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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     160206
     [UNVERIFIED]
Type:     GREEK
Region:     THRACE, Islands off
City:     Thasos
Issuer:     ISLANDS off THRACE. Thasos
Date Ruled:     Circa 525-500 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Stater
Date Struck:     BC Circa 525-500
Diameter:     18 mm
Weight:     9.58 g
Obverse Description:     Ithyphallic satyr advancing right, carrying off protesting nymph
Reverse Description:     Quadripartite incuse square
Primary Reference:     Le Rider, Thasiennes 1
Reference2:     SNG Ashmolean 3642
Reference3:     SNG Cop 1007
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Source:     http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=79685
Grade:     Good VF, toned
Notes:     Exceptional strike This magnificent example of the earliest group of the long-running Thasos series of staters exudes power in its bold design. Ritual abduction as a form of exogamy was, and is still, frequent in tribal society. The reference here is probably to the Dionysiac cult and is modelled on one of the stone reliefs for which Thasos is famous. For another archaic treatment on the same theme from Delphi (see Boardman, Greek Sculpture: the Archaic Period, fig. 210).The overtly sexual displays seen on many early Greek coins can be disconcerting to the modern eye, viewing them through the lens of centuries of Christian fulminations against ‘paganism’ and its erotic excesses. These scenes are at their most graphic in northern Greece, for example, on the archaic coins of ‘Lete’ and the island of Thasos, showing the interplay of nymphs and satyrs. The towns and tribes of this region were only newly introduced to the ‘civilizing’ influences of the south, and were still close to their roots in farming and herding cultures. Their gods were not the Olympian super beings, but the spirits of nature, and the emphasis was on celebrating the fecundity of fields and flocks.