Tales of Troy, Odes to the Iliad and Heya Homer!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    It all starts with the Trojan war. And by "it" I mean much of Western civilization. Well, that and where my love of all things from ancient Greece comes from.
    But, so much of our concepts of warfare to hero's to honor come from this, without a hint of hyperbole, genuine epic. It has profoundly effected religion and politics as well. Even if you've never read it or its sequel the Odyssey (of course you have! Its mandatory reading in school) you've been effected by it in incalculable ways.

    Greek black figure amphora

    The Greek alphabet was created to capture the Iliad. What was probably a little skirmish over a trade route, over 500 years of singing, sharing and human embellishment, when finally put to written word was naturally engineered into the greatest balls out manifesto to manliness of alllll time.
    Supposedly written by one man.


    Homer. A blind wondering poet (makes perfect sense to me :wacky:) that created the Greek alphabet and wrote the 2 poems down around late eight hundred BCE.
    Some others with the belief that instead of it being one man, "Homer" was a conglomerate of people over time working toward capturing the stories of ancient Troy and it's fallout. Though I've always been of the opinion that the differences in the writing style and story telling of the Iliad and the Odyssey make it a near sure thing that the 2 were written by different hand(s).
    I could go on and on talking about favorite scenes, hero's and God's from these masterpieces. But instead would love to hear about it from youo_O. And, even more so, would love to see those beautiful coins showing scenes inspired from the hand of Homer!
    Speaking of, here's my coin of the man hard at work:


    Ionia, Smyrna. Circa 125-115 BC. Æ 20mm (21mm, 8.27g). Phanokrates, magistrate. Laureate head of Apollo right / The poet Homer seated left, holding scroll. Milne, Autonomous 194a; SNG Copenhagen. Former Kairos Numismatik

    Here is my very first coin. Given to me by the smartest man I've ever known, my dad. A JC fouree with Aeneas fleeing Troy carrying his pop on his shoulder. I guess I could call it a fatherly fouree and it would be a double entandre:


    Julius Caesar, †44 BC. Denarius fouree, Africa, 47-46 BC. AR 3.84 g. Diademed head of Venus r. Rev. CAESAR Aeneas running l., carrying his father Anchises on his l. shoulder, holding palladium on his outstretched r. hand. Cr. 458/1. Syd. 1013.

    One of my favorite newer coins. Ajax the lesser ("Hey! I resemble that remark." Says Ajax):



    Hemidrachm around 350 BCE 2.60 g. Head of a nymph with reed wreath, simple ear pendants and necklace to the right / Ajax in the Corinthian helmet with drawn short sword storming to the right, holding above the left arm oval shield with a lion as inner jewelry, spear lying on the ground. BMC 26 Very nice

    Does anyone else have some Trojan treasures that they are willing to share? Or maybe just a favorite story or musing?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Julius Caesar 2.jpg
    AR Denarius
    OBVERSE: Diademed head of Venus right.
    REVERSE: CAESAR - Aeneas advancing left, carrying Anchises and palladium
    Carthage or military mint with Caesar in North Africa, 47 to 46 BC
    4.0g, 17mm
    CRI 55, Sydenham 1013, RRC 458/1, S 1402
  4. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Nice writeup and coins. I especially like the JC fourree.

    Here's another coin with Homer on it, but from Kolophon.
    IONIA Kolophon - AE19 Homer.jpg
    IONIA, Kolophon
    AE19. 4.28g, 19.4mm, IONIA, Kolophon, circa 50 BC, Apollas, magistrate. SNG Cop 184; Milne, Colophon 178. O: AΠOΛΛAΣ, Homer seated, resting chin on right hand, in left hand holding a volume on his knee. R: ΚΟΛΟΦΩΝΙΩΝ, Apollo standing right, phiale in right, lyre in left.

    This rough little bronze from Ophryneion has on the obverse the head of Hektor, Troy's greatest champion, who killed the Greek hero Protesilaus, dueled Ajax the Great for an entire day to a statelmate, and was finally overcome by Achilles in single combat. His tomb was said to have been located at Ophryneion.
    TROAS, Ophryneion
    AE12. 1.9g, 12mm. TROAS, Ophryneion, circa 350-300 BC. SNG Copenhagen 456-9; SNG von Aulock 1559; BMC p.75, 4-7. O: Bearded head of Hektor three-quarter facing right, wearing triple-crested helmet with cheek guards raised. R: ΟΦΡΥ, infant Dionysos naked, kneeling right, holding out bunch of grapes in right hand.

