Sorry for the rather clickbait-ish title. The reverse of this Alexandria Troas bronze is in fact usually described as "drunken Herakles supported by three satyrs". It's a likely story, given that Herakles was more than occasionally depicted in ancient art and literature as a bumptious drunk whooping it up in the company of various disreputable characters. So, ancient numismatic evidence of drunk and disorderly conduct... fun! The type was used at Alexandria Troas from the reigns of Commodus to Valerian and Gallienus, and considering the composition of the scene and very specific postures of Herakles and his bros, it was most probably copied from a popular painting or statuary. At the same time, it's not hard to imagine the whole drunken tableaux coming right out from the pages of a satyrical play... as in, one of those with lots of satyrs in it. Satyr plays were arguably the earliest form of dramatic Greek comedy, typically featuring a choir of merry, lascivious satyrs poking fun at the play's other characters. Herakles, when he made an appearance in them (which was apparently quite often), would inevitably end up getting drunk and violent at some point. In 3rd century Rome, a satyr play would have been a quaint Hellenic relic of a few hundred years earlier, but it's not a stretch to think that some of the essential elements remained popular out in the provinces. But still, why put a scene from a satyr play on a coin? Looking for a connection between Alexandria Troas and satyr plays will throw up the name of Sositheus, a native of the city who was something of a celebrity poet of the Hellenistic world. At the court of Ptolemy II, he was part of the Alexandrian Pleiad, a group of seven poets who were amongst the most accomplished of their generation. Sositheus had worked to revive the original form of the satyric drama, and his best known work, the pastoral play Daphnis or Lityerses, was based on a mythological story that featured both Herakles and Pan in significant roles. However, as only fragments of the play survive, it's ultimately not known for certain if Daphnis was one of Sositheus's satyr plays. Even as the coin's reverse is intriguing enough all on its own, I think it's tempting to conjecture that it may also have been a tip of the hat to a famous son of the city and his works. Pure speculation, but have a few drinks and I guarantee it will all sound more plausible. As always, please feel free to share anything appropriate, or in this case, inappropriate! SEVERUS ALEXANDER AE25. 6.37g, 25mm. TROAS, Alexandria Troas, circa AD 222-235. RIC VI Online temp #3987 var. (obv legend); Bellinger A335. O: IM AR ƧE AΛEXANDROS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: COL AV-G TROA, drunken Herakles stumbling right, an arm around the shoulder of Pan to his right, a satyr on his left holding his hand and another behind him supporting (or restraining) him with both arms. A little more visual aid on the themes discussed... Herakles lying flat on his back totally wasted, from a fresco found at the House of Siricus in Pompeii. Drunken Herakles taking a whizz, from the House of the Deer at Herculaneum. Herakles getting some support from satyrs and nymphs, by Peter Paul Rubens, circa 1612-1614. Sculpture of Pan teaching the shepherd Daphnis to play the pipes, found at Pompeii.