Dionysos the Saviour

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Maroneia was an ancient city situated on the coast between the mouths of the Evros and the Nestos river. It was named after Maron, son of Euanthes, a priest of Apollo, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he afterwards intoxicates Polyphemos. Maron is also called a son of Dionysos. Maroneia has a famous wine which was said to be capable of mixture with twenty times its quantity of water.

    Thrace, Maroneia. AR Tetradrachm, struck circa 189/8-49/5 B.C.
    Obverse: Head of youthful Dionysos to right, wearing ivy wreath.
    Reverse: ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΜΑΡΩΝΙΤΩΝ Dionysos, nude but for chlamys draped over his left arm, standing left, holding grape bunch in his right hand, two narthex stalks in his left; flanking his feet, two monograms.
    Reference: HGC 3.2, 1556. Cf. Schönert-Geiss 1347-9 (dies not recorded).
    13,55g; 31.5mm
    From the Vineyard Collection, ex I. Vecchi FPL 7, October 1997, 260.

    I really liked the style of this tetradrachm, it is late Hellenic and kind of 'barbaric'. Schönert-Geiss notes that this style is one of the last of the series, placing the mintage of this coin definitely in the early to mid 1st century BC. The same type minted in the 2nd century BC has a more artistic style compared to this coin. This type is similar to the late tetradrachms of Thasos island but this coin celebrates Dionysos as saviour rather than Herakles. Dionysos is widely visible on the coinage of Maroneia and is definitely an important, if not, the most important deity of the city.

    Please share your coins of Maroneia and Dionysos!
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    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Very cool, starting with the style, as you note. Evocative of how late this is for a polity on the northern frontier of the former Alexandrian Empire. Is there a similar decline in, just for one instance, Baktrian coins?
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  4. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Nice coin @Pavlos !

    I don’t have any coins from Maroneia but I do have a Dionysus tetradrachm from Thrace.
    Islands off Thrace
    Thasos AR Tetradracm, struck ca. 140-110 BC
    Dia.: 29 mm
    Wt.: 16.58 g
    Obv.: Wreathed head of Dionysus, right
    Rev.: Hercules standing right holding club; ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ in left field, ΗΡΑΚΛΕΟΥΣ in right field, ΘΑΣΙΟΝ in exergue. Μ to left of figure.
    Ref.: Thasiennes 51
    Ex arnoldoe Collection
  5. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Pavlos.....Great looking coin!...No silver or coins from Maroneia here, but do have a humble bronze of her...
    Pontos, Amisos. temp. Mithradates VI, c. 105-85 or 85-65 BC. Æ (16mm, 3.98g, 12h). Struck under Mithradates VI.
    Obverse..Ivy wreathed head of Dionysos right.
    Reverse..Filleted thyrsos, bell attached with fillet, AMI-ΣOY flanking across field, monogram lower right.
    Mint..Amisos (Samsun, Turkey)
    SNG Black Sea 1192-5; HGC 7, 251. Good VF
    DI BLACK.jpg
  6. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    As mentioned, this is a type I've been looking out for for some time. Annnd that right there is a showstopper buddy:wideyed::snaphappy::artist::cigar: HUGE COINGRATS!!!
    As you recall some believe my new dream find is of Alexander as Dionysos, except covering those luxurious locks with a helmet (was I talking about Dionysos or Alexander with the luscious locks :wacky:)

    Seleukos I Nikator,
    312-281 BC. Drachm (Silver, 16.5 mm, 4.25 g, 12 h), probably Seleukeia on the Tigris, after circa 305/4 BC . Bust of Alexander the Great to right, as Dionysos, wearing helmet covered with a panther skin and adorned with a bull's horn and ear, and with a panther's skin tied around his shoulders. Rev. ΒΑΣIΛΕΩΣ [ΣΕ]ΛΕΥΚΟΥ Nike standing to right, placing wreath on trophy; between Nike and trophy, monogram. HGC 9, 35. SC 197. Toned. Very fine. Ex: Nomos Obols

    Still trying to figure our what this beauties counter mark is?
    SYRIA, Seleukis and Pieria. Apameia. Dated year Delta 0T left (year 304). = 49-48 BC. Litra. Head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath, “ME” monogram in left field. / Thyrsos; date to inner left. RPC I 4347. 21 mm, 7,96 g good very fine. scarce
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Really nice tets in this thread. I have only AEs. They look a lot like the OP...except they are bronze and really cruddy:

    Maroneia AE Dionysios lot Jul 2020 (0).jpg

    Maroneia, Thrace Æ 17
    Roman Rule
    (c. 146-45 B.C.)

    Wreathed head of Dionysos right / M[APΩNI]TΩN, Dionysos standing left, holding bunch of grapes and narthex (giant fennel) stalks, monogram lower left.
    Schönert-Geiss Maroneia 1566; BMC 80; SNG Cop 645.
    (6.06 grams / 17 mm)

    Here's another, bigger, greener example:

    Maroneia AE lot Oct 2018 (0).jpg
    Maroneia, Thrace Æ 24
    (c. 150-100 B.C.)

