that infernal/internal racket, either had Hephaestus clove open his head with axe or hit it with a hammer. Thus releasing a fully grown warrior. Who, thanks to mom, was already dressed and ready for battle!:punch:
    (It's a girl!)

    Despite the massive headache she gave him, Athena was always known as Zeus's favorite daughter:rolleyes:

    (My wife says this is how all girls are brought into the world. Thankfully she gave me three boys. So we named them strike one, strike two and strike three!)
    She has so many coin types:woot: Here are some more of mine...

    Winner of ugliest Athena tet award goes to (purchased before the flood)...
    ATTICA, Athens.
    After 393 BC. AR Tetradrachm (19 MM 16.67 gm). Helmeted head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / AQE, owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent behind; all in an incuse square. SNG Copenhagen 63; BMC Attica pg. 13, 129; Svoronos, Athenes pl. 20, 1. Previous: Savoca Coins

    My haunted Athena is always fun to chat with... until she drinks up all my absinthe:
    Antiochos I Soter
    Seleukid Kingdom (281-261 BC). AE (15mm, 2.49g). Smyrna or Sardes. Helmeted head of Athena facing / BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ. Nike standing left, holding wreath and palm frond, Monogram to outer left. SC 315a; HGC 9, 167.
    Former: Kairos

    My classical Lampsakos Athena. A very different style then my above archaic):
    Mysia, Lampsakos circa 390-330 BC. AR Diobol (11mm, 1.22g). Janiform female head, with circular earring / ΛΑΜ, helmeted head of Athena right . very fine SNG von Aulock 1295; Gaebler, "Die Silberprägung von Lampsakos", Nomisma XII, 52; SNG France 5, 1193. Former Kairos Numismatik

    Don't you worry. She even graces Macedonian(ish) shield coins :smuggrin:
    Pamphylia, Aspendos or Pisidia Selge
    Ae (2nd-1st century BC).
    Obv: Round shield with monogram ΠΘ or ΠO.
    Rev: Athena wearing crested Athenian helmet
    Condition: Very fine.
    Weight: 1.89 g.
    Diameter: 14 mm.
    Ref: BM Lycia p. 262 no. 55 and Numismata Graeca #850
    Ex Savoca

    And lastly, a coin that could've been used to clove open Zeus's head!
    ROMAN REPUBLIC. Anonymous. AE Aes Grave Triens (92.37 gms), Rome Mint, ca. 225-217 B.C. VERY FINE.
    Cr-35/3a; TV-53. Obverse: Helmeted head of Minerva left; four pellets (mark of value) below; all set upon raised disk; Reverse: Prow right; four pellets (mark of value) below; all set upon raised disk. A pleasing specimen despite its crudeness, with charming green surfaces. A test cut across Minerva's face is noted for completeness.
    Ex Stacks & Bowers

    I believe Athena is on more ancient coin types then any other man, woman, God or Godess. Thoughts? And please post and pile on those coins of hers to help prove me right!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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  3. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Great post Ryro, my favorite Athena. AA_Tridrachm_3 (6).jpg
    Hadrian, Cilicia Aegaea, circa 117 AD. AR Tridrachm 9.6 gm, GIC 1218. Toned.
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  4. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Ryro......Nice coins but that Soter scares the hell out of me!:nailbiting:
    Athena was my first ever Greek coin and here she is...
    Mysia, Pergamon . Circa 2nd Century BC. AE 18mm (5.31 gm).
    Obv.: Head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian Egret helmet.
    Rev.: ΑΘΗΝΑΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ (Athénas Nicéphore), trophy, consisting of crested helmet and cuirass with arms below; monogram to the right.
    SNG von Aulock 1374; SNG France 1884. VF.
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  5. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Great write-up @Ryro
    I have to say, as far as Goddesses go, Athena is pretty awesome. HOWEVER, I only have 1 coin with her represented in the FF collection. Compared to 20ish Victory's who is truly the best (fight me)

    Here the only Athena we have

    Elaea, Aeolis
    Circa 350-300 BC
    AE 10mm
    Obverse: Helmeted head of Athena left
    Reverse: Barley-corn in olive wreath
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  6. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    Nice write-up. I think you will not have a shortage of takers in your quest for Athena related coins. She was a popular lady! So popular, that in fact I have 4 coins with her on them even though my collection is still very small.

    First, my Lysimachus like your example above...


    Then, my corinth one that shows her helmet in all its glory:


    And of course my Athens tet:


    And I was going to originally post these three, until I remembered that I have another one! My double victoriatus!


    Thanks to your thread I realised that 1/3 of the coins in my collection has Athena on them. I need to diversify...
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  7. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    Athena Parthenos, Athens New Style c 164/3 BC

    One of about 60 Athens New Styles

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  8. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    Fun post, @Ryro :D.

