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

Telephus

An oracle told King Aleus of Tegea that he would be overthrown by his grandson, so he forced his daughter Auge to become a virgin priestess. After she was violated by Heracles, their son, the infant Telephus, was hidden in the temple but his cries revealed him. Aleus ordered Telephus exposed on Mt. Parthenion. He was saved by a doe Heracles sent to suckle him. Grown up, Telephus consulted the Delphic oracle to learn who his mother was. He was told to go to King Teuthras in Mysia. There he was kindly received, found his mother, and married Argiope, the daughter of Teuthras, whom he succeeded as king of Mysia. The Greeks invaded Mysia on the way to the Trojan War. Telephus repelled them until Dionysus assisted the Greeks and caused him to stumble on a vine, after which he was wounded by Achilles. The wound would not heal and when he consulted the oracle he was told "only he could cure him who had wounded him." The Greeks meanwhile had received an oracle that without the aid of Telephus they could not reach Troy. Achilles cured Telephus with rust from the spear with which the wound had been inflicted. Telephus, in return, pointed out the road to Troy.


Tegea, Arkadia, c. 370 - 240 B.C.

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Aleus, king in Tegea, was told by an oracle that he would be overthrown by his grandson. So he forced his daughter Auge to become a virginal priestess of Athena Alea. She was seduced by Herakles. Their son, the infant Telephos, was hidden in the temple but his cries revealed his presence. Aleus ordered the child exposed on Mt. Parthenion. The child was suckled and saved by a doe until he was found by shepherds.
SH24566. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 300 var. (Telephos facing right); BMC Peloponnesus p. 202, 14 var. (Athena facing slightly left), aVF, green patina, weight 3.130 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, Tegea (Alea, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece) mint, c. 370 - 240 B.C.; obverse head of Athena facing slightly right, wearing triple-crested Attic helmet and necklace; reverse TEΓ, the infant Telephos kneeling right, suckled by doe standing left, head right; rare; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nicaea, Bithynia

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The reverse is similar to a Roman marble of Herakles and his child Telephos of the 1st - 2nd century (after a Greek original of the 4th century BC), found in Tivoli, Italy and now at the Louvre. See a photo of the sculpture on the NumisWiki Telephos page (click the blue text Telephos).

Telephus (or Telephos) was the son of Herakles and Auge, daughter of King Aleus of Tegea. An oracle told King Aleus of Tegea that he would be overthrown by his grandson, so he forced his daughter Auge to become a virgin priestess. After she was violated by Herakles, their son, the infant Telephus, was hidden in the temple but his cries revealed him. Aleus ordered Telephus exposed on Mt. Parthenion. He was saved by a doe Herakles sent to suckle him.
RP62244. Bronze AE 28, cf. SNGvA 577 (no doe, club and lionskin on rock in right), Rec Gen II.3 -, BMC Pontus -, SNG Cop -; c/m Howgego 254 (94 pcs.), F, weight 11.467 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, obverse [AVT K Λ CEΠTI] - CEVHP[OC Π], laureate head right, c/m Nike standing right within circular incuse; reverse NIKAIEWN, Herakles standing slight left, infant Telephos in right, club and lion skin in left, doe standing left in background on left; rare; SOLD


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Elaiussa-Sebaste, Islands Off Cilicia

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Elaiussa, meaning olive, was founded in the 2nd century B.C. on a tiny island attached to the southern coast of Turkey by a narrow isthmus in Mediterranean Sea. During the reign of Augustus, the Cappadocian king Archelaus founded a new city on the isthmus. Archelaus called it Sebaste, which is the Greek equivalent word of the Latin "Augusta." The city entered its golden age when Vespasian purged Cilicia of pirates in 74 A.D. Towards the end of the 3rd century A.D. its importance began to wane, due in large part to incursions by the Sassanian King Shapur I in 260 and later by the Isaurians. When its neighbor Corycus began to flourish in the 6th century A.D., Elaiussa Sebaste slowly disappeared from history. The theater, dating to the 2nd century A.D., is small with only 23 rows of seats, whose steps and decorations unfortunately succumbed to centuries of plunder.Elaiussa Theater
RP92382. Bronze AE 35, SNG Levante Suppl. 231 (same dies), RPC VI online T7053 (1 spec = SNG Levante S231), SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, BMC Lycaonia -, aF, well centered, scratches, holed, weight 17.658 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 0o, Elaiussa-Sebaste (Ayash, Turkey) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse AY K M AY CEYHP AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CEBACTH IEPAC AYT NAY,APX (the last three letters upward in the left field), Asklepios standing facing, leaning on serpent-entwined staff in right hand, Telesphorus at feet on left; only one sale of this large 35mm bronze type in the last two decades recorded on Coin Archives (and it is the same specimen listed in SNG Levante and RPC VI); extremely rare; SOLD


Trebonianus Gallus, June or July 251 - July or August 253 A.D., Damascus, Syria

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Telephus (or Telephos) was the son of Herakles and Auge, daughter of King Aleus of Tegea. An oracle told King Aleus that he would be overthrown by his grandson, so he forced his daughter Auge to become a virgin priestess. After she was violated by Herakles, their son, the infant Telephus, was hidden in the temple but his cries revealed him. Aleus ordered Telephus exposed on Mt. Parthenion. He was saved by a doe Herakles sent to suckle him.
RY86712. Bronze AE 24, RPC Online IX 1953 (6 spec.); Lindgren I 2152; BMC Galatia -; SNG Cop -; SNG MŁnchen -; SNG Hunterian -; De Saulcy -; Rosenberger -, F, desert patina, parts of legends weak, marks, porous, weight 9.050 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Damascus mint, Jun/Jul 251 - Jul/Aug 253 A.D.; obverse IMP CI VIB TREB GALLO AVG, laureate head right, traces of drapery; reverse COL DAMA METR, hind (antlered doe) standing right, suckling infant Telephos seated left, ram's head right in exergue; ex J.S. Wagner Collection; rare; SOLD








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Telephus