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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Medusa||View Options:  |  |  |   

Medusa, Gorgoneion & Perseus on Ancient Coins

Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L. Plautius Plancus, 47 B.C.

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Both the obverse and reverse designs of this type were also popular designs for intaglio engraved gems during the late republic. -- Roman Republican Coinage by Michael H. Crawford

Click here to read the article, "Medusa Coins - They'll Transform You."
RR37542. Silver denarius, Crawford 453/1c, Sydenham 959b, RSC I Plautia 14, Sear Imperators 29a, Russo RBW 1585, SRCV I 429, VF, weight 3.439 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 47 B.C; obverse head of Medusa facing, wearing hoop earrings, L∑PLAVTIVS below; reverse Victory leading four horses right, palm frond in left, PLANCVS below; SOLD


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L. Plautius Plancus, 47 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Both the obverse and reverse designs of this type were also popular designs for intaglio engraved gems during the late republic. -- Roman Republican Coinage by Michael H. Crawford
RR38435. Silver denarius, Crawford 453/1e, Sydenham 959b, RSC I Plautia 14, SRCV I 429, EF, imperfect strike but far better than most for the type, weight 4.035 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 47 B.C.; obverse head of Medusa facing, snake-like hair but no clear snakes, L∑PLAVTIV below; reverse Victory leading four horses right, palm frond in left, PLANCVS below; SOLD


Roman Republic, L. Cornelius Lentulus and C. Claudius Marcellus, For Pompey the Great, 49 B.C.

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Lentulus and Marcellus, the consuls for 49 B.C., were exiled by Caesar upon his war with Pompey. This coin was struck by a mobile military mint in Pompey's camp, possibly in Sicily but more likely in Greece, under the name of the two consuls.
SH30342. Silver denarius, Crawford 445/1b, BMCRR Sicily 1, Sydenham 1029, RSC I Cornelia 64a, SRCV I 414, EF, weight 4.067 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Pompeian military mint, obverse triskeles, head of Medusa in center, grain-ears between legs; reverse LENT MAR COS (consules), Jupiter standing half-right, thunderbolt in right, eagle in left; scarce; SOLD


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L. Plautius Plancus, 47 B.C.

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In the spring of 47 B.C. Caesar and Cleopatra celebrated their victory in the Alexandrine civil war with a triumphant procession on the Nile.

Among the most beautiful of all Roman coin types, both the obverse and reverse designs were popular designs for intaglio engraved gems during the Late Republic.
SH42465. Silver denarius, Crawford 453/1a, Sydenham 959, RSC I Plautia 15, Sear Imperators 29, Russo RBW 1583, SRCV I 429, gVF, choice for the type, weight 4.028 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, dictatorship of Julius Caesar, 47 B.C.; obverse head of Medusa facing, snakes for hoop earrings, L∑PLAVTIVS below; reverse Victory, wings spread, leading four horses right, palm frond in left, PLANCVS below; a masterpiece reverse design - well struck in magnificent style; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

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A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgůs, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GI76363. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type E, 193.3; Calciati III p. 55, 19; SNG ANS 1224; SNG Cop 167; HGC 2 546, EF, well centered, nice green patina, a few light marks, nose a little flat, weight 3.341 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 135o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), radiating locks, no hair band, fierce expression, knitted eyebrows, chubby cheeks; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right, head facing, holds lizard with head downward in claw, three pellets (value mark) in exergue; SOLD


Roman Republic, Dictatorship of Julius Caesar, L. Plautius Plancus, 47 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Both the obverse and reverse designs of this type were also popular designs for intaglio engraved gems during the late republic. -- Roman Republican Coinage by Michael H. Crawford

Click here to read the article, "Medusa Coins - They'll Transform You."
SH81831. Silver denarius, Crawford 453/1e, SRCV I 429, Sydenham 959b, RSC I Plautia 14, SRCV I 429, EF, weight 3.777 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 47 B.C; obverse head of Medusa facing, wearing hoop earrings, L∑PLAVTIV below; reverse Victory leading four horses right, palm frond in left, PLANCVS below; much better strike than typical for this issue; SOLD


Motya, Sicily, 420 - 397 B.C.

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Motya was founded by Phoenicians in the 8th century B.C. on the biggest island in Stagnone lagoon. The colony was successful due to its favorable location on trade routes, however, in 397 B.C. Greeks from Eastern Sicily destroyed the city. The town was surrounded by walls with watch-towers and two gates, which are still well preserved. Most of the city has not been excavated.
SH11109. Silver litra, Jenkins 4b (or similar), SNG ANS 503 -507 var., BMC -, Rizzo -, Hill -, VF, weight .526 g, maximum diameter 13.15 mm, die axis 45o, Motya mint, obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion); reverse palm tree, Punic script at sides; toned, chiped, ex C. E. Bullowa (Philadelphia dealer); rare; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgůs, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GB69171. Bronze onkia, Calciati III, p. 47, 7 (same dies); Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 180; HGC 2 552 (R1); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG MŁnchen -, EF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.295 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, die axis 270o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, eyes looking left, tongue not protruding; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, pellet (mark of value) in exergue, barley kernel (control symbol) right; rare; SOLD


Kamarina, Sicily, c. 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgůs, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GI79953. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type C, 189; BMC Sicily p. 39, 36; Calciati III, p. 53, 16; SNG Stockholm 432; HGC 2 546; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, Choice gVF, fine style, nice green patina, well centered and struck, light marks, very light corrosion, small edge split, weight 4.731 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) round face, wild locks, no hair band, large eyes, straight mouth; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, grasping lizard with head down in the left talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue, Γ (control mark) right; SOLD


Himera, Sicily, c. 430 - 420 B.C.

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Himera was a Chalcidic colony founded from Zancle on the north coast of Sicily in mid-seventh century B.C. Carthage attacked in 409 B.C. At first Syracuse supported them with 4000 auxiliaries, but their general panicked for the safety of Syracuse itself abandoned Himera. The city was utterly destroyed, its buildings, even its temples, were razed to the ground. General Hannibal Mago executed more than 3000 prisoners as a human sacrifice to the memory of his grandfather General Hamilcar who had been defeated at Himera in 480 B.C. The site has been desolate ever since. The few surviving Greeks were settled by the Carthaginians eleven kilometers west of Himera at Thermae Himeraeae (Termini Imerese today). Thermae was taken by the Romans during the First Punic War.
SH73532. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I Group III, Class 5, p. 32, 20; SNG ANS 179, VF, thick truncated-conic flan (usual for the type), smoothed, weight 26.468 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 0o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 430 - 420 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), hair in large curls, crude execution, dot border; reverse six pellets (mark of value), in two columns of three, within shallow round incuse; SOLD




  




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Medusa & Gorgoneion