    Wreathed head of Dionysos / ΔIONIΣOY ΣΩTHPOΣ MAPΩNITΩN, Dionysos naked
    standing left, holding grapes and two spears; ΡΔY monogram.
    SNG Cop 643 var. (monogram); BMC Thrace p. 130, 74; Schönert-Geiss 1434 ff.
    (9.12 grams / 24 mm)

    This is the biggest one, at 29 mm. It has suffered:

    Maroneia - AE Dionysus Jan 2020 (3).JPG

    Maroneia, Thrace Æ 29
    (after 146 B.C.)

    Wreathed head of Dionysos / [ΔIONYΣOΣ ΣΩTHΡOΣ?] to right &left of Dionysos, naked, standing left, holding bunch of grapes and two spears; [PAY monogram at bottom left?].
    Schoenert-Geiss 1504-1507; BMC 74 (attribution uncertain).
    (14.83 grams / 29 x 24 mm)
    cmezner, Edessa, TheRed and 9 others like this.
  8. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I have nothing from Maroneia, but I do have two coins depicting Dionysos -- although one of the portrayals is very tiny; more of a control or mint symbol. Both are from Lydia, and both fall in what I like to call the "Republican Provincial" category:

    Lydia, Philadelphia, AE 17, Late 2nd/Early 1st Centuries BCE, Hermippos, son of Hermogenes [father's name known from other coins], archiereus [magistrate]. Obv. Head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy-wreath and band across forehead, [Φ]ΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΕ[ΩΝ] vertically behind / Rev. Spotted pantheress [leopard] walking left, with head turned back to right, cradling thyrsos bound with fillet (ribbon) against left shoulder, right foreleg raised; ΑΡΧΙΕΡ-ΕΥΣ above, ΕΡΜΙΠΠΟΣ in exergue. Seaby II 4720 [Sear, D., Greek Coins and their Values, Vol. II, Asia & Africa (Seaby 1979), at p. 430 (ill.)]; BMC 22 Lydia 16 [Head, B.V. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Lydia (London 1901) at p. 189]; SNG Von Aulock II 3057 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia (Berlin 1962)]; SNG Copenhagen 340 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Copenhagen, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Part 27, Lydia Part 1 (Copenhagen 1947)]; Imhoof-Blumer 8 [Imhoof-Blumer, Friedrich, Lydische Stadtmünzen, neue Untersuchungen (Leipzig 1897) at pp. 114-115]; Mionnet IV No. 536 [Mionnet, Théodore E., Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines, Vol. IV, Lydie (Paris 1809) at p. 98]. 17 mm., 5.02 g. [With old collector’s envelope.]

    Lydia, Philadelphia AE 17 (Dionysos-Panther).jpg

    Lydia, Tralleis/Tralles, AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm, 127/126 BCE or 122/121 BCE, Magistrate Ptol-. Obv. Cista mystica with lid ajar and serpent emerging; all within ivy wreath / Rev. Bowcase (gorytos) with two serpents (one to left and one to right, heads at top); H [= date = Year 8 = 127/126 BCE or 122/121 BCE] over ΠTOΛ [PTOL] above, between serpents’ heads, TPAΛ [TRAL] in left field; to right, Dionysos in short chiton standing facing, head left, holding thyrsos in right hand and mask of Silenos in left hand. SNG Copenhagen 662-663 var. [different year] [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Copenhagen, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Part 28, Lydia Part 2 (Copenhagen 1947)]; BMC 22 Lydia 48 (p. 333) var. [different year] [Head, B.V., A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 22, Lydia (London, 1901); SNG von Aulock 3262-3264 var. [different year] [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia (Berlin, 1962)]; Pinder 159 [same year -- “H”]; see also id. 157-158 [different years] [Pinder, M., Über die Cistophoren und über die kaiserlichen Silbermedaillons der Römischen Provinz Asien (Berlin, 1856) at pp. 565-566]. 24 mm., 12.64 g. [probably = 3 drachms, not 4], 1 h. Ex: CNG Auction 225 (13 Jan. 2010), Lot 144.

    Lydia, Tralleis. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm. jpg version.jpg

    I think these two coins have the two oldest catalog references I've been able to find for any of my coins -- 1809 (Mionnet) and 1856 (Pinder). Fortunately, they're both available online, so I was able to confirm the references before including them in my description.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
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  9. Nvb

    Nvb Well-Known Member


    THRACE. Maroneia. Tetradrachm (Circa 189/8-49/5 BC).

    Obv: Head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath.
    Dionysos standing left, holding grape bunch and narthex stalks; monogram to inner left and inner right.

    Schönert-Geiss 1058 (V27/R77).

