Who's that guy with, like, eleven labors that Pixar made a movie about? Post em up!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    I kid, I kid. I knew the entire time and was testing the collective mind of CT to bolster my ego! It was actually a lifetime original on Kevin Sorbo and he had 13 labors (working with Zena without falling in love was the thirteenth).

    Clowning aside, I'm very pleased to have nabbed a coin depicting the eleventh (some sources say twelfth) labor of Herakles:jimlad::singing: (Hercules if you're nasty) the apples of the Hesperides!
    Gordianus III (238-244 AD). AE34 (21.86 g). Cilicia, Tarsus.
    Obv. AVT K M ANTΩNIOC ΓOPΔIANOC CEB / Π Π, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust to right, holding spear and shield decorated with gorgoneion between two serpents.
    Rev. TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩ, A / M in left field, K / Γ / B in right field, Herakles standing left holding club in right hand, apples of the Hesperides in left hand, lion skin hanging from left forearm, to left dead serpent in tree.
    SNG Paris 1669 (same dies).
    Light green patina. Fine/almost very fine.
    See Voegtli, Heldenepen, pp. 42-44: this scene appears on the provincial coins of Tarsus and ten other cities.

    From the François Righetti Collection.
    (My first coin from the Righetti collection)

    This is probably my favorite of all Herk's labors as it is the most complex.
    In a nutshell, or should I say apple seed, the Hesperides apples were a gift from Hera (Herakles namesake and antagonist. The thought process being that Hera made Herakles great through his constant torment by her. Hence his being named after her) to Zeus. So, this labor, Eurystheus knew, Herakles wouldn't be able to complete.
    Added to this, Herakles had no idea where the apples were:facepalm: In herculean fashion he traveled around being challenged and beating up:punch: everyone in his path including Ares son and 2 of Poseidon's sons.
    (Herakles might have killed Kyknos if Zeus hadn't put a stop to the brawl with a well timed thunderbolt)

    He was fortunate though to run into Prometheus. Who, as you'll remember, was forced to have his liver eaten by an eagle, only for it to grow back the next day and renew his torture, presumably, for eternity :inpain: (all this torment just for giving man fire, to Zeus's displeasure)
    (Wish mine could hold a blanket in place like that)

    Herakles ended the torture by killing the eagle.
    In appreciation Prometheus told Herakles the secret of the apples, he would need the help of Atlas. Much like Prometheus, Atlas' burden of holding up the earth and sky was so awful he would do anything to pass the burden onto another.
    (Gotta love the Greeks understanding of things. As in, they hold up what they are standing under as well as on:wacky:)

    Atlas did as he was asked while Herakles held us all on his shoulders. When Atlas came back however he said that he would be the one to take the apples to Eurystheus. Herakles, realizing that he would never see Atlas again if he let him walk away, coyly asked if Atlas would hold the earth and sky for just a moment while he got some padding for his shoulders. Atlas did and Herakles peaced out of there faster than Alcibiades left Sparta after the king found out that he'd gotten the queen pregnant:smuggrin:
    Demonstrating the fluidity of myth, Herakles is sometimes portraid as having gone to the gardens

    But those versions are not ours to know.
    Herakles brings the fruit back to Eurystheus only to have to return them to Athena whom made the trip back to the garden. After all, these are apples for gods :rolleyes:

    Other labors on coins:
    quadrans, Rome mint, 98 - c. 106
    1.791 g, 11.6 mm, die axis 180o obverse IMPCAES TRAIAN AVG GERM,diademed bust of Hercules right, Nemean lion skin tied around his neck; reverse Erymanthian Boar walking right, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection;
    RIC II 702, BMCRE III 1062, Cohen II 341, SRCV II 3248, F, dark patina with highlighting earthen fill, a little off center on a tight flan,
    "Herakles' fourth labor was to capture the giant fear-inspiring Erymanthian Boar that lived on Mount Erymanthos in the primitive highlands of Arcadia. The centaur Chiron advised Herakles to drive the boar into thick snow. Herakles caught the boar and carried it back to Eurystheus, who was frightened, hid and begged Herakles to get rid of the beast. Three days later, Eurystheus, still trembling with fear, sent Herakles to clean the Augean stables.RX95001."