    Athena, wow. We could fill a hundred pages here.

    I think this Corinth stater was my first Athena, back when I thought I'd stop with just one nice ancient coin. :hilarious::hilarious::hilarious:

    CORINTHIA, Corinth
    345-307 BCE
    AR stater, 8.65 gm
    Obv Pegasus flying left, qoppa below
    Rev: helmeted head of Athena left wearing necklace; mask of Silenus behind
    Ref: Ravel 1046. Calciati 408. Scarce variety.
    from Heritage Auctions, June 2013

    A sampling of other Athenas:

    CORINTHIA, Corinth
    circa 375-300 BCE
    AR stater, 22 mm, 8.55 g, 1h
    Obv: Pegasus flying left; qoppa below
    Rev: helmeted head of Athena left; A-P flanking neck truncation; to right, chimaera rampant left
    Ref: Ravel 1010; Pegasi 428; BCD Corinth 102; HGC 4, 1848
    ex CNG Inventory 828126 (November, 2008)
    ex Gorny & Mosch 170 (13 October 2008), lot 1381
    ex Giessener Münzhandlung 21 (22 March 1982), lot 37

    EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter
    AR tetradrachm, 27 mm, 17.0 gm (Attic standard)
    Alexandreia mint, struck 313/12 BCE
    Obv: Head of the deified Alexander III to right, wearing mitra of Dionysos and elephant skin headdress, with aegis around his neck, and with horn of Ammon on his forehead
    Rev: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ; Athena Alkidemos advancing right, hurling spear with her right hand and with shield over her extended left arm; to right, eagle with closed wings standing on thunderbolt to right with ΔΙ below
    Ref: Svoronos 33; Zervos series D, issue XIII; SNG Copenhagen 14; BMC 7

    CILICIA, Seleucia ad Calycadnum. Gordian III
    238-244 CE
    Æ 27 mm, 11 gm
    Obv: ...ΓOPΔIANO radiate and draped bust right; C/M dot within triangle (Howgego 670?)
    Rev: CEΛEVKEΩN; Athena advancing right, holding her shield with her extended left arm & preparing to hurl a spear at an anguipede giant (Enceladus?) who is throwing stones at her.
    Ref: c.f. SNG Levante 763

    KINGS OF MACEDON, Antigonos II Gonatas
    277/6-239 BCE, struck after 270 BCE, Amphipolis mint
    AR tetradrachm, 31mm, 17.06 g
    Obv: head of Pan in center of Macedonian shield, lagobolon over shoulder; shield decorated with stars within crescents
    Rev: BASILEWS ANTIGONOU, Athena Alkidemos walking left, brandishing thunderbolt and shield; helmet left, EMP monogram right
    Ref: SNGCop 1200v, EMP (maybe); R. Martin, "A Third-Century B.C. Hoard from Thessaly at the ANS," ANSMN 26, 536 (same obv. die).
    ex Demetrios Armounta Collection

    ATTICA, Athens
    c. 454-404 BCE
    AR tetradrachm; 17.21 gm, ~25 mm
    Obv: head of Athena right, with frontal eye
    Rev: owl standing right, head facing, closed tail feathers; olive sprig and crescent to left; AΘE downward in right field; all within incuse square
    Removed from an NGC slab; AU 5/5 strike, 3/5 surfaces, "Parliament Collection"

    CILICIA, Tarsos. Valerian I
    253-260 CE
    AE 32 mm, 19.06 gm
    Obv: AVKΛΙΠOVΛΙOVAΛЄPIANOCCЄ; Π - Π; radiate, draped, and cuirassed (?) bust right.
    Rev: TAPCOVMH TP OΠOΛЄΩC; A/M/K - Γ/Γ in fields; KOINOBOVΛION ЄΛЄVΘЄ__ in exergue; Athena seated left on throne, holding cornucopia and dropping a voting pebble into amphora to left; shield below.
    Ref: SNG Levante 1193; SNG BN 1821-2 (I do not have these reference books; references taken from similar ex CNG coin)
    ex Doug Smith

    SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysius I (400-345 BC)
    Æ 20 mm, 8.23 gm
    Struck c. 390 BCE
    Obv: head of Athena left, wearing wreathed Corinthian helmet pushed back on head
    Rev: hippocamp left
    Ref: Calciati 35. SNG ANS 426
    Formerly slabbed

    LUCANIA, Velia
    305-290 BCE
    AR didrachm, 17.5 mm, 7.3 gm
    Obv: Head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet, decorated with griffin; at left, A
    Rev: YEΛHTΩN; lion standing/walking right on exergual line; above dolphin between I and Φ
    Ref: SNG ANS 1375-6

