, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Tyre,
Dido, the founder and first queen of , is primarily known from Virgil's Aeneid. Upon succeeding their father as of Tyre, Dido's brother Pygmalion had her husband Sichaeus killed in a plot to seize his immense wealth. Dido, with a large group of friends and followers, escaped Tyre, carrying with them all of Sichaeus' treasure. As depicted on the of this coin, Dido made a sacrifice at the temple of Melqart-Hercules before leaving. The on some other Valerian types, we know of one example struck with this same die, depict Dido in beginning construction.RP75357. Bronze
Athens, , , c. 140 - 175 A.D.
Minos demanded that, every ninth year, Athens send seven boys and seven girls to to be devoured by the , a half-man, half-bull monster that lived in the Labyrinth. , son of Aigeus, the of Athens, volunteered to take the place of one of the youths and slay the monster to stop this horror. Upon his arrival to , , Minos' daughter, fell in love with him and gave him a ball of to him find his way out of the Labyrinth. promised that if he escaped he would take her with him. Using the string to mark his path, he made his way to the heart of the Labyrinth, slew the , followed the string out, and then rescued the Athenian boys and girls. told to leave and Phaedra behind on the beach. Distressed by his broken heart, forgot to put up the white sails that were to signal his success. Upon seeing black sails, his father committed suicide, throwing himself off a cliff into the sea, causing this body of water to be named the Aegean.GB77873. Bronze
Maionia, , 161 - 180 A.D.
was queen of the kingdom of , the wife of , the oak-clad mountain of . After he was gored to death by a bull, she continued to reign on her own.
bought Herakles from , who sold him after an oracle declared must be sold into slavery for three years. had sought the oracle to learn what he must do to purify himself, after he murdered his friend Iphitus and stole the Delphic tripod. As a slave, Herakles was forced to do women's and even wear women's clothing and hold a basket of wool while and her maidens did their spinning. Meanwhile, wore the skin of the and carried Herakles' olive-wood club. But it was also during his stay in that Herakles captured the city of the Itones and enslaved them, killed Syleus who forced passersby to hoe his vineyard, and captured the Cercopes. He buried the body of Icarus and took in the Calydonian and the Argonautica. After some time, freed Herakles and took him as her husband.
The Greeks did not recognize as a goddess. Omphale's name, connected with , a Greek word meaning navel (or ), may, however, represent a Lydian earth goddess. Herakles' servitude and marriage may represent the servitude of the sun to the of the celestial sphere, the spinners being Lydian versions of the Moirae. This myth may have been and attempt to explain why the priests of Herakles wore female clothing.GB83463. Bronze AE 19,
Roman Republic, L. Marcius Censorinus, 82 B.C.
The moneyer selected the design to play on his name, sounds like Marcius.
found Athena's flute. Inspired by the breath of a goddess, it played beautifully. Foolishly he challenged to a musical contest. won by singing to the music of his . As a just punishment for his presumption, flayed alive. His blood was the source of the river , and his skin was hung like a wine bag in the cave out of which that river flows.SH73011. Silver
, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., ,
Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus, an Aethiopian , and Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeia's boasted that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sent a sea monster (Cetus Aethiopicus) to ravage as divine punishment. Andromeda was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but she was saved by Perseus. Later Andromeda and Perseus were married.SH63219. Brass AE 22,
Phoenician (Palistinian Workshop), 4 Stamped Votive Fragments, 1st Century B.C. - 1st Century A.D.
From the collection of , former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.
These votive pieces were made to be ritually broken before offering in the of the god or distribution in fields for fertility or under building foundations for fortune. They are almost always found broken.AA32416. 4
Sr., Augusta 25 February 138 - Early 141, Wife of
(Aphrodite) can be faulted for the Trojan War. Upset that she was not invited to a wedding, she went anyway and maliciously left a golden inscribed "For the fairest" on the banquet table. The goddesses, as Aphrodite expected, argued who was the rightful possessor of this prize. It was determined the most handsome mortal in the world, a noble Trojan youth named , would decide. Each of the three finalists offered a bribe. promised he would rule the world. said she would make him victorious in battle. Aphrodite guaranteed the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, who was married to the of Sparta. awarded the golden to Aphrodite. Aphrodite enabled to elope with Helen, Helen of Troy. Helen's husband raised a Greek army to retrieve his wife, starting the Trojan War.RB71296. Copper
Taras, , Italy, c. 380 - 325 B.C.
The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the , he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise , noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt. This was struck with dozens of different pose variations on the . In some scenes it even appears Herakles might lose. There are so many variations that it may be possible to take the photographs of the reverses and arrange them in a flip book to animate the fight.GS67287. Silver
, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
In Roman mythology, and , were the twin sons of the Virgin , fathered by the god of war, . They were abandoned in the as infants. , a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf ( ) at the foot of the Palatine . Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the overturned under a fig tree. and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. was the first of Rome.RA73653.
, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Inferior
The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the , he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise , noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.RP67903. Bronze assarion,
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