    And lastly, his first labor; strangling the Nemean lion to DEATH!:rage:
    Screenshot_20201215-145553_PicCollage-removebg-preview (1).png
    LUCANIA, Herakleia
    433-330 BCE. AR Diobol (1.15 gm). Head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet decorated with hippocamp / Herakles kneeling right, head facing, wrestling with the Nemean lion; EP upper right, club left. Van Keuren 62 (same dies); SNG ANS 33 (same dies). Toned EF, surfaces grainy, exceptional style

    And a favorite portrait of Herk as I have one more image allowed:
    Alexander III the Great
    336-323 B.C. AE 20 (19.5 mm, 5.74 g). Uncertain mint in Western Asia Minor, ca. 323-310 B.C. Head of Alexander the Great as Hercules right, wearing the lion-skin headdress / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ, bow in bow-case above and club, the weapons of Hercules; torch in field below.

    So please, share any and all your Herakles labors, all your favorite Herakles portraits, stories and mythology or anything that makes you happy and adds to the thread!
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Way cool! The only labor of Hercules I have is wrestling with the Nemian lion.

    Septimius Severus, AD 193-211.
    Roman provincial Æ 18.6 mm, 4.37 g, 7 h.
    Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, AD 193-211.
    Obv: ΑV Κ CΕΠΤΙ CΕΥΗΡΟC Π, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: MAPKIA-NOΠOΛITΩ-N, Herakles standing left, wrestling the Nemean lion.
    Refs: AMNG I 585 v.; Varbanov 710; Moushmov 397; H&J; Mionnet Suppl. 2, 126.

    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman provincial Æ 16.8 mm, 4.33 g, 1 h.
    Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, AD 193-211.
    Obv: IOVΛIA ΔO-MNA CEB, bare-headed and draped bust right.
    Rev: MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN, Herakles standing right, wrestling the Nemean lion.
    Refs: AMNG I 606; Varbanov 673; Moushmov 419; SNG Copenhagen --; SNG Budapest --.
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  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Awesome coins!

    I don't have too many, but possibly my rarest is this Geta from Pautalia, featuring Hercules of the Farnese type.
    Geta Varbanov Pautalia 5376.JPG
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  5. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    Thanks my man!
    Kinda funny how your Septimius has him very basic but Julia has him buldging with muscles... and GLUTES

    Sadly, and too interesting not to share with you, this coin has been stuck in customs since July 29th, created a case on the 10th and still radio silence:/
    I simply cannot believe it's described a Herakles and not Septimius Severus as Herakles (would love to hear @dougsmit 's opinion and know if he has the type). I sure think this Herakles STRONGLY resembles Septimius (though, I also think some of the coins of Herakles are clearly Alexander as Herakles, when others have said "wishful thinking"):
    Julia Domna, Augusta
    CILICIA. Irenopolis-Neronias., (193-217 AD)
    AE Bronze, (19.7 mm, 4.84 g,) year ΔMP (144) = 194-195.
    Obv: IOYΛIA ΔOMNA CEB Draped bust of Julia Domna to right.
    Rev: IPЄNOΠΟΛITΩN ETO ΔMP Veiled and bearded head of Herakles to right. Karbach 55. SNG France 2265. SNG Levante 1612. very fine. Purchased from Lydia Numismatics July 2021
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  6. Ryro

    Ryro The last of the Diadochi Supporter

    I've none of that Farnese pose. Very cool! The statues it's based after are stunning.
    Those freaking guns are massive!
  7. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Ah, Kevin Sorbo! cool!


    Gordian III AR Antoninianus. Rome, AD 241-243.
    Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG. Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust to right.
    Rev: VIRTVTI AVGVSTI Hercules, naked, standing facing, head to right, resting one hand on hip and other on club set on rock; lion skin beside club.
    RIC IV 95; RSC 404
    3.27 gr. 23 mm


    Alexander III, AR Drachm, 323-319 BC. Philip III Arrhidaios Struck under Menander or Kleitos. Magnesia ad Maeandrum mint. Head of Herakles right, wearing lionskin headdress. / AΛEXANΔΡOY to right of Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, holding eagle and sceptre. bee left in left field, spear-head in outer right field. Price 1937-1938; Mueller 322-323; SNG Cop. 952.