    SICILY, Kamarina. 420-405 BCE. AE tetras, 3.34 gm. Large head of Athena left, wearing crested helmet with wings. Owl standing left, with lizard in talon; KAMA (retrograde) upward in right field; three dots in exergue. Westermark / Jenkins 198 (see FIG. Pl. 35 / 198.24), SNG ANS 1230 Calciati III no. 28/4 (dotted-border type)

    SICILY, Kamarina. 420-405 BCE. AE tetras, 3.11 gm. Head of Athena right, wearing winged Phrygian helmet; dotted border. KAMA (legend from top to bottom), with owl standing left, lizard in talons; three dots in exergue. Westermark / Jenkins 202, SNG ANS -., Calciati III No. 39.
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  9. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Great coin! These trophy ones were some of my earliest Athenas (maybe my first as well)
    Check out the dazzling tripod counter mark!
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  10. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Supporter! Supporter

    My Athena

    Gabala, Seleucis ad Pieria
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  11. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Some of my favorite Athenas:

    Mysia, Pergamon, 200-133 BC.
    Bronze Æ 15.7 mm, 3.55 g, 12 h.
    Obv: Head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet ornamented with star.
    Rev: AΘΗ-ΝΑΣ ΝΙΚΗΦΟΡΟΥ, owl standing facing on palm, with wings spread,TK monogram left and ΠΛ right.
    Refs: SNG Copenhagen 388 (same); c.f. SNG von Aulock 1375-6, BMC 197-199, SNG France 1920-2, SNG BN 1913-6 (various monograms).

    Phrygia, Apameia, ca. 88-40 BC.
    Greek Æ 23 mm, 7.71 g.
    Magistrate Philokratos son of Aristos.
    Obv: Bust of Athena to right, wearing aegis and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin.
    Rev: AΠAMEΩN / ΦIΛOKPATOY APIΣΤΕOY, Eagle alighting right above Maeander pattern; to l. and r., eight-pointed star above piloi of the Dioskouroi.
    Refs: BMC 25.87, 105-108; SNG Cop 168-69.

    [​IMG] Macrinus and Diadumenian, AD 217-218.
    Roman provincial Æ Pentassarion, 12.06 g, 26.5 mm, 6 h.
    Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, Legate Pontius Furius Pontianus, June/Aug 217-Nov/Dec 217.
    Obv: ΑΝΤ Κ ΟΠΕΛ CΕV ΜΑΚΡΕΙΝΟC Κ Μ ΟΠΕ ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝΟC, Confronted heads of Macrinus right, laureate, and Diadumenian left, bare.
    Rev: VΠ ΠΟΝΤΙΑΝΟV ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ, Athena wearing helmet and aegis, standing left, holding owl and inverted spear; E in right field.
    Refs: AMNG I 734v.; Hristova & Jekov; Varbanov 1170a; BMC 30v.; Moushmov 537; Wiczay 2148v.

    Faustina II, AD 147-175.
    Roman provincial triassarion, 7.19 g, 21.7 mm, 7 h.
    Thrace, Pautalia, AD 161-175.
    Obv: ΦΑVCΤΕΙΝΑ-CΕΒΑCΤΗ, draped bust of Faustina II, right; double band of pearls around head.
    Rev: ΟVΛΠΙΑC ΠΑV-ΤΑΛΙΑC, Athena seated, l., holding owl and spear; resting foot on footrest; leaning against seat, shield.
    Refs: RPC IV 10035, Ruzicka 108.
    Notes: Double die match to RPC IV 10035(1) = Ruzicka 108(2) = Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France 957 (ex 779).

    Gordian III, AD 238-244, with Tranquillina.
    Roman provincial AE pentassarion, 11.34 gm, 29.7 mm.
    Anchialos, Thrace, AD 241-244.
    Obv: ΑVΤ Κ Μ ΑΝΤ ΓΟΡΔΙΑΝΟC ΑVΓ CΕΒ ΤΡΑΝ-ΚVΛΛΙΝΑ, confronted busts.
    Rev: ΟVΛΠΙΑΝWΝ ΑΡΧΙΑΛΕ-WΝ, Athena seated left, holding patera and inverted spear; shield at base of throne.
    Refs: AMNG II (Strack) 662; Moushmov 2937; Varbanov 752.
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  12. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Athena is my favorite character in the Greek mythology.
    Here are 2 in my collection. :happy:

    Attica. Early Transition Type, 455-440 BC.

