Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Greek Crete Itanus

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Antik Sikkeler

ΦΙΛΟΛΟΓΟΣ 🇬🇷 | ΝΟΜΙΣΜΑΤΟΛOΓΟΣ
Φιλομμειδής
Katılım
4 Şub 2022
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Itanos was the easternmost city of Crete, named after its Phoenician founder. This coins belongs to a later period when Greek influence superseded that of Phoenicia.

The presence of Athena on the obverse is an expression of gratitude to Athens, which intervened to free Itanus from a tyrant. The eagle of the reverse is the sacred bird of Zeus, who was worshipped in eastern Crete as Zeus Dictaios.

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This epithet, meaning Zeus of Mount Dicte, referred to a local myth about the infancy of Zeus. His father, Cronos, feared a rebellion by his children and swallowed each of them after birth. Zeus was saved from this fate by his mother, Rhea, who tricked Cronos into swallowing a stone wrapped in swaddling and hid the baby Zeus in a cave on Mount Dicte, where he was cared for by divine agents. Western Crete had a rival cave on Mount Ida that also claimed to be the secret sanctuary of the infant Zeus.

This ancient coins reverse shows eagle with closed wings standing left, head turned right, to right sea god placed sideways, raising right hand to shade eyes and holding trident over left shoulder.

This Phoenician origin probably explains the sea god, half man and half sea serpent, who appears on the earliest coinage of Itanus in the fifth century BC. A similar marine deity also appears on the coinage of Aradus in Phoenicia, where he is identified as Dagon or Baal Arwad.

Click for more coin images of the ancient city Itanos.

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