The drunken companion

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Pavlos

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

    Silenos was the companion and tutor of Dionysos, the well-known god of wine. He was a constant and big consumer of wine, and was therefore usually drunk and had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenos was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy.

    At Lesbos island Dionysos and the associated Silenos were both primarily worshipped. Pausanias relates a story of Methymnaean fishermen dragging up in their nets a xoanon (Archaic wooden cult image) of olive wood which was prounced by the Delphic oracle to be Dionysos Κεφαλλήν (head). The people of Methymna started to offer sacrafices to it and sent a bronze copy to Delphi. This led to a cult on the island and the two gods were primarily placed on the coinage, both silver as electrum. Strange enough, among the Dionysiac types that are frequently seen on the coinage of Methymna and Lesbos, the famous xoanon is never seen on the coins.

    I obtained this silver fraction from Methymna with a very clear face of Silenos. A nice addition to my Greek islands collection!

    Islands off Mysia, Lesbos, Methymna. AR Tetartemorion. Circa 500/480-460 B.C.
    Facing head of Silenos.
    Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square.
    Reference: Hauck & Aufhäuser 14 (1998), 75. Leu Web Auction 11 (2020), 859.
    0.31g; 6mm

    Please share your coins of Silenos and of Lesbos island.
    TIF, Theodosius, svessien and 27 others like this.
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  3. Strike Vader

    Strike Vader Member

    Silenos? Have you ever tried Sileni - Sauvignon Blanc? Really good white wine from Marlborough, New Zealand...cheers!
    +VGO.DVCKS and ominus1 like this.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    LOVE everything Silenos and double LOVE your new coin. Very desirable:artist:archaic:bookworm: of a hard to get type. Yes. I'm green with envy... and from lots of booze:D
    Here are some of the old drunk Dionysos and satyr's BFF coins:
    20190326_100616_23B2AF21-7047-4765-81C1-E1694880F4C5-406-0000006F832BF807.png 20190326_100732_B5735760-C10B-4F56-A53B-C5C30A50BD43-406-0000006FEF7A2668.png 1567069_1606945197.l-removebg-preview.png
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  5. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    TIF and Ryro like this.
  6. Strike Vader

    Strike Vader Member

    Huh. I just noticed he's got only one eye open. He's trying to drive home, someone take his keys and let him crash for the night.
    ominus1, TIF and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  7. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Not sure this counts, but here is Silenus, or rather just the back of his head. I'm sure somebody out there has one with better centering.

    RR - Junia denarius June 2017 (0).jpg
    Roman Republic Denarius
    D. Junius L. f. Silanus
    (90 B.C.)
    Rome Mint

    Mask of bearded Silenus right, plough right, all within torque / Victory in biga right, with whip and palm, carnyx beneath, [D SILANVS L F] in exergue.
    Crawford 337/1a; Junia 19.
    (3.63 grams / 18 mm)
    ominus1, TIF, +VGO.DVCKS and 10 others like this.
  8. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Not a coin, but a nice bronze fragment of Silenos:
    ominus1, TIF, +VGO.DVCKS and 12 others like this.
  9. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Very cool Tetartemorion! No Silenus here but a few from Mytilene.

    mytilene2z.jpg Lesbos, Mytilene. AE20, ca AD 250-268
    Time of Valerian to Gallienus. 2.4gm. Head of Zeus Ammon right with horn of Ammon / MUTILH-NAIWN, bearded herm of Dionysos facing, on prow, bunch of grapes at lower left. BMC 184

    Mytilene.jpg Lesbos, Mytilene. Antoninus Pius AE18
    Obv: ΑVΤ ΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ΑΝΤΩΝƐΙΝ[ΟС?] / Laureate head of Antoninus Pius, r.
    Rev: ΜVΤΙΛΗΝΑΙΩΝ / female figure (Aphrodite?) standing, facing, head, l., holding patera and transverse sceptre.
    RPC IV, 2627
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  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    My only coin with Silenos:

    Lydia, Tralleis/Tralles, AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm, 78/77 BCE, Magistrate ΠTOΛ (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 = 78/77 BCE, based on Year 1 being 85/84 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. [Footnote re date of coin omitted.]

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

    I do have this, though:

    Hellenistic Pottery Mask of Silenos, molded pottery, grapevines(?) in hair, long curly beard, wavy locks of hair, remains of original white and black pigment, ca. 3rd Century BCE. 5” H. Purchased 05/31/2011, Artemis Gallery, Erie, CO. Ex.
    Harvey Sarner collection, acquired 2004.

    Hellenistic Pottery Mask of Silenos (Silenus), 3rd Century BCE.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  11. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    Not mine but still really cool.
    PHRYGIA. Laodicea ad Lycum. Pseudo-autonomous. Time of Antoninus Pius (138-161). Ae. Po. Ailios Dionysios Sabinianos, magistrate.

    Draped bust of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath.
    Serpent-entwined cista mystica surmounted by mask of Silenos.

    Weight: 5.59 g.
    Diameter: 20 mm.
    ominus1, TIF, Ryro and 11 others like this.
  12. Pavlos

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

    Thank you @Ryro! I really like the style of Archaic coins.
    Great examples of Silenos, first coin very clear and in the second coin he looks angry, I guess someone didn't let him have another drink.

    Very off-center obverse, I wonder how that could happen. Still a nice coin.

    That one is really cool, thanks for sharing.

    Very nice coins, the first coin shows the typical herm of Dionysos that is seen in the late autonomous coinage and later on under the Romans.

    You did your research on the coin, nice cistophorus. And that mask is really interesting, do you know where it comes from? Greece, Asia minor?

    Nice Roman provincial!
  13. Ryan McVay

    Ryan McVay Supporter! Supporter

    There are 2 of these on NN Auction 102. No bids on either!
  14. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Why not bring back a good thread with a good coin.
    I have nobody to blame but @Pavlos, this thread... and myself for this wonderful pick up.
    Though, not as detailed nor archaic as your excellent example (rest assured I'm on the lookout for one of those as well) it is a lesbian Silenos coin with a turtle reverse!
    Lesbos, Methymna, Hemiobol, ca. 350-240 BC; AR (g 0,31; mm 7; h 9); Facing head of Silenos, Rv. Tortoise within incuse circle. Franke -. HGC 6, 900-901. SNG Copenhagen -. SNG von Aulock -.
    Purchased from Savoca April 2021
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