Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

The Myth Of Erichthonios - Kyzikos

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Antik Sikkeler

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This type depicts the myth of Erichthonios, a legendary early king of Athens. According to myth, the warrior goddess Athena was said to have visited the smith-god Hephaestus in order to request more arms be forged for her. Overcome by desire, Hephaestus attempted to seduce Athena, and when he was rebuffed, chased her and tried to rape her. Though Athena fought him off, in the struggle Hephaestus' seed fell upon her thigh. In disgust, she wiped it from her leg and flung it to the earth. Upon contact with Gaia, the earth-goddess, an autochthonous boy was born and named Erichthonios [earth-shaker]. This coin depicts the moment the new-born boy was presented by the personified Earth to the goddess of wisdom. Athena accepted the child, and gave him to the three daughters of Kekrops, the first king of Athens, in a box for safekeeping, warning the three daughters never to open it. Overcome by curiosity the sisters decided to take a fateful look inside, and the sight that greeted them [depending on the version of the myth] was the infant Erichthonios who either was encircled by a snake, or was himself half-man and half-serpent. Terrified and driven mad, the daughters threw themselves from the cliff-face of the Acropolis [or were killed by the snake].

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