Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Greek Bithynia Herakleia Pontika

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Antik Sikkeler

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Herakleia Pontika [ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΑ ΠΟΝΤΙΚΗ] - HΕΡΑΚΛΕΩΤΑΝ

The Bithynian coastal city of Herakleia was founded in circa 550 BC by Megaraian and Boiotian colonists, who quickly developed two artificial harbours, a fortification wall and a large navy to make it a significant naval power. Klearchos I was established as the city's first tyrant in circa 364 BC: upon his assassination in 353/2 BC, his brother Satyros assumed control, and acted as guardian to his sons, Timotheos and Dionysios, until they began to rule as joint tyrants in circa 345 BC.

The famous hero Herakles, the city's namesake, and attributes such as his club featured on the civic silver coinage of Herakleia Pontika from as early as the fifth century BC, and such types continued to be struck after a change in weight standard after the establishment of the tyranny. It is believed that Herakles entered the underworld through a cave supposedly situated nearby to carry out his twelfth and final labour to capture Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the gates of the underworld. The hero is rendered in powerful detail, the three-quarters facing perspective, furrowed brow and wide staring eyes lending a uniquely emotional charge to the portrait.

t is the reverse that is particularly interesting; poised atop Herakles' club is the elegant figure of Nike, carved in beautiful classical style. Her pose and act of inscribing are incredibly reminiscent of the roughly contemporaneous staters of Mallos on which Nike inscribes her own name. This conscious reference to the craftsman's own act of die-engraving transcends the boundaries of the canvas as Nike inscribes the ethnic of the city. This very rare issue, of which this is the finest example on CoinArchives, was apparently struck from only two pairs of dies, with only three other examples known. The reverse of this particular coin bears the letters ΣΙ retrograde below the club which perhaps refer to Satyros, or to an uncertain magistrate, making it quite probably unique.

ANTİK SİKKELER NÜMİZMATİK.jpg