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

Persephone

Persephone was the embodiment of the Earth's fertility, Queen of the Underworld, daughter of Demeter and Zeus and the consort of Hades.


Lokris Opuntia, Lokris, Greece, c. 340 - 330 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 Oleus, 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.
GS83462. Silver triobol, BCD Lokris 98; BMC Central p. 2, 9; SNG Cop 50; SNG Lockett 1700; de Luynes 1958; Pozzi 1339; SGCV I 2330; HGC 4 997, aVF, attractive style, tight flan, etched surfaces, weight 2.385 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 0o, Lokris Opuntia mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Persephone right, wearing wreath of grain, single-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; reverse OΠONTIΩN, Ajax son of Oileus, advancing right in fighting attitude, nude but for crested Corinthian helmet, short sword in right hand, shield on left arm ornamented inside with coiled snake (control symbol), kantharos (control symbol) below; scarce; $270.00 (240.30)


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, c. 275 - 215 B.C.

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Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 - 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity. Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GI90439. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 352, 192 R1 19; BMC Sicily p. 219, 627; SNG ANS 586 (Agathokles); SNG Munchen 1235 (Agathokles); SNG Cop 867 corr.; HGC 2 1469, gVF, well centered and struck, dark green patina, light corrosion, light cleaning scratches, weight 5.881 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 135o, Syracuse mint, c. 275 - 269 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, head of Kore-Persephone left, wearing earrings and necklace, hair rolled and bound with barley wreath; reverse bull butting left, club over T (magistrate initial) above, IE (magistrate initials) in exergue; $190.00 (169.10)


Akrai, Sicily, c. 211 - 80 B.C.

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Akrai was a small colony founded by Syracuse in 664 B.C. to secure the inland road to Gela. Constructed on the peak of a hill, Akrai was difficult to attack and ideal for watching the surrounding territory. Loyal to Syracuse, it nevertheless had administrative and military autonomy. Thanks to its strategic position, the city achieved great prosperity, peaking during the reign of Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C. Its coinage was only issued after the fall of Syracuse in 211 B.C. when it became part of the Roman province Acre. The city continued to be under Roman rule into the Byzantine period.
GI79952. Bronze AE 23, SNG ANS 902; SNG Cop 9; Calciati III p. 37, 1 var. (KP ligate); BMC Sicily p. 2, 1 var. (same); HGC 2 180 (S) var. (same); SNG Morcom -, aF, glossy lime-green patina, scratches, uneven strike, weight 7.517 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Akrai (Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 210 - 80 B.C.; obverse head of Persephone right, hair rolled and wreathed with barley; reverse AK-P-AIΩN, Demeter standing left, wearing long chiton and peplos, torch in right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $160.00 (142.40)


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, c. 275 - 215 B.C.

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Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 - 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity. Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GI83556. Bronze AE 21, Calciati p. 348, 191 Ds 65 R1 9; BMC Sicily p. 219, 623; SGCV I 1218; HGC 2 1469 (S); SNG Cop 864 var. (cornucopia); SNG ANS -, VF, nice style, dark sea-green patina, weight 5.35 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 15o, Syracuse mint, c. 275 - c. 265 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, head of Persephone left, wearing earring and necklace, hair rolled and bound with barley wreath, bunch of grapes (control symbol) behind neck; reverse bull butting left, club over I (magistrate initial) above, IE (magistrate initials) in exergue; $135.00 (120.15)


Syracuse, Sicily, Agathocles, 317 - 289 B.C.

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With an army of mercenaries, through deceit, and after banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens, Agathocles made himself master of Syracuse and later most of Sicily. Machiavelli wrote of him, "It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, and irreligious" and cited him as an example of "those who by their crimes come to be princes." According to the historian Justin, very early in life Agathocles parlayed his remarkable beauty into a career as a prostitute, first for men, and later, after puberty, for women, and then made a living by robbery before becoming a soldier and marrying a rich widow.
GI83555. Bronze AE 17, Calciati II p. 233, 104; SNG Cop 761; SNG ANS 610; SNG Munchen 1245; HGC 2 1989; SNG Tub -; SNG Morcom -, VF, nice style, dark green patina, pitting, weight 3.57 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 317 - 310 B.C.; obverse SYRAKOSIWN, head of Kore-Persephone left, wearing earring and necklace, hair rolled and wreathed with barley, vertical astragalus (control symbol) behind neck; reverse bull butting left, ax (control symbol) above, ΣΩ (magistrate initials) in exergue; $70.00 (62.30)


Syracuse, Sicily, Agathocles, 317 - 289 B.C.

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In 310 B.C., Agathokles, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated and besieged by Carthage, took the desperate resolve of breaking through the blockade and attacking the enemy in Africa. After several victories he was completely defeated in 306 B.C. and fled secretly back to Sicily. After concluding peace, Agathocles styled himself king of Sicily, and established rule over the Greek cities of the island.
SH69733. Bronze AE 16, Calciati II p. 239, 110; SNG Cop 762; SNG Munchen 1245 (lion head), gF, superb style, weight 3.104 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, c. 317 - 310 B.C.; obverse head of Kore-Persephone left wearing earring and necklace, wreathed in barley, uncertain control symbol behind neck; reverse bull butting left, E/Λ monogram (magistrate) above, ΣYPAKOΣIΩN in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $65.00 (57.85)


Syracuse, Sicily, Hiketas, 287 - 278 B.C.

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Hicetas was the tyrant of Syracuse for about nine years. The only recorded events during his rule are his victory over Phintias, tyrant of Agrigentum, and his defeat to the Carthaginians at the river Terias. He was expelled from Syracuse by Thynion shortly before Pyrrhus arrived in Sicily.
GB90325. Bronze hemilitron, cf. Calciati p. 263, 125; HGC 2 1466 (S), SNG Cop 804; SNG ANS 776 ff. (various control symbols), aVF, nice green patina, weight 6.767 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Syracuse mint, 287 - 283 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN (off flan), head of Kore-Persephone left, wreathed in grain; reverse Nike driving galloping biga right, A(?) in exergue (off flan); scarce; $60.00 (53.40)


Boiotia, Greece, Federal Coinage, c. 229 - 220 B.C.

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Beautiful Persephone lived a peaceful life far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. She was innocently picking flowers when Hades, god of the Underworld, burst through a cleft in the earth and abducted her. While Demeter searched desperately for her daughter she neglected the earth and caused nothing to grow. Zeus, pressed by the cries of hungry people, determined to force Hades to return Persephone. However, Hades had tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds, and because anyone who consumed food or drink in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there, she is forced return to the underworld for a period each year. Explaining the seasons, when Demeter and her daughter are reunited, the Earth flourishes with vegetation and color, but for the months each year when Persephone returns to the underworld, the earth becomes barren.
GB79290. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 100; Head Boeotia p. 86, pl. VI, 6; BMC Central p. 41, 81; SNG Cop 384; SGCV I 2413; HGC 4 1182, F, bumps and scratches, corrosion, weight 4.005 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 315o, Thebes mint, c. 229 - 220 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter or Kore (Persephone) facing slightly right, wreathed with grain; reverse BOIΩTΩN (downward on right), Poseidon standing left, naked, right foot on rock, leaning on trident vertical behind in left; ex BCD with his tag noting, "ex Boeotia, early 90's, SFr. 50.-"; $36.00 (32.04)







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Persephone