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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Heros| ▸ |Triptolemus||View Options:  |  |  | 

Triptolemus on Ancient Coins

Triptolemus was a demigod of the Eleusinian mysteries who presided over the sowing of grain-seed and the milling of wheat. His name means He who Pounds the Husks. In myth, Triptolemos was one of the Eleusinian princes who kindly received Demeter when she came mourning the loss of her daughter Persephone. The young goddess was eventually returned to her from the Underworld, and Demeter in her munificence, instructed Triptolemos in the art of agriculture, and gave him a winged chariot drawn by serpents so that he might travel the world spreading her gift.


Athens, Attica, Greece, 307 - 300 B.C., Eleusinian Festival Coinage

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"The pig was sacred to Demeter, goddess of grain, and figures prominently on special coinage struck by Athens for use by participants in the Eleusinian Mysteries, a series of very ancient secret rituals held every Spring at Eleusis (now Elefsina, 18 km, or 11 miles, from Athens). Pigs were sacrificed to Demeter as part of the preparation for initiates...Each had carried to the river or lake a little pig, which was also purified by bathing, and on the next day this pig was sacrificed. The pig was offered because it was very pernicious to cornfields. On the Eleusinian coinage the pig, standing on a torch placed horizontally, appears as the sign and symbol of the Mysteries." -- "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek
GB91909. Bronze AE 14, Kroll 51; SNG Cop 420; Svoronos Athens pl. 103, 17 ff.; HGC 4 1767 (S), F, glossy near black patina with highlighting earthen deposits, tight flan cutting off ethnic, weight 3.740 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, 307 - 300 B.C.; obverse Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, stalk of grain in his right hand; reverse piglet right standing on torch (mystic staff), EΛEYΣI below, all within wheat wreath; $80.00 (Ä70.40)


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 340 - 335 B.C., Eleusinian Festival Coinage

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"The pig was sacred to Demeter, goddess of grain, and figures prominently on special coinage struck by Athens for use by participants in the Eleusinian Mysteries, a series of very ancient secret rituals held every Spring at Eleusis (now Elefsina, 18 km, or 11 miles, from Athens). Pigs were sacrificed to Demeter as part of the preparation for initiates...Each had carried to the river or lake a little pig, which was also purified by bathing, and on the next day this pig was sacrificed. The pig was offered because it was very pernicious to cornfields. On the Eleusinian coinage the pig, standing on a torch placed horizontally, appears as the sign and symbol of the Mysteries." -- "This Little Piggy Went to Market: Boars, Hogs, Sows and Piglets on Ancient Coins" by Mike Markowitz in CoinWeek
GB77129. Bronze dichalkon, Kroll 38h-k; BMC Attica p. 113, 14; SNG Cop 416; Svoronos Athens pl. 103, 5, F/aVF, pitting, light scratches, weight 2.993 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, stalk of grain in his right hand; reverse Piglet standing right on mystic staff, EΛEYΣI above, bucranium (control symbol) in exergue; rare; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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Triptolemus