Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Kyzikos Zeus Ammon

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The worship of Zeus in Asia Minor was expressed through cultic associations with various similar local deities; in Kyzikos we know he existed in forms highlighting his role as the sky-god through the use of the name Zeus Brontaios [thunderer] which has survived on monuments. This coin demonstrates how wide-spread knowledge was of the existence of the god Zeus Ammon whose oracle in the Oasis of Siwa in the Libyan desert is thought to have been renowned.

The syncretic god Zeus Ammon combines the Greek Zeus with the Egyptian king of gods, Amun-Ra, who was often shown in Egyptian art with a ram's head. Zeus Ammon was worshipped especially in Sparta and Thebes, both of which are recorded by Pausanias as having temples to the god [Description of Greece 3.18.3 and 9.16.1]. The oracle was famed in ancient times for being visited by Alexander the Great in 331 BC and later Hannibal.

Herodotus tells two stories of its foundation: I heard from the Theban priests; and what follows, the prophetesses of Dodona say: that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona... The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans [they say] to make an oracle of Ammon; this also is sacred to Zeus [2.55.1-3]. This tale he later refutes, suggesting instead that the oracle was founded by a priestess stolen by the Phoenicians.

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