Serdica, Gallienus, "Philomousos"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Jochen1, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Dear Friends of ancient coins!

    I had already posted this coin in the German forum a few years ago, but no result was achieved. I am therefore making here a new attempt:

    Thrace, Serdica, Gallienus, AD 235-268
    AE 27, 20.24g, 27.32mm, 15°
    obv. AVT K ΓAΛ - ΛIHNOC
    Bust, draped and cuirassed, seen from behind, radiate, r.
    in l. field in 3 lines one below the other ΦIΛO / MOV / COC
    Eros, nude, winged, with unknown attribute on head, stg. l., holding in lowered l. hand bow and arrow, and holding in extended r. hand small figure.
    ref. a) cf. Ruzicka 479:
    has laureate head r. and doesn't mention the legend in field
    b) Varbanov III, 2626:
    calls the rev. figure Genius and the statuette an idol
    c) Moushmov 4955:
    calls the rev. figure Genius (Apollo?) and has no name for the statuette
    d) Hristova/Jekov
    calls the rev. figur Genius and the statuette a Muse
    very rare, F
    We see that the description of the rev. is not homogeneous. I tend towards Eros because the figure is winged.

    The 2nd problem is the small statuette. Because the legend ΦIΛOMOVCOC seems to be a label for the small statuette it should be a "friend of the Muses, friend of art and science". But what it is?

    We know of Gallienus that he was a literate emperor, familiar with Greek literature. Does ΦIΛOMOVCOC mean Gallienus and is an adulation for the emperor? But Gallienus as small figur in the hand of Eros: Impossible!

    Any suggestions highly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance
    zumbly, singig, IanG and 8 others like this.
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  3. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Very intriguing question! The answer is easy, I have no idea!!!
    We know the muses sometimes are pictured with wings.
    What if that's a winged muse? I'll go with Clio, the muse of history, holding a stylus and not an arrow (though, it really does look like eros worth a bow and arrow)

    And eros is the little figure she's holding who is friend to the muses?
    Probably not. But I'm trying to get there imaginative juices flowing.
    IanG, Edessa and DonnaML like this.
  4. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    @Ryro Beautiful pics. Thank you. Winged muses were new to me. But the figure is certainly Eros. The real problem is the small statuette he carries on his hand. And the meaning of the reverse.

    Best regards
    Edessa and Ryro like this.
  5. doucet

    doucet Well-Known Member

    perhaps a falcon?

    egypt falcon roman period.png
    Edessa, Ryro and IanG like this.
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

  7. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    @doucet Thank you for sharing your opinion. I have thought of that too because of the shape of the statuette. I would like to point out that the statuette carries a transversal staff. And then the question remains, what do Gallienus, Eros and the falcon have to do with each other?

    Best regards
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