    Moesia Inferior. Nikopolis ad Istrum. Septimius Severus AD 193-211.
    Bronze Æ 17 mm., 2,46 g. Obv. A K CE - [CEVHROC] Laureate head r. ;rev. NIKo - PROC IC Bearded head of Herakles r. Ref. a) not in AMNG b) not in Varbanov c) Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov (2020) corr. (same dies, writes NIK - PROC IC in error, but the depicted coin is very worn)


    10 mm, 0,90 g

    CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 380-325 BC. AR Diobol Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with hippocamp/ Herakles crouching right, holding club and strangling the Nemean Lion to right. Vlasto 1303–5; HN Italy 911.


    Obv: Head of Herakles right, bearded / Rev MΛAYNΔ ΘEOTIMIΔO (or MΛAYNΔEΩN ΘEOTIMIΔO); club
    12 mm, 2.04 g
    Lydia, Blaundos 200-0 BC

    IMHOOF LS S50,4(1) / COLL IMHOOF(1) ; BMC 16 S42,5(1)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
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  8. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice writeup, @Ryro. I think the various labors of Herakles are very interesting themes on ancient coin designs. Mythical designs draws me into collecting ancient coins.

    Here is my Herakles-themed coin (a second one is still in the mail). The coin is a Maximianus VIRTVTI silvered Antoninianus, from Lyons. A recent pickup. I believe the reverse is the Nemean lion. :)

    Maximianus. 289 AD.
    Silvered Antoninianus
    21x23mm 3.0gm
    Obv: IMP C MAXIMIANVS P AVG; helmeted, & cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: VIRTVTI AVGG; Victory flying right, crowning Hercules, who is wrestling Nemean Lion. Club thrown behind him.
    RIC Vii Lyons 462
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  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Great coins! I have two that portray or refer to the labors of Hercules.

    Roman Republic. C. Poblicius Q.f. AR Serrate Denarius, 80 BCE. Obv. Head of Roma right, wearing helmet decorated with grain ears; ROMA behind, V above / Rev. C•POBLICI•Q•F; Hercules standing left, strangling the Nemean Lion; bow and quiver to left, club below, V above lion. Crawford 380/1, RSC I Poblicia 9, Sear RCV I 308 (ill.), Harlan, RRM I Ch. 5 at pp. 23-27, BMCRR Rome 2896. 20.13 mm., 3.84 g.

    Poblicius (Hercules & Nemean Lion).jpg

    Roman Republic, Marcus Volteius, AR Denarius, 78 BCE (Crawford) or 75 BCE (Harlan). Obv. Head of young Hercules, wearing lion’s skin headdress, right / The Erymanthian boar running right; M•VOLTEI•M•F in exergue. Crawford 385/2; RSC I Volteia 2; BMCRR 3158, Sear RCV I 313 (ill.); Harlan, RRM I Ch. 12, pp. 62-79 at pp. 74-77, Sydenham 775. 18.5 mm., 3.96 g., 7 h.*


    *This coin, depicting Hercules and the Erymanthian boar -- one of five coins issued by M. Volteius as moneyer during that year -- relates, like the other four Volteius coins, to one of the five principal agonistic festivals which were celebrated annually at Rome. Specifically, this one relates to the Ludi Plebeii, held each year from 4 to 17 November. Hercules had a special relationship with the Circus Flaminius, which was where the Ludi Plebeii were held, and was near the temple of Hercules Magna Custos ad Circum (Hercules the Great Guardian at the Circus). See Harlan at p. 76 for a summary of the legend of Hercules capturing the Erymanthian boar alive, the fourth of the twelve labors of Hercules. Harlan points out that according to tradition, the tusks of the Erymanthian boar were preserved at the sanctuary of Apollo at Cumae -- perhaps establishing a connection of the Erymanthian boar to the Circus Flaminius (where the Ludi Plebeii were held) and the nearby temple of Hercules Magna Custos ad Circum (which was supposedly built on the advice of the Sibyl of Cumae). This may have been the rationale for the portrayal of the Erymanthian boar on this coin rather than one of Hercules’s other labors.
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  10. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