    Claudis AS RIC 116 Small.jpg
    Claudius As.
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  13. TIF

    TIF Well that didn't last long :D Supporter

    A stately seated Athena:

    KINGS of PERGAMON, Eumenes I
    263-241 BCE
    AR tetradrachm 29 mm, 16.94 gm
    Obv: head of Philetairos right, wearing laurel wreath
    Rev: ΦIΛETAIPOY; Athena enthroned left, right hand resting on shield set at her feet, gorgon on shield; left elbow resting on small sphinx seated right; transverse spear in background, ivy leaf above knee, monogram on throne, bow to right
    Ref: BMC Greek (Mysia) 31, p.115; SNG France 1606–9
    Formerly slabbed, NGC Ch AU 5/5 3/5, Fine Style
    Ex Dr. Spencer Paterson Collection of Ancient coins, Great Collections 15 Sept 2019
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  14. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    If you are ever in need of a left arm, I'll gladly trade you mine for that King of Macedonian shields
    (and dairy airs) of yours!:artist::wideyed::woot:
    Though, your Soter'pop is just as attractive a coin... and celebration of the female form, I'm both a shield and butt guy:shame:.
    And don't even get me started on those Corinthian beauties (he wrote, wiping the sweat from his brow)...
    I've got a pretty fun promachos with her step mom on the obverse:
    I had to use electrolysis many times to uncover this off centered beauty with just a glimpse of that thigh and booty:
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  15. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I posted this before, but it is fun to see the dichotomy between Sparta and Athens, with the City of Sparta having Athena as their Patron Goddess.

    I am reading “The Spartans” by Paul Cartledge. He states that Taras was Sparta’s only colony (Italia - Magna Graeca, Tarantum). AND, that Athena was a very important Goddess to the Spartans. Sparta highly revered her, and she was the “Patron Goddess of Sparta”... page 56 and 58.

    Ergo, this is WHY Athena / Owl is on a SPARTA colony!
    Calabria Tarentum / Taras AR Drachm 18mm 3.1g 3rd C BCE Athena Corinthian Scylla OWL olive TAP ZOP HN Italy 975 Vlasto 1052

    Temple of Athena Chalkioikos, Acropolis of Sparta

    Temple of Athena Chalkioikos
    The temple of Athena Chalkioikos was designed by the architect Vathyklis from Magnesia. It is located to the top of the Spartan Acropolis and the north side of the theater. Interiors of the temple were adorned with copper sheets (from 6th B.C.) from which the temple derives its name (Copper = Chalkioikos). The Temple of Athena Chalkiikos had a bronze statuette of Athena, statue of Leonidas, statuette of a trumpeter, and a cult statue created and erected by a local man called Gitiadas.
    Source: Archaeology of Myth: Sparta
    http://www.academicmentoronline.com/2017/05/archeology-myth-sparta/#:~:text=The temple of Athena Chalkioikos was designed by,cult statue created and erected by a

    I always liked this "S"-Eating Grin on this life-size statue, possibly / thought to be King Leonidas, or a Hoplite. Excavated from the Acropolis area of Sparta in CE 1925.

    What a figure at Thermopylae.
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  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    RR Anon AE Triens 211-206 BC Minerva Prow Cr 56-4 Sear 911
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  17. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    upload_2020-7-25_18-29-31.png RASENNA (ETRURIA)
    Goddess upload_2020-7-25_18-34-44.png MENRVA
    (forerunner of Rome's Minerva)

    Rasenna, Fufluna, upload_2020-7-25_18-32-51.png , Etruria Populonia
    AR 2-1/2 As
    3rd C BCE
    Radiate Fem Hd (probly upload_2020-7-25_18-34-54.png MENRVA ) CII
    EC 104 HN Italy 179
    RARE 2 exist

    Attached Files:

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  18. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Athens. Athena/Athena

    Antiochia ad Maeandrum

    Laodicea ad Mare

    Thessaly, Koinon of

    Aspendos AE14

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  19. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Great writeup, @Ryro... the mother of all Athena threads!
    This really is the best when-your-coin-comes-life graphic ever. :D

    Some of my favorite Athenas...

    ATTICA Athens - AR Tetradrachm 1st New 3111.jpg

    EPEIROS Ambrakia - Stater Pegasos 3731.jpg

    Lysimachos - Tetradrachm Klazomenai 3403.jpg

    THESSALY Pharsalos - AR Drachm ex stevex6 BCD 3103.jpg

    THESSALY Pharsalos - AE Trichalkon ex BCD 3501.jpg
    Gordian III - Cilicia Selecia Gigantomachy 3413.jpg
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  20. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Of course and immediately it's obvious that your stone cold Lysimachos has caused my lower lip to perspire. These portraits truly are underrated masterpieces of ancient die cutters (we get it @Alegandron they weren't Celators! #thankshomie)
    You all clearly humble me with your Athens tets and Corinthians:eggface:
    But that double vic:cigar: Get out town!!!:woot:
    Here's another daddy's girl coin (pretty sweet if you think about it)
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  21. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    LOL, Homey

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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