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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Gods, Non-Olympian ▸ Hades or PlutoView Options:  |  |  | 

Hades or Pluto

Hades to the Greeks, Pluto to the Romans, was the god of the dead and the underworld. A fearsome figure to those still living; in no hurry to meet him, the ancients were reticent to swear oaths in his name, averted their faces when sacrificing to him, and rarely depicted him on coins or in art. The Secular Games, festivals held in his honor, were held in Rome every 100 years.


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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The ancients did not agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. On this coin, Pluto's influence is evident with the fearsome Kerberos at Serapis' feet.
RX76581. Billon tetradrachm, Kampmann 32.571, Geissen 1094, Dattari 1479, Milne 1399, Emmett 892, BMC Alexandria 623, SRCV II 6739 var. (date), aF, well centered, grainy and porous, weight 10.343 g, maximum diameter 13.74 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 133 - 28 Aug 134 A.D.; obverse AYT KAIC TPAIAN A∆PIANOC CEB, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Serapis seated left, reaching with right to Cerberus at feet left, long scepter vertical in right, LI - H (regnal year 18) across fields; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D.

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Cerberus, a multi-headed (usually three-headed) hound, guards the gates of Hades to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping. Capturing Cerberus alive was the twelfth and final labor King Eurystheus assigned to Hercules. In the underworld, Hercules met Hades and asked his permission to bring Cerberus to the surface. Hades agreed to if Hercules could overpower the beast without using weapons. Hercules was able to overpower Cerberus, sling the beast over his back, and drag it out of Hades through a cavern entrance in the Peloponnese. Eurystheus was so frightened by the beast that, in return for releasing him from his labors, he asked Hercules to return it to the underworld.
RS79607. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 261a (S); RSC III 299; BMCRE V p. 455, 125; SRCV II 6838; Hunter III -, Choice EF, mint luster, well centered on a broad flan, excellent portrait, unusual reverse type, weight 2.825 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 215 A.D.; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate head right; reverse P M TR P XVIII COS IIII P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for 18 years, consul for the 4th time, father of the country), Pluto seated left on high backed throne, kalathos on head, extending right hand toward Cerberus at his feet on left, long scepter in left hand; rare; SOLD


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

Click for a larger photo
The ancients did not agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. On this coin, Pluto's influence is evident with the fearsome Kerberos at Serapis' feet.
RX57438. Billon tetradrachm, Kampmann 32.456; Geissen 983; Dattari 1475; Milne 1255; Curtis 515; SNG Cop 342; BMC Alexandria p. 74, 615; Emmett 892, aVF, high relief bust, weight 12.516 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 345o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 127 - 28 Aug 128 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse L ∆W∆E−KAT (year 12), Serapis enthroned left, right leg foward, feet on footstool, reaching with right to Cerberus at feet left, long scepter vertical behind in left; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Saturday, October 21, 2017.
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Hades or Pluto