    ..kool Ryro!...i got'em on the back of an RR coin hugging a lion.....but its 'post' toasties for seeing it now..:D
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  11. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    Always happy to share this one of Herakles with Omphale holding his club and wearing his lion skin:

    Lydia, Maeonia. Pseudo-autonomous issue. AE Hemiassarion (18 mm, 2.92 g), time of Trajan, 98-117 AD. Head of Herakles to left. Rev. [MAIO]NΩN, Omphale standing right, wearing Herakles' lion skin and holding his club. RPC IV.2 online 1325.
  12. Alegandron

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

    Nice dump of coins and writeup, @Ryro !

    Roman Republic
    80 BCE
    AR Denarius serratus 3.94g
    Rome mint
    Flan wgt control gouge
    Hercules strnglng Nemean lion club quiver
    Cr 380-1 Syd 768
  13. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Looks like Hercules came away from that fight missing a good chunk of his left leg. Not to mention the body parts where the lion's right front and hind claws happen to be placed.
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Here is the Farnese Hercules on a sestertius of Commodus. Commodus was rather obsessed with Hercules, so there are a lot of types. This one seems to be scarcer than the sestertii with Hercules holding a bow.

    Commodus - Sest. Hercules Farn Jan 2021 (0).jpg
    Commodus Æ Sestertius
    (183-184 A.D.)
    Rome Mint

    [M COM]MODVS A[NTONINVS AVG PIV]S, laureate head right / [P M TR P VIIII IMP VI COS IIII P P] S-C, Hercules standing facing, nude, head right, resting club wrapped in lion skin upon a rock.
    RIC III 399Aa (see note).
    (18.36 grams / 28 mm)
    eBay Jan. 2021
    Attribution Notes: Legend not clear, but seems to be RIC 399Aa (bottom tail of the "S" is visible at the end of the obverse legend).

    There are two variations of the Hercules without the bow type:

    RIC 399Aa
    RIC 399Ac
  15. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    A photo I just retrieved that I took in Rome in 2008:

    Hercules statue Rome 2008 2.JPG
  16. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    For being one of the extremely few intact GILDED bronzes, very few people know of the Forum Boarium Hercules; there were a pair of them

    Here's Gordian III with a reverse loosely associated with the the OTHER Boarium type.

    Both statues are very similar but they have slightly different poses.
    Gordian III AE18x16 Moushmov Odessos 1652.JPG
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  17. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Just be thankful that you didn’t get the hammer-smash and fig-leaf treatment like Hercules here after dutifully completing his labors! :eek::arghh:

    Fun entertaining and amusing write up @Ryro ! :D:hilarious:

    Here is Hercules doing labor things...
    Roman Empire
    Maximinus Daia (AD 308 - 313)
    AE Follis, Antioch mint, struck ca. AD 313
    Dia.: 20.5 mm
    Wt.: 3.9 g
    Obv.: IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG; Laureate bust right
    Rev.: HERCVLI VICTORI; Hercules standing right, leaning on lions skin and club
    Ref.: RIC VI 170b, Scarce
    Ex FSR, lot 370 (Jul. 2018)

    Roman Empire
    Gordian III (238-244)
    AR Antoninianus, Rome mint
    Dia.: 24.5 mm
    Wt.: 3.89g
    Obv: IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: VIRTVTI AVGVSTI; The Farnese Hercules: statue of Hercules right, with apples of the Hesperides and lion skin, and leaning upon club.
    RIC 95.
    Ex Michael Higley Collection with tag; Ex AMCC 1, lot 236 (Dec. 2018)
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  18. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Lovely coins all!
    My Hercules gave up going to the gym and took up clarinet classes....
  19. Alegandron

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

    LOL yeah. Stannard scoop got the flan. I captured this coin for that reason. :)
  20. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

    ..i can again post pics... IMG_0674 (2).JPG IMG_0675.JPG Hercules wrestling lion reverse 80BC 3.47gms
  21. ominus1

    ominus1 When in Rome, do as the Romans do Supporter

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