    Condition: Very fine.

    Weight: 16.41 g.
    Diameter: 34 mm
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  10. eparch

    eparch Well-Known Member

    I agree - a vigorous style. Mine is a little later in date :

    Thrace, Maroneia AR Tetradrachm. After 146 BC. Head of young Dionysos right, wearing band across the forehead and ivy wreath / ΔIONYΣOY ΣΩTHPOΣ MAPΩNITΩN, naked figure of Dionysos standing left, holding grapes, two spears (? See note in HGC 3.II page 128) and cloak; monograms in left and right fields.

    Schönert-Geiss 1200-1210. HGC 3.II 1556

    There seems to be some dispute as to what Dionysos is carrying -
    I favour short throwing spears.

    and the bronze with the same design


    THRACE. Maroneia. Ae (Circa 189/8-49/5 BC).

    Obv: Head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath.
    Dionysos standing left, holding bunch of grapes and narthex stalks or spears. Control: Monogram to inner left.

    SNG Copenhagen 644. HGC 3.II 1557
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  11. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Definitely, everywhere in the former Alexandrian Empire there was a decline in style. I have a few other tetradrachms of thrace with a similar decline: https://www.cointalk.com/threads/pa...es-vi-on-the-coastal-cities-of-thrace.359127/
    Also in the Seleukid empire it is very noticeable, compare a Seleukos I Nikator coin with a Philip I Philadelphos coin, a world of difference.

    Thank you! Nice tetradrachm of Thasos.

    Great portrait of Dionysos!

    Hehe thanks @Ryro. I am still jealous of your awesome Seleukos drachm.

    Maroneia made bronze coins with the same design as it's tetradrachms.

    Wonderful coins! That first coin is great with the panther.

    Nice example!

    That bronze coin is absolutely amazing, so well struck.
    And a very nice tetradrachm. You have a relatively early and more artistic style. The reference says this as well, mine is in the 1347-9 series, yours in the 1200-1210 series. Yours is probably minted in the late 2nd century BC, while mine is minted in the early-mid 1st century BC.
  12. Alegandron

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

    Really nice writeup and coin, @Pavlos ! Thanks!

    Mine is from Maroneia The Grody (not the best example...):

    Thrace Maroneia 146 BC Dionysos AE 17 Grapes Narthex
  13. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter

    The saviour coins of Thasos and Maroneia were produced close to Celtic occupied lands who people loved them. The Romans then ordered them to be copied and produced in huge numbers for payments or bribes to Celtic mercenaries especially the Thasos type. The quality of reproduction became less and less-some of the above look like copies.
    As the Danubian regions accumulated these coins the locals started producing their own copies which rapidly had a style of its own and became more and more outlandish & fantastic.
    Reid Goldsborough wrote about these.
    The provenance of most of these coins are from hoards found in modern day Bulgaria and Romania,often mixed with Aesillas and Athens NewStyles and others like Dyrrachium and Apollonia drachms.
    Propakov and Paunov are the authors who write about the hoards and chronology.
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  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Pavlos, many thanks for the elucidation --and the cool thread! ...So the phenomenon was effectively universal. With a couple of millennia of hindsight, one could see this as having helped set the stage for the distinctive RR -early imperial Roman take on ...what, 'neo-Hellenism'?
  15. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  16. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Maroneia Ar Tetradrachm 168-45 BC Obv Head of Dionysos wearing mitra and ivy leaves. Rv Dionysos standing left holding grape cluster and two spears. Schonert-Geiss 1195 HGC 1556 15.98 grms 34 mm maronia10.JPG
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  17. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    I am under the impression that finding the right attribution for the Thasos Tetradrachms is quite hard, at least for me. I have been staring for four hours at the 12 coins that are in the corpus nummorum at
    most of them seem pretty the same to me:confused:

    reading also these two publications by Olivier Picard and F. de Callatay: http://www.academia.edu/446701/Thas...die_Balkankriege_im_ersten_Jahrhundert_v._Chr http://www.academia.edu/344974/Les_tetradrachmes_hellenistiques_au_nom_des_Thasiens_et_...

    and still don't know which is the right corpus nummorum number for mine, need your big help for the right CN number:

    33 x 34 mm, 16.701 g
    Thrace Islands, Thasos, ca. 168/167 - 148 BC

    I think it is Prokopov, Silberprägung, Group X, 483 (V Ka30/R 402)

    Ob.: Wreathed head of young Dionysus, r. wearing taenia and ivy wreath with five leaves and two fruits. Hair dress rolled in the back and with two curls falling on his back.
    Rev.: HΡAKΛEOYΣ ΣΩTHΡOΣ ΘAΣIΩN nude, wreathed Herakles standing l., his left knee bent, holding club and lion skin draped over left arm; M in inner left field

    upload_2020-11-17_22-18-10.png upload_2020-11-17_22-18-21.png
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