    Lastly, a Roman provincial from the actual Troy. Emperor Augustus founded a new city on the site called Ilium, after the original Greek name for the city.
    AE22. 4.96g, 22.2mm. TROAS, Ilium (Troy), AD 253-268. Bellinger, Troy, T294; SNG Munich 279; SNG Cop 443. O: CAΛΩNINA CEB, diademed and draped bust right. R: IΛ-IE-ΩN, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Athena right, wearing aegis.
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    The Iliad itself begins in medias res -- 10 years into the war, when Apollo sends a plague upon the Greeks for abducting the daughter of his priest. However, the legend of the Trojan war begins with the judgment of Paris, when Eris, the goddess of discourse, tosses an apple marked "for the fairest" among three goddesses -- Hera (Juno), Athena (Minerva), and Aphrodite (Venus). Well, unsure of exactly to whom it was intended, they asked Zeus (Jupiter) to decide. Of course Zeus knew better than to open up THAT can of worms, so Zeus declared that Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy, would judge the case.

    Each of the goddesses tried to bribe Paris with various things, but Aphrodite (Venus) offered him the most beautiful woman in the world if he would declare that she was the fairest of the goddesses and the apple was intended for her. Venus got the apple and Paris got Helen of Troy.

    The rest is legend.

    Here's Venus with her apple!

    Lucilla VENVS Sestertius.jpg
    Lucilla, AD 164-169.
    Roman orichalcum sestertius, 21.52 g, 28.8 mm, 10 h.
    Rome, AD 164-166.
    Obv: LVCILLAE AVG ANTONINI AVG F, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: VENVS S C, Venus, draped, standing left, holding apple in extended right hand and vertical scepter in left hand.
    Refs: RIC 1763; BMCRE4 1167; Cohen 72; RCV 5506; MIR 16; ERIC II 67.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  6. pprp

    pprp Well-Known Member

    Ryro likes this.
  7. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    I have the pleasure of teaching these epics regularly. Picked up this coin recently for show and tell. Still need to record the measurements.

  8. Keith Twitchell

    Keith Twitchell Active Member

    My entire fascination with the ancient world, and particularly ancient Greece, began when I was about nine and my parents gave me junior versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey to read. In turn this probably led to me becoming and English major, not to mention the thousands of dollars I have spent on ancient coins and artifacts -- and I am still in wonder over each and every one of them.
    TIF, Gavin Richardson, Nyatii and 2 others like this.
  9. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Excellent JC denarius @Bing! I really like the toning and detail (Aeneas did not skip arm day!).
    WoWiE @zumbly! Wonderful coins. I had no idea Hector was represented on a coin?! So freaking jealous right now. He IS the hero of the story. Whenever I read it I always root for him, knowing that eventually he will meet a most ignominious demise.
    Great reminder, @Roman Collector, the Trojans were doomed from the jump with the judgement of Paris (I can't blame the guy though. Always been a sucker for a pretty face).
    Thanks a bunch @pprp. I will as soon as you post a coin...jk. Already fixed (curse Google description!).
    @Gavin Richardson thank you so much for perpetuating the posterity. Beautiful piece of history right there. If that doesn't get young mind's wheels turning then the future is lost to an idiocracyesque existence.
    Amazing story @Keith Twitchell. Sounds like you have some pretty amazing folks. I'm very fortunate in that regard myself.
    Gavin Richardson likes this.
  10. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    Here's one of the only types depicting Homer (including his name in Greek):


    PAPHLAGONIA, Amastris. Pseudo-autonomous issue. Time of the Antonines, AD 138-192. Æ (21mm, 6.63 g, 6h). OMHPOC, draped bust of Homer right, wearing taenea / Turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right
  11. Alegandron

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

    Venus with Apple

    RI Sabina 117-137 Denarius 3.18g Venus standing right holding an apple RSC73
    TIF, David Atherton, Bing and 2 others like this.
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