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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, c. 340 - 335 B.C., Eleusinian Festival Coinage

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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. 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.
SH49956. Bronze AE 16, BMC Attica p. 113, 20; Kroll 38 var. (control mark); SNG Cop 414 (control mark), F, weight 4.006 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, obverse Triptolemos seated left in winged chariot drawn by two serpents, stalk of grain in his right hand; reverse EΛEYΣI, piglet standing right on mystic staff, bee (control symbol) below; ex BCD with his hand-written round tag; SOLD


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
GB35141. Bronze AE 14, Kroll 51; SNG Cop 420; Svoronos Athens pl. 103, 17 ff.; HGC 4 1767 (S), F/VF, weight 2.962 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 315o, 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; SOLD


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

Click for a larger photo
"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; SOLD


Enna, Sicily, 258 - 150 B.C.

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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. 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.
GB21930. Bronze litra, Calciati III p. 234, 5; SNG ANS 1337; SNG Cop -, aF, rough, weight 2.806 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 315o, Enna mint, obverse [ENNAIΩN], Triptolemos standing facing, holding scepter; reverse two winged snakes drawing plow right, barley grain below; very rare; SOLD


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


Lokri Opuntii, Lokris, Greece, 360 - 350 B.C.

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Lokrian Ajax (the Lesser) was a Greek mythological hero, son of Oileus, the king of Locris. Locrians are mentioned by Homer in the Iliad as following Ajax, the son of OÔleus, to the Trojan War in forty ships, and as inhabiting the towns of Kynos, Opus, Calliarus, Besa, Scarphe, Augeiae, Tarphe, and Thronium. Lokrian Ajax was called the "lesser" or "Lokrian" Ajax, to distinguish him from Ajax the Great, son of Telamon. He is also mentioned in the Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.
SH68660. Silver triobol or hemidrachm, BCD Lokris 46; SNG Cop 48; BMC Central p. 2, 14 ff.; SGCV I 2332, Nice F, centered, toned, marks, scratches, weight 2.561 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 270o, Lokri Opuntii mint, 360 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wreathed in grain, wearing drop earring and necklace (worn away); reverse OΠON−TIΩN, Ajax son of Oileus, advancing right in fighting attitude, helmeted, nude, short sword in right, shield in left ornamented inside with coiled snake (control symbol), broken spear on ground in background; SOLD








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Catalog current as of Monday, December 9, 2019.
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Triptolemus